The Ultimate Guide To Moving To Brazil - Britannia Movers International
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Ultimate Guide to Moving to Brazil


The spotlight has been placed on Brazil for many years now. Its economy is growing and so is its expat population. The awarding of the 2014 World Cup to Brazil and 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro have come at the end of a period in which it became one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and, more specifically, one of the BRIC nations that are believed to be wrestling power away from the developed G7 countries.

Brazil has the 7th biggest economy in the world, with some economists claiming that it is now 6th, overtaking the UK in the process. It is no surprise then that more and more foreigners are choosing to emigrate to Brazil, with many Brits choosing to move to the big cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Brasilia, the capital city, where there are many opportunities for English speakers.

Britain, in particular, has been extremely pro-active in building relations with Brazil, both diplomatically and economically, with the close ties created from hosting successive Olympic games also proving a factor as well as a number of partnerships between Universities, and this has made the country more-and-more favourable for UK residents.

Moving to Brazil

Choosing Somewhere to Live

In an ideal world none of us would relocate without visiting the country we intend to move to beforehand. It is important to get a feel for its climate, its culture and its customs to be sure that it really offers all that we are looking for. Even more so than many other countries, Brazil varies enormously between mountain and beach, from rural areas to urban centre and from city to city. Decide what features are most important to you, research the areas that best tick the boxes and try to visit them all before you make your decision about exactly where to relocate.

If you are moving to Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo then you may want to consider renting first or spending time in different neighbourhoods before moving. Both of these cities are huge with infrastructure and facilities changing rapidly between different areas, especially in Rio de Janeiro. You may also want to factor in the time that you could be spending on public transport or driving to work as the traffic systems can be chaotic. In cities such as Porto Alegre and Brasilia this is less of a problem, though still worth investigating beforehand. If you are relocating for work, a visit beforehand may not be possible. In this case, simply try to find out as much as you can before you go. With so much information available on the internet, it is easy to find the answers to just about every question imaginable. It is even possible to arrange viewings or rent a property online before you leave the UK.

Moving Your Possessions

Whether you are buying or renting, your home in Brazil won’t feel like home without your possessions. Britannia Movers International specialises in helping families and individuals to move their belongings quickly and safely from Great Britain, to destinations all over Brazil. We offer decades of experience in relocation services, combined with local knowledge to tailor the move to your individual requirements.

Transit Options

Britannia can offer you a door-to-door service to Brazil, and can either ship your effects by sole use container, or for smaller shipments in a wooden crate (LCL). In addition we can offer a door-to-door air freight service to some destinations in Brazil. Our agents in Brazil will arrange customs clearance, and deliver and unpack the effects, including removal of debris on day of delivery.

Shipments of used household and personal effects can be imported within 180 days of shippers arrival.


All new migrants must have the required Visa and CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Fisicas – Brazilian Social Security Number). All goods, including new items, can be imported duty free for the same period as the Visa is valid. Your local Britannia Member will provide you with detailed customs regulations, depending on your personal requirements.


Prohibited Goods

In general it is in your interest not to import the following items:

  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Inflammable goods and substances
  • Plants and plant material
  • Foodstuffs, perishables or otherwise
  • Narcotics and dangerous goods
  • Objectionable and indecent materials
  • Alcohol
  • Jewellery, currency or valuable items

Packing and delivery

Our trained removers can pack and wrap all your items to ensure that they are transported safely. If you choose a full door-to-door shipping service to Brazil, Britannia will deliver your belongings all the way to your new home.

Transit Times

Sole use containers take on average 6-7 weeks. Crated (LCL) consignments may take longer, on average 7-9 weeks. Airfreight consignments may take considerable less time on average, 7-14 working days subject to customs and port clearance.


