Planning Your Trip to Brazil

Does Brazil have any visa requirements or is there anything I need to do ahead of time to get into the country?

  • Effective April 10th, 2025, United States, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to have an E-Visa for entry into Brazil. Click here to apply.
  • We recommend applying at least 2 months in advance of travel.

What immunizations and shots do I need to travel to Brazil?

Brazil Vaccines

How do I get money and pay for things while in Brazil?

  • The official currency is the real. When paying with cash, reais are preferred, though USD are accepted at some businesses.
  • ATMs distributing reais are the easiest and most economical way of getting cash and use the most current exchange rate. However, many charge a fee for foreign cards, and your bank may also charge an international ATM fee (usually $3-7 USD).
  • For safety reasons, many ATMs in Brazil don’t operate 24/7, so be sure to plan ahead. For assistance finding an ATM or changing money, please ask your guide.
  • Debit/credit cards are widely accepted, however for cabs, markets and small expenses we suggest having reais on hand.
  • Bring two cash cards if you can. Make sure to notify dates and countries of travel, note phone numbers needed to cancel cards if lost/stolen and bring back up cards.
  • Bring at least $100 USD per traveler in small bills as back up funds in case there are any issues with your cards.

How much should I tip while on my trip?

  • Tips in Brazil are seen as a bonus and tips in reais are preferred.
  • Use the following only as a framework and tip based on the level of service you receive.

Brazil Tipping

Is trip insurance included or should I purchase trip insurance?

  • Trip insurance is not included in your trip cost. Knowmad highly recommends insuring your trip, as the unforeseeable is just that, unforeseeable. A few days after confirming your trip, you will receive an email from our recommended travel insurance provider with a pre-built quote that you’ll be able to purchase.

Do I need a converter/adapter for the electricity in Brazil?

  • A plug adapter is needed to make any device fit a “C” or “N” style socket (“C” – two, wider-set, round prongs, “N” – same as “C” with a grounding pin).
  • Accepted voltage: 127 or 220. Devices like cameras and phone chargers should accept this voltage, but hair dryers and curlers of 110 volts will likely fry.
  • A converter is needed if devices do not accept these voltages. Check labels for compatibility.

Can I drink the water in Brazil?

  • Drinking bottled water is recommended.
  • Tap water is fine for brushing your teeth.

Is it safe to travel in Brazil?

Brazil is considered a safe country, but petty crime does occur. Take the following precautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, always keeping a close eye on your belongings, especially in crowded places.
  • Use a bag that zips, doesn’t hang loosely and when in crowds, move it to the front of your body.
  • Avoid wearing flashy/expensive jewelry/watches.
  • Carry only the money you need each day. Keep the rest with your valuables in your hotel room’s safety deposit box.
  • Travel with a companion, especially at night, and stay in populated, well-lit areas.

General Guideline

Beyond open eyes, an open mind, and your sense of adventure, here are some guidelines for packing for your trip. Brazilians are accustomed to tourists so shorts, sandals, and jeans are acceptable. Packing a nice outfit for a nice dinner is a good idea, but in general Brazilians dress fairly casual. When traveling to Brazil it is a good idea to bring a variety of warm weather layers and rain gear. For all trips to Brazil we suggest:

Brazil Packing List

Airline Baggage Policy

Check with your carrier and refer to your ticket booking details for information on baggage restrictions and fees.

Knowing a lot about a country before you visit can enrich your travels, help you meet and relate more to local people, and have deeper appreciation for historical and cultural sites. To learn more about Brazil’s history, culture, and people, we recommend consulting travel guide books, online websites, and travel blogs.

Recommended Restaurants

Meals in Brazil are more leisurely and on a later schedule than in the United States. Brazilians eat 4-5 meals per day.

Breakfast is simple, and lunch begins around 12:00-1:00 p.m., and can last a few hours. During this time, many businesses will be closed. Dinner times in Brazil are a bit later than in most of the United States, and many restaurants will not open until 7:00 p.m. On weekends, dinner times for Brazilians is later, starting around 8:00-9:00 p.m.. You will have to ask for the check, as it is considered rude to provide a check without the patron having requested it. In many restaurants a 10% gratuity will be automatically added to your bill, though you can add on top of this if wanted. If you would like Knowmad to assist you with making restaurant reservations, please note that we must be notified at least 2 weeks prior to your dates of travel, especially if traveling during December or early January.

