The wonder city has so many marvelous attractions that it is really a hard task to describe all of the magical places to visit. Although the city is one of the most famous worldwide, for many foreigners, there are still many questions to be answered when deciding for traveling to Rio. Is the International Airport distant from the city? How is the public transportation like? How are cabs identified? How much should we tip waiters? How do really we should dress like to mingle and have the local feel? How do we call our country or what are the vaccination requirements? These are some of the questions and concerns you will be se answered in this section. Most of the tips and data we provide are accompanied by hyper-links that you can access directly with single clicks. We also have a special section on city´s main shopping centers and important hospitals.
Also, to simplify your research, we prepared an index. Navigating through the Index links below, you can reach directly your area of interest without having to scroll through the entire document. If you still have any question or concerned that is not mentioned here, please feel free to contact us!
Rio de Janeiro/Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport (IATA: GIG, ICAO: SBGL) better known as major international airport. The second name of the airport is . approximately twenty kilometres from the city center, by 1970 the airport was Brazil's major air-hub. In that year, its administration was assumed by . In 1977, at which time it was receiving all of Brazil's major international flights, the airport underwent a major renovation.
In 1985 the airport lost the title of the country's major international airport to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, due to a drop in passengers to/from abroad built a second terminal on the site at a cost of US$600 million, which is capable of handling 7.5 million passengers annually, more than doubling the airport's capacity. Until 2004, passenger numbers had remained stable at about 4.5 million per year, but this number has subsequently increased. In 2007, Galeão International Airport handled 10,352,211 passengers and 119,890 aircraft movements, placing it 4th busiest airport in the country in both categories.
Galeão was Infraero's second-most idle and money-losing airport (after Confins International Airport), and was considered by many to be a waste of resources. At the time the new terminal was opened, Guarulhos was overloaded, operating at 102% of capacity, against 24% for Galeão. Infraero was criticized for not investing resources appropriately. However, since late 2004, most flights from the overloaded downtown were reassigned to Galeão. The airport is also a second international hub for .
Additional Information on International Airport - Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim:
Address: Av. 20 de Janeiro s/nº Ilha do Governador - RJ CEP:21942-900
Phone:(55 21) 3398-5050 Flights: (55 21) 3398-4527 / 3398-4526 FAX:(21) 3393-2288
Rio Airport Distance from Downtown: 20 k
Santos Dumont Airport serves Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Located in the opening of the Guanabra Bay, Santos Dumont is the city's second major airport behind the Galeão International Airport. Santos Dumont Airport is designated mainly for premium traffic and formerly international. Santos Dumont Airport is located only two kilometers from the city's downtown. The name of the airport honors . Currently, it is managed by Infraero, Brazilian authority for Airport Services.
The airport was the city´s first airport, initially intended for international and transcontinental flights. It was built by architects MMM Roberto (Marcelo, Milton and Mauricio Roberto Doria-Baptista) on reclaimed land, leaving no space for expansion. Its pioneering modernistic architectural features made it into a Brazilian national landmark.
Due to a fire that almost destroyed the main terminal in 1999, the airport was closed for 6 months, and passengers needed to use Galeão International Airport which is located much farther from the city's downtown. The airport is famous for having some of the shortest runways in which some Boeing and Airbus aircraft can land on. Starting from late 2004, the airport handles only flights to Congonhas-São Paulo International Airport and smaller regional flights. The Santos Dumont Airport is also considered one of the most beautiful airports in the world, because of the Sugar Loaf and Guanabara Bay contours.
Additional Information on Santos Dumont Airport:
Address: Praça Senador Salgado Filho s/n° Centro - RJ CEP:20021-340
Phone:(21) 3814-7070 FAX:(21) 2533-2218 Phone information and flights: (55 21) 3814-7070
Rio Airport Distance from Downtown: 1 k
Rio is a tropical city. Summer runs from December through March with temperatures ranging from 25º C (77º F) to 42º C (108º F) while winter runs from June through August when temperatures can drop to around 20º C (68º F) in the day and a cool 16º C (60º F) at night. 90% of all apartments we rent have air-conditioning in the suite and main rooms. .