Domestic Pets

Moving abroad involves saying goodbye to some of the important people in your life, but that doesn’t have to include your family pet(s). Britannia can assist with the transport of domestic animals from the UK to Brazil, working with a specialised shipper who will help you to coordinate the paperwork and necessary veterinary procedures. Owners need to ensure that their pet has been vaccinated for rabies and has the animal’s international health certificate (called a Certificado Zoosanitário Internacional ou CZI in Portuguese) as issued by the vet. This will then need to be validated by the Brazilian consulate. Our affiliate company, Pet Air can help in arranging documentation, transport and providing the necessary information you need for your pet.

Motor vehicles

Motor vehicles cannot be imported into Brazil.



When relocating, you will almost certainly need to transfer money from the UK to Brazil or make international payments before your arrival. Britannia can recommend reputable foreign currency exchange services to help protect you from exchange rate fluctuations, and save you time and money on international payments. After moving to Brazil you will find that most major banks are Brazilian. However, many foreign banks will have an agreement with one or more of these banks, so it’s recommended to speak to your bank first and find out which Brazilian banks you will be able to use.


Travelling to Brazil from the UK

Travelling to Brazil from the UK takes around 12 hours in the air. Current flight operators from the UK to Brazil are Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss, TAM and TAP Portugal. Only British Airways and TAM offer direct flights to Brazil – all of the others will involve a stop in mainland Europe first – with daily services from London Heathrow to São Paulo.



All visitors travelling to Brazil regardless of their visa type must be in possession of a current passport with more than three months’ validity after their proposed exit date.


Visa Options

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, the visa options are:

  • Transit – For foreigners who need to pass through Brazil during a trip before arriving at the final destination. Maximum stay of ten days.
  • Tourist – For those visiting the country without any migratory intention. Maximum stay of 90 days, extendable once for an additional 90 days, meaning a maximum of 180 days stay in Brazil per 12 month period.
  • Temporary – For travellers with cultural, educational, business and artistic purposes.
  • Permanent – For foreigners who intend to live in Brazil. Some permanent visas require previous authorization from the Ministry of Labour.
  • Courtesy – For foreign domestic employees of mission chiefs and consulate and diplomatic employees; foreign authorities unofficially visiting the country, and dependents on official or diplomatic visa bearers. Valid for 90 months.
  • Official – For employees of international bodies on official mission and the employees of embassies and consulates who do not have diplomatic status. Valid up for two years, or the period of the mission.
  • Diplomatic – For diplomats and employees with diplomatic status, and the heads of offices representing international bodies.
  • Therefore, if you are moving to Brazil to live for the foreseeable future, and have not been granted a Courtesy, Diplomatic or Official visa you will need to apply for a Permanent visa.
  • A Permanent visa can be granted if you have a Brazilian spouse or children with Brazilian nationality. If this is not your circumstance, then you will need to consider applying for an Investor’s Visa or a Working Visa.

Investor’s Visa

It is possible to get a permanent visa to Brazil by making an investment. The investor’s visa will be issued to those planning to establish a business in Brazil. The investment can be made to a business that has already been incorporated or a new business. The minimum amount that should be invested is BRL 150,000 (currently roughly equivalent to GBP 40,000). The only requirement, other than meeting the minimum investment, is that you are over 18 years old and are listed as the administrator of the company. The investor’s visa will be valid for five years and, dependent on the economic activity of the company, will then be made a permanent visa on renewal.

It is also possible that the investor’s visa will be given to someone making an investment lower than that stated above, as long as they meet certain criteria for social development, including the number of jobs to be created by the investment, whether productivity will be increased by the investment, whether technology will be introduced by the investment and whether it will involve fundraising for a specific sector of industry.


