A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Saint Petersburg vs. Rio de Janeiro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Rio de Janeiro?

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Rio de Janeiro? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular travel destination in Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil and the sixth largest in the Americas. A portion of the city has been designated a World Heritage Site. The peak time to visit is during the city's famous Carnival festival, which is one of the most famous festivals in the world. However, Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year around. The city has a wonderful natural harbour that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting. And you can't miss the beach, either!

Which city is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro or Saint Petersburg?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $65, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $81. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Saint Petersburg and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $74 in Saint Petersburg For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Rio de Janeiro is $100. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $37
    Rio de Janeiro $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $74
    Rio de Janeiro $100

Food

Food in Saint Petersburg costs travelers about $19 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Rio de Janeiro for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Rio de Janeiro $15
Typical Food prices in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $5.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Enjoy Russian Delicacies in St Petersburg: Cooking Demo and Meal with a Local: $80
  • Private Dining: Russian dinner in a traditional St. Petersburg apartment: $91
  • Cooking Class and a Dinner with a Local Family (8 people max): $92
  • Off-the-tourist Path Food Tour: $103
  • Local Market Tour and Cooking Demo with a Homemade Russian Meal in St Petersburg: $107
  • Borscht and cabbage pie cooking class and dinner for small private groups: $109
  • FOOD TOUR. St.Petersburg: $150
  • Private Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Borsch and Beef Stroganoff: $166
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Blini with Red Caviar and Shchi soup: $179
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Shchi soup and Blini with Red Caviar: $187
  • Private Cooking Class: Hands-on Siberian Pelmeni Making Workshop: $188
  • Private Cooking Class: Siberian Pelmeni, Stolichny salad and Borsch: $212

Typical Food prices in Rio de Janeiro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Popcorn
    $0.57
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.76
  • Hamburger
    $0.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rio de Janeiro

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro: $30
  • Cooking Class for Cacao Lovers: $51
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $55
  • Plant-based Brazilian Flavours Cooking Class: $56
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $60
  • Private Tour in Rio Scenarium with Dinner: $65
  • Skip the line: Samba Show Admission & Transfer with Dinner Option: $70
  • Dinner and Brazilian Music Show in Rio Scenarium: $70
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Brazilian Food And Caipirinhas Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Secret Food Tours Rio de Janeiro: $82

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Saint Petersburg than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $7.43 on transportation in Saint Petersburg on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.22 per day to get around in Rio de Janeiro.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $7.43
    Rio de Janeiro $6.22
Typical Local Transportation prices in Saint Petersburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Saint Petersburg:


  • Metro Passes
    $1.71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Saint Petersburg

Also for Saint Petersburg, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryCar: $80
  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryVan: $39
  • Departure Private Transfer St. Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport LED by Business Car: $61
  • Private Airport Transfer: from St Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $28
  • Private Transfer from Peterhof Palace to St. Petersburg City Center: $36
  • Private Transfer from St. Petersburg City Center to Peterhof Palace: $37
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED by Business Car: $63
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Car: $103
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Van: $89
  • St Petersburg Departure Private Transfers from St Petersburg City to Airport LED: $84
  • St Petersburg Transfer from city hotels or Cruise port to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $68
  • St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED) to hotel - Arrival Private Transfer: $36

Typical Local Transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Visit to an Original Historic Coffee Farm Guided Tour including Transfer: $140
  • Visit to Madureira Park in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $66
  • VIP Private Transfer Santos Dumond(SDU)-Rio de Janeiro: $65
  • Transfers: $139
  • Transfer in Rio: $35
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $23
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $73
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Rio de Janeiro Galeao(GIG) Airport to City: $73
  • Transfer in Private Car from Galeao Airpor t(GIG) to Rio de Janeiro city center: $23
  • Transfer from South Zone/Downtown to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $30
  • Transfer from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to South Zone/Downtown hotels: $47
  • Transfer from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to Barra da Tijuca/São Conrado: $71

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Petersburg or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Saint Petersburg change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Saint Petersburg, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $18 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Rio de Janeiro. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $18
    Rio de Janeiro $17

Tours and Activities in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2-Day Small-Group Visa-Free Tour - Top Highlights of St Petersburg: $20
  • 1.5-Hours Saint Petersburg's Metro Tour Hidden Treasures: $25
  • Mini-Group 2-Day Shore Excursion of St Petersburg Must-Sees and Boat Cruise: $25
  • Saint Petersburg Drawbridges Tour: $41
  • Half Day Walking Tour Well Courtyards Tour in Saint Petersburg: $44
  • Guided Tour Peter and Paul Fortress, Cathedral and Prison: $56
  • Private Tours: $64
  • Half Day Bike City Tour in Saint Petersburg: $75
  • Private Tour of "Erarta" Galleries: $76
  • St Petersburg Communist walking tour + Museum of Russian political history: $77
  • Evening River and Canal Cruise Visas Included: $86
  • Revolutionary Petersburg City Tour: $86

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few actual costs in Rio de Janeiro for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Days in Rio: Cultural & Ecologic Tours: $284
  • 2 Days in Rio: Tijuca Forest & Two Brothers Hiking Tours: $265
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • 3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio: $39
  • 3-Day Customizable Tour of Rio de Janeiro: $365
  • 4 horas - Tour private: Corcovado e praias: $154
  • 4 hours - Tour Private: Pão de Açúcar e Catedral Metropolitana: $154
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo – Coastal Trip: $990
  • 4-Days Ilha Grande Experience - Unlocking Brazil's 'Garden of Eden': $1,025
  • 4-Hour Urban Arts Walking Tour: $43
  • 4-hour Rio Downtown Sites & Bites Small Group Tour: $62
  • 4-hour Sum-up Of Rio de Janeiro "Private Tour" – Optional Airport & Port Pick-up: $92

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Saint Petersburg spend on average $9.88 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Rio de Janeiro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.43 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Petersburg $9.88
    Rio de Janeiro $9.43

Sample the Local Flavors in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pub Crawl Rio de Janeiro: $11
  • Skip the line: Ipanema Pub Crawl: $28
  • Beautiful Imperial Petropolis City Tour Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $34
  • Rio By Night Tour: Pub Crawl Experiencing Music, Dancing, Drinks & Local Culture: $105
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $135
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $160


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint Petersburg and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Rio de Janeiro is more expensive. And not only is Saint Petersburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Saint Petersburg is in Europe and Rio de Janeiro is in South America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Saint Petersburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Petersburg and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Rio de Janeiro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rio de Janeiro than you might in Saint Petersburg.

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Saint Petersburg vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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