Rio de Janeiro

Travel Guide South America Brazil Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro



Lights of Flamengo in foreground, Corcovado behind

Lights of Flamengo in foreground, Corcovado behind

© Jeremy T

Rio de Janeiro is the pumping heart of Brazil. From dusk till dawn this thriving city has a multitude of fantastic sights, sounds and experiences to be had be they hidden gems like the rickety tram up to Santa Theresa or standing proud like Christ the Redeemer that heralds visitors in to this unique city. Named the River January because settlers thought that the mouth of the bay was actually the mouth of a river, the city is enfolded and runs itself like an oozing river among the feet of a handful of majestic mountains, Sugarloaf and Corcovado among other smaller hills. The beautiful cariocas, the people of Rio are known for a vivacious love of life, partying and a laid back attitude that is infectious to visitors.





Although Rio is known for its natural beauty, there is some constructed charm in the city. Downtown is where you’ll find most monuments, churches, museums and historical buildings from the Empire and the Republican periods. Locals call this area Centro. It is the main business district, always packed during week days and deserted on weekends. It’s not a lodging place. Be sure to take a break from beaching to get a true taste of Rio’s origins. Spend the day (not after dark) walking around. Don’t forget to visit Cinelândia (main square) surrounded by the Opera House (Theatro Municipal), City’s Chamber (Câmara dos Vereadores), National Museum of Fine Arts (Museu National de Belas Artes), National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), Cine Odeon and the Amarelinho, a great bar/restaurant to stop for a beer.

Lapa and Santa Teresa

Both are the city’s most traditional, bohemian and artistic neighbourhoods. Unlike downtown, Lapa is a place to visit at night when Brazilian music is heard all over. The mixture of samba and chorinho bars, music theatres and even the antiques shops give Lapa an identity of its own. The cheap and dirty motels also build its atmosphere. Lapa’s major reference is the white arched aqueduct that now serves as a track for the Santa Teresa trolley. This other neighbourhood with cobblestone streets and neat houses sits on top of the mountain. It’s where the ‘peace & love types’ hang out and many artists have their studios and crafts workshops, some even open to the public. During daylight, hop into the bonde (trolley) for a short amusing trip!

Catete and Flamengo

The 1,000,000 m² green park is Flamengo’s main attraction. It draws hundreds of bikers, roller bladders and joggers that exercise while enjoying the postcard view of Guanabara Bay and Sugar Loaf. If you drive by way after midnight you’ll see local waiters playing soccer matches when their shift is over. The beach might look beautiful, but don’t take risks! The water is polluted. At the marina, sailing boats leave for excursions around the bay, the ocean and islands nearby. Catete is a historical neighbourhood that unfortunately is not well kept. Huge houses from the 20’s surround the Republic Palace, where President Getúlio Vargas shot himself. Today, it is a museum with a nice big garden. The small Folklore Museum next door is worth a visit.

Botafogo and Urca

Home to the Sugar Loaf and ringed by hills, Urca is a small, pleasant, and isolated residential neighbourhood. The Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) is a nice place to sit and drink cold coconut water. You can also walk along the shore on the Eduardo Coutinho path. Nearby is the São João Fortress where the first Portuguese settled and founded the city in 1565. Botafogo is a totally different type of neighbourhood difficult to describe. It’s a mixture between a residential area and a very noisy commercial one with lots of schools, clinics and doctors’ offices, as well as bars and restaurants. For tourists the only interest there is in the South Zone’s largest mall (Rio Sul).


Tourists have it as first choice for its world-famous beach and the highest concentration of hotels in town. However, the maddening traffic, noise and packed apartment blocks can take you back to that annoying city spirit. Copacabana is one of Rio’s most eclectic and democratic neighbourhoods. Along the beach there are apartments worth over a million dollars and by the main commercial avenue, buildings with dozens of tiny wrecked studios on each floor. On the streets you’ll see the essence of beach culture, a cradle-to-grave lifestyle. Senior citizens love to live in Copacabana. At night, a vibrant atmosphere takes over with a large variety of bars, restaurants and clubs. By the beach, you might see professional ladies waiting for ‘customers’.

Ipanema and Leblon

The two most charming districts in town are Ipanema and Leblon. Both are residential upper class spots where artists and intellectuals enjoy living. Not only for the 2 beautiful beaches but also for the sophisticated and exciting lifestyle, Ipanema and Leblon have been attracting a growing number of tourists over the years. Wonderful restaurants, bars, coffee shops, chic boutiques along Garcia D’Ávila street, bookstores that stay open until late at night, and hotels with all price ranges summarize the best Rio has to offer. For a great view of both neighbourhoods go up to the “Parque 2 irmãos” at upper Leblon (Alto Leblon). Ipanema is the birthplace of Bossa Nova. The famous song “Girl from Ipanema” (by Tom Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes) was written at a bar/restaurant later renamed Garota de Ipanema. Delicious!

Gávea and Jardim Botânico

Gávea and Jardim Botânico are low profile neighbourhoods blessed with abundant vegetation. Jardim Botânico is named after the Botanical Garden but also includes Parque Lage and part of the Tijuca Forest. Fresh air fills the environment. The main avenue is noisy, otherwise it’s a quiet place where every now and then you can see little monkeys up on trees. Jardim Botânico has always been a place for Rio’s elite to build mansions. Lately, new bars, restaurants, and studios are poping up there. Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (a lagoon not suitable for bathing) is one of the city’s main sports and leisure spots. Explore it by renting a bicycle or riding a pedalinho (small boat with pedals). During day or night, people either exercise around the lagoon’s 7-kilometre track or sit in one of its many bars and restaurants. For those who like hiking, go up the Catacumba Park for 10 minutes. The view of the ocean and mountainous surroundings is absolutely beautiful!

São Conrado and Barra

São Conrado is trapped in between a mountain range and the ocean. It’s the neighbourhood where the city’s social gap is clearer. On one side is the Rocinha, Latin America’s biggest favela (slum), and on the other the most expensive apartment buildings, the beautiful golf course and the stylish high budget Fashion Mall. At the end of São Conrado’s Pepino Beach hang gliders usually land. Further down the coast heading southwest you’ll reach the newest part of the city. Barra resembles Miami. It has wide avenues, hundreds of shopping malls, condos and modern houses. It’s the cradle of the nouveau riche. A number of hotels have opened recently in Barra. Although the district might not be very appealing for tourists, its precious beach does the whole job.




