We all know that living in Brazil presents many logistical challenges. Fortunately for lost gringos there are now a number of mobile apps that make foreigner life in Brazil much easier.
Not sure where to eat dinner? There’s an app for that.
Want to call a taxi but aren’t confident in your Portuguese yet? There’s an app for that.
Need to figure out which bus to take to get across town? There’s an app for that.
Before I give you the list of apps though, I need to put in a disclaimer about using your phone in public so that I don’t get a bunch of hate mail from Brazilians.
Disclaimer: Brazil is a country with a high incidence of violent crime. Avoid drawing unwanted attention to yourself in ugly areas by being judicious with your smart phone usage. Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid talking loudly in English late at night.
Now that we got that out of the way with, here are some apps you should download in Brazil.
Brazilian Transportation Apps
Cadê o ônibus (Android) This app helps you locate the nearest bus. Only for São Paulo.
Onde está meu ônibus (iPhone) This app also helps you locate the nearest bus and is also only for São Paulo.
Moovit (Android | iPhone) – This app theoretically helps you find public transport all over Brazil.
Google Maps – I’ve found Google Maps to be mostly reliable in Belo Horizonte, somewhat reliable in Rio de Janeiro, and reliable sometimes in São Paulo for finding the right bus at the right time.
99 Taxi (Android | iPhone | Windows Phone)
Easy Taxi (Android | iPhone | Windows Phone)
Uber (Android | iPhone | Windows Phone) – The popular ride sharing App Uber has launched in a few cities in Brazil so far, and have plans for expanding to others. Get your first ride up to R$25 for free when you use code BrazilianGringo on signup.
OndeParar – (Android | iPhone) For finding a place to park
Waze – (Android | iPhone | Windows Phone) For checking out the traffic
Infraero Voos Online (Android | iPhone | Windows Phone) – For getting flight info in Brazil.
Whatsapp (Android | iPhone) – Whatsapp is the most commonly used messaging app in Brazil.
Google Translate – While not accurate all the time, Google Translate is reliable most of the time for basic communication.
Duolingo (Android | iPhone) – An app that makes Portuguese learning into a game.
Crime Reporting Apps
B.O. Coletivo (iPhone) – These two apps give citizens the opportunity to map out when and where a crime occurred against them. Take this information with a grain of salt, since pretty much every square inch of Brazil could be covered on the map if you go back far enough.
WikiCrimes Mobile (Android | iPhone)
Trip Advisor (Android | iPhone) – For looking up attractions, restaurants and bars in any city in the world.
Veja Comer & Beber – (iPhone) An app produced by the magazine Veja for finding bars and restaurants.
Kekanto (Android | iPhone) – The Brazilian equivalent of Yelp that helps you find restaurants and bars.
Spotnight (iPhone) – An app that helps you find out the best nightlife in São Paulo and Rio.