Working Visa

A working visa can be granted to professions including scientists, researchers, technicians and other career or trade professionals who are providing any service to the Brazilian government, a state controlled company or any company or organization operating in Brazil. Here is the current list of professionals who can apply for a Brazilian working visa:

  • Professors, researchers and scientists
  • Professionals contracted to render technical assistance and/or technology transfer services
  • Professionals with the power of management (administrators, managers, directors or executives)
  • Professionals working in a position with concomitant managing powers
  • Foreign citizens representing a foreign financial institution
  • Foreign artists or sports people
  • Professionals working on board of a foreign tourism ship, embarkation or platform
  • Professional training for foreign citizens

Living in Brazil


Brazil’s economy is flourishing thanks to a global rise in the price of food and oil, both of which Brazil is a big producer. Brazil produces coffee, cocoa, oranges, soya beans and sugar cane, as well as hydroelectric power.

Sectors that have seen rapid growth are:

  • agriculture
  • engineering and environmental management
  • food manufacturing
  • mining
  • oil and gas renewable energy

There are jobs available in these sectors for highly skilled foreign workers.

Brazil also has a large and dynamic services industry. For English speakers, job opportunities will be more readily available in the big cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia (the capital) and Porto Alegre.

Additionally, there are jobs available in the manufacturing, construction and engineering of a high-speed rail network throughout Brazil. The local population doesn’t always have the necessary skills to progress such a project, so workers with technical qualifications are required from other countries.

International candidates who can speak Portuguese, have good knowledge of the country, and can display an interest in Brazilian culture and life, are best positioned to find work. It can often help to already be based in Brazil when applying.



The following table shows typical monthly salaries across a range of industry sectors.

Job CategoryAverage Salary
Food /Hospitality / Tourism / Catering3,000 BRL
Government and Defencee ,136 BRL
Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment4,000 BRL
Import and Export4,100 BRL
Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology4,500 BRL
Automotive4,983 BRL
Banking5,000 BRL
Courier / Delivery / Transport / Drivers5,026 BRL
Fundraising and Non Profit5,275 BRL
Administration / Reception / Secretarial5,283 BRL
Customer Service and Call Center6,000 BRL
Business Planning6,150 BRL
Publishing and Printing6,667 BRL
Architecture6,694 BRL
Telecommunication7,750 BRL
Information Technology7,811 BRL
Science and Technical Services7,817 BRL
Purchasing and Inventory8,200 BRL
Human Resources8,735 BRL
Construction / Building / Installation8,944 BRL
Engineering8,999 BRL
Quality Control and Compliance9,067 BRL
Health and Medical9,583 BRL
Sales Retail and Wholesale9,800 BRL
Marketing10,077 BRL
Advertising / Graphic Design / Event Management10,167 BRL
Accounting and Finance11,356 BRL
Factory and Manufacturing11,500 BRL
Teaching / Education12,000 BRL
Legal12,083 BRL
Public Relations19,500 BRL
Real Estate20,000 BRL
Executive and Management22,053 BRL
Oil / Gas / Energy / Mining23,333 BRL
Law Enforcement / Security / Fire25,000 BRL

Finding a Job in Brazil

Unfortunately, studies have shown that Brazil is a tough job market for expats. However, there are several ways to find a job in Brazil, from the traditional method of making direct approaches to employers you would like to work for to using recruitment agencies and job boards to search for opportunities that match your skills and experience. The Internet is an excellent source of information with sites such as Brazil Biz, Go Abroad and LinkedIn currently offering many opportunities.


The local currency is the Brazilian Real (Reais when plural). It is usually written as “R$” and its ISO code is “BRL”. In its written form the comma and full stop will be inverted from their use in the UK. For example, twelve thousand Brazilian Reais would be written as R$12.000,00. Exchange rates fluctuate but as a general rule of thumb there are 3.75 reais to the pound.


Cost of everyday items

Prices vary depending on where you shop and where you live, but the following examples should help you budget.

