Crime in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Crime rates in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Level of crime
90.64 Very High
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
80.24 Very High
Worries home broken and things stolen
57.37 Moderate
Worries being mugged or robbed
86.98 Very High
Worries car stolen
77.90 High
Worries things from car stolen
76.89 High
Worries attacked
70.42 High
Worries being insulted
56.35 Moderate
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion
41.73 Moderate
Problem people using or dealing drugs
83.26 Very High
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
81.11 Very High
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
90.50 Very High
Problem corruption and bribery
92.77 Very High

Safety in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Safety walking alone during daylight
32.90 Low
Safety walking alone during night
11.92 Very Low

Contributors: 665

Last update: July 2022

These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.

If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.

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16 Comments so far
Anonymous on Jun 03, 2022:
It's as overrated as the country is for violence, has relatively accurate data and gets discriminated for it by cranks pretending not to see the problem.

For instance, here's a list of countries with more absolute murders than Brazil:

1. Pakistan
2. Nigeria
3. India
4. Democratic Republic of the Congo
5. Bangladesh
Aaron on May 10, 2022:
To "Anonymous on Sep 21, 2021"

I live in Rio and I've lived in Nairobi which is recognized by experts as the more violent city and that was certainly my experience. Rio's tranquil in comparison.

Not surprisingly, Nairobi is among the 100 most violent cities in the world which you can't say for Brazilian cities. It's that bad, you need to be a very violent city to get in the top 100.
Local on Jan 01, 2022:
I'll try to clarify some aspects since most comments on this section lacks objectivity and doesn't really add up on the matter.

First and most important is there are areas safer than others. Wealthier parts of the city (south mostly) are safer but it doesn't rule out armed robbery risks. Carrying cigarretes or little ammounts of money will never avoid armed robbery as stated below. Offering cigarretes (or anything) while being robbed is not wise. Don't do that.

It's not the most dangerous place in earth as some say either, but it can be pretty dangerous if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. and that's serious. You can get shot or worse.

Solution?
Do not travel without local guides. They know how to avoid bad situations. Besides, they know a lot of nice places worth visiting.
Scott on Dec 25, 2021:
Rio can be a safe city as long as u stay away from favelas, poor areas, etc
Erick on Dec 17, 2021:
I have been in Rio dozen of times in the last 10 years for short and long stays (up to 2 months) and I do not share the horrific descriptions listed below. Sounds a bit like hyper inflating issues to me.

I stayed in the center as well as in Copacabana and Ipanema. I walked a lot through the city (from the center to Lapa, Flamengo, Botafogo, Copacabana or Ipanema) and never ever faced an issue. When in Rio I use the public transportation (metro, buses). Not a single issue.
Yes locals warned me. Many times. I simply keep a low profile. I blend in as much as possible. Can it be that I was so lucky all these years? statistically highly improbable.

Read the comments from Finn below (Finn on Aug 03, 2018). I share the same feelings resp. experience.
I read that over 6 millions foreigners visit Brazil each year. First destination is Rio with almost 3 millions. Pre pandemic figures yes but still.

So yes crime is present but not omnipresent and common sense resp. usual precautions should keep you safe.
This page provide sensible advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/brazil/safety-and-security

But no Rio is not part of the best cities in the world in my eyes. The landscape is absolutely wonderful but the city itself not though it is very interesting. Adding to that the social inequalities and the pollution to name a few issues... but it is certainly well worth a visit while you are in Brazil. As Finn I prefer July or August. Not too humid, more stable weather conditions and less tourists :D
Anonymous on Sep 21, 2021:
Rio isn't overly violent by world standards. It isn't Mogadishu or Port-au-Prince folks. Hell, it isn't Lagos or Nairobi either. Many of the Brazilian peacekeepers who served as police in Rio were horrified and scarred by the violence levels in Port-a-Prince, it is a much more violent city than Rio and other Brazilian cities.

Peeps get funny ideas about Rio, it's really overstated.
Anonymous on Jan 24, 2021:
What more can be said?

Exceptionally dangerous, wherever you are.

Yes it may have some nice postcard views, but are they worth your life?
Gene on Oct 11, 2020:
Have been to Niteroi, RJ, Itaipu, São Pedro, Búzios, Cabo Frio Araruama and Marica. I married an incredible lady from Brazil and go 3-4 times per year. There are so many things I love about Brazil. Make no mistake, if you are in the wrong areas or the right areas at the wrong time it can be extremely dangerous. I would never want to be there without my wife, she knows where we should be, when we should be there, when I can use my phone and when I need to shut up and not speak (gringo alert).

That said we are buying our house in Marica and will raise our two sons there.