If the heart of Brazil is Rio then the heart of Rio is its beaches.


Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair
And a dress cut down to there
She would Merengue and do the Cha-Cha


Princesinha do Mar (Princess of the Sea) as it is called is one of the reasons Rio is so famous. The wide sand strip makes it a very popular beach for sports and sunbathing. At the far end by the hill is the Leme Beach, an extension of Copacabana but very family-oriented. More than a beach, Copacabana is a melting pot where many different people gather in various events all year round. Bands often use Copacabana as a stage for concerts. International volleyball and soccer championships are held in arenas built for the occasions. Above all, there is absolutely nothing like New Year’s Eve at the Copacabana Beach. Tons of fireworks light the skies for half an hour while 2 million people dressed in white go crazy. Something to experience at least once in a lifetime!


Ipanema is the Cariocas’ beach. There is not a single definition for it. It depends on who you are, what you like and which spot you go to. This beach is part of the city’s social life. It’s where people meet, fall in love, have a beer, talk business, relax after work, play sports and bring their kids. In Ipanema, like at many other beaches, you can rent chairs and umbrellas to protect you from the heavy sun rays. Service is outstanding. You can buy from ice cream and cookies to corn on the cob or melted cheese on a stick from vendors that pass by. If you’re a loyal customer they become your friend.


The difference between Leblon and Ipanema might not be as obvious to foreigners as it is to Cariocas. It’s the same strip of sand ‘divided’ by a canal. Facing the ocean to your right is Leblon, a family-oriented kind of beach. It’s where many professional beach volleyball players and young beginners practice. The ribbon of sand is a bit narrow in some spots. It’s even hard to see it during the weekends when the beach is crowded. But Leblon is usually a calm beach where parents can take their babies. There is a special spot for them called Baixo Bebê with toys, tasty snacks and a place to change diapers. At the far end of the beach there is Mirante do Leblon, with a marvelous view. Great for photos. Have a seat and contemplate the sea!

Pepino & Joatinga

Pepino beach in the São Conrado neighborhood is not the type of beach to hang out, unless you surf. It’s where hang gliders and para gliders land after flying down from Pedra Bonita. Close to Pepino is a small but very unique hidden beach called Joatinga. Take Estrada do Joá (road) to get there. After you drive into a condo of houses, you’ll find a peaceful refuge surrounded by high rocks and vegetation. To reach the sand you must go down some steps. Since access is not so easy and the cops are far away, nobody hesitates when feeling like smoking a joint, but in a respectful, laid back mood. That’s why cops sometimes stop cars on the way there. The beach attracts those around their 20’s, 30’s, including young couples with kids and dogs. Find yourself a local friend and ask him/her to take you there!


18-kilometre-long (11 miles) Barra is a windy beach with cooler waters and good waves for sports. Surf, windsurf, kitesurf, jet ski, you name it! Barra’s seas are a show of skills. Not along the entire beach though. Most sports are concentrated in one area so that people are cautious. At the far end is Reserva beach, a green reserve between the ocean and a lagoon where no kiosks are allowed. Further down is Recreio beach. If you are looking for nice, built-up bodies and feeling at ease with your own, go to the beginning of Barra, in front of Barraca do Pepê (snack kiosk). There many middle and upper class ladies and gentlemen who love fitness centers hang out. If you’re not quite fit or don’t feel like taking your shirt off, grab a tasty sandwich and juice at the bar, sit and watch!

Prainha & Grumari

Both are around half an hour way from Rio’s South Zone where your hotel probably is but they’re worth the ride. No buildings or houses are constructed around these two precious beaches hidden in a more natural environment. Prainha’s rough waters make it paradise for surfers. The beach has an authentic surfer style atmosphere like Hawaii and is surrounded by dense vegetation. One of the very few kiosks carries surf accessories, such as wax and straps, also banana cakes and sandwiches. On the right coast an outdoor restaurant facing the ocean serves good appetizers to go with a well made caipirinha, Brazil’s most popular drink. If you continue on the same road, you’ll reach Grumari beach. Like Prainha, it’s lovely and calm on week days and packed on weekends. Arrive early to avoid traffic! In Grumari look for the restaurant with a nice view and have a fresh fish!


Praia Vermelha

Praia Vermelha, meaning Red Beach in Portuguese, is a secluded area mainly visited by locals, although it’s right next to the Sugar Loaf mountain. When you get to square where you’ll take the cable to Morro da Urca and Pão de Açúcar, keep on walking straight and you’ll get to the beach. The best time to go there is during the week, when most of the locals are at work, and therefore, the place is emptier and calmer. It’s really beautiful as well to go either during dusk or dawn, when the view gets exceptionally marvelous.



