5 best cities to live in Brazil

Where should you call home when you move to South America?

Kevin Crain

By Kevin Crain

People on beach in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is a land of breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant cultures. It’s also the largest country in South America! With its diverse cities offering a wide array of lifestyles, it’s no wonder the best cities to live in Brazil attract both expats looking for new adventures and locals searching for the perfect place to call home. 

In this guide, we’ll share the top five cities in Brazil, each with its unique charm and appeal. From the bustling streets of São Paulo to the laid-back lifestyle of Florianópolis, these cities cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. 

These are some of the best places to live in Brazil! Especially when you stay in a fully furnished Blueground apartment. With flexible leases and stylish homes, Blueground lets you stay for a month, a year, or as long as you need to explore every inch of Brazil. 

São Paulo

Sao Paulo skyline and bridge

Brazil’s largest city and the financial heart of the nation, São Paulo is the epitome of a concrete jungle. The city is a powerful economic hub, attracting professionals, entrepreneurs, and job seekers from around the world. Its towering skyscrapers house a variety of businesses and opportunities, earning it the title of the “New York of South America.” But São Paulo isn’t all business. 

São Paulo offers so much to see and do, including rich cultural experiences like theaters, art galleries, and world-class restaurants. The city’s eclectic mix of people has given rise to a vibrant arts scene, and the internationally diverse cuisine will satisfy even the most discerning palates. For the night owls, when the sun sets, the city comes alive with a great nightlife scene, making São Paulo an enticing place for both work and play.

Trying to figure out where to stay in São Paulo? The city’s Jardins district, with its tree-lined streets and upscale shops, is one of the most desirable areas for expats. Nearby Vila Madalena offers a more bohemian atmosphere, known for its artistic and laid-back vibe. Both neighborhoods provide distinct experiences. It just depends on what you’re looking for. 

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro and mountains from above

Known as the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Marvelous City), Rio de Janeiro lives up to its name with its stunning natural beauty. The city’s landscape is dominated by lush mountains that slope down to meet the warm waters of the South Atlantic Ocean. World-famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema provide the ideal backdrop for a life of leisure. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue watches over the city from Corcovado Mountain, and the lush Tijuca Forest offers numerous trails for nature enthusiasts.

But there’s more to Rio than just green spaces. The city’s lively Carnival is world-renowned and celebrated with samba parades, colorful costumes, and an electric atmosphere. For outdoor enthusiasts, the options are endless, from surfing and hiking to beach volleyball along the picturesque shores. Bump, set, and spike! 

Expat-friendly neighborhoods such as Leblon and Santa Teresa offer a mix of local charm and welcoming international communities. Leblon features upscale boutiques and fine dining establishments. Santa Teresa, on the other hand, boasts a bohemian spirit, making it an great option for those who want a unique experience in while staying in Rio de Janeiro for a month or longer.


Person relaxing near water in Brasilia

Brazil’s modern capital, Brasília, is a city designed with purpose and precision. Planned and constructed in the late 1950s, it’s absolutely unique. There are innovative architectural details to marvel at in this city that serves political heart of the country. In fact, the city’s layout was meticulously designed, with its iconic, futuristic buildings forming a distinct airplane shape when viewed from above.

Green spaces, broad avenues, and the city’s well-planned layout provide residents with a comfortable and family-friendly environment. The abundance of parks and recreational areas is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Because of the city’s administrative importance, there’s a big expat community here, as well as the headquarters of international organizations.


Curitiba botanical garden in Brazil

Looking for a green living in Brazil? Located in the southern state of Paraná, Curitiba is often cited as a model of urban planning and sustainability. The city’s focus on environmental initiatives and quality of life has made it a highly desirable place to call home. Plus, Curitiba boasts a terrific public transportation system with an extensive network of buses along with the Bus Rapid Transit system.

As one of the best cities to live in Brazil, Curitiba boasts numerous parks, including the expansive Barigui Park, provide ample space for outdoor activities, picnics, and relaxation. Cultural events and festivals are held year-round, ensuring there’s always something to see and do.

The Batel and Ecoville neighborhoods are favorites of expats living in Brazil. And it’s no surprise! After all, these districts are home to phenomenal restaurants and cultural venues, as well as easy access to public transportation.


Aerial view of buildings in Florianópolis

Say hello to the island life. Florianópolis, often referred to as the “Magic Island,” is a picturesque city located on an island in southern Brazil. With over 40 beautiful beaches, this city is a haven for fans of fresh air. Surfing, windsurfing, and paragliding are just a few of the activities that residents can enjoy all year long. Do you enjoy a slower pace? Thanks to this city’s relaxed lifestyle and friendly locals, it may be right up your alley.

Neighborhoods like Jurere Internacional and Campeche are popular among expats due to their welcoming atmosphere. Jurere Internacional is an upscale area known for its luxury homes and pristine beaches, while Campeche is more relaxed and affordable. Either way, you’ll feel right at home in one of the best cities to live in Brazil. 

Find your perfect place in Brazil

Living room in Mexico City apartment

In this diverse and vibrant country, the top five cities each offer a different mix of culture, economic opportunities, and quality of life. But what’s the best city for you? It ultimately depends on your individual preferences and priorities. 

However, if you want to make living in Brazil as easy as possible, be sure to consider staying in Blueground’s turnkey apartments. Each is located in the most sought-after neighborhoods in Brazil and comes with a fully equipped kitchen. So pack your bags and get ready for an amazing time in Brazil! 

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain is a writer from Dallas, Texas. He’s dedicated to helping every Blueground guest live like a local and make their apartment feel like home. His favorite topics include active experiences, bucket list essentials, and hidden gems in cities around the world.