Yes it can be dangerous.Seems what I have learned is if you do not know someone, do not trust them, watch what you say and when you speak. Constantly be aware of your surroundings. We are visitors in a foreign country. No different than if you venture to one of the US inner city areas. For te most part, it is an awesome place, I love it and the people.
rodri on May 27, 2020:
In 2016 a bullet just missed me by 1 meter in Botafogo. I have no idea about from where it came.
Stay away from Hell de Janeiro
Bos on Mar 18, 2020:
My wife and I been coming to Rio once a year for the past 14 years. We absolutely love this city and have never had any issues. We take the bus up and down and walk everywhere with our phones and never had any issues. Always remember that Rio may seem like a small city but its one of the most populated cities in the world, so be aware at all times - like you would in any other major city - and enjoy what Rio has to offer!
TimL on Dec 17, 2019:
Had a day walking in centro area about several miles with an iphone in hand , gave some cash from the pocket to street musicians and everything was fine. recklessly walked in the middle of no busy road while taking photos and you know what homeless men cried out to watch my back due to approaching vehicle. well i dont know what to think after reading the previous comments
Pedro on Mar 03, 2019:
Well this city in basically in an open war, in the favelas heavily armed drug lords with ak47, .50 snipers and grenades exchange fire with a corrupt and poorly armed police. Not even in the most luxurious neighbourhoods you are safe, the city is in a permanent state of warfare
BeenThere on Feb 12, 2019:
I have just come back from Rio. It is magnificent city with serious issues. Unfortunately.
Sam on Nov 13, 2018:
My husband and I bought a house on the beach in Marica,Rio de Janeiro. Can anyone tell me how safe it is or is it a bad idea to move there please? Wanted to open a business there also.
Finn on Aug 03, 2018:
I just came back home from Rio. Spent 2,5 weeks there with my friend. We are both Finnish and in our twenties.

I guess we were just lucky because nothing bad happened - the only thing we witnessed was a taxi crashing with biker - but it's something we would see in our home town as well and happens every now and then everywhere.

We took busses to Buzios, Angra, and Paraty and everything went fine. We also explored the city of Rio by subway, Ubers and walking. And no - we did not go to the North Zone, Just Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Sao Conrado, Pedra da Gavea, Botafogo, Leme, Centro, Lapa etc... Plenty of things to see on those "safer zones".

I am well aware of the problems of the city and the horrific quality of living in the favelas, so I would never say it's a paradise or the best city in the world. Most of the shootings happen in favelas so they are relatively easy to avoid (for the visitors - god help the locals).

But for a visitor (or at least for us) it was something we will never forget - in a positive light. The city was so beautiful with all the mountains / hills, beaches, palm trees, forests and parks and a lot of cultural sites to see. Also - food and drinks were cheap for us as europeans, and we were always treated with respect. Many of the locals did not speak english, but they were eager to teach us a couple of words and use their hands and facial expressions to try to make us understand what they wanted to say. They were always helpful and asked if we needed help, do we know the way, were are we going etc.

The weather was perfect in July, I would not visit during the local summer as it could be too hot for me. It seemed to be off season as there were no queues to any tourist attractions and we could just walk in easily without waiting.

Ubers were really easy to use and the drivers were nice and did not drive too fast or anything. The only bad car trip we experienced was an official taxi we had to take once when we did not have the wifi connection to order uber. He was driving too fast and took his hands off the wheel during the drive, spoke loudly portuguese and we understood nothing. It was a scary trip and took like 20 mins so that was maybe the only bad experience we had.

I even walked back home at 4am alone from the bar, like 20 mins. That was in copacabana though. I was pretty drunk and in the morning I got scared when I understood how dangerous it could have been.

We both have dark hair, tan and wore flip-flops so I guess we did not stand up from the crowd that much.

I can't tell everyone will be safe there and it's the best destination to go f.ex with your family, but I wish I didn't read all the horror stories before leaving, because for me the fear was not helpful - I even thought about cancelling my flights. Now I'm glad I didn't because it was awesome, and I will totally go back some day. Hope the situation gets better before that. I'm also worried about the local businesses if no tourist wants to go there anymore - it could drive more locals to the poverty and even worsen the situation.
#traveller on Jul 22, 2018:
Rio has an awful quality of life, but as tourist, I felt so delighted! It's incredible a city with such a great nature escape everywhere you look, you go to the beach during the day and enjoy a vibrant nightlife. Many of my friends have been there, no one was robbed.

Locals will say many negative things and even the media, but the mandatory tips are:
- ALWAYS, take an UBER. Taxis are fine but expensive.
- If alone, try to stay in a hostel and make friends who speak portuguese or are more familiar to the city. Do not go anywhere but South Rio unless you have someone to trust in.
- Carry cigarrets or a little amount of money, in many situations you can avoid an armed robbery just offering something.
- Favelas were safer in the past, nowadays it's not a good idea.
- Avoid forests and "nature", many places are full of thugs and it's a getaway to many drug lords.

Now, enjoy Rio! Best city in the world.