Sights and Activities

Museums and Cultural Institutions

  • MNBA - Museu Nacional de Belas Artes - The National Museum of Fine Arts Address: Av. Rio Branco, 199 - Centro, Hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm; Sat-Sun, noon-5:00pm., Price: R$6.00 (Free Entry on Sundays)
  • MAM – Museu de Arte Moderna - The Museum of Modern Art) Address: Av. Infante Dom Henrique, 85 - Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes - Centro, Hours: Tues-Fri, noon-6:00pm - Sat-Sun-Holidays, Noon-7pm, Price: R$5.00 (students R$2.00)
  • IMS - Instituto Moreira Salles - Address: Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476 – Gávea, Hours: Tues-Sun, 1:00pm-8:00pm, Price: Exhibitions and parking are free
  • Casa França Brasil - Address: Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 78 – Centro, Hours: Tues-Sun, 10:00am-8:00pm, Price: Free entry
  • CCJF – Centro Cultural da Justiça Federal (Free Entry) - Address: Av.Rio Branco, 241 – Centro, Hours: Tues-Sun, noon-7:00pm
  • Caixa Cultural (Free Entry) - Address: Av. República do Chile, 230 – Centro, Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00am-6:00pm, Sat-Sun and holidays, 11:00am-3:00pm
  • CCBB – Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil - In 1989 the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center was opened. Address: Rua Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro, Hours: Opened: Tues-Sun, 10:00am-9:00pm, Price: Free entry
  • Biblioteca Nacional - The National Library Address: Av. Rio Branco, 219 – Centro, Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:00am-8:00pm Sat, 9:00am-3:00pm Guided Visits Only: 11:00am and 3:00pm (Guided tours English speaking guides are available).
  • Museu do Índio - Native Brazilian's Museum; Guided visits must be booked, in Portuguese only. Address: Rua das Palmeiras, 55 – Botafogo, Phone: 2286-8899 Ext: 226 or 227, Hours: Tues-Fri, 9:00am-5:30pm - Sat-Sun, 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Museu da Chácara do Céu - Address: Rua Murtinho Nobre, 93 - Santa Teresa, Hours: Daily, except Tues, noon-5:00pm
  • MIS – Museu da Imagem e do Som - Sound and Image Museum Address: Praça Rui Barbosa, 1 - Praça Quinze de Novembro – Centro, Price: Free entry.
  • Centro Cultural dos Correios - Address: Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 20 – Centro, Hours: Tues-Sun, noon-7:00pm, Price: Free Entry
  • Real Gabinete Português de Leitura - Address: Rua Luís de Camões, 30 – Centro, Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:00am-6:00pm, Price: Free Entry
  • Museu Da República - The Museum of the Republic Address: Rua do Catete, 153 – Catete, Hours: Tues-Thurs-Fri, noon-5:00pm Wed, 2:00pm-5:00pm- Sat-Sun-Holidays, 2:00pm-6:00pm, Price: R$6.00 (Free Entry: Sun and Wed).
  • MHN – Museu Histórico Nacional - The National History Museum Address: Praça Marechal Âncora, s/nº - Centro, Hours: Tues-Fri, 10:00am-5:30pm - Sat, Sun and holidays, 2:00pm-6:00pm, Price: R$6.00
  • Oi Futuro - Address: Rua Dois de Dezembro, 63 – Flamengo, Hours: Tues-Sun. 11:00am-8:00pm, Price: Free entry

Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar)

You don’t want to leave Rio without watching the sunset from up above. The Sugar Loaf is the best sight. Not only is it worth the ride in the cable car, but having a drink at the top after a busy day is also just perfect. There are two hills you can ride up. The first is Morro da Urca (735 feet / 220 metres), and if you’re lucky some tiny monkeys might welcome you. The second is the summit (1,300 feet / 396 meters), a ride that height freaks will run from. Nevertheless, rewarding. On one side you’ll see the city, the bay guarded by the statue of Christ the Redeemer and the 14-kilometre bridge to the town of Niteroi, on the other the Copacabana beach shaped by the Atlantic Ocean. About one million people visit the Sugar Loaf every year. It only takes 10 minutes by taxi from the Copacabana beach. If you are not like many climbers that face those hills as a challenge, ride up then sit back, relax and enjoy the view!

  • Price: R$53.00.
  • Opened daily from 08:00am to 8:00pm.
  • How to get there: From Downtown: get BUS 107, at Rua Senador Dantas /// From Glória, Flamengo, get BUS 107 at Av. Augusto Severo or Praia do Flamengo /// From Botafogo: get BUS107 at Praia de Botafogo /// From Copacabana: get BUS 511, at Av. N. S. de Copacabana; or BUS 512 at Rua Barata Ribeiro /// From Ipanema and Leblon: get BUS 511 or 512, at Visconde de Pirajá and Av.Ataulfo de Paiva ///.

More information on the Sugar Loaf website.

Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)

You’ve probably already seen it in a postcard but once you get there the view will be stamped in your mind for a lifetime. This is the first touristy place you want to visit to have a clear picture of Rio’s layout. The spot offers a 360° view of the city. Take the map with you and figure it all out! If possible, avoid going on weekends because the place is packed! The best way to get there is by a small red tram. The 20-minute ride will take you up through the Tijuca forest. It’s filled with jack fruit trees. The statue covered in a mosaic of soapstone stands 30 meters / 100 feet high, about the same size as the Statue of Liberty. There is no way to go up the monument. No need. It lies at the peak of Corcovado Moun-tain (710 metres/2,330 feet) that splits the city in two: north and south regions. Following the Art Deco style, the statue was built by a Brazilian engineer and a French sculptor from 1926 to 1931. The money was raised from donations.

  • Price: R$ 44.00.
  • Opened daily from 08:30am to 6:30pm.
  • How to get there: From Downtown: get BUS 180 or BUS 184, at Av. Rio Branco /// From Glória, Flamengo: get BUS 180 or 184, at Av. Augusto Severo /// From Botafogo: get BUS 583 at Rua São Clemente; or BUS 584 at Praia de Botafogo /// From Copacabana:get BUS 583 at Av. N. S. de Copacabana; or BUS 584 at Barata Ribeiro /// From Ipanema, Leblon: get BUS 583 or 584, at Rua Visconde de Pirajá and Av. Ataulfo de Paiva ///.

More information on the Christ The Redeemer website.

Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)

Rio is not only blessed by wild vegetation, it also has stunning botanical garden. It holds over 8,000 species, including century old imperial palm trees, Amazon plants and fruit trees. In 1808, when the Portuguese royal family arrived in Brazil, King João VI created this garden to receive plants from all over the world. The park is the kind of place you’ll want to spend quality time relaxing. No rush. Sit down at the outdoors small coffee shop or walk around listening to the sounds of nature. There are 138 species of birds catalogued by biologists. Monkeys, squirrels, lizards and a great variety of butter-flies are also constant visitors. Besides the 137 acres park, ponds and bucolic paths, don’t miss the Green Houses with amazing nature- sculpted Bromeliads and Orchids! The Botanical Garden was where Tom Jobim found inspiration for many of his songs.

  • Price: R$4.00.
  • Opened daily from 08:00am to 5:00pm
  • How to get there: From Downtown: get BUS 170, at Av. Rio Branco /// From Glória, Flamengo: get BUS 571, at Av. Augusto Severo or Praia do Flamengo /// From Botafogo: get BUS 571 at Praia de Botafogo /// From Leme: get BUS 594 at Av. Atlântica /// From Copacabana: get BUS 572, at Rua Barata Ribeiro /// From Ipanema, Leblon: get BUS 572, at Rua Prudente de Morais or Av. Bartolomeu Mitre ///.

More information one the Jardim Botanico website.



