Essential Info for Brazil

Brazil's national flagPopulation: About 210 million

Capital city: Brasília

Neighbouring countries: Brazil is bordered by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana to the north; Colombia to the northwest; Bolivia and Peru to the west; Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest; and Uruguay to the south.

Geography: Brazil occupies about half of South America with a long coastal region to the east. It has a vast and complex network of rivers, including the famous Amazon river. About two-thirds of the massive Amazon rainforest is within Brazil's borders and the rest of the country has a diverse landscape ranging from plateaus and plains to mountains, hills and highlands.

Political system: Federal presidential constitutional republic

Major religions: Roman Catholicism with a Protestant minority

Main languages: Portuguese (official), English and Spanish (cities and business)

Money: The Real (BRL) is divided into 100 centavos. Expats will need a residence visa to open a bank account and ATMs are widely available, although some only operate during certain hours for safety reasons.

Tipping: Standard 10 percent.

Time: Brazil has a number of time zones: GMT -2, GMT -3, GMT -4 and GMT -5. Some parts of the country observe daylight savings time from November to February.

Electricity: 110V/220V, 60Hz. Many different kinds of plugs are used.

Internet domain: .br

International dialling code: +55.

Emergency contacts: Police: 190, Ambulance: 192, Fire: 193

Transport and driving: Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road. The types and extent of public transport services available varies widely from city to city.

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