Covid-19 has affected restaurants’ hours of operation in South America as in the United States. Please refer to their websites. For additional information and to make a reservation, as doing so may require you to enter payment information to confirm the reservation. We recommend making reservations at least 2 months in advance for the Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter holiday dates; and further in advance if looking to dine at a particular restaurant. If calling or making reservations from outside of Brazil dial +55 before the complete phone number.

Price guide for the approximate cost of a main dish at each restaurant (please note that prices and restaurant hours are subject to change without notice): $ = Under 10 $$ = 10-20 $$$ = 20-40 $$$$ = Over 40



  • RISTORANTE HOTEL CIPRIANI – Price: $$$$ In the Copacabana Palace, this award-winning restaurant offers a vibrant tasting menu, featuring Italian cuisine. For a more intimate and exclusive experience, book the chef’s table, located inside the kitchen.
  • CHURRASCARIA PALACE – Price: $$$$ A traditional steakhouse, internationally renowned for its authentic Rio style, all-you-can-eat options, including fine house cut meats, seafood and fish.
  • S BISTRO LEME – Price: $$ A mix of Brazilian and French gastronomy in a charming, contemporary bistro on the boardwalk of the Leme neighborhood.
  • JOAQUINA BAR – Price: $$ Traditional Brazilian homemade dishes and snacks in a relaxed beachfront atmosphere.
  • BAR URCA – Price: $-$$ Local Brazilian food and snacks with views over Guanabara Bay and St. John’s Fort.


  • SATYRICON RIO – Price: $$$-$$$$ Fresh Mediterranean cuisine, such as seafood, made with simple products and using techniques that preserve the true flavor of the ingredients.
  • ZAZA BISTRÔ TROPICAL IPANEMA – Price: $$-$$$ The first contemporary restaurant in Rio, inspired by journeys all over the world, using organic ingredients and with vegetarian and vegan options.
  • TEVA VEGETAL – Price: $$ A plant-based restaurant with an innovative, international menu that uses organic seasonal ingredients, with gluten free, raw food and lactose intolerant options.
  • ORO – Price: $$$$ Innovative and revolutionary Brazilian Cuisine with 2 menu options; the Creativity Menu, a longer menu elaborated daily with seasonal market ingredients and the Affectivity Menu, a shorter menu consisting of house specialties.
  • SUD, O PÁSSARO VERDE – Price: $$$ Modern Brazilian food that uses the best ingredients in partnership with the small producers to preserve its traditional gastronomic heritage.


  • LASAI – Price: $$$$ Restaurant of chef Rafa Costa e Silva and Malena Cardiel, a tasting menu made using modern techniques with Brazilian ingredients grown in their garden and on local farms.
  • NATURALIE BISTRÔ – Price: $$ A vegetarian restaurant and coffee house, in a charming and cozy house. Serves fresh food with carefully selected ingredients that change according to the ingredient’s seasonality.
  • ASSADOR – Price: $$$ An All-you-can-eat with an extensive wine and drinks menu, beach views and a rustic decoration similar to the traditional steakhouses of the south.


  • TERRITÓRIO APRAZÍVEL – Price: $$-$$$ This restaurant, surrounded by gardens with views over the city, uses tropical ingredients to blend Brazilian and international cuisines in a relaxing setting.
  • TÉRÈZE – Price: $$$ Contemporary cuisine with a local touch in an intimate atmosphere at the Hotel Santa Teresa Rio MGallery with a tropical chic design and beautiful views.
  • PORTELLA BAR & RESTAURANTE – Price: $$-$$$ This restaurant, located in a historical building with a rustic, informal atmosphere, serves regional and northeast cuisine with classic snacks.
  • ARMAZÉM SÃO THIAGO – Price: $-$$ Also known as Bar do Gomes, this once grocery store, is now one of the most iconic bars in Rio de Janeiro, with a wide selection of cachaça.