Maracanã Football Stadium

Football is one of Brazilians’ biggest passions and Maracanã has become a great symbol for it. Latin America’s largest stadium was built for the Soccer World Cup in 1950. Back then, Brazil lost to Uruguay in a historic and humiliating final. The country got over it. Today it’s the only nation on Earth to hold 5 World Cup titles. The stadium’s official record is 183,341 spectators, but new safety regulations now limit its capacity to 90,000. This is where Pelé, Brazil’s hero, made his 1,000th goal in 1969. Not only soccer teams have had a chance to play in Ma-racanã, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Tina Turner and Frank Sinatra also experienced the energy coming from the massive audience. Even if you’re not a soccer fan, adventure yourself! The top team matches are unforgettable. Fla x Flu (Flamengo v. Fluminense) and Flamengo x Vasco are classics. You won’t regret it.

Price: R$20.00 (price for the guided visit, check the newspapers for football matches).

Opened daily from 09:00/17:00 (except when matches and events are going on).

How to get there – underground is the best option! From Downtown: get BUS 238 or 239, at Praça Quinze /// From Glória, Flamengo: get BUS 434 or 464, at Av. Augusto Severo or Praia do Flamengo /// From Botafogo:get BUS 434 or 464, at Praia de Botafogo /// From Copacabana: get BUS 455, at Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana /// From Ipanema, Leblon: get BUS 464, at Av. Ataulfo de Paiva or Rua Visconde de Pirajá ///. More information on the Maracana website.



Events and Festivals

World Cup 2014

Australian Fans

Australian Fans

© Peter

The FIFA World Cup 2014 was held in Brazil. It took place from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It was be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous one being in 1950. The national teams of 32 countries joined the second biggest sports event in the world (after the Olympic Games). A total of 64 matches were played in twelve cities across Brazil, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches used goal-line technology. Twelve locations were World Cup host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo. They covered all the main regions of Brazil and created more evenly distributed hosting than the 1950 finals in Brazil provided, when matches were concentrated in the south-east and south. As a result the tournament required significant long-distance travel for teams. Brazil opened the tournament against Croatia, played in São Paulo on the 12th of June, and the final was played on the 13th of July in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Olympic Games 2016 (05 Aug 2016 - 21 Aug 2016) - In the fall of 2009, it was decided that Rio de Janeiro, will be the first South American country to host of the Summer Olympics. There was heavy competition to win the bid; Rio beat out Madrid, Tokyo, and Chicago for the nomination.
  • Rio de Janeiro Carnival - Many believe the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the greatest parties on Earth. A tradition in Rio dating back to 1723, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, or "Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro" for locals, is held four days before Ash Wednesday. It differentiates itself from the European celebrations by its African, Native, Portuguese, Italian and other European influences. The Carnival celebration in Brazil varies by region. In the southeast (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), Carnival focuses on organised parades. The carnival parades performed by "samba schools" (or, in Portuguese, "escolas do samba") which compete in the "sambodromo". In this kind of Carnival, only affiliates can participate in the parade; however, in smaller cities, the same rules do not apply. The parade traditionally goes from Sunday evening until early morning Monday in the Sambadrome, which is a large structure with a seating capacity for over ninety thousand people. Other famous attraction of the festival are the street parades, where the people put on costumes and go out dancing and drinking in the largest and most famous street party in the country!
  • June Bonfire Festival (13 Jun 2013 - 19 Jun 2013) - The June bonfire festivals occur on three separate evenings in June: 6/13, 6/24, and 6/29 in remembrance of St Anthony, St John, and St Peter, respectively. During this time in Rio, the streets and public squares are decorated with streamers and lanterns, intended to resemble a village market place. Bonfires are lit, and attendants participate in dancing, eating, and drinking events. In the spirit of tradition, mock weddings are held, and couples are supposed to leap the flames of the bonfires.
  • Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride - This festive event is held every year in Mid-October. It's a very popular event, so it's advised that those planning to attend should make their reservations in advance in order to avoid unnecessary costs.
  • Rio de Janeiro Marathon - This annual race is held in July. The route is relatively flat and goes through both the downtown and neighborhood areas. Runners are challenged by Rio's warm, humid weather.
  • New Year's Eve and Festa de Iemanja (31 Dec 2013 - 01 Jan 2014) - Rio hosts a very extravagant New Years Eve celebration, complete with street parties and an elaborate fireworks display. The Copacabana New Year’s display of fireworks is one of the most famous sites of New Year’s celebrations worldwide. There are also many that gather on the beaches to celebrate the holiday that occurs simultaneously on this day, "Festa de Iemanja". Celebrators of this holiday bring offerings of flowers, gifts, perfume, and rice to Iemanjá, the Goddess of the Water and the mother of all the gods in the Umbanda religion of Brazil. Many of these gifts are sent away on little boats or thrown directly into the sea.




Rio de Janeiro has a tropical climate with slightly more variation regarding temperature compared to areas closer to the equator. Summers are from November to April when average maximum temperatures are between 28º and 30 °C and nights are between 22 °C and 25 °C. From May to October it's slighly cooler but still summer with temperatures during the day between 24 °C and 26 °C and nights between 18 °C and 21 °C.
Most of the rain falls during the warmer summer months, with an average of 10-15 rainy days a month, compared to only 6 days with some precipitation during June and July. Most of the rain usually comes down as heavy downpours, though sometimes heavy rain can keep on and cause serious floodings every now and then.

Avg Max29.4 °C30.2 °C29.4 °C27.8 °C26.4 °C25.2 °C25.3 °C25.6 °C25 °C26 °C27.4 °C28.6 °C
Avg Min23.3 °C23.5 °C23.3 °C21.9 °C20.4 °C18.7 °C18.4 °C18.9 °C19.2 °C20.2 °C21.4 °C22.4 °C
Rainfall114.1 mm105.3 mm103.3 mm137.4 mm85.6 mm80.4 mm56.4 mm50.5 mm87.1 mm88.2 mm95.6 mm169 mm
Rain Days12991086669101113



Getting There

By Plane

Rio de Janeiro's Galeão Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) is the second international airport in Brazil (after Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport) with dozens of international and domestic airlines offering services. It is located about 20 kilometres from the city centre. The main destinations are Buenos Aires, Paris, Miami, New York, London, Houston, Panama City, Atlanta, Sao Paulo, Foz do Iguacu, Salvador, Manaus, Madrid, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Lisbon and Washington, D.C..

