Located in South America, Brazil is a vibrant and colorful country where you will find some of the friendliest people in the world. It covers a major part of the continent and has so much to offer, from the bustling metropolis of São Paulo to the vast Amazon region.

I visited Brazil with some friends back in 2016, during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. We had a great time and I can´t wait to explore other parts of the country.

Tell me about your experience. Have you already been to Brazil? Please share your comments below.


Basic facts

  • Population: 217 million (as of 2024)
  • Currency: Brazilian real (BRL). Check the current exchange rate here.
  • Language: Portuguese is the official language that is spoken throughout the country, although it coexists with many indigenous languages too.
  • Territories: this vast country is subdivided in 26 States and the Federal District.
  • Main cities: Brasilia (capital), São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza.
  • Fun fact: did you know the Brazilian football team has won the World Cup 15 times?

Things to do

Visit the iconic attractions of Rio de Janeiro such as the Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer or Copacabana beach

Admire the Iguaçu Falls near the border with Argentina

Explore the bustling city of São Paulo


Types of bars and restaurants in Brazil

There are a wide range of bars and restaurants you can find in Brazil, from the more informal botecos (botequins or pubs) and lanchonetes (small snack bars), to the more formal restaurants, por kilo and churrascaria rodizio, specializing in roast meat. While the restaurants por kilo are self-service buffets charge depending on how much your plate weights, the rodizios use a color system according to which each diner is provided with a small card that is placed on the green side if they want to continue eating and on the red side if they want to stop. The waiters place large spits on the table with different types of freshly roasted meat before slicing them on the plate. The most common cuts are filet mignon (sirloin steak), fraldinha (flank steak) and picanha (hip steak). In the churrascaria rodizio, you will pay a fixed price for the buffet, but the dessert and drinks are not included.

How to eat on a budget in Brazil

Looking for ways not to break the bank while you’re visiting the country? Find some helpful tips below:

  • Fixed meals (prato feitoprato de dia or P.F.): they are an affordable option for lunch.
  • Restaurants by the kilo (buffets por quilo): they are also reasonably cheap and can be found throughout Brazilian cities.
  • Many botecos offer petiscos (snacks similar to Spanish tapas) that are quick and cheap. But beware as those appetizers, ranging from bread and olives to cold meats and cheeses, aren’t free. To avoid being charged, you must ask the waiter to remove the snacks.
  • Get tasty and inexpensive tropical fruits and juices from street vendors or supermarkets.
  • If you’re only eating one big hot meal per day, the churrascaria rodizios can be your best ally. These restaurants are perfect when you are very hungry since you can have a large quantity of meat and salads.

Typical Brazilian dishes and drinks

The cuisine in Brazil is as diverse as the regions and cultures that are part of this vast country.

  • Feijoada is considered the most typical Brazilian dish. Traditionally served on Sundays, it includes black beans, various types of meat, rice, roasted manioc flour (farofa), sautéed cabbages and orange segments. Brazilians LOVE meat, particularly beef, pork and chicken, and the family barbecue or churrasco is another popular Sunday tradition. Other typical dishes include pão de queijo (cheese bread), salgados (fritters stuffed with cheese or meat), camarão na moranga (shrimp stew cooked in coconut milk and served in a pumpkin), picanha (hip steak), palmito (palm hearts) and milk pudding.
  • Given their Portuguese heritage, Brazilians love fish as well. Although the extensive coastline of the country provides a great abundance of fresh fish and seafood, the fresh waters of the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest are home to other delicious fish such as dourado or pacú. Some popular Brazilian dishes featuring fish include cod fritters (bolinhos de bacalhau) and cod fillets.
  • In Brazil, you can also taste many tropical fruits such as papayas, limes, coconuts or mangoes. There are also other native fruits that are less known around the world, including jaboticabacaju, atemoya, or the healthy açaí, an Amazonian berry full of nutrients.
  • When it comes to drinks, the most famous cocktail in Brazil is probably the caipirinha, which is prepared with lime, sugar, ice and cachaça (sugar cane liquor). On another hand, caipiroska is a variation of caipirinha made with vodka. The refreshing Brazilian beer is either served in a bottle (cerveja) or as draft beer (chopp). Tropical fruit juices, guaraná (a soft drink) and chá mate (mate) are also very popular throughout the country. Although Brazilians prefer cold drinks, the exception would be the cafezinho, a strong filter coffee that they drink very sweet and at any time of the day. You will find excellent coffee and magnificent blends in the major cities of Brazil.

More about Brazil…

Get inspired by my trips around the country and read my travel-related blog posts!

Even better, listen to my Brazil playlist on Spotify to feel like you´re literally there. 🙂


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