Traveling to new country can be fun and exciting but it can also be challenging due to language barriers and culture differences. Thanks to technology and smartphone apps, however, life can be much easier for travelers. Below are the top 8 apps to download in Rio de Janeiro. We included a variety of apps that will make your stay much easier and enjoyable while in Brazil.
Top 8 Apps to Download in Rio de Janeiro
This App is the most popular and most important communication App in Brazil by FAR. All locals use this App for texting, voice messaging, calling and even video-calling. Brazilians do not usually text each other due to high data costs and usually EXCLUSIVELY communicate with WhatsApp. So if you meet any locals, this will be the best option to contact them.
- Google Maps
Google maps is a great tool while visiting Rio. Gone are the days where you need to carry around a big map of the city or wander around getting lost. The app is very easy to use with real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit information. You can also explore restaurants that are nearby. If you are worried about your cellphone not getting internet connection for some reason, we would recommend downloading an offline map of Rio de Janeiro (inside the Google Maps itself). Keep in mind that in order to download the offline map of the specific area (in this case Rio de Janeiro) you need to be online to do so. Once it’s done, the downloaded map can be used offline at any time (no need internet connection).
- Google Translate
This app is important if you do not speak the local language (Portuguese, NOT Spanish!!!). It does not translate phrases grammar 100% correctly but good and easy enough to understand. Like Google Maps, it also has an offline feature (offline translation) in case you need to use the App and your cellphone does not have an internet connection. We’d recommend downloading the offline translation in Portuguese language in this case.
- Uber / Uber Eats
Uber works very well in Rio (and most Brazil’s big cities). This is the best app to move around the city and is also cheaper than taxis! You can use your SAME Uber app that you already have from home and the interface will appear in your local language. Simply insert the address where you want to go and use it seamlessly like you would back home! Please carefully check the Uber license number and make sure it matches the one you ordered on the App. Especially when you are in a place full of people doing the same thing as you, waiting for their Uber. Uber Eats also works seamlessly in Brazil and is a great option if you do not want to leave your hotel and are wanting a quick and easy meal delivered to you.
- 99 Taxi – (iOS, Android)
Similar to Uber, this App can be the second choice of transportation while you’re in Rio. And of course, it is easy to use as well. It is indeed a taxi (don’t expect a normal car to show up) but with better cost saving option and better service than a normal taxi. With just the click of a button you have a taxi coming your way! Please carefully check the taxi license number and make sure it matches the one you ordered on the App. Especially when you are in a place full of people doing the same thing as you, waiting for their taxis
- Bike Rio/Bike Itaú
One of the best ways to explore Rio is by bike. Bike Itaú is an inexpensive and popular bicycle rental system which is available through an application for Android and iPhone phones (iOS). The bike stations are scattered in different neighborhoods in Rio (especially the south zone/zona sul). The user takes the bike at one station and can return it at any other stations, for the period of 60 minutes of each trip. You can choose to pay daily or monthly according to your need. All you have to do is download the App and choose your plan (daily, monthly, etc.). The registration can be done by any user, without having to have an account at Banco Itaú, in a practical and quick way. It is only possible to take one bicycle at a time, with a single registration per person.
- XE Currency
Converting Brazilian reals to your local currency can sometimes be a bit of a challenge or headache. This app can come in handy and fix the problem! You can check the actual value (live rates) of the Brazilian real in any day so you will be updated with the changes against other currencies. Very simple and easy to use.
We are sure this app needs no introduction, but it is very popular in Rio! Tinder is THE app for singles who want to meet, chat, and date new people. The app works in YOUR local language, but you may need to use a translator to chat with locals’ singles as many do NOT speak English! Always be careful with people you may meet online and use your best judgment!
If you are traveling to other parts of Brazil besides Rio, all of the apps above (except #6) are great to download as well. Keep in mind that TGW Travel Group has been offering Brazil & Rio de Janeiro since 2004, so if you are looking for a no-hassle experience, check out our Brazil Vacation Packages.