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How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

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New Jersey
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1 post
16 reviews
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How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

I will be at the Gran Marquise Hotel for a few days and I do not speak the language. Does anyone speak English (Taxis, Hotels, Restaurants etc.) and do they take US dollars ever ? Safe to go to the beach or should I stay within the Hotel grounds. Thanks !

j c
Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
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1. Re: How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

I'd suggest not leaving your room, let alone the grounds of your hotel. If you do leave the hotel, you're likely to be beaten, robbed, stabbed, murdered and then beaten again just to make sure you're dead.

Now that I think about it, I really wouldn't worry about the hotel or the beach. Nor would I be concernd about taxi drivers speaking English or using US dollars as you likely won't even make it out of the airport alive. Lots of executions in/around the baggage claim area lately.

Good luck.

Earth
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441 posts
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2. Re: How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

> JC

Is this a joke? Does not reflect the Brazil I know and have come to love.

Miami, Florida
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187 posts
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3. Re: How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

Hilarious j c! LOL

So: Not many people speak English, but you're likely to find someone to help you out with the basics.

US dollars are generally not accepted - or be prepared to get a ripoff exchange rate. Best to exchange some cash and/or withdraw some from an ATM (HSBC ones usually work best for foreign bank cards) - credit cards are much used nowadays.

The beach in front of Gran Marquise is not the best - there are better options and the front desk will certainly help you (they do speak English). Wrt safety, just don't wander around at night aimlessly or show off any expensive cameras or watches and you should be ok

In a nutshell, that's it - I don't go to FOR frequently, but I have stayed at the Gran Marquise and it's ok (average)

Salvador
8 posts
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4. Re: How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

It is actually against Brazilian law to make transactions in dollars, so if they are "accepted", it would be at a hotel that is also doing the exchange for you and then technically accepting your money in reais. Otherwise you need to use reais.

#1 certainly reflects the stated or implied opinions of many on this forum, especially when they are not talking about their own backyard. Relfections are likely to be blurry or accurate, according to your own 'prescription' glasses.

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5. Re: How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

As I tell my family and friends when they are coming to visit (as well as guests who ask before they arrive) it is best to use a debit card. The ATM machines will give you the best exchange rate and the fewest fees. A debit card tied to an account where you keep only a limited amount of money and replenish through internet banking. Also, you have to advise your bank that you will be traveling to Brasil. I also recommend ALWAYS withdrawing the same amount, be it 500, 600 whatever R$,so that IF your card gets lost, stolen or cloned and someone runs a bunch of charges on it, they will be different from the customary charges. This can help in a dispute with your bank should the unfortunate event occur. I also recommend that you use the ATM machines in the bank lobbies as these are the least likely to be tampered with. Unfortunately, I speak from experience with my card being cloned and the account being cleaned out. Just keep a little money in the account and transfer to it as needed.

Brasil is generally safe, but you do need to recognize that there are many crimes of opportunity. A little common sense and caution goes a long way toward having a good time.

6. Re: How much English is spoken; does anyone take US $$; Safety

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