Welcome To Brazil: Home Of $35 Pizzas

Justin Smith Contributor
Font Size:

Those traveling to Brazil this summer to the World Cup better bring their credit cards.

Brazil has become one of the most expensive country’s in the world, and it’s shocking those visiting for the World Cup expecting low prices due to the country’s astounding poverty rate. Unlike the countries surrounding Brazil, where American and European money seems to last forever, Brazil is astoundingly pricey.

Pizza in Rio commonly sells for $35, and cheeseburgers go for upwards of $17. The steep prices in Brazil are commonly referred to as “Brazil Cost,” the combination of high taxes and import tariffs coupled with an inefficient government and crumbling infrastructure.

Brazil is naturally expensive, however, when those high prices are coupled with the World Cup, expenses go through the roof. A hotel room in Rio averages $445 a night, add in food and other expenses and a person will spend an average of amount of $682 a day. Even in less expensive cities such as Sao Paolo, a person will spend an average $477 a day.

Tickets to games are going to cost you even more. According to ticket search engine SeatGeek, tickets for the World Cup final in Rio are fetching upwards of $5,956. To put this in perspective, fans paid $2,536 on average to attend last years Super Bowl. Rafael Alcadipani, a business administration professor at Brazil’s top think tank, said “Anything you buy in Brazil will be more expensive than in the United States or Europe, but the quality is going to be worse.”

According to experts, Brazil’s prices are so high in part because their government can’t keep up with demand. A fifth of Brazil’s population joined the middle class in the last decade, sparking a spending spree among many. In an effort to protect its local industries, Brazil charges high tariffs on most of its imported goods.

For example, the newest iPhone 5s costs $649 in the US, but it costs an astonishing $1,250 in Brazil. Brazil’s $6.28 Big Mac is among the most expensive in the world. Even household items such as shaving cream and toothbrushes are double and triple the prices of everywhere else in the world.

“Everything is expensive,” said a woman at a shopping mall in Rio, “Clothing, cars, and food… Here, you pay a lot and you get very little. Prices were already high, but now they’re impossible.”