There is a bus connection operated by Real to Flamengo, Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and terminating at the Alvorada terminal at Barra da Tijuca. It departs every 20-30 minutes between 05:30am-10:00pm and takes at least 60 minutes to reach the final destination at Barra da Tijuca. It can be found outside the arrival areas at terminals 1 and 2. A single ticket R$ 6.50. A smaller bus, also run by Real, runs directly to Barra da Tijuca and takes only 30 minutes, depending on traffic. It runs every 30 minutes.

Another option is the shuttle bus, run by Shuttle Rio which drives via several large hotels. It has two routes; one stopping heading towards Ipanema (R$10 pp one way) and the other towards Barra (R$15 pp one way).

Taxis can easily be found outside the airport and should cost about R$30 for downtown destinations and about R$50 for Zona Sul (ie, Ipanema, Copacabana) areas.

The Santos Dumont Airport (SDU), located in the city centre, accommodates many domestic services, including Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Campo Grande and Curitiba. Airlines using this airport include Gol, TAM, Varig, OceanAir and Team.

By Train

Rio's main train station Central do Brasil, a sight well worth visiting in itself, only services local commuters.

By Bus

Long distance buses arrive and leave from the Rodoviária Novo Rio bus depot, in the Santo Cristo district (in Zona Norte). Bus companies include 1001, Cometa, Expresso Brasileiro, Itapemirim and Penha.

Several companies offer bus passes from Rio to the rest of the country. The Green Toad Bus also offer bus tickets online for buses from Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande, Paraty, São Paulo, Florianópolis, Campo Grande, Foz do Iguaçu and some other destinations in Brazil. They have bus passes to take you to other countries as well.

Taxis or private buses can get you from the station to Zona Sul in about 15 minutes. There are also regular buses departing in any direction from the main entrance.

By Car

Rio is connected by many roads to neighboring cities and states, but access can be confusing as there are insufficient traffic signs or indications of how to get downtown. The main interstate highways passing through Rio are:

  • BR-116, which connects the city to the southern region of Brazil. Also known as Rodovia Presidente Dutra
  • BR-101, which leads to the north and northwest, and
  • BR-040, which will take you in the central and western areas.

By Cruise

Rio de Janeiro Port is the second largest port in Brazil, located in the west cost of the Guanabara Bay. All major international cruise lines operate cruises to Rio de Janeiro departing from other South American countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay. Cruises to and from Rio de Janeiro can be booked through the local travel agency Dreamlines Brasil.

By Boat

Ferries (barcas) connect neighbouring Niteroi to Rio de Janeiro and arrive at Praça XV, in the city centre.



Getting Around

By Car

Driving in Rio can be a little bit crazy, and as long as you stay around the South Zone you won’t need it. But if you plan to visit the beaches of Barra, Recreio, Prainha or Grumari or take a trip to nearby cities it’s a good idea to rent a car. You will need a credit card and a driver’s license. To park on public streets you will probably have to deal with a flanelinha, a person who insists on helping you park and watching your car. Generally, locals give them 2 reais. Just be very careful when you drive at night, since Cariocas don’t like to stop at red lights after dark. Wear seatbelts and lock your doors. Have a safe trip!

By Public Transport

Even though the system is not very big and covers a limited area (it only has two lines), the subway is good and safe. This is an excellent choice to avoid traffic if you want to go to Botafogo, Flamengo, Catete and downtown area. The metro does not reach Ipanema, Leblon and Barra, but there is a bus service (a gray bus with the word Metro written on it) that connects the first Copacabana station with Ipanema and Leblon for no extra charge.

One way metro ticket costs R$2.60 and it is open Mon/Sat from 05:00/Midnight; Sun/holidays from 07:00/23:00. Further info at the Metro Rio website.

Only the lines 1 (orange) and 2 (green) are actually underground (ask for the number: nobody cares about the colour here), the others are done by shuttle buses, using the same ticket. Passes cost the same as the individual tickets, may not save you money but saves a lot of time, if you get the metro with a lot of frequency you should buy a pass. (There is a pass that is accepted in both buses and metro, can be purchased at any Unibanco's bank agency, ask for Riocard)

Taxis are everywhere. You can’t miss them. They are bright yellow with a blue stripe. This is a good choice to get around, especially at night. They run by a meter. After 9:00pm, on weekends and holidays fares are more expensive. This is called bandeira 2 and you’ll see a ‘2’ on the left side of the meter. If you get a cab during a regular day make sure that the meter reads ‘1’. If you are in Copacabana a rate to go to Ipanema will be about 7 reais, to downtown 15 to 20 reais and to the airport or Barra about 30 reais. Be aware that hotel taxis will charge you more. You can also call a radio taxi which is 20% more expensive. They are ordered by telephone and are usually nicer. They can be red, blue or white. Coopertramo: 2560-2022 Transcoo-pass: 2560-4888.

This is the main transportation Cariocas use. It’s cheap and connects the whole city. The route number and final destination are displayed in front of the bus. They only stop if somebody wants to board so wave your hand to the driver. You’ll spend less than 2 reais on a regular bus, many have no airconditioning. As soon as you get on the bus, you will be charged. Don’t open your wallet to look for money, have some change at hand. Pickpockets are common on buses, so be careful. Keep your wallet in a safe place. Some buses with air conditioning are a little bit more expensive. They are the same color as the regular bus but you will read “ar condicionado” on the wind shield.

Lines are numbered according to the general route they serve:

  • beginning with 1 - South Zone/Downtown
  • beginning with 2 - North Zone/Downtown
  • beginning with 3 - West Zone/Downtown
  • beginning with 4 - North Zone/South Zone
  • beginning with 5 - within South Zone
  • beginning with 6 - North Zone/West Zone
  • beginning with 7 and 9 - within North Zone
  • beginning with 8 - within West Zone

Most popular lines for tourists are 583 and 584 (from Copacabana and Ipanema to Corcovado railway station), as well as 464 and 435 (from Copacabana to Maracanã). Buses 511 (Ataulfo de Paiva) and 512 (Bartholomeu Mitre) are also popular as they take you to Urca for the station to take the cable car up the Sugarloaf mountain. Typically bus drivers and controllers won't understand any foreign language. If you can't speak Portuguese at all, use a map. Trying to speak Spanish is usually not particularly useful.

