Money and Costs in Brazil

Brazil is, without question, South America’s most expensive country. Those coming to the continent expecting a break from the high prices of Europe or the States will be sorely disappointed - things are more or less the same, if not slightly more expensive than some countries/states.
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Print at your own risks!
It is possible to do Brazil on the cheap if you stick to local places,
but you’ll rarely be taking advantage of the full Brazilian experience if you do this. Still, street food in Sao Paulo, Rio and Salvador remains relatively cheap, and drinking caipirinha will soften the blow a little (and not just because you’ll be too drunk to pay attention).

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You might not want to eat that everyday...Hotels and hostels can run up the bill a fair bit, with hostels averaging around $20 a night, and hotels, in good areas, costing at least $80. Nonetheless, compared with the rest of South America, you’ll find you’re more often than not getting a good night’s sleep in good, reliable accommodation (although there are places that will attempt to rip you off, of course).

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Travelling within Brazil isn’t overly cheap, but you do get to travel well since it’s a popular way to travel. A long distance inter-city bus will set you back just under $50US. Should you wish you fly that will go up to about $150, but will save you a great amount of time since the distances in Brazil are enormous.

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For up to date exchange rates, check out www.x-rates.com. What follows is a rough guide to use while you walk about, haggling with locals:

2 Brazilian Real - 1 American Dollar
2.5 Brazilian Real - 1 Euro
3 Brazilian Real - 1 British Pound

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Many backpackers simply avoid Brazil because of the pricing, which is a shame because of what the country has to offer. Don’t come to Brazil expecting to get by on the same budget you’ll manage elsewhere in South America (even Argentina), but keep in mind that if you budget carefully, it shouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility for anyone, just don’t expect to go to the biggest clubs and fanciest restaurants.

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Prices in US Dollars
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Meal in a cheap restaurant: $6
Meal in a mid-range restaurant (3 courses): $30
Meal in a high-end restaurant: $50
Beer in a cheap bar: $2
Beer in an expensive bar: $5
Entrance for a club: $10
Ticket for the cinema: $10
Weekly groceries: $40
Rent per month in a 2 bedroom flat in a nice area: $1,200
500g of meat: $5
A loaf of bread: $1.80
A cup of coffee: $2.20
Bus ride: $1.50
Taxi ride: $8
Inter-city bus: $20 to nearby town, $80 (Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paolo, for example)

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Inbound/Outbound travel (rough)
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Flight to/from Madrid (return): $1,750,000
Flight to/from rest of Europe (return): $2,000,000
Flight to/from US (return): $1,000,000
Internal flight (return): $150
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