Every country has certain cultural and practical ‘rules’, however formal or informal. Brazil is no different. As a foreign tourist, it is a good idea to become familiar with the general do’s and don’ts so that you are comfortable and do not offend the locals of your destination. So, here are some tips:
• Make eye contact with those around you, even as you walk through the streets and marketplaces, or travel on public transport. This is considered to be normal and polite. It is also a safety measure, as pickpocket thieves are known to prey on those who do not make eye contact (since they can, presumably, not identify the people around them and the perpetrator of the crime).
• Be a careful, alert pedestrian, looking carefully before crossing the street. This is a busy country, with plenty of traffic.
• Leave the bulk of your money and important paperwork (passport, driver’s licence, etc...) in a safe place at your accommodation. Carry only the money you need for the day with you. If necessary, make photocopies of your paperwork to carry with you and leave the originals at your hotel.
• Pickpocketing is, unfortunately, a threat, particularly in bustling areas, full of locals and tourists making their way around the beautiful cities of Brazil. Therefore, when visiting a very busy area, do not wear valuable jewellery (including wristwatches) and do not carry cameras, money and wallets anywhere in or from which they can easily be seen or taken.
• Get drunk. Brazilians are not often drunk and do not respect others that indulge in far too much alcohol.
• Do drugs. It is illegal to use or be in possession of drugs in Brazil.
• Make use of prostitutes. They often supplement their income by robbing their clients.
• Opt for really cheap accommodation. Small accommodation providers are generally not willing to provide lodging for foreigners (which they may do, but begrudgingly) and may not offer the safety and conveniences of larger establishments.
• Leave your luggage, shopping or any other personal possessions unattended.
• Give money to beggars and street children. Although these ones pose little or no physical danger to you, they should not be supported financially.
• Walk in the streets or along the beaches after dark.