Special Buses
There are some buses called frescão (fresh) that have very good airconditioning and are more comfortable than regular buses. Some connect downtown to the South Zone, and others pass through Barra and the airport. They are very big and they have the word “Real” written on the side. Many pass through the beach front and others through the main streets of Copacabana and Ipanema. You can wait for them at the regular bus stops or at the beach avenue corners. If you want to go shopping there is a big blue bus from Rio Sul that stops at all the hotels along the beach. This is a free service for tourists and you can also get it to go back to your hotel. Check the timetable with your concierge.

There are many vans circulating around the city. They pass especially along the beachfront avenues. They can be a good option to go to Barra but they are not well regulated and many operate without permission. They charge from 4 to 6 reais, depending on the distance. They will stop when flagged.

By Foot

Use sunblock, and have fun. Try to avoid darker streets and stay on the beaten track.

By Bike

Rio has over 300 kilometres of bike lanes around the city. Guided bike tours in Rio de Janeiro are available through several tour operators, just search the web, and there are bike rental places aplenty




In Rio de Janeiro you can probably find something to fit any craving. A good approach to local food is "comida a kilo" - buffet style restaurants where you pay by the weight of the food on your plate. An excellent place to go with your friend or even with your partner is the Fellini restaurant. Located in Leblon, the place has a "pay for what you eat" buffet, with really good and beautiful food. Great for all tastes, it has even Asian food on the menu- approximately R$5 per 100g. More information available online [3]. Another one is Ming Ye, Rue do Lavradio 106, near Lapa. Ming Ye offers a wide range of Chinese stir-fry and delicious sushi, as well as Brazilian dishes for cheaper prices (around R$3 per 100g).

Don't miss the Brazilian most famous dish, the feijoada (fay-zho-AH-da), a black bean stew filled with big chunks of meat, like sausages, pork and beef. Along with the "feijoada", you also get some colorful side dishes that come with it, such as rice, cassava (roasted manioc), collard greens, fried pork rinds, and some orange slices, to sweeten things up a bit. This is bonafide, authentic carioca culinary excellence, almost worth the trip alone! Best while sipping down a "caipirinha".

For the hungry, nothing beats a good rodízio (all-you-can-eat service). These are available in numerous types, although the most well-known are the churrascaria, all-you-can-eat grilled meats. Marius, in Leme has arguably the best churrascaria in town. Porcão has 5 restaurants around Rio, whereas Carretão has a good and cheap(er) rodizio. At various restaurants around town, you can also find rodízio style dining featuring seafood, pizza, or various appetizer-style snacks. The defining element of rodízio is that unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet, the servers continuously bring skewers of various meats.

If you like meat but want an alternative to the rodizios, a good place to eat at is Filé de Ouro (Rua Jardim Botânico, 731, Jardim Botânico; phone: +55 21 2259-2396; see Google Maps for directions). The place is simple and cozy. During the weekends there are usually big lines, but the steak is delicious. Try "Filé à Oswaldo Aranha", with toasted garlic.

Brazil has the largest population of Japanese outside of Japan, and sushi has become widely popular in Rio too. If you are a sashimi and sushi lover, you will find a great deal of options in Rio de Janeiro. If you are in Ipanema or nearby, a great tip is Benkei, that has an "all you can eat" buffet, with high quality products, great environment and staff for nice prices.

As a former ex Portugal colony, Brasil has maintained many influences of this country on its culinary. Therefore you will find great authentic Portuguese restaurants in Rio. A good option, from the localization to the ambiance, and naturally the food, is the CBF Restaurant, in the Tiradentes Square, a lovely area full of antique architecture.

Brazilian Food

  • À Mineira Rua Visconde de Silva, 152 - Humaitá.
  • Aprazível Rua Aprazível, 62 - Santa Teresa.
  • Bar do Mineiro Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99 - Santa Teresa Phone: 2221-9227.
  • Brasileirinho Rua Jangadeiros,10 lj A - Ipanema Phone: 2513-5184.
  • Casa da Feijoad a Rua Prudente de Moraes, 10 B - Ipanema Phone: 2247-2776.
  • Degrau Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 517 B - Leblon.
  • Espírito Santa Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 264 - Largo dos Guimarães - Santa Teresa.
  • Estação Baião de Dois - Centro Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas - Pavilhão de São Cristóvão - São Cristóvão.
  • Jerimum - Jerimum Pavilhão de São Cristóvão - Centro Luiz Gonzaga de Tradições Nordestinas Address: Av. do Nordestino, lj 14 A - São Cristóvão
  • Siri Mole & Cia Rua Francisco Otaviano, 50 - Copacabana.
  • Yorubá Rua Arnaldo Quintela, 94 - Botafogo - Phone 2541-9387.
  • Tacará do Norte - Rua Barão do Flamengo, 35 - Flamengo - Phone 2205-7545.
  • Roberta Sudbrack - This restaurant is widely considered to be the best in the city. It ranked #71 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, organised by Restaurant magazine. Address: Avenida Lineu de Paula Machado 916 - Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22470-040, Brazil, Phone: +55 21 3874-0139

Per Kilo Restaurants

Middle Eastern

  • Al Khayam Rua do Ouvidor, 16 - Centro.
  • Al Kwait Av. Treze de maio, 23 ljs. M, N - Centro.
  • Amir Rua Ronald de Carvalho, 55C - Praça do Lido - Copacabana.
  • Arab Av. Atlântica, 1.936 A - Copacabana Phone: 2235-6698.
  • Baghdad Rua Bolivar, 45 lj. C - Copacabana.
  • Cedro do Líbano Rua Senhor dos Passos, 231 - Centro.
  • Safran Rua da Quitanda, 68 - Centro.


  • Vegetariano Social Clube Rua Conde de Bernadote, 26 lj L - Leblon.
  • Refeitório Orgânico Rua 19 de Fevereiro, 120 – Botafogo.
  • Rio Vegetariano Rua Voluntários da Pátria, 448 - Lja 83/84 - COBAL - Botafogo.
  • Ser Natural Rua do Catete, 228 - loja 116 - Catete.
  • Beterraba Rua da Alfândega, 25 - A - Centro /// Rua Dom Gerardo, 46 - A/B - Praça Mauá.
  • Reino Vegetal Rua Luis de Camões, 98 sobrado - Centro.
  • Bardana's Praça Ana Amélia, 9 Sobreloja - Castelo - Centro.
  • Green Rua do Carmo, 38 - sobreloja - Centro.
  • Health's Rua Senador Dantas, 84 - loja G - Centro.


