Short on cash and planning a visit to Rio de Janeiro? Beware - the soaring cost of hotels in the city has made Rio one of the world's most expensive destinations in terms of accommodation, beating the likes of London, Rome and Paris.
But while Rio de Janeiro hotels often offer little by the way of luxury in exchange for some eye-wateringly high prices, backpackers and other cash-conscious travelers can take heart from the fact that Rio´s hostel scene offers fun and funky lodgings at prices that won't blow the travel budget sky high.
Guest houses and hostels provide affordable alternatives to pricey Rio hotel rooms — Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson
Healthy competition means that Rio hostels offer a lot of style and charm for your tourist buck. Funky decor; appealing bars; comfy beds; and friendly, knowledgeable staff are all key to any successful Rio de Janeiro hostel.
For those with their hearts set on making their base by the beaches, spots such as Adventure Hostel make it possible to stay close to Ipanema's lovely beach and lively nightlife scene, while making new friends in the process.
Many of the cheapest Rio hostels can be found in Lapa, whose sticky streets are much loved by partiers flocking to themyriad bars and clubs here, while many of the lovely colonial mansions of nearby Santa Teresa have been transformed into charming guesthouses and backpacker hostels. Casa 579, Casa Aurea and Casa MangoMango are some of the standouts.
The middle-class neighborhood of Botafogo is also a top spot for hostels, and there's a lively drinking and dining scene to be found in this slightly off-the-tourist-track location.