Most people would agree to say that getting around a city is one of the most important issues when trying to understand our travel destination. Some people consider it fundamental, even when picking for a travel destination. The ideal scenario is to have a thorough notion of the city transport alternatives before your arrival, so you can feel safe and comfortable. This is why we decided to write a basic guide on the public transportation facilities and some important facts about this amazing and vibrant city. When do we pick a taxi or ride a bus? How do regular buses look like in Rio? What is the color of the cabs in Rio? How much does an executive bus and average taxi ride cost? What are the transportation options locals prefer? What are the main subway stations used by locals?
Rio is a large city, but most of what goes on is concentrated within a small area. Just like Manhattan in New York, once in Rio, you do not need to worry about transportation if you follow basic rules. Generally speaking, it is very simple to get around in town, following the shoreline. Most of the places you will ever visit are all within a radius of 15 miles. The wonder city offers a number of public and private transportation options. These include regular city buses, executive bus (called “Frescao”), subway (metro), taxis, van and even a Ferry service (to Niteroi and other touristic islands like Paquetá).
Regular Rio City Bus
Regular city bus in Rio is a very inexpensive form of travel which costs about R$2.10 to ride. They come in both non air conditioned (R$2.10) and air conditioned versions (R$2.25 - R$2.40). In past years, city buses suffered from criminals targeting the passengers but they are safer these days. During the day, it is a decent transportation option if you know the routes and are in safer areas of the city. However, they may not be the best option late at night.
Services operate 24 hours and are relatively safe – incidences of crime are rare, although travelers must exercise caution during rush hour and at night, when pickpockets prey. Tickets are available for purchase from the conductor, who sits next to the turnstile at the back of the bus. Again, try using regular buses day-time with your friends, but don´t carry jewelry or expensive wear.
Executive Bus (Frescao)
There is also another type of local bus called the “Frescao”, which means in Portuguese “very fresh” and commonly used by locals. This type of bus runs on a route from Centro through Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema and to Leblon (and vice versa). It is more upscale/comfortable and is air conditioned and costs R$3.50. All Frescãos have the same visual identity (see below). The Fresco that rides from the Rio International Airport to Bara costs R$ 6.00. However, it is only available during the week. These buses also run more frequently during the rush hours in the morning and evening. Going in the direction of Centro, the bus can be flagged down on the beach road (Buses with plaques showing "Castillo"). Coming from Centro, the bus starts off from the Meekness Cortes garage and runs on a road parallel to the beach (but one or two blocks in). It runs on Barata Ribeiro through Copacabana, Prudente de Morais through Ipanema and Av. General San Martin through Leblon.
See above picture of a Frescão executive bus in Rio.
Well you do have the executive buses going everywhere around the marvelous city, and not just on the rush hours but all the time during week period. It’s a wiser decision to get the executive buses than the regular one, especially if you are a tourist in the city. Prices of the Frescão do vary depending on its route. As an example, it´s not the same price to go Copacabana from the Downtown as to go to Barra da Tijuca or Recreio from Downtown. We strongly recommend this transportation option in Rio: they are very safe, practical and can take you to most places in Rio, including both airports.
Rio has a very extensive taxi fleet which includes yellow metered cabs which can be hailed in the streets, as well as a series of special taxis operated by licensed companies which can be found at the airports, in front of our rental apartment’s buildings or booked by phone. The yellow taxis operate with a meter and can be hailed on the street. The flag, or “bandeira” in Portuguese, indicates the tariff and usually reads ‘1’. However, after 23:00, on Sunday and on holidays the tariff will be ‘2’, which indicates a price hike of about 20%. Taxis are fairly priced, although some late-night drivers might quote excessive fixed prices. Travelers should check that the meter is reset and indicates the correct tariff. The minimum fare is currently R$2.70. Tourists are strongly advised to only use taxis that have an official identification sticker in the window. Cabs in Rio are a very popular choice, even amongst locals. Definitely use them to go home from faraway places, like samba rehearsals, and parties.
See above a picture of a regular taxi/cab in Rio:
Special taxis – either blue or red – or white, operate from the airports and some specific locations. Payment is by pre-paid vouchers, which are available for purchase at airport kiosks. Radio taxis are safe and reliable but 30% more expensive than yellow taxis. Providers include Central de Taxi (Phone: 21- 2593 2598), Coopertramo and Transcopass (Phone: 21 - 2560 4888). The minimum fare for radio taxis is currently R$ 3.10. Brazilians generally do not tip taxi drivers, although rounding the total fare up to the nearest Real is appreciated. Try to avoid these. We consider this a very expensive option. It is used mainly by executives.
