Airports

Rio de Janeiro International Airport known as Antônio Carlos Jobim (Galeão) is the main airport for international flights to Brazil and it is the connection point between the main cities in the country. This airport is 12.4 miles from the centre of Rio de Janeiro city and it receives more than six million travellers per year. The bus service operated by Real/Reitur Turismo connects the city centre and the airport every half hour. There are also taxis waiting outside the airport which can take you to your destination.

Santos Dumont Airport is the second airport in Rio de Janeiro and is found near Guanabara Bay near the city centre. The airport was named in honour of the Brazilian aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos Dumont, and it operates a service between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as other domestic flights. Real/Reitur buses and the local taxis service also connect this airport with the city centre.

If you decide to visit the rest of Brazil while in Rio de Janeiro, the best option is by aeroplane as the distance between the main cities is long and travelling by motorway is slow. There is a train station in the city called Central do Brasil and it is used for long distance journeys to other parts of Brazil.

The coach service offers regular international and inter-state routes and the central station is Terminal Rodoviária Novo Rio. This coach service connects the city with national destinations for example, Brasilia and Sao Paulo. It also offers international destinations such as Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago de Chile.

Public Transport

Although the historic centre of Rio de Janeiro is easily accessed by foot, you will need to take public transport to see most of the tourist attractions which are located in the south of the city.

The public transport service includes a bus service which is known as ônibus and there are various bus companies such as Real and Novo Horizonte which offer a 24 hour service.

There is also a metro service called Metrô Rio which has two lines connecting the city. Line 1 extends from Copacabana to Tijuca, and Line 2 links the centre of Rio de Janeiro with Pavuna, a city in the north. If you are thinking of using a number of the public transport methods then you can buy an all inclusive ticket known as Metrô- Ônibus and Ônibus-Trem, which will enable you to use either the metro and bus services or the bus and train services.

Yellow taxis are one of the symbols of Rio de Janeiro and they can stop in the street. It is recommended only to take these taxis and to make sure that they have a metre which generally indicates that they are official.

There is also a ferry service in Rio de Janeiro which runs from the Estação das Barcas to the islands and cities around Guanabara Bay. You can take the ferry or a catamaran to Niterói or to Paquetá Island. Cruise ships usually anchor at Rio de Janeiro port when they are sailing the Brazilian coast.

There is also a tram service in the city which is popular among tourists as it offers a picturesque trip around the colonial district, Santa Teresa. Hiring a car is not recommended for visiting Rio de Janeiro as the traffic is usually chaotic in the city and it is easy to get lost.

Rio de Janeiro is renowned as being a dangerous city with high levels of crime and so tourists are advised to stay away from the Brazilian shanty towns known as favelas. However, there are tour operators which provide guided visits of the favelas and so this is a safer alternative for visiting these areas of cultural significance.

Rio de Janeiro Travel Guide

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