  • CONFEITARIA COLOMBO – Price: $$ A charming, historical patisserie that forms a part of the heritage of the city as part of the Belle Époque in Rio with its glamorous salons.
  • LILIA RESTAURANTE – Price: $$$ Contemporary regional cuisine with a creative menu that changes daily based on the market products and offers vegetarian alternatives as well.


  • BAR DA LAJE – Price: $$-$$$ A rooftop bar with stunning views over the city, next to the ecological reserve and facing the sea. In case of special events and live shows it may be necessary to pay for an entrance fee. Offer van transfer from Leblon beachfront, only open on weekends (must book at least 24h in advance).


  • DOM RESTAURANTE – Price: $$$$ A critically acclaimed contemporary restaurant that is constantly exciting lovers of haute cuisine with its revelations about the culinary and ingredients from Brazil.
  • MANÍ MANIOCA – Price: $$$-$$$$ Enjoy fine-dining on organic and contemporary Brazilian food, awarded nationally and internationally, based on the constant search for simplicity and seasonality.
  • BARBACOA – Price: $$$-$$$$ One of Brazil’s best-known churrascarias where many different cuts of meat are served to you at your table and an extensive salad buffet is available. The price is discounted for children.
  • SKYE RESTAURANT & BAR – Price: $$$ On the rooftop of the Unique hotel, Skye boasts a crimson red pool and lounge area with stunning views over São Paulo. Enjoy the varied menu of international dishes with a Brazilian touch, and the lively atmosphere.
  • TORDESILHAS – Price: $$-$$$ A restaurant that proposes a trip through Brazil’s national cuisine, valuing the variety and richness of its ingredients while giving each meal the refinement they deserve.
  • VERIDIANA – Price: $$-$$$ This restaurant offers an excellent selection of artisanal pizzas with a Neapolitan style. There are three locations in Jardins, Higienópolis and Perdizes, each with unique designed dining rooms.
  • BARÚ MARISQUERIA – Price: $$ Entirely dedicated to fish and seafood, the ingredients shine brightly in their recipes that mix accents from various corners of Latin America.
  • CAMPIM SANTO – Price: $$ An oasis in the middle of Sao Paulo with its beautiful garden, this restaurant focuses on food made with French technique and Brazilian ingredients.
  • AE! COZINHA – Price: $-$$ This cozy restaurant offers lower cost, seasonal Brazilian cuisine, carefully selected with a special attention to sustainability along with seasonal wine.


  • MOCOTÓ BAR & RESTAURANTE – Price: $$-$$$ A casual, family run restaurant which focuses on “sertaneja” food, or northeast interior Brazilian classics, with an innovative twist by chef Rodrigo.


  • TERRAÇO ITÁLIA – Price: $$$-$$$$ Located in one of the most iconic buildings, Terraço Itáliaheaded by the Tuscan Chef Pasquale Mancini, focuses on the tradition and simplicity of Tuscan cuisine.
  • PRICELESS RESTAURANT & BAR – Price: $$ (Abaru) $$$$ (Notiê) Notiê Restaurant and Abaru bar are located in the priceless center in São Paulo’s Historic Downtown. Abaru is known for its classic drinks and craft beer, but also offers a la carte food options. Notiê is a highly acclaimed fine dining restaurant, offering a seasonal tasting menu inspired by Brazilian biomes.


  • ARTURITO – Price: $$-$$$ This restaurant serves cuisine with inspirations from the Mediterranean and Latin-American gastronomy and is led by chef Paola Carosella, famous for being a judge on “Masterchef”.
  • FITÓ COZINHA – Price: $$ This restaurant offers cuisine from Northeastern Brazil, mainly the chef’s native states of Ceará e Piauí, with family recipes and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • CLOS WINE BAR & BISTRÔ – Price: $$ Clos Wine Bar serves a selection of wines produced by small producers, many with limited production, in an old property from the 1930s. Their dishes mix French and Brazilian cuisine and are prepared with respect to seasonality and focus on the plant world.


