Curitiba is celebrated as Brazil’s modern urban masterpiece. Designed and developed with green spaces and eco-friendly living in mind, Curitiba is the most futuristic city in Brazil. Curitiba is home to a number of green spaces, excellent public transport and affordable housing. For anyone wanting to see Brazil’s future, Curitiba is the place to visit! But is Curitiba safe?
Safety is often a concern of anybody visiting Brazil, and sadly Curitiba is no exception. Brazil’s crime rate can often be worryingly high and were often in the headlines during the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, Curitiba is one of the safer cities to visit. Although still a concern, and particularly at night, crime is relatively low here making it an excellent travel destination.
As it is inland and lacks the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, it is one of Brazil’s less touristy cities. Although relatively unknown, Curitiba has a lot to offer travelers and is well worth a visit. The Palácio Belvedere is a stunning example of Art Noveau and the Museu Oscar Niemeyer is a showcase in modern architecture. Cathedrals, plazas and markets can be found around the city offering a glimpse of life for Curitiba residents. If you enjoy beautiful town planning, Curitiba is a spectacular place to visit.
While it is safe, there are dangers for tourists. By reading our guide you can visit and enjoy all Curitiba, Brazil has to offer while staying safe.
Is Curitiba Safe to Travel in 2021?
With Brazil’s reputation as being unsafe, is Curitiba safe to travel? Luckily, Curitiba is one of Brazil’s safest cities and considered safe to travel. The crime figures are relatively low compared to the other large cities, so it is a great place to visit right now. However, like all of Brazil, crime is still an issue here and it is something all tourists should be aware of.
Curitiba is the capital of the Paraná region. The city is much smaller than Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, with a modest population of 1.7 million inhabitants. The city is world-famous for being one of the best examples of eco-conscious urban planning. It is often celebrated as ‘the greenest city on Earth’ and ‘the World’s most environmentally friendly city.’ This move towards green urban planning began 40 years ago when they pedestrianized the main shopping area over a weekend. An excellent bus and tube system followed, the envy of the rest of Brazil (and the world!)
Curitiba is one of the world’s greenest cities, with there being 50 square meters of green space per resident. Many of the city’s floodplains were converted into parks. All this makes it a fantastic and innovative city to visit.
The city has a number of attractions to keep tourists busy. The Largo da Ordem is a great place to start exploring the historic area. Here you can find a number of beautifully restored buildings, bars, restaurants and art galleries. Further out is the celebrated Botanical Garden with its iconic glasshouse. Unlike other Brazilian cities, the city was developed with a focus on keeping these buildings intact and preserved.
Is Curitiba Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Curitiba is a safe city and a great place for solo female travelers. However, solo female travelers should take extra precautions to stay safe. This begins when choosing where to stay. When booking a hotel or hostel, try to avoid quiet and more remote neighbourhoods away from the tourist area in the center. Many of the city’s hotels are located here, which is the safest place to stay.
Solo female travelers should avoid walking around at night alone. If you must walk at night, stick to well-lit streets and avoid backstreets. If you are going to a restaurant or bar, it is best to take an Uber or certified taxi.
Depending on the type of traveler you are, hostels can be perfect for solo female travelers. Hostels offer extra services to help you stay safe in Curitiba. They will help you book certified taxis and guided tours. They are great places to meet other travelers to explore the city with. Some also organise bar crawls which is a fantastic and safe way to experience Curitiba’s nightlife.
Many have female-only dorm beds from as well as single rooms. With rates starting as low as $10, this also a fantastic budget option. Our favorite is Garibaldi Hostel e Cafe which is highly rated and is in a great location.
Is Curitiba Safe to Live?
Compared to Brazil’s megacities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba is a safe place to live. The Paraná region boasts one of the highest standards of living in all of Brazil. This makes it an excellent place to live in Brazil. One of the biggest safety concerns for those living in Curitiba is muggings. Once you have lived for a short time, you will quickly know which areas to stay away from.
Walking alone at night is one of the biggest things to avoid. It is unlikely you will need to walk around at night. Curitiba was the second country to install a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). It is a world-famous bus system and has inspired other cities around the world, such as Ecuador and Indonesia. Once you become familiar with the city, this is a safe and affordable way to travel during the day. Many of them are also powered by electricity and biodiesel. It is best to avoid these at night.
Many residents have their own transport. With 1.2 million of the 1.8 million residents owning a car, it is the highest ratio of car ownership in Brazil. This can lead to heavy traffic. However, it is often much safer for traveling around the city in the evenings and is worth considering while living here.
One of the biggest concerns of people living in a city is air pollution. Thanks to its commitment to green spaces and eco-friendly development, Curitiba enjoys low pollution rates. Living here, you have access to the many parks and spaces which are all considered very safe during the day.
Is Curitiba Safe at Night?
Curitiba is safe at night as long as you are sensible. It is inadvisable to walk around exploring after dark. Instead, choose bars and restaurants in the main center which is where many of the tourist attractions and entertainment are located.
Wandering around the city center should be avoided at night. It often attracts pickpockets and frequent muggings have been reported. The Historic District is also best seen during the day. At night it tends to attract a lot of the city’s criminals looking to mug tourists walking home from the bars. It is also a popular area for the city’s homeless. Fights are known to break out on the main shopping street and police are often called to break it up.
While walking around Curitiba at night isn’t a good idea, there is still lots to do after dark. There are some great restaurants in Curitiba and make great night activities. One of the best ways to experience Curitiba’s nightlife is on an organized bar crawl, such as the popular Tour de Boteco. Make sure you travel to and from your chosen restaurant in a certified taxi or Uber.
Is the Water in Curitiba Safe to Drink?