Lastly, we will describe the subway system: The “Rio-Metro” (Metrô Rio) is a mass-transit underground railway network that serves the city of Rio de Janeiro. The subways system was founded in 1979 with five stations operating on one line, it now includes 32 stations and two separate lines and serves on average nearly half a million passengers per day. The system currently consists of two lines: Line 1 which serves the city's downtown business center, tourist areas in the city's South Zone, and several neighborhoods in the North Zone; and Line 2, which serves working-class residential neighborhoods extending toward the north.
The price of a ticket is no more than R$2.40. Follows below the stations listed for Line 1 and Line 2 of the Rio Metro Subway System:
Saens Pena; Sao F. Xavier; Afonso Penna; Estacio; Praca Onze; Central; Pres. Vargas; Uruguaiana; Carioca; Cinelandia; Gloria; Catete; Largo. Machado; Flamengo; Botafogo; C. Arco Verde; Siqueira Campos
Line 2 (North Area):
Pavuna; Eng Rubens Paiva; Acari F: Botafogo; Coelho Neto; Colegio; Iraja; V. de Carvalho; Thomaz Coelho; Eng da Rainha; Inhauma; Del Castilho; Maria da Graca; Triagem; Maracana; Sao Cristovão; Estácio
As one of the largest cities in the world, Rio was a late addition to the ranks of those with modern rapid transit systems, the Metro first opening for business in 1979. Despite several extensions having been built since, the system is still small, serving 32 stations on two lines. Two different batches of cars are operated, with the older examples being unique to Line 1 whilst both types may be found on the newer Line 2. Cars are spacious, with large circulation areas by the large doors, with stations being designed to optimize the flow of boarding and alighting passengers, particularly at the busier points.
The first portion of line 1 to open in 1979 was between Gloria and Praça Onze. Further extensions were completed both to the north and south of this initial section, and today the line runs between Saens Peña in the north and Siqueira Campos to the south, with Siqueira Campos being the Metro's most recently opened station. Work is currently in progress to extend beyond Siqueira Campos to Ipenema and Gavéa, although for the time being, Rio Metro operates its own fleet of high-specification buses to serve these areas. Line 2 was initially operated as light rail, but has been upgraded to full Metro standards, complete with cars similar to those to be found on line 1. Line 2 terminates away from the city centre, at Estácio station, and it is necessary for passengers from line 2 bound for the central business district to transfer to line 1 here. A future project has line 2 being extended eastwards, to reach the business district, and thus reducing the amount of passengers transferring at the extremely busy Estácio interchange.
Stations are usually of the modern, bright type and many have disabled access, either via lifts or the unusual stairlift method. Several stations also have speakers playing classical music, whilst most also have at least one traditional Brazilian 'luncheonette' in the mezzanine level which sells drinks and indigenous snacks. Tickets can purchased from a cashier in a booth; no automated ticket vending machines are installed in stations. No unlimited passes are available, tickets sold as either 'Ida' (one-way), 'Duplo' (round trip)', 'Multiplo' (ten rides) or the combination Metro-Bus ticket, which costs the same as an 'Ida'. Police are stationed at the entrances to most stations, which are kept scrupulously clean, leading to a pleasant and safe environment.
Line 1 has opened in sections, with additional extensions to both ends of the line opening ever since the line began service in 1979. Currently the line runs from Siqueira Campos in the south, through the central area and terminating at Saens Peña to the north-east. The line is entirely underground, and operates on 4-5 minute headways. Work is currently underway to extend the line past Siqueira Campos, which according to Rio Metro's maps, should ultimately add a further eight stations. At the moment, the areas in which these stations will be situated are served by Metro Rio's fleet of buses, which are very luxurious by Rio standards and feature such delights as air conditioning, wheelchair access, air suspension, automatic transmission and uniformed drivers - all items considered unnecessary by Rio's public bus companies. The two bus lines operated by Metro Rio run from Siqueira Campos station to Gavéa and Ipanema, and are very heavily used. Passengers pay the Metro's flat fare of R$2.40 when boarding the bus, which includes a free transfer to the Metro at Siqueira Campos; traveling the other way it is necessary to purchase a combination Metro-Bus ticket, which again costs the flat fare of R$2.40 and includes a free Metro to bus transfer.