  • Tempeh Rua 1º de Março, 24 - Sobreloja - Centro.
  • [|[Vegan Vegan]] Rua Voluntários da Pátria, 402 - Botafogo.


  • Metamorfose Rua Santa Luzia, 405, s 207 - Centro.
  • Associação Macrobiótica Rua Embaixador Régis Oliveira, 7 - 1º andar - sala 104 - Cinelândia.



  • Braseiro da Gávea Praça Santos Dumont, 116 - Gávea.
  • Churrascaria Palace Rua Rodolfo Dantas, 16 - Copacabana.
  • Giuseppe Grill Av. Bartolomeu Mitre, 370 - Leblon.
  • Majórica Rua Senador Vergueiro, 11/15 - Flamengo Phone: 2205-0205.
  • Marius Av. Atlântica, 290 - Leme.
  • Porcão Rua Barão da Torre, 218 - Ipanema // Av. Infante Dom Henrique s/n° - Aterro - Flamengo.
  • Zozô Avenida Pasteur, 520 - Praia Vermelha - Urca Phone 2295-5659.


  • Albamar Praça Marechal Âncora, 184/186 – Centro.
  • Azul Marinho Rua Francisco Bhering, s/nº - Arpoador - Hotel Arpoador Inn Phone- 2513-5014.
  • Barracuda Av. Infante Dom Henrique. s/nº lj. 28 - Aterro do Flamengo - Marina da Glória – Glória.
  • King Crab Crustáceos Rua do Ouvidor, 12 - Centro Phone: 2220-2532.
  • Mangue Seco Rua do Lavradio, 23 - Centro.
  • Margutta Av. Graça Aranha, 1/2º - Centro // Av. Henrique Dumont, 62 - Ipanema.
  • Marisqueira Rua Barata Ribeiro, 232 - Copacabana Phone: 2547-3920.
  • Marius CrustáceosAv. Atlântica, 290 - Leme.
  • Pampa Oceano Rua Duvivier, 21 - Copacabana.
  • Sentaí Rua Barão de São Félix, 75 - Centro.
  • Sobrenatural Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 432 - Santa Teresa Phone: 2224-1003.
  • Tia Palmira Caminho do Souza, 18 - Barra de Guaratiba Phone: 2410-8169.
  • Tia Penha Estrada Roberto Burle Max, 10.815 - Barra de Guaratiba Phone: 2410-1425.


  • Sushi Leblon Rua Dias Ferreira, 256 – Leblon.
  • Azumi Rua Ministro Viveiros de Castro, 127 - Copacabana Phone: 2541-4294.
  • Manekineko Sushi Rua Dias Ferreira, 410 - Leblon.
  • Nakombi Rua Maria Angélica, 183 - Jardim Botânico.
  • Togu Rua Dias Ferreira, 90 - Leblon.
  • Yasuto Tanaka Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, 1210 - Lagoa.
  • Mirai Rua Dias Ferreira, 116 - Leblon.




Lapa is a good bet for Thursdays, several bars and clubs, but the party is in the street. There you will find people dancing and playing Samba, Choro (soft rhythm with flutes and mandolin), Reggae and Hip Hop, as well as ballroom dancing (gafieira), but no Rock (except for some underground, which doesn't happen often or in the same place, but usually in some less known places of Lapa) or Pop music. While drinks are sold in the bars and clubs, vendors also roam the streets wearing coolers full of beer for even cheaper prices. It can also be a very exciting and packed place on Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure not to bring valuables, as there are a lot of pick-pockets operating in the area.

Being in Rio and not going to one of the countless samba live music bars, certainly you've missed a lot on your trip. In Lapa, the nightlife district of Rio, there are many nice bars with great atmosphere where locals go for dancing and meeting people. There are a couple of them in the Zona Sul as well. Most of these bars work with a kind of consumption card, which is handed to you when you enter. Everything you consume is marked on this card, and losing it means you'll have to pay a really high fee of sometimes more than R$200,00! So take good care of it.


  • Colombo Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32/36 - Centro Phone 2505-1500.
  • Colombo do Forte Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco, 01 - Posto Seis - Forte de Copacabana - Copacabana Phone 3201-4049.
  • Garcia & Rodrigues Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 1251 - Leblon.
  • Talho Capixaba Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 1022 - Leblon.
  • Salão D’Or Praia do Flamengo, 340 - Casa de Arte e Cultura Julieta de Serpa - Flamengo Phone: 2551-1278.
  • Tumbão de Malevo Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 121 – Santa Teresa.
  • Café du Lage Parque Lage - Rua Jardim Botânico, 414 - Jardim Botânico Phone: 2538-1091.
  • Cafeína Rua Farme de Amoedo, 43 - Ipanema // Rua Constante Ramos, 44 - Copacabana // Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 1321 - Leblon.
  • Armazém do Café Rua Rita Ludolf, 87/lj. B - Leblon // Rua Maria Quitéria, 77 G - Quartier Ipanema - Ipanema // Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 547/101 - Ipanema // Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 261 A - Ipanema // Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 375 lj. C - Leblon.
  • Alessandro & Frederico Café Rua Garcia D‘Ávila, 134 lj. D - Ipanema Phone: 2521-0828.
  • Bazzar Café Av. Rio Branco, 44 - Livraria Travessa - Centro.
  • Café D'Hôtel Hotel Marina All Suites, Av. Delfim Moreira, 696 - Leblon Phone: 2172-1100.
  • Café D’Antonio Torres Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 1292 – Livraria Letras & Expressões - Leblon Phone: (21) 2511-5085 - opened 24/7.
  • Café Fazenda Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 82, ss107 - Ipanema Phone (21) 2227-5840.
  • Café Galeria Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476 - Instituto Moreira Salles - Gávea Phone (21) 3284-7400.
  • Café Hum Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 580/118 - Ipanema.
  • Café Laguiole MAM- Museu de Arte Moderna - Av. Infante Dom Henrique, 85 - Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes - Centro Phone :(21) 2532-0755.
  • Café Rodrigues Travessa do Ouvidor, 21 A - Centro Phone: (21) 2252-7888.
  • Café Severino Rua Dias Ferreira, 417 - Livraria Argumento Phone: 2259-9398.
  • Café Ubaldo Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 276 - Livraria Letras & Expressões - Ipanema Phone: 2521-6110.
  • Maça Café Rua Jardim Botânico, 585 - lj A, B - Livraria Ponte de Tábuas - Jardim Botânico.
  • Noz Moscada Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 270/108 - Rio Design Center - Leblon // Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 547 - Galeria Ipanema - Ipanema.
  • Samba Café Rua Francisco Otaviano, 20 lj. G. - Shopping Cassino Atlântico - Copacabana.
  • Bistrô Jardins Rua do Catete, 153- Jardins do Museu da República - Catete Phone (21) 2558-2673.
  • Casa Cavé Rua Sete de Setembro, 137 - Centro Rua Uruguaiana, 11 - Centro Phone: 2224-2520.
  • Colher de Pau Rua Primeiro de Março, 66 - CCBB - Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil - Centro Phone 3808-2090.




