Cost of Living in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Cost of living in Sao Paulo: check below the costs related to daily expenses, real estate, entertainment and transport in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Are you planning to travel or relocate to Sao Paulo, Brazil? Below you can check the data for the cost of living in Sao Paulo, the largest and wealthiest city in Brazil.

cost of living in sao paulo

Cost of Living in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, and also in South America. It is also the one with the highest GDP in the continent, and is a major finance hub for all economic sectors in Brazil and South America.

While Sao Paulo used to be a rather expensive city a few years ago, the cost of living in Sao Paulo has declined since 2014. As Brazil is passing through an economic crisis and its currency had a considerable devaluation versus the US dollar, the city became more affordable, especially on a global level.

Despite the faltering Brazilian economy, the city still attracts expats and investors, due to its unique business vocation. Even with a cheaper Brazilian real, the cost of living in the city is still comparable to some affordable European cities like Riga or Budapest.

The infrastructure in Sao Paulo is also one of the best in South America. That includes a complex and affordable transport network, high quality medical facilities and great entertainment options

Let’s check some data for the cost of living in Sao Paulo, Brazil below:

The currency in Brazil is the real. The conversion rate to the BRL is 1 dollar to 4.92 BRL as of December 3, 2023.

If you want to suggest your own values based on your experiences in this city, click on edit and insert the values. Upon moderation they will be calculated to make part of the average prices displayed below.

Food Price [EDIT]
1 liter of milk 0.83 USD
1 loaf of bread 1.47 USD
1 kg of tomatoes 1.76 USD
1 kg of chicken 2.04 USD
1 single meal cheap restaurant 4.75 USD
1 single meal high-end restaurant 25.00 USD
1 cappuccino or latte 1.30 USD
1 big pizza delivery 13.70 USD
Real Estate Price [EDIT]
1 bedroom flat (40 m2) rent per month 452.00 USD
1 bedroom flat (40 m2) utilities per month 100.00 USD
2 bedroom flat (80 m2) rent per month 675.00 USD
2 bedroom flat (80 m2) utilities per month 150.00 USD
Price per square meter (city center) 2,350.00 USD
Transport Price [EDIT]
1 single ride public transport 1.10 USD
Monthly public transport ticket 45.30 USD
1 km taxi or similar transport app 0.50 USD
1 liter of gasoline (1/4 gallon) 1.01 USD
Toyota Corolla (new) basic version 17,200.00 USD
Salaries Price [EDIT]
Minimum Salary 250.00 USD
Average Salary (net) 450.00 USD
Extras Price [EDIT]
1 ticket to the movies (adult price) 5.00 USD
High speed internet per month 20.50 USD
1 month gym subscription 25.00 USD

Cost of Living for Students in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo has some of the highest rated education institutions in South America. Most programs are available in Portuguese in both public and private institutions. There are a few options in English, mostly in the range of Masters and post graduate degrees.

Cost of living for students in Sao Paulo will highly depend on whether one is studying in a public or private institution. There are no tuition fees to study in public higher education institutions in Brazil, regardless of the student’s nationality. Private institutions are paid and the prices vary considerably depending on the field of study.

Here are some of the main higher education institutions in Sao Paulo:

Universidade de Sao Paulo

Fundação Getúlio Vargas


Getting a Job in Sao Paulo

The job market in Sao Paulo is the most dynamic in South America. As many international companies have their regional headquarters in Sao Paulo, many Brazilians and other South Americans come to city in search of employment opportunities.

Wages in São Paulo can vary greatly, depending on the type of employment. While the minimum salary in Brazil is rather low, Brazil has some of the highest disparity of wages between low paid workers to company directors in the word.

Brazil also attracts a number of foreigner entrepreneurs that act in various economic sectors, from small retail shops to large corporations.

Here are some websites for job hunting in Sao Paulo:




Quality of Life in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is a very hectic city and that has positive and negative impact on its quality of life. While the city is a great place for entertainment, it also has problems, mostly related to safety and traffic.

sao paulo brazil

The largest city is Brazil is making good progress in terms of the safety in the past few years. However, Sao Paulo is still considerably dangerous, with a higher crime rate than most US and European cities.

The level of English spoken by locals in Sao Paulo is among the best in the country. However, the vast majority of Sao Paulo residents have little command of the English language. In upper class district you can speak that most staff in the service industry to have at least a basic level of English.

If you are visiting South America soon you may also want to check some of our other guides to South America. Check where to stay in Montevideo and our article on the best places to stay in Buenos Aires. You can also check the our article on the average and minimum salary in Sao Paulo.

Other Resources for Expats and Travelers

Salaries Worldwide: check our articles on wages worldwide and understand better the economics of the countries you may be considering to move or invest.

Retire Abroad: check our retirement guides and maximize your retirement income and quality of life.

Jetradar: compare and find the cheapest air fares worldwide.