The essential Rio De Janeiro packing list

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Unlike many cities in Brazil, the popular tourist destination of Rio de Janeiro is smack in the middle of a whole bunch of different landscapes. 

Urban city streets, miles upon miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, steep hills and a humid rainforest all feature on the doorstep, making packing for this city break a bit of a challenge.

But fear not, this Rio de Janeiro packing list covers everything you need for a few days or more in the Marvellous City.


Before you travel to Rio de Janeiro 

Before leaving home make sure you have a few things in order.

  • Make sure you check the latest medical advice for travel vaccinations you may need. 
  • Confirm any advance bookings you’ve made for hire cars or accommodation in Rio de Janeiro before you arrive.
  • Does you passport have the necessary duration on it? And visa if required?
  • Have you bought your travel insurance policy?

Safety tips: Is Rio de Janeiro safe for tourists?


The essential Rio de Janeiro packing list

There’s a few things to take into consideration when packing for your Rio city break. The tropical weather, beaches, jungles, the amount of walking you’ll inevitably do, onward travel and of course, your personal safety.

Pack for the weather

Rio de Janeiro’s tropical climate means you don’t need cold weather gear or loads of clothes.

The southern hemisphere summer are crazy hot and humidity often goes off the scale.

The winter can get chilly in the evenings though so layers are a great way to keep your luggage light.

What to wear in Rio

The dress code in Rio de Janeiro is casual and given the climate, this tends to mean shorts and t-shirts.

Think about your comfort in the hot and humid conditions. Light clothing, cotton tops, shorts and flowing skirts will help keep you cool.

Long sleeved lightweight shirts and blouses will help prevent mozzie attacks in the evenings. 

When thinking about how much to pack, just bear in mind you'll only get 1 wear out of any outfit before it needs laundering because of the humidity. 

It can rain in Rio de Janeiro anytime of the year so a light jacket and maybe even an umbrella won’t go amiss.

Electronics & apps

These gadgets and apps will make your time in Rio de Janeiro super easy and more enjoyable.

Google Translate - Portuguese library

Don’t be fooled into thinking Portuguese is a small step away from Spanish.

Our Spanish is improving and we found written Portuguese often looks similar to Spanish. But the sound is a world apart.

Download an offline copy of the Portuguese Google Translate library and you’ll be good to go.

Personal safety

Rio de Janeiro is well known for thefts and robberies. Most crime against tourists is from pickpocketing and bag snatches.

So the best way to protect yourself and your belongings is to only carry what you absolutely need, and don't have expensive cameras and jewellery on display.

Here's a few products to help keep you out of trouble.

Sun protection

The tropical sun can be brutal so make sure to use at least SPF30 and re-apply often. Don’t be shy. It doesn’t take long for the sun to ruin your holiday and your skin!

A sun hat and shades won’t go amiss either.

Insect repellant

Come dusk, the biting midges and mozzie come out to dine on any exposed flesh not covered in a fine layer of insect repellant.

You know how to avoid being the local buffet!

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Beaches, jungle and epic attractions. There's so much to do in Rio de Janeiro & you need to be prepared! Use our definitive Rio de Janeiro packing list so your time in Brazil's Marvellous City goes without a hitch. #brazil #riodejaneiro #traveltips #packinglist #southamerica