The Best Favela Hostels in Rio de Janeiro

Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel
Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel | © Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel
Photo of Sarah Brown
7 September 2017

While favelas may receive a bad press in international news, not all are dangerous, poverty-stricken areas. Attempts have been made to rename favelas ‘communities’ to change the perspective towards them and help visitors see their growing cultural scene. Although not every favela is safe, some in the south zone of Rio are and tourists can experience a different side to Rio by staying in one of the hostels located there.

Walk on the Favela

Bar, Brazilian
Map View
rooftop bars in Copacabana
The view of the Tabajaras community where Walk on the Favela is | © Kirk Russo / WikiCommons

The winding road that goes through the favela up to this hostel gives visitors a safe and authentic experience of life in these Brazilian communities. The contemporary hostel is located high up in the favela with an ample rooftop that overlooks the community’s quirky architecture and over to Copacabana beach and the sea. Those looking for local experiences can check out the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy on the third floor simply as spectators or participants. Enjoy caipirinhas at sunset on the rooftop whilst chatting with the international crowd that gathers there.

Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel

Hostel
Map View
Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel
Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel | © Abraço Carioca Favela Hostel

Located in the Babilônia favela in Leme, the hilltop hostel of Abraço Carioca provides wonderful sea views in a quiet side of Rio. Having no roads through the favela, any kind of getting around is done on foot but given that the community has been peaceful for years, this doesn’t pose a problem. In front of the small favela is Leme beach and Copacabana is just a few minutes walk away. The subway and a great selection of bars and restaurants are also nearby. The local staff are friendly and filled with great tips to enjoy Rio to the full.

Favela Experience

Hostel
Map View
Favela Experience Hostel |© Favela Experience Hostel
Favela Experience Hostel | © Favela Experience Hostel

Clinging to the hillsides of Vidigal, Favela Experience has carved out a well-deserved reputation as one of the best favela hostels in Rio de Janeiro. It’s not only the stunning ocean views and comfortable setting of Favela Experience hostel that keep guests satisfied, it’s the friendly, knowledgeable staff and the close proximity to some of Rio’s most exciting spots. Guests can enjoy nearby bars and restaurants as well as late-night entertainment venues with international and local DJs who play until sunset. It is also just a few minutes away from the entrance of the Dois Irmãos hike that provides breathtaking views over Rio’s coastline.

Tiki Residência, Rio de Janeiro

Hostel, Hotel
Map View
Tiki Hostel
Tiki Hostel | © Tiki Hostel

Located in the hilltops of Cantagalo favela, Tiki Hostel is near to all the main tourist spots such as Copacabana and Ipanema beach and a wide range of great bars and restaurants. There are also two metro stations nearby for easy access to key points around the city. The hostel is clean and comfortable with a fresh breakfast served every morning and friendly, helpful staff who are happy to give local tips and help with any language barriers. All the rooms have air con or high-powered fans and are decorated with everyday items that have been repurposed into furniture, giving the hostel a quirky feel.

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  • Bar 180° Alto Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro

    Boutique Hotel, Hostel
    Map View
    Alto Vidigal Hostel
    © Alto Vidigal Hostel

    Alto Vidigal Hostel was one of the first of its kind that made it into the mainstream news on the favela hostel scene. Its stunning views of the community and out over to the endless ocean are sensational and the hostel itself is clean and secure with double locking and lockers for peace of mind. The hostel draws in a strong international crowd and is a great place to mingle. It also has a chilled bar and lounge that is popular among guests at the hostel as well as those who come to visit from all corners of Rio. The bar is also known for its great weekend parties.

    Babilonia Rio Hostel, Rio de Janeiro

    Bed and Breakfast, Hostel
    Map View
    Babilonia Rio Hostel
    Babilonia Rio Hostel | © Babilonia Rio Hostel

    The main appeal of this cosy hostel is the stunning views that sweep out over Leme and Copacabana. Just a few minutes walk from a selection of great bars and restaurants as well as key tourist spots like Copacabana, the location is excellent and offers good value for money. The rooms are basic yet comfortable and the staff are friendly and welcoming. Breakfast is served on the outside balcony with wonderful views. Like its name suggests, the Babilonia Rio Hostel is located in Babilônia, a small favela in Leme that is considered one of the safest in the city.

    Vidigalhouse, Rio de Janeiro

    Hostel
    Map View
    Vidigalhouse Hostel
    Vidigalhouse Hostel | © Vidigalhouse Hostel

    The local owners at Vidigalhouse Hostel create a warm and comfortable setting at this friendly hostel in Vidigal. Located at the top, the views are sensational and a great place to sit back and watch an unforgettable sunset. The steep hills going up may be challenging for some, but the abundance of taxis will deliver you to the hostel door for just a couple of reais. The rooms are comfortable and clean with air-conditioning, a feature that anyone in Rio during the summer will appreciate.