Where to stay in Rio? – Neighborhoods and accommodation
Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro?
Accommodation in Rio – All About Location
Just like in all cities the location is reflected in the price. Living one block from the beach in Ipanema is considerable more expensive than on a back street in Botafogo. How good are transportations? How far is it to the beach? Is the area safe? When looking for accommodation in Rio all this must be considered. Unfortunately reading the description on the homepage of each establishment does not always give you a good indication at all. You can read: “…located just 300 m from Botafogo Beach…”; that information is probabaly true but that particular beach is dirty and only good for nice views of the Sugarloaf!
Maybe you’re not in Rio for the beach? Santa Teresa could then be your choice with its charming houses and bohemian lifestyle? Your budget will of course also play a part in this and if it’s a bit cheaper you will most likely not be in a prime location. Be prepared to use public transport to go to the beach and be extra careful when it comes to security (click the link to get to my page on that topic). I have written a few comments on the more common neighbourhoods to stay in below. “Safety” is from 1 (safer) to 3 (less safe).
– Botafogo: A cheaper option. Bad beach, good shopping, nice bars, good communications. Safety 1.
– Catete: A cheaper option. No beach, charming old houses and rustic bars and restaurants. Communications are good. Safety 2.
– Copacabana: Prices in mid range. Good beach, decent shopping, communications good. Safety 2. Not so good closer to Leme although the latter is a really nice neighbourhood with a great strip of beach.
– Ipanema: A more expensive option. Excellent beach, excellent shopping, communications good. Bars and nightlife in the more exclusive bracket. Safety 1.
– Lapa: The cheapest option. No beach, lots of live music, unique vibe. Safety 3. Communications OK.
– Santa Teresa: More expensive (due to high standard of lodging) to cheap. No beach, lots of culture, nice architecture, communications bad. Safety 3. Very charming option with a strong bohemian vibe, beautifully located on top of a hill.
Standard of Accommodation in Rio
It’s almost needless to say that the standard of accommodation in Rio, just as anywhere else, decides the price. If you have a place at the same location but it’s a lot cheaper they probably don’t offer the same services; it may not be as clean and the standard of the rooms might be a bit lower. Air conditioning also brings the price up considerably. When it comes to apartments my only advice is to ask to see pictures of the flat before you agree to rent and check location and floor.
Time of the Year
An important factor when discussing accommodation in Rio is season. At times the city is fairly empty and you have a lot more options. In hotels prices vary a lot; they go up over holidays, New Years and Carnival; months like January and February are a lot more expensive than say October or November. Apartments and hostels do go down a bit in price in the off season but it’s not so much. All offer expensive 3, 5, 7 or 10-night packages over Carnival and New Years.
All the factors above of course influence the price, but there is one more thing you should consider: How long will you stay? If you are a couple and will stay for a week or so the apartment option can be a good idea; the price would be about the same but you will gain privacy. If you are here for a few months it’s definitely the best idea since you get the prices down quite a bit. Internet and newspapers are your best sources, you have to have a bit of patience because it can take time to find a good deal.
Hotel, Apartment or Hostel
I have more in detail described these, just click on the links:
– Hostels in Rio
– Rio de Janeiro Hotels
– Rio de Janeiro Apartments Also check out my Flat Rental Guide.
If you click on Love Motels in Rio you will come to a page with all the info and addresses you need.