Just like most big cities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro displays luxurious neighborhoods located right next to extreme poverty. Learn in this article what are the most expensive neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro and what its characteristics are.
The wealthy side
The Brazilian post card and most famous city, Rio de Janeiro is the main destination for foreigners who come to Brazil for leisure and the second for those who visit the country for business, only behind São Paulo, that still receives about 50% of the business tourists coming to Brazil.
Just like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro is a great example of the Brazilian social inequality. With the end of the slavery regime, former slaves were pushed to the outskirts of the city and to the hills, forming what today are known as “favelas”, what correspond to slums. Favelas in Rio are not only a matter of poverty, they represent a way of life completely different from those who live “on the pavement”, as the people who live in the “regulated” area of the city are referred to.
Green areas, industry and touristic attractions
While in São Paulo the features that make a neighborhood more expensive than the other is the amount of green, in Rio de Janeiro it is proximity to touristic attractions. This is probably because Rio de Janeiro is greener than São Paulo, so the amount of green areas, although important, is not a determinant to the high cost of the properties.
The 10 most expensive neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro are mostly residential areas, with few or no presence of offices. Differently from São Paulo, that has some of its most expensive neighborhoods located close to financial centers.
Also, another particularity of Rio de Janeiro is that its Southern area, which is where the most expensive neighborhoods are located, is a coastal area and the proximity to the beach increases the price of the sqm. São Paulo city is at almost 100km away from the closest beach.
The top 10
The ranking presented below is based on a recent study by Fipe (Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas) in a partnership with ZAP Imóveis that has ranked the wealthiest and the poorest neighborhoods in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro cities.
10th - Copacabana
One of the most famous neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana attracts thousands of tourists to its more than 80 hotels, which use to be packed during Carnaval and New Year’s celebration. The beachfront concentrates several events and concerts throughout the year.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 10.582,00
9th - Leme
Leme is a residential neighborhood located in the Southern side of Rio de Janeiro city. The neighborhood hosts several sports events, but has suffered from violence with the occupation of the two favelas located in the area.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 10.926,00
8th - Humaitá
Another residential neighborhood, Humaitá is one of the “cariocas” neighborhoods that still preserve a great number of old, traditional houses, being some of them considered to be historical heritage properties. The neighborhood is also a good destination for those who are looking for an intense night life. Humaitá houses several bars, stores and restaurants.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 11.414,00
7th - Urca
Traditional neighborhood of the Southern area of Rio de Janeiro, Urca is where the major touristic attractions in Rio de Janeiro – such as Morro do Pão de Açúcar – are located. The neighborhood also hosts important institutions, such as Rio de Janeiro Federal University and the Engineering Military Institute.
The neighborhood is considered to be the calmest in Rio de Janeiro, with a criminality rate as low as zero. This is due to the presence of the army and the non-existence of favelas in the area.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 11.508,00
6th - Vidigal / São Conrado
Located right next to Favela da Rocinha, São Conrado is one of the carioca neighborhoods that mostly exemplifies the social inequality in the city. The area offers several luxurious options such as São Conrado Fashion Mall and Gávea Golf Country Club.
It used to be the most expensive sqm in the city, but due to violence and the proximity to Favela da Rocinha, it now occupies the 6th position in the rank of most expensive neighborhoods in Rio.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 11.541,00
5th - Jardim Botânico
A neighborhood with an expressive green area, Jardim Botânico houses the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, Lage park and part of Tijuca forest. It is also where Rede Globo de Televisão, the major TV broadcaster in Brazil is located.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 13.141,00
4th - Gávea
Gávea neighborhood has the highest HDI in Rio de Janeiro state. It is a major touristic destination due to its night life, cultural centers and architecture. The neighborhood houses Moreira Salles Institute, Parque da Cidade, Gávea Shopping Mall and Gávea Planetarium. It also houses important educational institutes such as PUC university and Rio de Janeiro American School.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 13.889,00
The Lagoa neighborhood received this name because of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, located in the area. The neighborhood is mostly residential, so commerce is not so strong as it is in Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 14.769,00
2nd - Ipanema
Ipanema is a luxurious neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, known as one of the major touristic destinations in the area. The neighborhood is famous for its boutiques and high quality services such as restaurants, bars. It is in Ipanema that Av. Vieira Souto, where upscale residences are located.
- Cost per sqm: BRL 16.984,00
1st - Leblon
The most expensive sqm in Brazil, Leblon is an upscale neighborhood located in the Southern part of Rio de Janeiro city. The income per capita is of BRL 6.844,63 and Leblon is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city, with its value rising year by year.
- Cost per sqm: 18.332,00