Rio de Janeiro

Is Rio de Janeiro SAFE? The TRUTH for tourists in 2023

is rio de janeiro safe

If you have plans to come to Rio de Janeiro, you may be wondering if it’s a safe or a dangerous place. Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil, attracting millions of visitors each year. While the city is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and exciting nightlife, it is also important for tourists to be aware of the potential security risks. In this post, we will discuss some of the key safety precautions that foreign tourists should take when visiting Rio de Janeiro, and how to stay safe while enjoying all that this incredible city has to offer. Here are a few safety tips for your Rio de Janeiro trip:

Copacabana’s pickpockets

Copacabana Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a beautiful place to soak up the sun, swim in the ocean, and people-watch. However, like any popular tourist spot, Copacabana has its share of pickpockets and thieves who prey on unsuspecting tourists. This area is known for being full of pickpockets who are always looking for a chance with foreign tourists.

First, it’s important to understand how these pickpockets operate. They often work in groups and target crowded areas, such as beaches, markets, taxis and public transportation. They are experts at distracting their victims, using techniques such as bumping into them, asking for directions, or creating a commotion. While their targets are distracted, they quickly and skillfully steal their valuables, such as wallets, phones, and cameras.

To avoid becoming a victim of these pickpockets, there are several things you can do. First, be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye on your belongings and don’t leave them unattended. If you’re carrying a purse or backpack, wear it in front of you, where you can see it. Second, avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing expensive jewelry. These items make you a more attractive target for thieves. Third, be cautious when strangers approach you, especially if they are overly friendly or insistent. Fourth, DO NOT USE your smartphone while walking on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Fifth, DO NOT leave your stuff alone at the beach because the pickpockets are just waiting for it. Finally, if you do become a victim of theft, report it to the police – but don’t expect that brazilian police will solve your problem or get your stuff back. It’s rare.

In addition to taking these precautions, there are other steps you can take to stay safe in Copacabana. One is to hire a private tour guide or take organized tours. These guides are familiar with the area and can help you avoid dangerous neighborhoods or areas. You should avoid the hotel concierges because they have partnerships with people who practice overpriced services against tourists. The best advice I can give is: join a Facebook group of expats to get the best tips of restaurants, places to go and secret spots.

By taking simple precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding carrying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry, you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of theft. By staying vigilant and aware of your surroundings, you can enjoy all that Copacabana has to offer safely.

Be aware of your surroundings

It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings when traveling, but this is especially true in Rio de Janeiro. Pay attention to your surroundings, especially when you are in crowded areas or unfamiliar neighborhoods. Try to avoid wearing expensive jewelry or flashing large amounts of cash, as this can make you a target for pickpockets.

Use reputable transportation services

When traveling around the city, it is important to use reputable transportation services. Avoid using unmarked taxis or public transportation at night, as these can be unsafe. Instead, use ride-hailing services like Uber or take a taxi from a reputable company. In Santos Dumont and Galeão Airport, only use the official taxi-driver service and do not use the “pre-paid” and super overpriced ones.

Stay in a safe neighborhood

Some of the safest neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro include Ipanema, Leblon, and Copacabana. These areas are popular with tourists and have a high police presence.

Don’t go out alone at night

It’s best to avoid going out alone at night, especially in less-populated areas. If you do need to go out, make sure to take a taxi or use a ride-hailing service, and always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Be careful on the beach

Rio de Janeiro’s beaches are beautiful but they can also be dangerous. Avoid leaving your valuables unattended on the beach, and only swim in areas that are designated as safe by the lifeguards.

Avoid favelas

Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, or slums, are known for their high crime rates and should be avoided by tourists. If you do want to visit a favela, it’s important to do so with a reputable tour company and never go alone.

In conclusion, while Rio de Janeiro is an incredible city with much to offer, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions when traveling as a foreign tourist. By being aware of your surroundings, using reputable transportation services, staying in safe neighborhoods, avoiding going out alone at night, being careful on the beach, and avoiding favelas, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to this amazing city.

About Author

Paula Pfeifer é uma surda que ouve com dois implantes cocleares. Ela é autora dos livros Crônicas da Surdez, Novas Crônicas da Surdez e Saia do Armário da Surdez e lidera a maior comunidade digital do Brasil de pessoas com perda auditiva que são usuárias de próteses auditivas.

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