This ginormous South American country is famous for its gorgeous beaches, spirited carnivals, vibrant culture and cosmopolitan cities.
With excellent cuisine, travel-friendly weather, more than 2000 beaches and natural attractions like the Amazon River and Rainforest, Brazil is certainly not having any trouble convincing tourists to come for a visit.
It would be very difficult to give a detailed overview of everything there is to see and consider when planning to hop on a plane and land in, for instance, Rio de Janeiro, but nevertheless there are a few basic things you should know before arrival.
Rio de Janeiro Is Not the Capital
It was from 1822 up to 1960, when the capital was moved to Brasília, since Rio’s position made the city vulnerable to naval attacks and didn’t have much more space to grow. Brasília was developed particularly with this reason in mind, being located more inland.
Rio de Janeiro is now the capital of the Rio de Janeiro state, but no longer of the entire country.
Expect to Have Your Beer Served in Smaller Glasses
The reason behind this custom is to prevent the beer from warming up in the intense heat. A group will order a large bottled beer of 600 ml or 1 liter and divide it into smaller glasses until it’s finished. The beer is also much lighter and sweeter than what you’re used to and it’s brought to the table ice cold.
The exception to this rule is to be found in the southern regions due to the German influence.
Women Only Subway Carriages in Rio de Janeiro
In April 2006 a law was passed to have dedicated passenger cars for women as to avoid sexual harassment. This restriction is valid during peak hours, Monday to Friday between 6 and 9 in the morning and 5 to 8 in the evening. There are clear signs in both Portuguese and English and security guards to prevent men from boarding on those carriages.
Dress Code on the Beach
The women of Brazil are not shy about their bodies, and neither are the men. Quite the opposite. You’ll see a lot of micro bikinis and sungas for men – very tight and very short. Here people don’t go to the beach just to get a tan and have a swim, they want to socialize – you’ll notice a lot of people dancing, chatting, playing volleyball or cards.
Don’t stare too much and don’t get too self-conscious, Brazilian beaches welcome every shape and social class.
Not a Lot of Punctuality
Brazilians are pretty relaxed about schedules so busses will be late, people will take their time showing up to a meeting, not even the football games happen on time. You can get frustrated about this or you can just embrace it since you’re on vacation anyway so what’s the rush?
Plumbing and Tap Water
Plumbing in Brazil is not as efficient as you might be used to, so avoid throwing a lot of paper in the toilet. Also, it’s best to stick to bottled water, that will also help with the clogging issues.