This is still the best city on earth for digital nomads. Beautiful weather compact city with everything you need, affordable, huge expat scene, great connections to the rest of the world, fast internet, beaches, snow-capped mountains barely 1.5h drive away etc. And no, it's not 'unsafe' by any normal standard. It's a wonderful place to be.
Pros and Cons of Living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pros of Living in Rio de Janeiro
Lots of fun stuff to do
Warm all year round
Good air quality on average
Nomad List members liked going here a lot
Many Nomad List members here all year round
Easy to make friends
High quality of education
Safe for women
Very friendly to LGBTQ+
Not many people smoke tobacco
Cons of Living in Rio de Janeiro
Freedom of speech is weak
Not safe at all
Very slow internet
Difficult to do business
Roads can be dangerous
People don't speak English well
Been to 29 cities in 6 months and I can say Rio is AMAZING. However not safe at all by my first week I knew a total of 10 people that got robbed (3 groups). I've been living here for almost 1 month recharging from fast traveling and haven't been robbed.
I was here for a month. Rio is a beautiful and vibrant city. There's a lot of icons to see. There's great food and the beach is right there. In my experience the pandemic hasn't impacted the city much. Bars and clubs are still open. I usually go out to Leblon, Ipanema, Lapa, and Barra da Tijuca. However, it can definitely be a dangerous city if you're being careless. About 10% of the people I've met had an incident there. I was mugged once walking home one night after the clubs in Ipanema, an affluent area. During the daytime, it's fine, but it's not a city where you can walk alone at night even in the affluent areas or at the beach for 5 - 10 minutes. It's one of the most fun places in the world with the warmest people, but just be careful. As far as coworking, I just used Regus's lounge membership. It's not social, but it was quiet with fast enough for leading meetings. If I had to do it again, I would stay in Rio for a couple of weeks to see everything and move to Barra da Tijuca for a long-term stay.
Rio and Buenos Aires are my favorite cities in Latin America so far although I haven't yet visited Mexico City, Santiago de Chile and a few others of interest. Rio has beautiful beaches, weather, people, architecture, neighborhoods and green spaces. Great food and a diverse and international population - a Latin American Los Angeles with better public transit and more green space. It's one of the few Latin American cities where most people won't look twice at you for being a white westerner, and are generally friendly. I felt quite safe day and night in Ipanema, Santa Teresa, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca. Other areas can be more dangerous. It's definitely best to learn Portuguese or Spanish, since few here speak English.
I lived in Rio de Janeiro for 6 months and it's my favourite city in the world. I fell in love with the energy the people, the beaches and of course... the women. Dying to get back there as soon as the lockdown is over. Everybody told me not to go because it's too dangerous. It's definitely not as safe as in Europe (like Portugal for example), but it's nowhere near as dangerous as the media likes to portray. Most of the violence happens in the favelas which skews the stats. If you feel tempted to go but are worried about the safety, just book a flight and see for yourself. You won't regret it. My advice is to 1. Stay in "richer" areas so Ipanema, Copacabana, Leblon and even Barra da Tijuca. Avoid staying next to favelas. 2. Wear non flashy clothes. If you wear bracelets, ear rings or watches, you are increasing the chances of getting robbed. The whole time there I was just wearing a tank top and shorts. 3. Avoid going outside alone at night and also avoid the beaches at night. 4. Use uber. Cheaper and safer. 5. Learn some basic portuguese. It will go a long way! I hope you have fun
I live in Rio and unfortunately it's not a good place to be a nomad. Most people don't speak English. Most places don't have WiFi. We can't depend on WiFi and 4g anywhere. They don't work well. It's not safe to walk at night. It's not safe to work in public spaces. The city is very big and transportation is terrible. Besides it's too hot most of the year and its polluted.
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