Crime in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Crime rates in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Level of crime
90.59 Very High
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
80.98 Very High
Worries home broken and things stolen
57.51 Moderate
Worries being mugged or robbed
86.86 Very High
Worries car stolen
77.70 High
Worries things from car stolen
76.54 High
Worries attacked
70.78 High
Worries being insulted
56.05 Moderate
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion
40.34 Moderate
Problem people using or dealing drugs
82.70 Very High
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
80.76 Very High
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
90.32 Very High
Problem corruption and bribery
92.88 Very High

Safety in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Safety walking alone during daylight
33.39 Low
Safety walking alone during night
12.33 Very Low

Contributors: 600

Last update: July 2021

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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24 Comments so far
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.
Anonymous on Jun 27, 2018:
Even though Rio has a major crime problem, that history was a POS.
Nat on Jun 09, 2018:
I live in Rio de Janeiro and it´s getting more dangerous day after day. We go out expecting that will lose something and hoping that it´s not our lives. I´m planning to leave this city as soon as I can. In spite of recognizing that Rio it´s a very violent place, I´m pretty sure that the history described below it´s SO FAKE, I even laughed of the lack of creativity.
Anonymous on May 09, 2018:
Detroit is a child’s playground compared to this city despite being one of the most violent cities in the USA
Anonymous on Apr 22, 2018:
They took both our I-phone and the police did nothing but roll there eyes. Don’t go unless your planing on kissing something good bye.
Albert on Apr 16, 2018:
Don't got here. Even your kids are prime targets for kidnapping, or worse. There are safer places to go such as in the US or even in Europe, and Australia. Brazil is a deathtrap for tourists and locals alike.
Fred on Apr 16, 2018:
Don't bother going to Rio de Janeiro unless you enjoy getting robbed, mugged, assaulted, and maybe even murdered, as well as cops laughing at your misery instead of helping you. Rio de Janeiro should be renamed as Rio de Assassinato (River of Murder, instead of River of January). And yes, my sister was murdered there during her business trip, and cops did nothing to stop the shooters except just by watching in an apathetic manner.
Jools on Mar 12, 2018:
I spent Carnival in Rio last year alone. I didn’t wear jewellery or smart clothes. I didn’t carry a bag - just a cheap day pack -and only used my phone in safe places. I used the metro and walked miles - no problems I went to the Sambadrome by Metro and returned at 4am. Very busy and full of revellers. Avoided parts of centro and used lockers at Ipanema. I’m a savvy ‘older’ traveller. Favelas are a ‘no go’ unless you go with a local guide. Some are ‘pacified’ others not. Be sensible...
Had a brilliant time with no hassles.
#Wish on Mar 12, 2018:
I really want to visit Rio BUT I can’t make up my mind after hearing and reading the crimes that IT IS THAT BAD in Rio I have children and don’t want to put them in risk Of anything if it’s downtown out in the open any Advice ??
Matt on Feb 15, 2018:
I got robed in Santa Theres by some horrible men and then they wanted to sell me drugs. Try to avoid Santa Theres.
Anonymous on Oct 30, 2017:
Rio's really unsafe. I got robbed at gunpoint in the middel of Santa Theresa while walking down the street, and almost robbed in Copocabana. If you go to Rio, try not to walk in the streets at night (go by taxi, subway, etc.). Definitely DON'T TRAVEL ALONE.
#Anonymous on Sep 29, 2017:
I stayed in Rio for a week.
It was a pleasant experience except for the part where I was chased by a bunch of dudes trying to rob me and had to sleep to the sound of gunshots every other day.
The food is nice, people are nice (the ones that don't wanna to kill you).
Anonymous on Sep 15, 2017:
I'm Brazilian from Rio I wonder why Americans think is so safe to live there. Maybe cause there day hasn't come yet. I own a house in Rio and one in Miami I rather live in Florida than that shithole of a City
Bruce on Sep 14, 2017:
I have been visiting Rio de Janeiro since 2002 and it was much safer and of course cheaper as the value of the U.S. Dollar was 4-1 Brazil RS Real . I visited for my 45th trip this past January 2017 and due to return on next month . I have never been robbed or attacked so I feel very fortunate compared to others . I do plan to return next month and stay in the Copacabana or Ipanema areas . I always keep my eyes open no matter where I travel abroad or in the U.S.A. . Basically the world is just much more dangerous now in many places but their are still safe places to travel . My advice is to just be alert wherever you travel in the world . Don't become parinoid just become and stay aware of your surroundings .
William Kotcher on Jul 29, 2017:
Sadly, Rio is a very dangerous city. I lived there for 4 years. I have been going to Rio for work and family since 1996. I was never robbed but once I did almost have my pocket picked. Near the American Consulate in Rio. I know people who have been robbed many times. I have seen a car-jacking in front of my home in Rio. It was my neighbor and his family. My neighbor's daughter was with her boyfriend in his car, in front of his home when two men car-jacked them. We had four car jackings on our 2 block long street in one month. Police have chased and shot at people who were running in stolen cars, on our street. There is so much crime it is impossible to describe. There are many places that you simply can not go, usually it is easy to tell though. Can you go to Brazil and be safe? I think so but I would never suggest to anybody they will not be robbed or the victim of crime. Further, the city or the whole country is at the mercy of the government. Once I was stuck in the airport coming from the USA, stuck in immigrations for 4 hours. All I figured out is the government employees were protesting or trying to get higher wages so they had one person check every single person coming from other countries? That to me tells me that overnight you could be stuck in a city under military rule or even revolution? Although if it was a revolution it would be the poor fighting, for they are the only ones that have a large amount of guns. The poor that live in Favelas and are part of the extensive Drug gangs. Visit or live in Brazil, but make no mistake about it, it is nothing like any city in the USA. Nothing! The crime is extreme in the safest places. There is nowhere that is free of crime. The place is nothing like Chicago. Chicago is a child's playground in comparison to Rio. I would love to go back but at the same time, I know it is not a stable safe place to go.