10 Top Affordable Hotels in Rio: Where to Stay for Less

With Rio de Janeiro frequently cropping up in lists of the World's Most Expensive Cities, budget travellers may be tempted to head for more affordable destinations instead. 

But with a little advance planning, Rio de Janeiro can still be a viable option for budget travelers.  The number one tip is to head here outside of peak tourist seasons - prices soar over Carnival and New Year, and are also high during the Western high season of July-August. 

Travel here between late September and early December, or between late March and early June, to find the best offers for budget Rio de Janeiro hotels.

In order to bag a real Rio bargain, you might have to sacrifice a little beach time - you might dream of a hotel room overlooking the sands of Ipanema, but with few exceptions you can expect to pay through the nose for the privilege of such a desirable location. 

As a rule of thumb, you'll get an awful lot more bang for your buck if you are willing to stay in less celebrated, but perfectly pleasant, locations such as Botafogo, Flamengo and Gloria, while there are countless lovely pousadas (guest houses) to be found up in the scenic hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa

For those who value a beach location above anything else, Rio de Janeiro's wealth of backpacker hostels offer   lively lodgings in some of the most desirable locations in the city.

Adventure Hostel
Photo courtesy of Cyril A.Silva


If you simply must be near the legendary Ipanema beach but your budget won't stretch to the sometimes outrageous prices of the beachfront hotels, Adventure Hostel may be the accommodation of choice for you. Close to the beach as well as to...  Read More



Rio de Janeiro lodgings are a hit and miss affair, so it can be a comfort for visitors to the city to know what to expect from their hotel. Novotel Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont offers the same basic but comfortable accommodations as it offers in...  Read More

Hotel Novo Mundo
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


Flamengo is a pleasant, middle class residential neighborhood, and this well-appointed hotel is far more affordable than one would pay for the same standard in Ipanema or Copacabana. Close to Catete metro station and next door to Catete Palace...  Read More

Lapa Hostel
Photo courtesy of Daniel J.Hoffman


If you want to be right at the heart of Rio de Janeiro's nightlife action, Lapa is the place to be. Even if you decide to make your base at the beach in Ipanema or Copacabana, booking a bed at Lapa Hostel can work out cheaper than taking a cab...  Read More

Hotel Praia Ipanema
Photo courtesy of Ipanema Inn


Book well in advance and it is possible to get some good bargains at this well located beach front hotel. With a desirable location close to the point where upscale Ipanema meets even-more-exclusive Leblon, the hotel is not the last word in...  Read More



This smart downtown business hotel offers accommodations that are affordable by local standards. While rooms are small,they are modern and well-appointed. The hotel has a rooftop pool, fitness centre and offers a good buffet breakfast, and is...  Read More

Hotel Vermont


It's not the most beautiful hotel in Rio, but Vermont Hotel is one of very few options in Ipanema that won't blow the budget sky high. Located just a couple of blocks back from the beach and a few minutes' stroll from any number of bars and...  Read More

Hotel Arpoador
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


It's not bargain-basement cheap, but prices at Arpoador Inn are extremely favorable in comparison with other beachfront lodgings. The location - right on the sands at the point where Copacabana meets Ipanema - is unbeatable for sunseekers and...  Read More



Another fine example of Santa Teresa's impressive guest house scene, Casa Cool Beans attracts a mix of young funseekers and older travelers keen to share stories of the road over a few caipirinhas in the leafy garden. Housed in a handsome...  Read More



Copacabana beachfront is not known for its good value lodgings or its personal service, which makes this welcoming guest house such a find. The English-speaking owner Marta Miller offers personal tips and advice to all her guests, and the vast...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.