Below, you will find a detailed description on Metro Rio station most commonly used by tourists at the wonder city:
Currently serving as a terminal, is situated at the intersection of Rua Siqueira Campos and Rua Tenreiro Aranha. The primary entrance and exit is at the east of the station, and accesses fare control and a large mezzanine via escalator. The station consists of two tracks and two side platforms, with the north face used for alighting and the south face for boarding. To facilitate further expansion, the station has been constructed to a 'through' layout, and the boarding platform has been extended over one pair of tracks so that only one set is used. As with all terminal stations, a very quick train turnaround is made; the procedure appears to be that the arriving train operator alights, whilst another operator at the departure end of the platform boards the train immediately and departs as soon as boarding and alighting is complete. The arriving operator then walks to the departure end, and boards the next train to arrive. Train turnaround is as quick as thirty seconds from arrival to departure.
is the next stop after departing Siqueira Campos and is the most architecturally interesting station in the Metro system. The platform area has been dynamited out of the base of São João Mountain, and maintains a cave-like structure, with a large gap between the two side platforms to accommodate both tracks and between them, several large upright sections of the mountain to support the roof section. The platforms are a considerable distance from the small mezzanine area, and are also deeper than others of Rio Metro's underground stations - it is necessary to use three separate escalators to descend from street level to platform level. Disabled access is provided by three stairlifts. The station is situated in a small park and has an airy feel, whilst the mezzanine also contains a small jewelers' stall.
After passing beneath São João Mountain the next which consists of two side platforms and an island. Both side platforms are used for disembarking only, with the central island platform used for both boarding and alighting passengers. In reality, the practice employed here dissuades passengers from embarking onto the island platform, as upon arrival the train's doors first open on to the side platform, followed after a pause of approximately ten seconds, at which point the doors to the island platform open to allow passengers to board. This is done to help passenger flows at some of the busier stations and works very well. Mezzanines are situated at both ends of the station, which is situated beneath Rua Nelson Mandela and has six entrances/exits in total.
is the next station, which consists of two side platforms with entrances/exits and both ends. The platforms are very close to street level, and are naturally lit slightly. The next station, is similar to Flamengo, and has its main entrance/exit to the north of the platforms. A crossover at the south end of the platforms leads to a smaller mezzanine and exit, on the west side of the station.
is another station where steps have been taken to assist passenger flow during busy times, and consists of two side platforms. Both platforms have exit-only staircases at both ends; the staircases to the sound end lead to a mezzanine, with the stairs at the north end of the platforms leading to high-level exit-only turnstiles - entrance is not possible at the north end of the station. A third staircase in the middle of the platform is entrance-only, and is linked to the mezzanine situated above the south end of the station. is slightly similar to Catete, although the stairs at the north end of the platform are for entry only, the opposite to the situation at Catete. The only exit is at the south end of both platforms, whilst the southbound platform has an additional entrance-only staircase in the middle.
Next is , which serves the southern portion of the central business district (CBD). This plain station consists of a wide central island platform, with stairways at both ends which lead to separate mezzanine areas. is a very busy station and serves the heart of the central business district, resulting in serious crowding during the rush hours. It has one very wide island platform, and two side platforms; the latter are used for exit only, whilst it is possible to both board and alight from the central platform. The station has one large mezzanine in the centre, with only one staircase per platform; disabled access is via a stairlift. The station has three entrances/exits, one of which is to a park close to the Santa Teresa Tram terminal.
the next stop, is slightly curved and has several stairways on both of its wide side platforms, all of which are marked as either entrance-only or exit-only. No crossover is possible at this station, as two separate banks of turnstiles control each platform. The large mezzanine are above the platforms exits to a huge and bustling market area; the entrance to the station from the street is difficult to pick out, hidden behind the many stalls to be found here. After leaving Urugaiana, the line curves sharply to the west, shortly after which it arrives at . This stop is named after Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, who was Brazil's president/dictator between 1930 and his deposition in 1945. The station consists of two island platforms; there is a mezzanine at the eastern end of the station, whilst the western end has high-level exit-only turnstiles.
