A Travel Price Comparison for Brazil Salvador vs. Rio de Janeiro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Salvador or Rio de Janeiro?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Salvador or Rio de Janeiro, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Salvador

Salvador de Bahia was the first capital of Brazil, founded by the Portuguese in 1549. Also known as "Brazil's capital of happiness," Salvador is famous for its plentiful and spirited street festivals. The third most populous city in Brazil, Salvador is also well-known for its Afro-Brazilian culture and Portuguese colonial architecture.

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 Salvador?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salvador is $34, 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 Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Salvador is about $38 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Salvador $19
    Rio de Janeiro $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salvador $38
    Rio de Janeiro $100

Food

In Salvador travelers spend around $10 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

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
    Salvador $10
    Rio de Janeiro $15
Typical Food prices in Salvador

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Salvador:


  • Dinner for 2
    $1.33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salvador

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Salvador.

  • Pelourinho By Night - Dinner & Show: $70
  • Pelourinho By Night With Folkloric Show and Dinner: $80
  • Private Tour to Cultural Show and Dinner in Salvador: $80
  • Private Cooking Experience in Salvador: $100
  • Salvador by Night: Cultural Dinner and Show: $110
  • Bahia By Night: Dinner and Folkloric show: $114
  • Cooking Class with a Local and Spice Gift: $125
  • Bahia By Night Dinner and Dance Show Ticket: $135

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

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $4.70 per day to get around in Salvador.

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.
    Salvador $4.70
    Rio de Janeiro $6.22
Typical Local Transportation prices in Salvador

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Salvador:


  • Bus from Airport
    $1.14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salvador

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salvador:

  • Grand Palladium Imbassai Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $114
  • Iberostar Praia do Forte or Bahia Private Transfer 4 to 12 Pax: $107
  • Ivan Bahia, Private Transfer Lençois (Chapada Diamantina) to / from Salvador BA: $280
  • Morro de São Paulo Shared Transfer From/To Salvador: $100
  • Praia do Forte Private Transfer From Salvador: $103
  • Praia do Forte Shared Transfer From Salvador: $43
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: Salvador de Bahia Airport to Salvador City: $62
  • Private Airport Transfer: Salvador Int. Airport (SSA) to Salvador de Bahia: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Salvador de Bahia to Salvador Int. Airport (SSA): $21
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Salvador de Bahia Airport to Salvador City: $31
  • Private Departure Transfer from Salvador City to Salvador de Bahia Airport: $31
  • Private One Way Airport Transfer - Morro de São Paulo: $366

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:

  • ARMORED Airport Transfer - Rio de Janeiro (COVID-19 Prepared): $387
  • Airport transfer: Rio de Janeiro - Buzios / Ilha Grande: $242
  • All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Churrascaria in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $55
  • Angra dos Reis Private Transfer from Rio de Janeiro: $115
  • Angra dos Reis Shared Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $61
  • Angra dos Reis to Daily Transfer: $54
  • AquaRio Aquarium Guided Tour, Admission & Transfer: $58
  • Arraial do Cabo Private Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $115
  • Arraial do Cabo Shared Transfer From Rio de Janeiro: $52
  • Arrival Private Transfer GIG or SDU Airport to Rio City by Minivan: $144
  • Arrival Private Transfer Galeão Airport GIG to Rio City by Business Car: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfer Galeão Airport GIG to Rio City by Luxury Van: $98

Is it cheaper to fly into Salvador or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Salvador 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $4.43 per person, per day in Salvador. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

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.
    Salvador $4.43
    Rio de Janeiro $17

Tours and Activities in Salvador

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

  • Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova Guided Tour Including Entrance Ticket: $9.53
  • Discover the Ancient Deities of Brazil's Candomblé (Online Experience): $15
  • Salvador Panoramic City Tour: $21
  • Salvador Historical City Center Tour: $21
  • Panoramic Salvador Half Day City Tour: $25
  • Historical Salvador City Tour: $25
  • Shared Salvador City Tour: $27
  • Half Day Historical City Tour (Private): $28
  • Historic City Tour in Salvador: $33
  • Panoramic Sightseeing City Tour: $37
  • Schooner Tour to Ilha dos Frades and Itaparica from Salvador: $37
  • North Beach Praia do Forte and Guarajuba Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

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

  • Rio Line Panoramic City Tour - Boulevard Route: $10
  • Inside Rio Photography Walking Tour: $10
  • Hiking Tour to Pedra do Telégrafo (Telegraph Stone): $12
  • Carnival Backstage Tour - Visit a traditional Samba School: $16
  • Rocinha Lucky Tour: $16
  • Rio Street Art Experience 2 Hours: $19
  • Half-Day Downtown Walking Tour: $19
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • Favela Tour -The path of Michael Jackson in Rio: $20
  • Historical Downtown and Lapa - Walking Tour: $20
  • Private Walking and Cultural Tour Rocinha-Rio de Janeiro: $25
  • Boat Tour Guanabara Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Sightseeing: $25

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Salvador may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.92 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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
    Salvador $5.92
    Rio de Janeiro $9.43
Typical Alcohol prices in Salvador

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Salvador:


  • Beers for 2
    $1.33

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 Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Rio de Janeiro is more expensive. And not only is Salvador much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salvador would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salvador 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 Salvador.

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Salvador vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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