Coming to Rio for the Olympics? It’s not too late to find a place to stay. While many of Rio’s hotels are fully booked—and competition is fierce for the few spare rooms left—it’s worth considering alternative sources of accommodation, such as Airbnb.
So, how is Airbnb different from a hotel? Well, you’re more likely to see your hosts on a daily basis, live a life more like that of a Carioca (a Rio native), and enjoy hospitality that will be more personal—if less polished. If you’re open to this, here are eight of the coolest places in Copacabana still available during the Olympic Games. The selection is diverse in price, available amenities, and maximum number of guests; however, all are verified spaces, either through the a network of Airbnb reviews or through personal visits. All prices are in Brazilian reais. (Convert to dollars here.)
Option One (350 BRL/night)
This cozy, centrally-located apartment has one double bedroom available. Guests (maximum two) are welcome to share all facilities and amenities (bathroom, living room, dining table, kitchen, wireless internet) with the hosts, Flavy and Pedro.
I went to visit Flavy and her apartment this week. Her place was even more pleasant in person, with a well-decorated living room, bright dining area and small but fully equipped kitchen. Flavy was very friendly both online and in person, showing me around her apartment, expressing her enthusiasm about showing guests around Rio, and grinning whilst trying out her English on me.
After the apartment tour I left to explore the area. Flavy and Pedro’s apartment is perhaps the most well-located one on this list; sandwiched by a supermarket and a drugstore, opposite the famous flip-flop store Havaianas, and a block away from a currency exchange store, Copacabana beach and the less crowded Leme beach—it is an excellent base from which to explore Rio!
Option Two (570 BRL/night)
This bright private bedroom is a part of a well-located three-bedroom apartment in Copacabana. Guests will share facilities like the bathroom, kitchen, and living room with other guests.
The hosts, Peter and Anne, have been a part of Airbnb for more than five years. Highly experienced with more than 400 reviews under their belt, Peter and Anne have 4.5 star ratings for this guest bedroom.
The apartment building is located in a fairly safe area, but it nonetheless enjoys 24-hour security. In addition, it is located only two blocks from Copacabana beach and Copacabana Palace. There are also bus and metro stations within a few minutes’ walking distance.
Option Three (650 BRL/night)
This bright suite is available for up to two guests, and is fitted with its own TV and air conditioner. The host, Carlos, has been a member of Airbnb for almost three years, and has a string of positive reviews about his general hospitality, as well as about this specific bedroom, which has a 4.5 star rating based on factors such as cleanliness, value, and location.
Carlos’s apartment is indeed well located, with two bus stops nearby, Copacabana beach three blocks away, and an array of nearby cafés and bars.
Option Four (700 BRL/night)
Full disclosure – this guest house is not technically located in Copacabana; instead, it’s based in the quieter, calmer neighborhood directly adjacent to it, known as Leme. This peace, however, is truly a part of the guest house’s appeal, alongside its history, as can be seen in the beautiful, early 20th-century architecture and furniture.
Don’t worry though, it still has modern amenities – for example, the multilingual* hosts, Guy & Danielle Pirmez, also provide complimentary wifi. Other perks include balconies in the bedrooms, a separate toilet for guests, and a hearty breakfast. With such features, this guest house also enjoys 4.5 star ratings.
*English, French and Portuguese
Option Five (900 BRL/night)
This simple, bright apartment includes beds for up to four guests (double bed and sofa bed), a fully-equipped kitchen, wireless internet, a modern bathroom, and a service area complete with a washing machine. It is located a minute away from the bus station, three minutes from the nearest metro station, and six minutes from Copacabana beach, and is also surrounded by a cluster of bars and cafés.
The apartment has been reviewed 15 times, and currently had a five star rating among its guests. Maria Regina, the host, is also popular; due partially to these ratings, as well as to her extensive experience as host, high response rate, and consistent commitment to confirmed reservations, she is considered an Airbnb “superhost”.
Option Six (900 BRL/night)
This recently reformed studio, with its double bed and sofa bed, can also accommodate up to four guests. Its amenities include high security (24 hour porteiros and a network of security cameras), a 40” television, 15M wifi, a washing machine, microwave, and even an Italian coffee machine!
The multilingual* hosts, Thibault and Nayara, have had 16 reviews for their apartment, with an average rating of 5 stars. Guests raved about the hospitality of Thibault and Nayra, the location of the building (at the end of Copacabana, right beside Ipanema, this apartment enjoys proximity to both beaches, as well as a host of bars, restaurants and shops), and about the comfort and beauty of the apartment itself.
*English, Spanish, French and Portuguese
Please note that each owner may have further requirements with booking and payment. Some have a minimum number of nights to stay (4 days, a week etc.), and others may ask for security deposits or cleaning fees.
All these guest spaces were available for the Olympic Games at time of publication.