The water in Brazil is safe to drink. However, due to the filtration process, it can often have a strange taste. Most locals prefer to drink bottled mineral water. Most restaurants and cafes won’t even offer tap water an option. Unlike many other South American countries, you don’t need to worry about ice in your drinks or how your salad was washed.
It is important to remain vigilant when buying bottled water. Smaller shops may refill used bottles from the tap. To avoid buying tap water, check the seal at the top of the bottle is still intact. If you are trying to be eco-friendly while visiting Curitiba, take your own reusable bottles. Most hotels and hostels will have filtered water units in their lobbies where you can refill. This is also incredibly cost-effective and good for the environment.
Are Taxis in Curitiba Safe?
Taxis and public transport are safe in Curitiba. However, the usual precautions should be followed when using a taxi. Make sure the taxi is fully licensed and negotiate a fee before you get in. Taxi drivers the world over love to double prices for tourists and Curitiba is no different!
Uber has now established itself in Curitiba. This is a great alternative to taxis and can often be much safer. The Uber app lets you check a driver’s rating before booking and the GPS tracks your journey. It only accepts cashless payments.
Curitiba has an excellent public bus network and it is one of the best in Brazil. It runs through all the major attractions and is a cost-effective way to travel around the city. Businesses were encouraged to develop along the bus routes. This means you are now never more than 400m away from a bus route in Curitiba. Although these do run in the evening, these should be avoided at night in favor of taxis and Ubers.
Top 9 Curitiba Safety Tips
Every Brazilian city has favelas. These are areas of low-income housing, usually made of shantytowns and slums. Favelas have high crime levels, often run by drugs lords. Although Curitiba is one of Brazil’s richer cities and has made an effort to improve affordable housing, 8% of the population still live in poverty in these areas. Although it can be tempting to explore these areas and see ‘authentic Brazil’, tourists should avoid them. If you do want to visit a favela, make sure you only do so as part of an organized tour. Tourists should avoid these areas at night at all costs.
Watch your pockets.
Pickpockets are sadly very common in Curitiba. However, you can take a few small steps to help protect yourself. When you are out exploring the city, make sure you leave any valuables at the hotel. Carry your bag in front of you where you can see it. Try to dress similarly to the locals to avoid attracting the unwanted attention of pickpockets.
Muggings are quite common in Curitiba, especially at night. These tend to happen in the tourist areas and downtown. If you do find yourself here at night, keep to the main roads and well-lit areas.
Make sure you have good travel insurance
Although following our tips will help you stay safe in Curitiba, things can always go wrong. It is important to have good travel and health insurance before you go. Before buying, check what is covered and make sure all your valuables are covered. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you will be very glad the second something goes wrong!
Use the hotel safe
Most hotels have a safe in the room and these can be used to store your valuables. It is unwise to walk around with valuables, passports or large amounts of cash. Instead, lock them away before you begin sightseeing. This will stop you from attracting the attention of pickpockets and let you relax and enjoy a day of exploring Curitiba.
Choose a licensed taxi or uber
When traveling by taxi, make sure you choose one that is certified. Make sure you agree on a price before you get in. Uber allows you to choose a driver and sets a standard price. Fees are paid electronically and so there is no need to handle cash. If you are arriving late at night, by especially careful traveling from the bus station.
Choose your ATM carefully
ATMs in Curitiba are generally safe. However, be mindful of where it is located before you use it. ATMs on the street are exposed to pickpockets and muggers. Instead, try to use ATMs that are in more secure locations. Most banks will have machines insides, as well as in a small room at night which is monitored by security cameras. Larger hotels will have ATMs in their lobbies and these offer a safe way to withdraw cash.
Know where you are staying
Before you begin exploring Curitiba, make sure you know where your hotel is located and its full address. That way you will be able to give the address to the taxi driving with confidence. If you are traveling on foot, walking as if you know where you are going is a great way to avoid trouble. By knowing where you are going you will not have to stand struggling over maps and quickly becoming a target for pickpockets and muggers.
Be wary of helpful locals
We aren’t saying say no to anyone trying to help you! Most locals are excited to help tourists and practice their English. However, some scam artists will try to appear helpful. Once they have lulled you into a false sense of security, they will try to rob you. They may lead you to quieter areas. Many use distraction tactics to take your attention elsewhere before taking your valuables. However, if you remain wary when excepting help from locals, you can avoid this.
Know the areas to avoid
Most tourists will stay and explore the historic district and city center. Both of these are safe during the day. However, many of Curitiba’s tourist areas can change once the sun goes down. It is better to stay in the center of the town in the tourist areas, but it is still not sensible to wander around. When you are walking through the main areas stay on well-lit streets and avoid dark corners as these are used by drug deals and petty criminals.
Many of the more dangerous areas have little to attract tourists. Crime is usually between gangs and is often drug-related. If you stick to the tourist areas in the center and the historical district you are unlikely to find yourself in these areas. Areas to avoid are: Sitio Cercado, Fazendinha, Pinheirinho, Cidade Industrial, Tatuquara.
So, Is Curitiba Safe?
On the whole, Curitiba is safe to travel to. Many tourists are cautious about traveling to Brazil as it is often considered unsafe. However, Curitiba is one of the safest cities in Brazil to visit. By avoiding dangerous areas at night and following our tips, it is possible to enjoy Curitiba while staying safe. It is a big city, and normal precautions should be taken.
As one of the greenest cities on Earth, this city is rich in history and culture. There is not a massive amount for tourists to do in Curitiba. A few days here is enough to explore and see all the main attractions. It is a great place to travel to Iguazu Falls, which are only 10 hours away by bus or 3 by plane. Very different to Brazil’s other large cities, Curitiba isn’t to be missed!