Living in Brazil Times 2: New Loft In Center Of the City

I had been living in Brazil now for roughly 2 months and have had a very rough time getting acclimated to the life in Rio De Janeiro.  I decided to change a few things in order to really get a taste of what life in Rio de Janeiro was like.

The first problem was that I was living on the hill called Santa Teresa which took hours to get anywhere.  Any time that I would want to explore the city I would have to take mass transport which takes quite a while in Rio De Janeiro.

The Neighborhood Blues

I decided to start looking for a new apartment closer to the center of the city but wanted to make sure I stayed away from the overwhelmed tourist areas of Ipanema and Copacabana.  Everyone hears about Copacabana and many people still want to stay in popular neighborhood.

What many people don’t realize is that it’s a very old & dilapidated part of the city.

Ipanema is where everyone wants to be, people also look further South where you can find the ritzy Leblon area.  I wanted to find a new apartment that was both near the city but also in an area that had more locals.

After walking around for hours exploring parts of the city there were two great areas that were in the middle of all the action, Botafogo and Laureles.  I did find a few apartments in these areas but I could never get any of the them confirmed.

Map of Rio De Janeiro

Neighborhood Map of Rio De Janeiro

When you decide that you are going to start living overseas the apartment search really depends on the city that you’re in.  Just to give you a few examples of how things are different, every posts apartment rentals & job postings on Craigslist Buenos Aires, in Medellin, Colombia, the best way to find an apartment would be speaking to the locals, and in Rio de Janeiro it was none of the above.

In many cases, apartment rental companies overcharge hundreds and thousands of dollars for rooms and apartments. I always try to find apartments rented by locals because the prices are often much lower and it allows you to have a local landlord to get a feeling of what the local culture is like.

Aside from looking in local newspapers, the best place to find a entire apartment for yourself in Rio de Janeiro is HomeAway.com.  Sometimes you can find great places on airbnb.com, Roomorama.com, and even Wimdu.com, but nothing compared to what was available in Rio de Janeiro to HomeAway.

With the Olympics and the World Cup coming in less than two years there is also a revitalization occurring in the center of the city. Many shops and neighborhood are being improved and redeveloped.

Teatro Municipal Rio De Janiero

Teatro Municipal Rio De Janiero

I found a great place in a neighborhood in the center of downtown Rio de Janeiro called Cinelandia, a redeveloped arts district.  I had a fantastic view of the municipal theater which is one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in the city.

Resolving the Internet Conundrum

Who ever thought that Brazil would have so many Internet problems?  For any emerging economy with so much coastline you would think that the Internet would be one of the assets of the country, this however was not the case in my experience living in Rio de Janeiro.

It has to do with the culture of the city and how things get done, I even asked the landlord of my new apartment and she stated that the Internet is a big problem in Rio de Janeiro. I went out of my way to rent an office when I had my previous home in Santa Teresa to make sure that I was able to find and use a reliable internet connection

The Internet at the office, that was in a business district, still wasn’t the best.

I made sure that the new apartment had the best Internet available. Once I moved into the new apartment I finally had reliable Internet to work & run my day trading education business where I teach people how to day trade in the markets.  If you are going to be vacationing in Rio De Janeiro and staying in a hostel or hotel you probably won’t have a problem, be concerned if you are going to look for an apartment to live in.

What is the point of having a profession where I can day trade and travel on the world if you can’t find reliable Internet to do it?

Getting to Know the City

The new apartment was in a great location where I can have access to the party district of Lapa within a 10 minute walk, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro within a 5-10 minute subway ride, and get to my favorite sushi restaurant in the northern part of the city within a 10 min subway ride as well.

A local band would play every second Saturday of the month and I could enjoy a great Saturday listening to the local Samba music.

I was finally able to get around easily which is my number one priority whenever I live in the city overseas,  I started to really enjoy the city of Rio de Janeiro and get to know the locals. I definitely look forward to sharing my new updates now that I’m happy with my new apartment.


  1. There are many fabulous rental apartments in Rio de Janeiro, Ipanema and Copacabana. Basically tourist is attracting by the beaches, nightclub, market and carnival. There are many gorgeous rental apartment are available in the city.

  2. Looks like you did ok in the end. I know it sounds obvious but location is top of the list when it comes to living in a new city and as you say the only way to get accurate information on this is to speak to the locals.

  3. have a local landlord
    Landladies too. Females are at least half of the worlds population, so you should stop leaving them out, when you write.

  4. Why would a person use the word landlord, instead of landlady, in this sentence?? It is shocking how normal and accepted it is, to censor women out of the written and spoken word.
    ”I even asked the landlord of my new apartment and she stated that the Internet is a big problem in Rio de Janeiro.”

  5. Hey Marcello,

    I’m planning of going to Rio de Janeiro in 2016 for the Olympic season for a month and did researches and told myself why would I pay for a hotel for two weeks and knowing the price it will come to be if I could just rent an apartment for a month or two and get a brief sense of how’s living in Brazil. I will be out of work (Teacher Assistant) for the summer which will not interfear with work and I have had 3 years to save as much I could so I would’t be struggling and could enjoy as much as possible. I have always wanted to go to Rio de Janero since little (too bad the Carnival is around February). I’m learning Brazilian Portuguese (I speak Spanish so it’s much easier) anyway, I was wondering like how much did you spend in a month living in the city area where everything is walking or not too far distance? in The Real or US Dollars currency. And would it be hard to find a furnitured apartment or even rent an apartment for a month or two?

    Thank you!
    New York City

    1. I paid roughly 1300/1400 USD a month for the place that I rented and for food it would roughly 200/300 USD. That doesn’t include expenses for traveling and going out. I would say if you plan for 2000/2500 usd that would be more than enough. You can find places in Rio that only cost 300/400 usd to live in so you can find things that are much less than that if you rent a room for example. Hope that helps Charley!

  6. I’ve been in Brazil for almost 20 years, I sometimes think that there is something broken since everything has to be done with a degree of difficulty that strains my patience. I thought about living in Rio when I first came here and indeed, I rented a place there for a while, nahhhh…Great place to visit, but can’t live there. Tried Fortaleza, CE for a couple of years and have now been in Belo Horizonte for 4 years, living is a bit less forced here, but for now its home. Anything I can do to help, let me know.

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