Milk (1l) 2.52 BRL
Cheese (1kg) 14-40 BRL
Loaf of Fresh Bread (white) 4.18 BRL
12 Eggs 4.59 BRL
Apples (1kg) 4.99 BRL
Tomatoes (1kg) 6.98 BRL
Chicken Breasts (1kg) 10.28 BRL
Potatoes (1kg) 3.24 BRL
Rice (1kg) 2.99 BRL

Sports and Leisure

Monthly Gym Membership 120.00 BRL
Tennis Court Hire 66.29 BRL
Cinema Ticket 21.00 BRL

Eating and Drinking Out

Meal at inexpensive restaurant 18.00 BRL
3 course meal for two at mid-range restaurant 75.00 BRL
Standard Brazilian beer 5.00 BRL
Coffee 2.00 BRL

Transport Costs

The main modes of transport in Brazil are by air, bus or car. Car rental is possible, but can be very expensive. The most economical mode of transport before the recent economic boom was bus. However, Brazil is now blessed with many budget airlines and air travel is becoming increasingly popular, especially for long journeys.

Bus travel is cheapest and most reliable for the most popular routes, such as Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo or from either of those two cities heading south to Curitiba, Porto Alegre or Foz do Iguaçu. Bus is also the cheapest if you want to travel to other countries. For example, a bus from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires will take around 44 hours but will normally be cheaper than international air travel. And herein lies the major problem with bus travel. Even travelling from Rio to Fortaleza, in the North of Brazil, will take over 40 hours by bus.

It’s for this reason that many people travel around Brazil by air. Low-cost carriers in the country include Azul, GOL and TAM. If you will be travelling extensively around Brazil during your time there you should consider a TAM air pass, which could save you a considerable amount of money.





Property rental prices vary widely depending on location, style and size. Unfortunately, the three most popular cities for expats to live – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia – are also the most expensive. A three-bedroom apartment will cost between R$4,000 and R$6,500 per month.



Brazil is the only country in South America to speak Portuguese, not Spanish like the majority of the other countries in the continent. Spanish speakers, along with French and Italian speakers, will find it possible to understand some aspects of Brazilian Portuguese, but this is not guaranteed due to the regional differences, and anyone who is required to speak Portuguese for a job should make sure they learn before arriving, even trying to learn from a Brazilian rather than Portuguese speaker if possible.

That said, there are many jobs in Brazil available for English speakers, especially in the larger cities. Additionally, anyone moving to Brazil to teach English may be offered Portuguese lessons as part of an employment package, as is often the case with multinational companies. If learning Portuguese, remember that Brazilian Portuguese is grammatically and orally different to European Portuguese.



The majority of expat children in Brazil attend private schools, of which there are many in the main cities. Many of these are accredited international schools that follows American or British curriculum. In addition, there are some Christian schools and bilingual schools that may appeal. As well as expat children, many of these schools will also have a high percentage of students from affluent Brazilian families. Some people choose to send their children to a Brazilian private school as this saves some money and also allows the child to learn Portuguese. English classes could also be provided alongside this schooling to ensure the child is also learning the English language correctly too. The main cities which have notable international schools are Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Bahia and Recife.


Brazilian National Holidays

The following are all national public holidays in Brazil. Be aware that there may also be local holidays depending on where you live.

  • New Year’s Day – 1st January
  • Carnival – February/March (dates depend on Easter)
  • Good Friday (the Friday of Easter Week)
  • Tiradentes – 21st April
  • Labour Day – 1 May
  • Corpus Christi – 3rd June
  • Independence Day – 7th September
  • Our Lady of Aparecida – 12th October
  • All Souls Day – 2nd November
  • Proclamation of the Republic – 15th November
  • Christmas Day – 25th December


Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fourth-largest country in the world in coterminous area, ranking after Russia, Canada, and China (the US is larger with Alaska, Hawaii, and all dependencies included). It occupies nearly half of the South American continent and has borders with every South American country except Ecuador and Chile.

Brazil’s Climate

Brazil is the size of a continent. As such, it has as many climates as many continents have, if not more. To understand better the climate, the country is normally split into different regions: the Equatorial Zone, the Tropical Zone, the Semi-Arid Zone, the Highland Tropical Zone and the Subtropical Zone.

