Retire to Brazil: Is Brasilia A Good Place To Live?

Brasilia is the federal capital of Brazil, is considered one of the safest and most modern cities in Brazil. The people of this city are nice and the lifestyle is relaxed and luxurious on a low budget. 

Brasilia is one of the newest capital cities in the world. It is inexpensive and with good quality modern accommodation, great food, lots of entertainment and a luxurious lifestyle. Private healthcare systems of high standards and a perfect climate as well as clean and a planned town.

Lets dig into the specifics of what makes this a great town to retire in. 

What Is Special About Brasilia?

Temperature – 13 to 27 deg C / 55.4 to 80.6 F
Population – 3 million
Tourist Information:

Brasilia is the third biggest city in Brazil.  It is the Federal Capital of the country and one of the newest capital cities in the world.  Construction of the city began in 1956 and in 1960 it officially became the capital of Brazil. 

The South and North of the city are residential, commercial and entertainment precincts where you can find restaurants, bars and schools. The center of the city is made up of the government sector, ministries, administrative offices, the hotel sector, some commercial and sports centers.

The lifestyle in Brasilia is one of the most luxurious in Brazil without being expensive. So if you like a more middle class living environment in a cheaper country then Brasilia is the city for you. The climate is very pleasant being a tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 21 ° C or 69.8 F. This region has two main seasons which are: a dry season from May to September and a wet season from October to April.

Is Living In Brasilia Expensive?

For some general costs on monthly living in Brasilia you can check out the table below that includes most of the things everyone will pay.  These costs I collected on my recent trip.

Rent for a 3 bed 2 Bath FlatFrom 3,000 reals ($580 usd)
Utilities (Electricity, Gas)250 reals ($50 usd)
Internet 150 reals ($30 usd)
Mobile phone service package (30 days)30 reals ($5 usd)
Groceries400 reals ($75 usd per person)
Dining out (2 people at mid range restaurants including food and drinks)100 reals ($20 usd per person)
Healthcare150 reals ($30 usd per person)
Transport (Uber, Bus, Train)300 reals ($58 usd)

NOTE: This was right in the center of town and assumed two people in unit living. If you are single it will be a lot cheaper for a 2 or 1 bed unit or house. Also depending on the lifestyle you want and if you don’t dine out much or need a maid. You can live way cheaper with shared accomodation starting at $150 usd per month as well as much more for luxury accomodation.

What Supermarkets Are In Brasilia?

While the ability to eat out is cheap in Brasilia you may want to make the occasional meal at home, and that means going to a supermarket or grocery store. When searching on google maps look for the following phrases: mecardo, supermercado, hipermercado. The difference is the size of the store where the market (mercado) is the small local store or mini supermarket and goes up from there in size.  

So here is a list of the biggest chains in Brasilia:

Here is an example table of prices for some staples:

Milk1 Liter$0.80 USD
BreadLoaf$1.15 USD
Eggs20$2.65 USD
Butter500 grams$1.42 USD
Beef Mince1 kg$4.80 USD
Chicken Breast1 kg$1.68 USD
Beer6 pack$2.87 USD
Smirnoff Vodka1 Liter$5 USD

What Is The Food Like In Brasilia?

Brasilia as a fairly young city that was purpose built to be the capital has people from all over Brazil and therefore has food from all over Brazil.  Being a very metropolitan young city it also has a large selection of international foods as well.  Seeing that this is where all the politicians are with their expense accounts it generally tends to attract a better level of food culture and quality compared to the rest of Brazil.

Here are some popular restaurants and bars you may want to try:

What Types Of Transport Are In Brasilia?

Brasilia has a good public transport system for most parts of the city but you may still need a car to get around if you live on the edge of town.  Most of their buses are air-conditioned and in very good condition and run all over the city.  The train mainly runs through the center of town and to the airport so the rest of the time you will be on the bus or driving.

Train Map

Here is the list of all the transport options available:

What To Do In Brasilia?

Brasilia has a couple of interesting places and activities. One of them is the possibility of practicing water sports in Lake Paranoá, which is an artificial lake that was dammed from a river during the construction of the city. There are some clubs like Clube do Vento and Adventure Club where you can practise sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Other attractions are some parks, museums, squares and amusement parks that you can visit. The city closes the main north to south road on Sunday mornings for the enjoyment of recreational activities such as bike riding, running, walking and roller skating.

Here is a great list of the places you should not miss:

How To Rent Or Buy In Brasilia

Brasilia has a large residential area along the main north-south road which is made up of apartments. Many of them have a rooftop pool and recreation area as well as small sports and recreation centers around them. With the growth of the city they have also opened up the southwest area for apartements as well.

The city also has two areas of large residential houses located around the lake, one of them located in the northern part and another in the southern part. Keep in mind when looking for a house or apartment to choose one that is within the central area or Plano Piloto de Brasilia.

Whether you are buying or renting there are options for all budgets in Brasilia. If you are looking for something really cheap then you can go to facebook marketplace. Change your filter to Brasilia and then click on Property Rentals or House Sales. Remember prices will be in local Real R$.

While you will find places to buy there you will be dealing directly with the homeowner. As with buying any property in any country make sure you get the right legal advice prior to purchase to make sure the paperwork is in order.

It is always safer for buying or long term leases to go through a real estate agent instead and I have taken the liberty to list a few for you to look at below. They will tell you about local laws, fees and taxes that may be involved.

Top Real Estates To Look At In Brasilia:

TIP: I generally use Airbnb for the first month with their large discounts on stays over 30 days to get me started and then look for local property. Just be careful for those long stays you have to cancel or change 1 month out or you are stuck with it.

What is the Language in Brasilia?

The national language of Brazil is Portugese but you will find that since the country is surrounded by Spanish countries and the languages ​​are so similar they normally speak both or at least a little Spanish. The younger generation is learning English and so in most major cities they all speak a little English and with apps like Duolingo it has made it easy for older people to learn English as well.

You can download the DuoLingo App on your phone available in iTunes and Google Play or you can use it on your computer with the web browser. Use this for a few months and get a couple of levels up doing at least 2 to 3 lessons a day or more.

How Safe Is Brasilia?

Brasilia is one of the safest cities in Brazil and this is mainly due to the education and social class that live in the city. I personally felt safe during my stay. This does not mean like with any large city in the world you don’t take basic safety precautions. Much like you would in London or New York.

If at any time you have an emergency these are the numbers you can call. You can make the call for free from your cell phone and most of them are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • 100 – Human Rights Hotline
  • 180 – Women’s Assistance Hotline
  • 181 – Crime Reporting Hotline
  • 190 – Military Police
  • 192 – Public Ambulance (SAMU)
  • 193 – Corpo de Bombeiro (Fire Service)

All these numbers apply to all of Brazil.

Health Care

The Unified Health System is the name of the public health system in Brazil. The states administer it and it is financed by local, state and federal taxes as well as social contributions. It looks after primary medical care, specialized outpatient and hospital care. It also manages prescription drug coverage. The system is available to anyone legally in the country including tourists.

While medical care is free there are large wait times for procedures and you are much better to pay the average $120 a month for private medical insurance. These private medical services are of very high quality and would give you much higher peace of mind.

Post-Covid the private medical care means you jump to the top of the list. While the public system was overcapacity in Brazil during Covid the private hospitals prioritize those with private cover.

Here are some of the biggest national Private Health Care Providers:

TIP: If the website does not have an English version open in Microsoft Edge or Chrome Browser and it will translate it for you.

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