Traveling to Brazil? Nothing is worse than traveling to a new country and sticking out like a sore thumb. Before traveling to any destination, you need to make sure you have a few tips and tricks in mind to make sure you know the local life.
Brazil is an amazing country full of hospitality and nightlife. Here are some etiquette tips to follow whether you are with your foreign friends or hanging out with Brazilian locals you recently met.
Most Brazilian people experience life and spend time with friends outdoors. They don’t hang out in their living rooms or inside their apartments as many people from other countries do.
If you want to feel like a local with your new friends, make sure to spend time at sidewalk cafes or outdoor bars. This is where Brazilian people come to chat with friends and have a few drinks.
Brazil also offers many outdoor attractions like the Amazon Jungle and Iguazu falls where you can see the beauty of Brazil. If you’re spending too much indoors, you’re probably not seeing all that Brazil has to offer.
This one might seem weird, but Brazil is known for its juices. Most locals will choose to drink juice over water or another beverage. One of the best parts about the juice is that you will be able to have fruits and flavors you have never heard of before.
The juice vendors know the perfect combinations of mixes so you’ll end up with some amazing selections. Some places even have juice bars where you can sit on a stool and drink with the locals.
Juice bars can be a great place to practice your Portuguese and meet some friends.
Many Brazilians do not speak English. If you are not in one of the large cities, finding someone to speak English can be extremely difficult. Unless someone is very confident in their English, they will probably try to speak Portuguese with you and expect you to speak it back since you are in their country.
If you’re only in the country for a few weeks, you only need to know a few phrases. This will help you ask for directions, get taxis, and order food.
Brazilians know how to throw good parties. Your hotel or hostel will probably have a few. If you make local friends, they will probably invite you to a few parties since there is almost always one going on.
You might have also heard about Brazil’s famous parties, the Carnival and New Year’s Reveillon. Even if you aren’t in Brazil during this time, there will almost always be another party going on to make you feel like a real Brazilian.
If you arrive on time at a party or event, you will be the first one there. To avoid waiting for other people and wasting time, feel free to be late for everything you’re invited to. It’s not rude to be late or to be the last person to arrive.
Nothing is on time in Brazil including the buses. This can be annoying at first, but it can become enjoyable once you don’t have to rush everywhere anymore. Try not to stress about it or it can make your time much less enjoyable.
Brazilians are always dressed sharp no matter where they are going. This can often seem hard to do especially when the weather is so hot. However, this is one way that tourists often stand out when in Brazil. You might see them wearing shorts, tank tops, or sun dresses.
Brazilians tend to wear their best stylish clothing no matter where they are going. They also always keep their shoes looking new and polished. If you paint your nails, try to keep them looking new and polished as much as you can.
Brazilians do not eat on the go or have fast food. When you want to have a meal, sit down and relax. If someone invites you out for a meal, you should expect to spend two hours or more sitting with them and enjoying the food and drink.
Keep in mind that most Brazilians will eat everything with a knife and fork. Eating with the hands is extremely rare. Brazilians also try to keep their hands and mouth clean while eating, so make use of napkins.
Brazilians might also have different ways of greeting than you are used to in your culture. It’s customary to kiss people once on each cheek when meeting. Men also hug and put their arms around one another as a greeting or a sign of friendship.
It’s not uncommon to also see Brazilian couples kiss and hug each other in public. When leaving or entering a party, make sure you say hello and goodbye to every person. It’s considered rude to ignore people even when you might not know them well.
Tipping at restaurants, especially in large amounts, is considered weird. People will almost always know you’re not a local if you leave a large amount of money on the table as a tip. Tipping is also not expected, even at fancy restaurants.
If the service was excellent though or you want to show your appreciation, you can leave a few coins or small bills on the table. You might also want to give small tips to hotel employees if they have been helping you for the duration of your stay. Make sure you have enough local currency before you travel, even if tipping accounts for a minuscule expense, other adventures require a healthy stock of Real.
In all situations, Brazilians relax and don’t let worries from life get them down. Make sure to leave your stress on the plane and learn to relax like a true Brazilian. Many foreigners also find it easy to enjoy a vacation in Brazil since food and services are much cheaper than in their home countries.
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