  • BANANA DA TERRA – Price: $$$ Known as one of the best restaurants in town for its impeccable service and wonderful food. Enjoy the unique flavor combinations in the Paratiense cuisine with Brazilian sourced produce.
  • MARGARIDA CAFÉ – Price: $$-$$$ Located in the main entrance of the historical center, this cozy restaurant serves a wide array of Brazilian and international cuisine and often has live music playing in the background.
  • RESTAURANTE REFÚGIO – Price: $$-$$$ Excellent option to taste Brazilian and Mediterranean cuisine, the highlight being the seafood. Enjoy the patio with views of the bay and surrounding mountains.
  • THAI BRASIL – Price: $$ A variety of typical Thai food in a colorful and vibrant, while also relaxing, environment. Sit in the Thai herb garden while enjoying the fresh, and often spicy, food.
  • CELEIRO ARMAZÉM TROPICAL – Price: $-$$ A quaint mix of restaurant, bar and store offering regional cuisine. You may choose to sit outdoors appreciating Paraty’s cobblestone streets.

Further Reading

  • BRAZIL: A BIOGRAPHY by Lilian Schwarcz and Heloisa Starling explores the history of Brazil, looking at the country’s progress and struggles through a lens of economics, sociology and politics.
  • THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL: A MEMOIR by Fernando Henrique Cardoso is a first-person account from the former president of his government and Brazil’s recent history.
  • FUTEBOL NATION by David Goldblatt tells the story of Brazil through soccer along with its dark side of wealth and corruption.
  • A DEATH IN BRAZIL by Peter Robb delves into Brazil’s baroque past along with the history of slavery and what was left in its wake when the practice was abolished in the late 19th century.
  • THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho, one of Brazil’s most famous authors, tells the story an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure and combines mysticism, wisdom, and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery.
  • DOM CASMURRO by Machado de Assis, was written in 1899, and is his most famous novel. This memoir is a pure example of Realist prose focusing on youth and marriage in late-19th-century Rio de Janeiro.
  • THE SLUM by Aluisio Azevedo unpicks two interweaving storylines in Rio de Janeiro between an immigrant landlord and a couple made up of an immigrant and a mixed-race woman. This book is acclaimed for its accurate descriptions of Brazil’s complex society, culture and values.
  • GABRIELA, CLOVE AND CINNAMON by Jorge Amado tells the story of a young and beautiful girl that starts working as a cook to take herself out of poverty, and quickly becomes the object of the local men’s desires.

Helpful Portuguese


  • Bom dia (Bohm Gee-ah) – Good morning, Good day
  • Boa tarde (Bow-ah Tar-jay) – Good afternoon
  • Boa noite (Bow-ah Noyt) – Good evening
  • Por favor (Poor Fah-vohr) – Please
  • Obrigado/a (Oh-bree-gah-doh/dah) – Thanks
  • ¿Quanto custa? (Kwan-toe Koos-ta) – How much does this cost
  • ¿Onde é ____? (Own-gee Eh___) – Where is ____?
  • ¿Fala Inglês? (Fa-la In-gles) – Do you speak English?
  • ¿O que você recomenda? (Oh Kay Voh-say Reh-co-men-dah) – What do you recommend?
  • Eu sou alérgico a ____ (Eh-o So Ah-lehr-gi-co Ah ____) – I’m allergic to ___



  • O cardápio (Oh Car-dah-pee-oh) – the menu
  • A conta (Ah Kon-tah) – the check
  • A água (Ah Ah-gwa) – water
  • O café (Oh Kah-feh) – coffee
  • A cerveja (Ah Sir-vay-jah) – beer
  • O vinho (Oh Veen-oh) – wine
  • Peixe / Frutos do mar (Pay-she/Fruh-toes Do Mahr) – fish / seafood
  • Frango (Frahn-go) – chicken
  • Carne (Kahr-nee) – meat
  • Sem glúten (Seng Glue-ten) – gluten-free
  • Vegetariano (Veh-jeh-tah-ryan-noh) – vegetarian

Have a question that you can’t find an answer to on our site? Or if you’d simply like to ask a real, live person your questions instead of browsing through these FAQ sections, we are more than happy to help. Just give us a call at 612-315-2894 or email [email protected].