The next station is which is a major interchange point between the Metro, local and longer-distance bus lines, and the Supervia suburban electric rail network. The station consists of one wide island platform, with two banks of escalators in the middle and stairways at each end, all of which lead to a very large mezzanine area above the platform which runs the length of the station. Disabled persons can access the platform via a stairlift from the mezzanine, which has at least four separate exits to the street.
Now heading in a south-western direction, the next station is which consists of two side platforms with a central, naturally lit mezzanine at street level. A central bank of turnstiles lead to entrance-only stairs, whilst two outer banks of turnstiles are exit only and are accessed via escalators from the platforms. There was another exit from this station, at the extreme east end of the northbound platform, to Marques de Sapucai, although it was roped off - perhaps it could be open during the afternoon rush hour only, and probably consists of high-level exit-only turnstiles.
is the next stop, a large complex which forms the sole interchange between lines 1 and 2. As a result of its situation some way from the CBD, the station becomes very crowded during rush hours as all passengers from stations on line 2 heading for the CBD must transfer here. The line 1 platform arrangement consists of one large island platform and two side platforms. Unlike other stations with this platform arrangement, boarding and alighting is permitted on all three. Numerous stairways and escalators are situated on both platforms, some of which lead up to the large mezzanine area, with the others leading down to the line 2 platforms.
has two side platforms, with stairs in the centre of each to access a small mezzanine area. This station, situated beneath Rua de Santamini, is considerably smaller and more basic than most other stations on line 1, which is also the case at the next stop, . This station is identical to Afonso Pena, except that the wall tiles here are beige, compared to white at Afonso Pena.
The next and final stop is ), which consists of two island platforms and three tracks. The northernmost of the three tracks appears to be disused, and shows no sign of any trains using it; this is no doubt due to the fact that the northernmost of the two island platforms is for alighting only and, as a result, there is no way for boarding passengers to board a train on this track. The middle of the three tracks appears to be used most, with incoming passengers alighting on to the northern of the two platforms, and boarding passengers joining from the southern. The southernmost of the three tracks appears to be used occasionally, perhaps for put-ins from the yard as it adjoins the boarding platform only; all three tracks end at bumping blocks approximately ten yards past the platforms. The boarding platform has a 'next train' indicator, with arrows illuminating pointing at the relevant train; this was turned off at the time of my visit. Saens Peña is a very busy station, with train turnarounds made very quickly.
During your stay at the wonder city, you will probably only use Metro Rio Line 2 if you wish to go to the Maracana Stadium.. The subway is generally the preferred transport method for going to watch a soccer match since it´s very quick. Many people also use cabs. So you can have an idea, a trip from Cardeal Arcoverde Station at Copacabana to Maracana takes approximately 29 minutes. Rio Metro Line 2 stations have a much more suburban feel than line 1, with greater distances between stations enabling higher speeds. The majority of running is either through open-cut or elevated sections. Although the stations are well-policed and seem very safe, the line does pass through some of the nation´s most poverty-stricken, depressed areas.
The Maracana Station is the second, considering Estácio as the interchange stop. After leaving São Cristóvao the train proceeds to named after the adjacent world´s largest soccer stadium - commonly known as Maracana. The station's configuration consists of two island platforms and three tracks, the middle of which shows no sign of recent use. There are exits at both ends of the platforms to a large mezzanine, which had stairways to the street; there is also a very wide pedestrian bridge which crosses a large road junction and descends to street level directly in front of the Mariana Stadium, and would appear to have been built to accommodate the large crowds that undoubtedly descend upon the station on match days.
What to wear in Rio/ How to dress in Rio:
Dressing in Rio for vacation or for a short term is an interesting experience. If you want to fit into the crowd, then you should first stop at the main streets of Ipenema and check out the colorful and bold fashion Rio has for its own "Cariocas". Although they are trend oriented and carefully researched from the latest European and GAP stores of USA, the fashion of Rio has its unique flair. Most of the times, if you are between 15-24 yrs old, you dresses according to what your peers are dressing, thus, copied from the nicest stores in Ipanema, then translated to the mainstream of shopping malls. Rio gals and guys wear any casual outfit with style and charm. Some say the charm is how they walk, others say it is in the accessories, others say it is in the charm. It is a mystery...only living in Rio to know why the fashion of Rio is unique.