The North and West of the country, including the Amazon region, is regarded as the Equatorial Zone and is incredibly humid. Annual temperatures are on average above 25ºC. Rainy season occurs in summer and autumn, when there is much rainfall.

The temperature in the North-east of Brazil, also known as the Semi-Arid Zone, where there is a tropical climate with a tendency to be dry, also averages above 25ºC. In the rest of the Tropical Zone, which covers most of the central area of the country (including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) and the coast in the mid-North, the temperature is slightly lower (Between 20ºC and 25ºC) and the climate alternates between humid and dry.

The Highland Tropical Zone, along the East and North-east coast of Brazil, has a humid climate characterised by cool summers and warm winters, though the temperature never varies significantly. The humid Subtropical Zone, which takes in all of the south, is also hot in the summer and cold in winter, and is the coldest region, with an average temperature between 10ºC and 15ºC.

Generally speaking, Brazil’s seasons are the opposite of the UK, with cooler weather during May-September and warmer weathers from December-March. However, because of the different climates found within the country this is only a rule-of-thumb and the important wet and dry seasons changed in each region. It’s always best to do some research on the region you’re planning on living in if you’d like to know a better idea of what the weather conditions will be like. Here are the broad outlines of their seasons:


  • Spring: 22 September to 21 December
  • Summer: 22 December to 21 March
  • Autumn: 22 March to 21 June
  • Winter: 22 June to 21 September

Beach Destinations in Brazil

Even if you’re living in a paradisiacal city like Rio de Janeiro you will still want a break from it all and Brazil has much to offer. Here are some of our recommendations.

Florianopolis, Santa Catarina

An island in the South of Brazil with forty-two beaches, Florianopolis is a hugely-popular holiday destination. It is easily reachable by air as well as by car or bus from Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Rio and São Paulo, and can even be visited as part of a long trip to Argentina. The variety of beaches – there are deserted beaches, party beaches, private beaches, surfing beaches, bathing spots – as well as the facilities make it a great place to spend a weekend or week away.

Buzios, Rio de Janeiro

One of the most popular short breaks from Rio is the nearby Buzios. Since it was “discovered” by Brigitte Bardot in the 60s it has grown in popularity and now attracts many tourists, with the infrastructure – spas, 5-star hotels, boutique shops – to ensure it’s reputation as the Brazilian St Tropez.

Trancoso, Bahia

Up in the North-east of Brazil there are too many beaches to mention, but Trancoso is well worth checking out. It has become the alternative destination for British pop and rock stars to hang out – Robbie Williams and Fatboy Slim have both spent considerable time there – and has earnt itself a great reputation as a destination to catch some rays and relax in the week and then let your hair down at the weekend. This is especially the case in the summer when this small village comes alive.

Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco

Fernando de Noronha is Brazil’s secret paradise. The island paradise has to be reached by air, with flight distances some 360km from Natal 540km from Recife – if you are flying from anywhere else in Brazil you will need to get a connecting flight from Recife or Natal. Out of all the beaches on the island Praia do Sancho is often voted as Brazil’s best beach. The beach is covered in vegetation with steep, rocky cliffs forming a backdrop to clear blue waters that can only be reached via ladders down the cliff or by boat.

Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco

Possibly the most well-respected major tourist beach in Brazil is Porto de Galinhas. Lying just south of Recife, it’s a far more relaxing and eco-friendly beach than the beaches around Rio (such as the aforementioned Buzios), and due to this appeals to both independent travellers and those looking to try out the best that Brazil has to offer. Porto de Galinhas is a former fishing village and is best known for its beautiful reef pools, which are always full of snorkelers and those wanting a care-free swim. Jericoacoara, Ceara – heading right up to the North of Brazil you’ll find Jericoacoara (or simply ‘Jeri’ for short), an off-the-beaten-track destination for those looking to see Brazil’s beaches in a raw form while also having some of the comforts of a tourist lifestyle. Jeri has stunning coastal scenery, lots of activities (dune buggy tours, kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing, etc.), a good mixture of accommodation for varying budgets, good-quality food and plenty of nightlife in the evening. The fact that the beach can only be reached by dune buggy just adds to the fun. This is one for the more adventurous folk.


