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

Should you visit Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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

Where Should I go: Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro?

Sao Paulo

With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.

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. It's also famous for Carnival, it's gorgeous beaches, and world-famous landmarks. Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year round due to the great weather and plenty of fun activities. The city has a wonderful natural harbor that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting.

For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Brazil, The Best Adventure Tours to Brazil, The Best Eco Tours in Brazil, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Brazil.


Which place is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $52, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $104. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $30
    Rio de Janeiro $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $60
    Rio de Janeiro $132
Compare Hotels in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Sao Paulo


Hotels in Rio de Janeiro


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Sao Paulo Hotel Prices and Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sao Paulo $5.85
    Rio de Janeiro $7.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

Also for Sao Paulo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • 6-hour Private Layover Tour of Sao Paulo + GRU Airport Transfer: $159
  • Arrival Private Transfer Guarulhos Airport GRU to São Paulo City by Minibus: $197
  • Campinas Airport (VCP) to Praia Grande/Santos - Private Transfer: $63
  • Campinas Airport (VCP) to Praia/Santos Hotels Round-Trip Transfer: $126
  • Campinas Airport (VCP) to Praia/Santos hotels - Arrival Transfer: $63
  • Campinas Airport (VCP) to Sao Paulo hotels - Arrival Transfer: $39
  • Campinas Airport (VCP) to Sao Paulo hotels - Round-Trip Transfer: $77
  • Campinas Airport (VCP)to Praia Grande/Santos - RoundTrip Transfer: $126
  • Campinas Viracopos Airport (VCP) Sao Paulo - Round-Trip Transfer: $77
  • Campinas Viracopos Airport (VCP) to Sao Paulo - Private Transfer: $39
  • Departure Private Transfers: Sao Paulo to Guarulhos Airport GRU in Business Car: $124
  • Departure Private Transfers: Sao Paulo to Guarulhos Airport GRU in Luxury Van: $145

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
    $2.90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • From Private Transfer to São Paulo: $650
  • 2025: Rio Carnival Parade at Sapucaí with Transfer Sector 7: $475
  • Rio: Sambadrome Carnival Parade + transfer 2025 Sector 7: $475
  • Rio Carnival 2025: Sambadrome Parade + Transfer (Sector 7): $475
  • Rio's 2025 Carnival Parade at Sapucaí + Transfer Sector 5: $475
  • 2025 Sambadrome Carnival Parade: Transfer Included Sector 5: $475
  • Rio Carnival 2025: Sambadrome Parade + Transfer Sector 5: $475
  • Carnival Parade at the Sapucaí 2025 with transfer - Sector 5: $474
  • Carnival Parade at the Sapucaí 2025 with transfer - Sector 7: $474
  • Helicopter Ride for 25 to 30min with Transfer service: $300
  • TRANSFER VAN Rio de Janeiro x Búzios/Arraial/Cabo Frio/Angra: $272
  • EXECUTIVE VAN Airport Transfer - Rio de Janeiro: $250

Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Sao Paulo $15
    Rio de Janeiro $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo

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

  • Private Traditional Brazilian or Paulistano Cooking Class with a Chef: $130
  • Authentic Brazilian Cooking Experience in SP: Feijoada & Moqueca: $189

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
    $0.58
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.77
  • Hamburger
    $0.97

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.

  • Waterfront Dinner & Live Music Experience: $45
  • Waterfront Dinner and Live Music in Rio de Janeiro: $46
  • Barra da Tijuca Food Tour with Drinks: $71
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $80
  • THE BEST FOOD TOUR: $80
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $85
  • 9-Recipe Boozy Brazilian Cooking Class: $85
  • Brazilian Meats and Snacks + South American Wines Guided Dinner: $89
  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro - The Best Typical Brazilian Dishes: $92
  • Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar: $104
  • Rio Bar Food Tour with a Local: $111
  • Brazilian Cooking Class: $129

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sao Paulo $4.01
    Rio de Janeiro $21

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sao Paulo.

