Juliana Mello

Juliana Mello

The Brazil Business


Cost of living in Natal

Juliana Mello

Juliana Mello

The Brazil Business


One of the most promising capitals of the Brazilian Northeast region, Natal has an economic potential still half explored, what has been attracting a lot of foreigners. Know more about how much a professional would spend while living in this city.

Natal is the capital and largest city of Rio Grande do Norte state, located in the extreme Northeast of Brazil. With a population of 803.206 inhabitants, the city guarantees a much calmer and relaxed living than São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Natal is also considered the safest Brazilian capital city, according to IPEA (Institute of Applied Economic Research of Brazil).

Famous for its beaches and white sand dunes, Natal has the tourism as its most important economic activity. However, the city is one of the areas that most receive foreign investments, especially in the oil industry (Rio Grande do Norte is the second largest oil-producing state in Brazil, only behind Rio de Janeiro), mostly supported by Petrobras SA. Natal also counts with a strong fishing industry and great wind energy potential.

Natal is not called the Terra do Sol (City of the Sun) for nothing. The city has a typical tropical climate, with high temperatures throughout the year. However, the weather is wet and windy, what makes it more comfortable. Anyhow, to live there it is necessary to be adapted with using lots and lots of sunscreen, because the heat never gives a break.


When it comes to real estate, Natal is the most expensive Northeast capital. The high demand enhanced by the fact that there is a lot of foreigners acquiring properties in the city brought a lot of speculation to the real estate market. Still, the rent values are much lower than in Southeast capitals.

There is a river dividing the city between downtown and the outskirts. In downtown you will find a better quality of life, as the outskirts are completely unstructured and impoverished. The neighborhoods of Capim Macio, Cidade Jardim, Tirol, Lagoa Nova and Ponta Negra are the best ones to live in. The coastal neighborhood of Ponta Negra has the highest concentration of foreign people.

Item Price
Renting Furnished Flat in Ponta Negra (38 m2) BRL 1000 (per month)
Renting Furnished Apartment in Ponta Negra (55 m2) BRL 1600 (per month)
Renting Unfurnished Apartment in Ponta Negra (170 m2) BRL 2200 (per month)

Flats have housekeeping services included

Foods and Beverage

Eating in Natal is not expensive at all. Because of tourism, there are a lot of restaurants competing for clients. A good option is the seafood, fresh and cheap all year round. For those who prefer a hamburger, all the main fast food chains are present in the city, predominantly in the largest avenues of Natal.

Item Price
Large whole grain bread BRL 3,99
500 gram Ham BRL 5,40
150 gram Philadelphia cream cheese BRL 4,50
Frozen meal BRL 7,95
600 ml Coca Cola BRL 1,50
2.5 l Coca Cola BRL 3,99
300 ml Mainstream local Beer BRL 1,30
500 ml Imported Beer BRL 16,00
Big Mac Menu BRL 17,00
European style lunch (double sandwich + coffee ) BRL 10,00
Simple Brazilian style lunch (buffet + juice) BRL 22,50
Nice Brazilian style lunch (all you can eat buffet + desert) BRL 36,90
Tall Starbucks Cappuccino BRL 8,00
Generic Cafe Americano BRL 2,00


Despite being a big city, Natal does not count with a subway or train network, what makes the traffic really intense during the peak times. The city also has no specific ways for cyclists, so the only viable options are buses and automobiles.

Item Price
Taxi BRL 2,15 to 3,00 (per km)
Bus single fare BRL 2.20
Car rent BRL 30,00 (per day)
1 liter of fuel BRL 2.59


As mentioned above, Natal has breathtaking beaches. Those places are alone a very good choice to spent some leisure time. Although going to the beaches may offer some relaxant moments, in the high season (from November to March) it can be a living hell. Living in Natal is about getting used to the alternation between extreme quiet moments and agitated, noisy, people going out of everywhere moments.

The main avenues are full of bars and clubs, but during the months of low season they are less eventful. Natal also counts with several cinemas, parks and great shopping malls.

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