Nature Destinations in Brazil

The Pantanal

one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil is the Pantanal, one of the world’s largest tropical wetlands. While many people go to the Amazon expecting to see lots of wildlife, it’s in the Pantanal where you’re actually going to see plenty of animals in their natural environment. Whereas the Amazon is an impenetrable jungle, the Pantanal is extremely open which allows for great views across the land. If you go expect to see capybaras (the biggest rodent in the world), deer, wild pig, giant species and at least one species of cat, as well as a huge assortment of birds and insects. Outside of Africa there are few better places to see mammals than the Pantanal.

Iguazu Falls

On the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina you’ll find Iguazu Falls, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. The falls are higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria with the second-greatest average annual flow of any waterfall in the world, after Niagara. This flow is used to power the whole of Paraguay as well as large parts of Argentina and Brazil through the Itaipu Dam. Those wanting to see the Iguazu Falls will often do so on a trip to Buenos Aires, with the fall roughly halfway between the Argentina capital and Rio de Janeiro.





Popular Holiday Destinations Outside Brazil

Considering Brazil is so big it will take some time to get bored with what Brazil has to offer. However, if you do feel like trying something different you could always go to neighbouring countries such as Argentina (to visit Buenos Aires or go skiing in Patagonia), Uruguay (to visit the quiet, relaxed beaches on their Southern coast), Perú (to see the spectacular Machu Picchu) or Bolivia (where Lake Titicaca and the Uyuni salt flats are popular tourist destinations).


Brazilian Culture


Food in Brazil takes in a mixture of influences, with the food in each region changing to some degree. To varying degrees, each region is shaped by its indigenous culture, the influence of the European colonizers, the degree to which the African-Brazilian population has had an influence, as well as the customs of recent migratory populations. Adding to that are the geographic differences – such as the closeness to rivers and oceans, the amount of rain and the condition of soil. Combined all of these factors have resulted in an incredibly diverse cuisine.

Having said that there are some dishes which have popularity throughout Brazil. The dish that’s seen as the “national dish” is the pork and black bean stew (called “feijoada”, which is often made with the cheapest cuts of pork and accompanied by rice, slices of orange, greens and cassava flour which is sprinkled on top. Also hugely popular is the Brazilian barbecue, known as a “churrasco”, which is often served in restaurants called “rodizios”, whereby you pay a fixed fee to enter the restaurant and then eat as much meat as you can eat (as well as salads, pasta and vegetables that are often on a buffet tray). The meat served in a “churrasco” will normally be various cuts of beefs, though chicken hearts are also very common.

As well as the “rodizios” there are many buffet restaurants and “per kilo” restaurants whereby you stack your plate with food and then pay by weight. Another custom is the set 3-course lunch menu which is available in many restaurants for a decent price (much cheaper than dinner), and is a custom which is common across South America.

Regional cuisine includes “pato no tucupi” in the Amazon region, a meal consisting of duck cooked in a rich sauce with herbs that leave the taste buds and stomach tingling for hours afterwards. Acarajé is very popular in Bahia and generally sold on the streets by African-Brazilian women wearing huge flowery dresses. It consists of two fritters made from black-eyed beans which are used almost like a sandwich, with a filling that includes shrimp paste, cashew nut paste and various hot sauces. In the North-east tapioca is very common and is often made into a pancake and served with cheese or coconut.