  • Downtown São Paulo's Epic History: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Casa do Povo: guided tour of Neo Química Arena: $11
  • Walking Tour Historic Center in São Paulo: $13
  • Discover Sao Paulo History Guided Tour: $30
  • Night Walking Tour through the Bars of São Paulo : $35
  • Night Walking Tour through the Bars of Augusta street: $35
  • Breakfast Tour in Bom Retiro: $43
  • São Paulo: 2 Hours - Liberdade "Street Food" Tour: $54
  • City Tour Meet São Paulo Half-Day: $64
  • Bixiga Walking Tour: $67
  • Sao Paulo Culture Walking Tour: $69
  • São Paulo Shared Group Tour: $77

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

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

  • Ilha Grande Tour Full day - Rio de Janeiro by Rio Eco Trip: $105
  • 03 - Guided Tour to the Grande Rio Academics Barracão: $120
  • 1 day tour Rio de Janeiro to Christ and Cable car and much more: $100
  • 10-hour Private Tour Rio In One Day: Christ, Sugarloaf, Selarón, Downtown: $260
  • 14 - Guided Tour to Quadra Do Salgueiro with Samba Show: $75
  • 15 - Guided Tour to Santa Marta Favela: $150
  • 16 - Guided Tour to Favela da Rocinha: $75
  • 2 Days in Rio: Cultural & Ecologic Tours: $299
  • 2 Days in Rio: Tijuca Forest & Two Brothers Hiking Tours: $279
  • 2 hours Hang Gliding Paragliding Full Package experience in Rio : $176
  • 21 - Guided Tour to the Imperial City of Petrópolis with Lunch: $80
  • 25 - Full Day Tour to Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande: $80

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sao Paulo $3.49
    Rio de Janeiro $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:

  • São Paulo Nightlife: Pub Crawl in the City that Never Sleeps!: $49
  • Half Day Private Wine Tour from São Roque: $54
  • Wine Tour in São Roque by car - tour with local guides: $97
  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $150
  • Fine wine tastings in São Roque - Tour with local guides: $179

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:

  • Rio: Pub Crawl in Lapa with Cachaça Tasting and Live Samba: $30
  • Pub Crawl in Lapa: $35
  • Rio de Janeiro Pub Crawl (Lapa district): $35
  • Petropolis City Tour with Imperial Museum and Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $40
  • Petropolis Bohemia: Historic tour and visit to the Bohemian Brewery: $60
  • Walking tour + Pub crawl + Samba in Lapa: $65
  • Petropolis City Tour + Bohemia Brewery + Lunch: $77
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $110
  • Brazilian Wine Tasting Evening: $110
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $129


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Rio de Janeiro is more expensive. And not only is Sao Paulo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sao Paulo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sao Paulo 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 Sao Paulo.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Sao Paulo Expensive? and Is Rio de Janeiro Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro?

Sao Paulo has a larger population, and is about 66% larger than the population of Rio de Janeiro. When comparing the sizes of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Sao Paulo as well as Rio de Janeiro.

Sao Paulo is around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro in the summer. The daily temperature in Sao Paulo averages around 25°C (77°F) in January, and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).

It's quite rainy in Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo receives a lot of rain in the summer. Sao Paulo usually gets more rain in January than Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo gets 170 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Sao Paulo 25°C (77°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro in the Autumn?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In the autumn, Sao Paulo is cooler than Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Sao Paulo in April average around 22°C (72°F), and Rio de Janeiro averages at about 25°C (77°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Rio de Janeiro. In April, Sao Paulo usually receives less rain than Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Sao Paulo 22°C (72°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro in the Winter?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo during the winter are popular places to visit.

In July, Sao Paulo is generally around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro. Daily temperatures in Sao Paulo average around 19°C (66°F), and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 21°C (70°F).

Sao Paulo usually gets less rain in July than Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo gets 20 mm (0.8 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Sao Paulo 19°C (66°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Sao Paulo is around the same temperature as Rio de Janeiro in the spring. The daily temperature in Sao Paulo averages around 21°C (70°F) in October, and Rio de Janeiro fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

In October, Sao Paulo usually receives around the same amount of rain as Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Sao Paulo 21°C (70°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo Rio de Janeiro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in) 26°C (79°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Feb 25°C (77°F) 170 mm (6.7 in) 27°C (81°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 24°C (75°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 26°C (79°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Apr 22°C (72°F) 50 mm (2 in) 25°C (77°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
May 21°C (70°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 22°C (72°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 19°C (66°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Aug 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 21°C (70°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 21°C (70°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 23°C (73°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 24°C (75°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 24°C (75°F) 150 mm (5.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)