Rio Dress Casual Picture
In general to feel at home, there are a few basic international rules to observe. When in doubt wear black. When in doubt, shop locally. When in doubt bring classic pieces that you would generally buy in your hometown. A Gap store or H&M store. Brazilians are classic. The myths of small and short skirts that Cariocas wear, or small bikinis and bathing suits, is gone. Brazilians are very trend oriented. Most elegant men in Rio wear shorts, Polo colorful t-shirts. At night, jeans and long sleeve shirts, or jeans and t-shirt. When in doubt, pack your khakis and polos, they are always welcomed. For women, pack your favorite black dress, many colorful dresses and leave the shoes behind. Cariocas where flip flops mostly on hot days (not any flip flop, mainly Havaianas brand), and because shoes are extremely cheap, you might go for a splurge and go bananas at a shoe store.
Accessorize...bags, belts and whistles. Cariocas loves accessories and there is a store at every corner. If you are a woman, you might like to leave your hair down. In Rio, it is all about the beautiful long hair. If you do not have such luck, pull the hair back on a lovely ponytail, neatly, and you are ready. And guys, please, if you are going to show your pretty toes, make sure they are groomed...and wait, no socks and sandals, no colorful Hawaiian shirt, we all know this buy now. We are in a Global world. Cariocas loves to shop. Always ask a Brazilian friend to shop with you. They will love to dress you up!!
Long Distance Dialing from Brasil
Rio has an excellent telecommunications system which links Rio to the rest of Brasil and the world. There are basically two international telephone carriers general public may use for international long distance calling; Embratel and Intelig. Direct dial and collect calls can be placed from any telephone. Pay phones are located throughout the city and operate with telephone cards. Please see a series of dialing codes:
Codes for international and interurban calls: (Long Distance Dialing Carriers Codes):
Intelig - code number: 23 (national - works from any city in the country or abroad)
From abroad to Brazil. The Brasil code is: 55 / Rio’s code is 21
Codes for interstate, national and international calls Interurban and International calls from Riodejaneiro are known according to DDD (Discagem Direta à Distância) and DDI (Discagem Direta Internacional) codes.
To make a call, you must use the telephone operating company’s number before the country or city code desired.
The following examples help to illustrate this:
Interurban calls (DDD): 0 + ( Long distance carries code )+ two numbers of the city you wish to call + telephone number
International calls (DDI): 00 + Long distance carries code + country code + city code+ telephone number 0 + ( Long distance carries code )+ two numbers of the city you wish to call + telephone number
Example Call to the US: 00 + 21 or 23 + 1 (US Country Code) + 212 ( NY city code) + telephone number
ipanema Telephone Numbers in Rio
See below series of ipanema telephone numbers. Please dial the numbers below from land-lines, not mobile phones.
Telephone / Carrier Assistance:
- For assistance in International Calls via telephone operator dial: 000111
- For Information on International Direct Dialing, DDI: 000333
- Domestic long distance calls via the telephone operator dial: 101
- Reverse charge (collect) interurban calls dial: 107
- Local and Long Distance Carrier assistance: 105
- Interurban reverse charge (collect) calls 9 (+ city code)
Rio Emergency Codes:
Please dial the numbers below from land-lines, not mobile phones.
- Police Dial: 190
- City Police Force Dial: 399 - 3217
- Federal Police (loss of passport) Dial: 291 - 21
- Civil Defense Dial: 199
- Firemen/Ambulance Dial: 193
- Road traffic accidents Dial: 590 - 2121
- Lost and found Dial:159
- Special Tourist Service Police Branch Dial:511 - 5112 / 5767
- Women’s Police Service Dial: 399 - 3690
- LIG-LIGHT (Electricity Company) Dial: 120
- Local time dial: 130
- To set wakeup call dial: 134
The electric current in Rio is 110 or 120 volts, 60 cycles, alternating current. Many hotels and large apartment blocks do, however, have some 220 volt outlets. .For this reason, many apartments and hotels will label their outlets to make sure guests know what type of power they use. If an outlet lacks a label, this information will often be listed in the hotel services guide. If in doubt, you should check with reception before plugging in an appliance.