The legal age to buy alcohol in Brazil is 18. Brazil produces many of its own beers, including Brahma, Skol, Antárctica and Bavaria. They will normally be served in small glasses (chopps) or bottled. The national drink is cachaça, a spirit that is often compared to rum, but is actually made from sugar cane rather than molasses and is sold very cheaply in Brazil. Cachaça is also used to make the extremely popular cocktail, Caipirinha, as well as other drinks such as Batidas and Gabrielas, which are popular in different parts of the country. There are also many food and drink products in Brazil that use products from the Amazon, such as Guaraná, a very popular soft drink that uses guaraná, a berry that is said to give energy and is also ground up as a powder and used in a lot of milkshakes and health drinks in the country. Acai is another popular berry. It’s used in many juices as well as made into a paste that’s served with ice cream and extremely popular with health-conscious residents of Rio de Janeiro.


It is impossible to talk about Brazil without talking about football, their national sport. As five times winners of the World Cup, their national team is the most celebrated country internationally. They also have many famous national teams, such as Flamengo, Santos and Corinthians, which have nurtured some of the best players in world football. If you are going to Brazil then the most famous stadium to visit is the national stadium, the Maracanã, which also has a great museum and a long history that is worth knowing. The stadium had been closed for two years as it was being renovated for the World Cup, but following that tournament it will be open for domestic fixtures again. Flamengo and Fluminense are the two Rio teams that play at the stadium, with their derby match, known as the “Fla-Flu derby” having a reputation for one of the best atmospheres in Brazil.

In São Paulo, Corinthians and São Paulo are the two teams to check out, with Santos based in a port city that’s just a couple of hours away from São Paulo. Minas Gerais also has two famous local teams, Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro, as well as Porto Alegre, that has Gremio and Internacional. When going to local football games try and book through an agency or go with friends from the area to ensure that you are safe as Brazilian football games are not as well policed as games in Europe and there have been some recent problems with violence. It should also be noted that this has only happened in a minority of games.



Aside from football, music is seen as the biggest pastime in Brazil. For those heading to Rio, Salvador or Recife you will find that music flows from the streets, with groups playing samba in bars or afro-Brazilian dances happening in public squares. Other cities, like São Paulo, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte are a little more closed off, and more interested in Western genres like rock and dance music, but if you dig deep you will find that there is still lots of great Brazilian music happening. If you’re a fan of samba, bossa nova, tropicália or samba-reggae you will find that it’s not hard to feed your passion wherever you go in Brazil.


More Interesting Facts About Brazil…

  • Brazil has the second largest number of people of African descent in the world, with only Nigeria having more people of African descent
  • The above fact is known because in a recent census more than half of Brazilians stated that they were of African descendent, which also means that African-Brazilians are the majority ethnic group in the country
  • There are believed to be 67 uncontacted tribes in Brazil, the majority of which live in the Amazon regions
  • Brazil isn’t the world’s biggest producer of Brazil nuts – that’s Bolivia, which produces about 50% of the world’s supply
  • Brazil’s GDP is the size of Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina combined
  • Brazil has won 5 World Cups. That’s more than any other nation. After World Cup 2014 they will be hoping to have added to that tally
  • Brazil has the biggest Japanese immigrant community in the world, with over 1.8 million people of Japanese descent living in Brazil, and 600,000 of them concentrated in the Liberdade neighbourhood of São Paulo.
  • At the last count, 210 languages are actively used in Brazil. Thankfully, you should only need one (Portuguese or English) if you want to live there
  • Brazil has the biggest landfill site in the world, Jardim Gramacho, which is the size of about 247 football fields. It’s so well-known that it was the subject of a 2010 film, Waste Land.
  • The Amazon River, which dominates the north of the country, is the 2nd longest river in the world (after the Nile)
  • The most powerful electric eel is found in the rivers of Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru and produces a shock of 400-650 volts

Further reading

For more information on the practicalities of a move to Brazil, visit our Moving to Brazil page.

Moving To Brazil: Best Expat Destinations

Cost of Living in Brazil