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Survival Tips for Visitors in Brazil

Updated on July 20, 2015
lidialbuquerque profile image

Lidi is a Brazilian expat living in the U.S for 10 years. She works as regional manager at BRIC Language Systems an online language program

Tips for tourists visiting Brazil

Are you planning to visit Brazil this year and would like to tone down your gringo-ness a bit?

Worry no more!

Our tips will make you blend in easily and be comfortable while visiting Brasil (yes, it's written with S down there :-) )


Time is perceived in a different way in Brazil.

In other words, Brazilians are not punctual.

Unless it is a business matter. So sloww dooown and try to be patient.

Physical Contact

Start getting used to the idea of hugging, cheek kissing (between men and women and among women. Men usually shake hands or hug each other if they are friends) and touching someone while talking, because it is part of the culture in Brasil.

No se abla Español! - It's Portuguese

It may seem obvious, but there are still people that think the language spoken in Brasil is Spanish. No amigos!

They speak Portuguese, which is similar to Spanish, and some people will be able to understand you if all you can speak is Portuñol (a mix of Spanish and Portuguese), but obviously your trip will be much easier and enjoyable if you speak Portuguese.

Be street smart

It's very import to be streetwise, because unfortunately pedestrians do not have big priority in Brazil. Specially in the big cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. So watch out!

Juices! - Million types of them

Do a favor to yourself: please try all the diversely amazing and natural fresh fruit juices. They are made with typical local fruits, such as acerola, caju, cajá, jabuticaba, seriguela, açaí, and are delicious! You can easily find a juice bar pretty much everywhere in Brazil.


You should definitely try “salgadinhos”. A type of savory pastry. The must try are: coxinha, pão de queijo, empadinha, quibe and esfiha.

Go to a bakery (padaria) and get them all! They are really yummy!

No topless at the beach

This one may come as a surprise: We know the bikinis are tiny, but Brazilian girls don't go topless in the beach! So if you are a girl, it's advisable if you don't do it while in Brasil.

But get a colorful “canga” instead of a beach towel, and you will hit the beach like a local.

Talk with the hand

Brazilians speak with their hands, a lot. So learn some gestures they use over there!

It can be very helpful when you don’t speak the language very well.

(but if you study Brazilian Portuguese with BRIC Language you will be fine!)

Don't be a typical tourist

Blend in

Don't be the typical tourist, carrying around a big expensive camera, opening maps in the street, or wearing a fanny pack. Blend in, be low profile and keep your eyes open. Brazil is not so dangerous as many think, but it's highly advisable to carry small amount of cash, be alert, and hang out only in the neighborhoods that are considered safe.

Don't be shy

Brazilians are helpful, friendly and very talkative. Don’t be shy, show off your Portuguese skills, and try to interact with locals!

They will appreciate a lot you are making an effort to speak their language, will be more receptive and will try to help you.

Relax and Enjoy

Jericoacora beach
Jericoacora beach


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  • lidialbuquerque profile image

    lidialbuquerque 2 years ago

    Thanks Michel!! :)

  • michelgf profile image

    Michel Golfe 2 years ago from Itapema, SC, Brasil

    Nice infos.