Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil (Updated)

Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil (Updated)

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Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Brazil (Updated) 595
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Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

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Reviewed By

Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Brazil (Updated) 595
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Brazil (Updated) 597
Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Brazil (Updated) 599

Jo S., Faheem H., and Marc T.

Are you aware of the Top 10 Reasons Why We Celebrate Carnival Day in Brazil? According to that, when it comes to dream destinations, Brazil has always captured the imagination of travelers worldwide. So today, in the World’s #1 Source of Research-Based Content, The Daily Top 10, we are going to bring to light a serious topic, the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil (Updated).

With its stunning natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and exotic allure, it’s no wonder Brazil ranks high on the bucket lists of many adventure seekers. Similar to the Top 10 Best Places in Brazil to Celebrate Carnival Day, this article is an exclusive compilation of the Top 10 rankings related to Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil. It features all the behaviors and actions that should never be exhibited by immigrants in the country of Brazil.

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So, join us as we delve into the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil (Updated). But before that, go through the Top 10 Best & Most Popular Places to Visit in Germany (Updated).

What is the Most Important Thing Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil?

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As we are going to conclude our exploration of Brazil, it is evident that this vibrant nation offers a tapestry of experiences, from awe-inspiring natural wonders to rich cultural heritage. While concerns about safety and navigating unfamiliar territory may arise, it’s important to approach Brazil with an open mind and a spirit of adventure. So, by staying informed and taking necessary precautions, you can minimize any potential risks and enjoy your journey with peace of mind.

While places like Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon, and Sao Paulo are undoubtedly captivating, there’s a whole world of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So, don’t be afraid to step off the well-trodden tourist path and explore lesser-known destinations that showcase Brazil’s diverse beauty.

Before we identify the Most Important Thing Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil, let’s check out the rest of the other facts now! You can also learn about the Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad in the UK.


Criticizing Brazil

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Brazilians love to criticize their country, but they do not accept criticism from foreigners. Though Brazilians are becoming more vocal in their criticisms of their own country, foreign visitors should not feel free to do the same. Speaking Brazilian advice: if you hear a Brazilian speaking badly about their country, smile and nod. If you agree or add anything, you will make enemies.

Even though Brazilians are frustrated by social injustice and corruption, they are also proud of their nation. Brazilians don’t like outsiders looking down on their nation. However, if you say good things about Brazil, the natives will love you and be your best friends. If you want to win new Brazilian friends, feel free to praise them as much as you want.


Leaving Your Bags on the Floor

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The Culture Trip says there are several reasons why it’s not advisable to leave your bag on the floor in Brazil as it increases the risk of theft. Opportunistic thieves can easily snatch your bag and disappear quickly, sometimes without you even noticing. Brazil is a tropical country with a variety of insects and critters and when sitting outside, there’s a chance that a creepy-crawly might crawl over or even find its way into your bag. To avoid any unwelcome surprises, it’s best to keep your bag off the ground.

Leaving your bag on the floor is considered bad luck in Brazilian society. Whether or not you believe in superstitions, you may find locals advising you against this practice. So, by respecting local customs and taking precautions against theft and unwanted guests, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience while exploring Brazil.


Walking Around With Valuables

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Brazil has unfortunately gained a reputation for high crime rates, particularly in relation to theft and assaults. While these incidents predominantly occur in poorer areas or regions controlled by drug gangs, it’s important to exercise caution regardless of your location. To minimize the risk of becoming a target, it’s advisable to avoid displaying valuable items such as expensive jewelry or electronic devices while walking in public areas.

According to Nomadic, when you go to the beach, don’t take anything unnecessary; only go with a towel, bathing suit, and a small amount of cash. It’s also recommended to refrain from using your phone on the street, as this can attract unwanted attention. By being mindful of your belongings and adopting a low-profile approach, you can reduce the likelihood of being targeted by thieves and ensure a safer travel experience in Brazil.


Wandering Into Favelas

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Favelas, which are informal settlements or shanty towns, are an integral part of Brazil’s urban landscape. While some favelas have undergone positive transformations and are considered safe to visit, it’s generally advisable to exercise caution and avoid entering favelas unless accompanied by a trusted local guide. Many favelas are controlled by powerful and illegal drug gangs, and wandering into these areas without proper knowledge or guidance can be extremely dangerous.

Although favelas are more dangerous than the rest of the city, they’re also creative and cultural hubs of the country, so say Lonely Planet. These guided experiences offer insights into the social and cultural aspects of favelas while ensuring your safety and minimizing potential risks. Always prioritize your personal safety and seek reliable information before venturing into any favela in Brazil.


Taking Self-Guided Trips to National Parks

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Brazil is blessed with breathtaking natural wonders, including national parks like the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest. While some national parks can be explored independently, others are best experienced with the assistance of qualified and reputable guides. The Pantanal and the Amazon, for example, are vast and complex ecosystems that require expert knowledge to navigate safely.

The Culture Trip says qualified guides possess valuable insights into the local flora and fauna, understand the potential risks and challenges of the environment, and can provide essential guidance in case of emergencies. By opting for guided tours in these areas, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experts. You will also maximize your safety, and enhance your overall experience of Brazil’s remarkable natural heritage.