In the Zona Sul, you will find Rio's fanciest and most popular hotels along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, but there are lots of small, cheap, clean hotels around Flamengo and Catete. The street in front of the strip of tourist hotels in Copacabana can be seedy, due to both garishly-dressed tourists, and a few opportunistic locals ready to take advantage of them. The apart-hotels in Ipanema are a much more pleasant alternative, being both better appointed and in a nicer neighborhood with fewer tourists.

Accommodation in the lower Centro can be convenient for business travellers. The surrounding areas, however, are far from pleasant at night, being nearly deserted and lacking decent restaurants and leisure options. The central Santa Teresa neighbourhood, however, is quite departed from the city centre life and has plenty of pleasant bed and breakfasts and a significant nightlife.

Given Rio's rise as a fashionable destination with creative and fashion people, some hotels that cater to the design-conscious crowd have also been popping up at the most upscale neighborhoods. The city also has a large selection of apart-hotels, which provide apartment-style accommodations with kitchen facilities. Private condominium apartments can also be rented short-term at reasonable rates, and can be found on the internet. This is probably a preferable means of finding one of these than the notes that will be passed to you by anonymous persons on the street. These apartments generally have a one-week minimum, or two weeks during Carnaval or New Years holidays.

Accommodation in Rio is probably Brazil's most expensive. There is a relative shortage of hotel rooms on the cheaper range and booking in advance is recommended. Moreover, prices for most accommodation can more than triple during New Year's and Carnaval. Those are very busy periods and booking well in advance is recommended. Note that most hotels in tourist areas will only sell 4-day packages and charge in advance - even if you want to stay only for a couple of days during those events. Other than those, the busiest month is January - summer holidays in Brazil.

Motels, that you will see mainly on the outskirts of the city, are not motels in the North American sense. Rather, they are places you go with your lover for a few hours. One famous motel, overlooking the Sheraton in Leblon, was taken over by the US Secret Service when George Bush Sr stayed at the Sheraton. It is not recorded whether heart-shaped beds, mirrors on the ceiling and on-tap porno movies affected their work!

If hostel life is more your style, they are easy to find in Rio. The more expensive ones boast locations that are short walking distance to either Ipanema or Copacabana beach. However if you prefer to stay in Lapa, Glória, Catete, and Botafogo, there are many other choices available. Hostelling has become increasingly popular in Brazil, and many of them are located at walking distance from hot spots. Beware, however, not to be taken to any fraudulent scheme - you might end up being robbed. Look for accredited places with Youth Hostelling International and similar franchises.

To experience Rio from another point of view, there's also the opportunity to stay in various hostels in one of the favelas. Due to presence of many police units (called Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, UPP), it is reasonably safe to stay in some favelas. Ask your hosts about the actual situation, though.







Santa Teresa

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




For tourists there are many interesting things to learn. Why not take a rainy day in town to have samba (the national rhythm) classes or capoeira, a mix of dance and fighting created by the then enslaved African community. Is not as hard as outsiders may think, and it's original and fun. At Casa Rosa Cultural, an antique house in Laranjeiras neighborhood, they offer special classes for the beginner tourists.

If you are staying in Brazil for an extended time, major universities offer Portuguese courses for foreigners, usually for a very low price and with high educational standards.



Keep Connected


Internet cafes (Lan houses) are increasingly common, and even small towns often have at least one spot with more or less decent connections.
An increasing number of hotels, airports and shopping malls also offer hotspots for Wi-Fi with your laptop computer or of course smartphone. Sometimes it is free, sometimes you need to register and there is a time limite and sometimes you need to pay a small amount for (day) use.


See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Brazil is: 55. To make an international call from , the code is: 0014. All cities use the following emergency numbers: 190 (police), 192 (medical) and 193 (fire department). However, if you dial 911 or 112 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police.
Brazil uses two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones.

Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 credits. The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them.

Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo (Telefónica Group), Claro (Telmex/América Móvil Group), OI and TIM (Telecom Italia Group), all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks. Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc.


Correios is the national postal service of Brazil. It is a government run postal service and overseen by the Brazilian Ministry of Communications. Post offices are generally open from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 5:00pm, although post offices located in shopping malls have their own opening hours, usually from 10:00am to 10:00pm. There are no set opening hours at weekends and as post office owners can choose when to open and close. More and more post offices are open until 1:00pm on Saturdays though. You can check things at the nearest post office.

Sending postcards, letters and parcels is a rather straightforward process and services are reliable, though not overly fast when sending post internationally, mostly taking about a week to the USA and Europe, and there is a track-and-trace service for this as well. Domestically, there are both next day as well as more expensive same day delivery options. Stamps are available at post offices, as well as some kiosks or other places where they sell postcards.

For sending packages internationally, you can also used competitively priced private companies like TNT, UPS or DHL. They are generally much quicker and not much more expensive.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -22.903539
  • Longitude: -43.209587

Accommodation in Rio de Janeiro

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


as well as chandie702 (4%), mim (2%), lukekim1 (1%), beatriz.queiroz (1%), Sander (1%), Herr Bert (1%), Lavafalls (1%), hasbeen (<1%), pedro.franklinn (<1%), Hien (<1%), Fast (<1%), Hawakai (<1%), gibletpie (<1%), alansmithparaty (<1%)

Rio de Janeiro Travel Helpers

This is version 156. Last edited at 13:05 on Jan 6, 22 by overtheseaside. 80 articles link to this page.

  • Feature Article
  • (Only editable by Full Members)

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License