Rooting for Another South American Country

Rooting-For-Another-South-American-Country -Player
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The battle for cultural and political supremacy in South America has a long history that dated back to colonial times. Spain and Portugal split the South American continent between themselves during the period of the great maritime European explorers. But the conflict for pieces of land and a lot of other things lingered for centuries.

In the area of sports, you should feel free to enthusiastically root for your sports team, provided they are not playing against Brazil. Brazil’s fierce rivalry with their South American neighbors is pretty heartfelt. Fodors advice that  you need to beware of how you express your admiration for any South American football star e.g. the Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi.


Assuming Everyone Speaks Your Language

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While English is spoken in some tourist areas and by some locals, it is not widely spoken throughout Brazil. Many Brazilians primarily speak Portuguese, and assuming that everyone understands English can lead to communication challenges. While Spanish shares similarities with Portuguese, it is not universally understood either. Therefore, making an effort to learn a few basic phrases in Portuguese can go a long way in facilitating interactions and showing respect for the local culture.

The Culture Trip explains that Brazilians appreciate visitors who make an attempt to communicate in Portuguese, even if it’s just a simple greeting or thank you. Learning basic phrases like “hello” (olá), “thank you” (obrigado/obrigada), and “excuse me” (com licença) can make a positive impression and help bridge the language barrier. Additionally, carrying a pocket-sized Portuguese phrasebook or using translation apps can be handy for everyday communication needs during your stay in Brazil.


Being Careless When You Swim

Image Source: The Culture Trip

Brazil boasts a vast coastline and numerous beaches that attract locals and tourists alike. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when swimming due to several factors. Firstly, some waters may be polluted, especially in urban areas or near industrial zones. As mentioned by Travellers Worldwide, Brazil’s nature is beautiful but often dangerous and so you need to be careful when swimming, as beaches often have riptides.

Secondly, certain regions in Brazil experience strong waves and powerful currents, posing risks for swimmers, particularly those who are inexperienced or not familiar with the local conditions. It’s crucial to respect warning signs, swim in designated areas with lifeguard supervision, and follow any safety instructions provided. Finally, it’s worth noting that Recife, a coastal city in Brazil, is known for an unusually high population of bull sharks, making it one of the world’s most shark-infested beaches.


Expecting Exact Timekeeping

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In Brazil, timekeeping is often approached in a more relaxed and flexible manner compared to some other cultures. It’s common for appointments or events to start later than scheduled, typically with a delay of around 20 to 30 minutes. According to The Culture Trip, this casual attitude towards punctuality is deeply ingrained in the local culture, and locals seldom rush to adhere to strict timelines.

Instead of getting frustrated by potential delays, embrace the laid-back approach to time and adapt to the local rhythm. Use the extra time to appreciate the surroundings, engage in conversations, or simply enjoy a leisurely moment. Adjusting to the local concept of time can enhance your experience, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the relaxed and unhurried pace of Brazilian life.


Throwing Toilet Papers to the Basin

Wash Basin
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One important cultural aspect to keep in mind when visiting Brazil is the disposal of toilet paper. In many places throughout the country, it is customary not to throw toilet paper in the toilet bowl. Instead, it is advised to discard used toilet paper in a designated bin located next to the toilet. Accordingly, Throwing Toilet Papers to the Basin is the Most Important Thing Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil.

According to The Brazil Business, this practice helps prevent clogging of the plumbing system, especially in older buildings or areas with less robust infrastructure. While it may take some adjustment if you’re not accustomed to this practice, respecting local customs is important to maintain cleanliness and functionality in public restrooms. Familiarize yourself with this practice and follow suit to avoid any potential plumbing issues and contribute to the overall hygiene standards in the places you visit.

What are the Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil?

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Brazil offers far more than its iconic landmarks and world-renowned cities. However, amidst the allure, there are often concerns about safety and uncertainty about what to expect.

From the enchanting landscapes of Bonito to the golden beaches of Fortaleza, these off-the-beaten-track locations provide a unique and authentic glimpse into the heart and soul of the country. This article aims to unravel the contrasting images of Brazil and provide valuable insights to help you make the most of your journey.

The following are the Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do in Brazil:

  1. Throwing Toilet Papers to the Basin
  2. Expecting Exact Timekeeping
  3. Being Careless When You Swim
  4. Assuming Everyone Speaks Your Language
  5. Rooting for Another South American Country
  6. Taking Self-Guided Trips to National Parks
  7. Wandering Into Favelas
  8. Walking Around With Valuables
  9. Leaving Your Bag on the Floor
  10. Criticizing Brazil

By venturing off-the-beaten track, embracing the local culture, and taking necessary precautions, you can unlock the true essence of Brazil and create lifelong memories.

In addition to this, if you love to read more Travel, Food, and Drinks articles, check out the Top 10 Healthiest and Most Popular Cheeses in the WorldTop 10 Nutritious Foods that You Should be Eating Every DayTop 10 Best Pancake Recipes in the World and the Top 10 Best and Most Popular Margarita Recipes to Make at Home. So, we hope you enjoyed this and if you did, please leave a comment!


Top 10 Things Foreigners Should Never Do In Brazil (Updated)


Saumya M.
Author: Saumya M.

Saumya M. is a passionate content writer known for her impeccable storytelling and research. She has covered topics ranging from travel and lifestyle to entertainment, community, and education. She helps people live their best lives and reach their full potential.

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