Foreign Exchange, Currency and Indexes
The currency used in Brasil is called the Real (R$) and the foreign exchange rate is published daily in the newspapers and other specialized sites. Foreign exchange can be handled in banks, travel agencies and authorized hotels. Travelers’ checks as well as currencies are easily exchanged at these locations. International credit cards are accepted at virtually everywhere, including hotels, restaurants, stores, travel agencies, car rental companies and businesses that render services to tourists. A floating exchange rate is used. The Brazilian currency has remained reasonably stable. From November 2003 to April 2004, the American dollar maintained an average exchange rate of R$ 2,90, according to data from the Brazilian Central Bank. has a very thorough site in English that is worthwhile taking a look. Most relevant Brazzilian economy indexes, rates, regulations, definitions and norms are published there. There is also a very interesting authority and local economy as a whole.
Currency exchange: All banks and exchange agencies recognized travelers’ checks and foreign currency. There is an extensive network of ATMs around the country. The US Dollar is the most widely accepted foreign currency.
Credit & debit cards: Most major international cards are accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.
Travelers’ Checks: Exchangeable at hotels, banks and tourist agencies. Tourists cannot exchange US travellers’ checks for US banknotes but they may, however, benefit from a 15 per cent discount when paying hotel or restaurant bills in foreign currency or travellers checks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers checks in US Dollars.
Currency restrictions: The import and export of local currency is unlimited although it may be subject to prior approval by Brasil Central Bank. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided amounts over US$1000 are declared on arrival; the export of foreign currency is limited to US$4000 per person.
A lot have been said about Rio´s police, but tourists need not to worry. Rarely conflicts reach prime areas such as Rio ´s South Zone. We described below the four types of police uniforms in the wonder city, so you can easily identify them in case you need.
Municipal Guard in Rio de Jaaneiro is in charge for the supervision of traffic, beach patrolling and minor types of criminal occurrences. They are dressed in a brown uniform; brown pants, khaki shirts and white cap. The Municipal Guard troop doesn’t regularly use fire arms.
The third type of policemen found in Rio is formed by the National Force. This elite police is usually called upon special occasions like the Pan American Games, important conferences or presidential visits at marvelous city. They are easily identified by their camouflage uniform, black fire proof vest, and red berets. See below uniform of National Force stationed at the city.
Finally, the last type of police that can be seen in Rio is the .This elite troop became world wide famous because of the successful motion picture “Elite Squad”, which portrays some of the activities performed by this hardcore police. They wear a black uniform and are rarely seen close to the tourists’ scene. They can also be identified by their intimidating badge, which has a skull, crossed by 2 guns and a knife.
The Wonder City also has a battalion strictly dedicated to foreign tourists, and is called “DEAT” . The District for Attending to Tourists DEAT is a special branch of the Civil Police and is made up of a Delegate (Superintendent), detectives and clerks responsible for investigating and recording occurrences. The DEAT has its own offices conveniently located in Leblon in front of the Casa Grande and Scala theaters. The District was instituted and the police officers specifically trained to solve incidents involving foreign visitors.
Delegacia de Atendimento ao Turista - DEAT
Address: Av. Afrânio de Mello Franco, s / nº - Leblon
Phone: (55 21) 3399-7565/69
(55 21) 3399-7457 call center
(55 21) 3399-7562 intelligence service.
Fax: (55 21) 3399-7450
The language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese. English is the predominant foreign language taught in schools, and Spanish, if spoken slowly, is understood by a good percentage of the population. English is spoken generally by the upper middle class.
Restaurants: tips are discretionary but are often found on the final bills as a "suggestion". In Brazil the norm remains 10 per cent. Taxis: tips are not expected by taxi drivers although most passengers will round the fare up if satisfied with the service. Airport and hotel porters: the Real equivalent of U$1.00 per suitcase. Below we placed some examples of how should you tip in Rio: Beauty salons 10% to 15%. Bars 10% to 15%. Restaurants in Rio 10% (automatically included on the bill); additional 5% to the waiter/waitress. Hotel: 10% (automatically included on the bill). Taxi Round up to the nearest Real. Porters and Skycaps: R$1 per bag.
Customs in Brazil
Besides accompanying clothing and personal belongings (which may include radio, tape deck, laptop, movie and still cameras), tourists entering Brazil are allowed to buy merchandise at the airport duty free shop.
Brazil Visa Requirements
Entry visa for foreigners
The visa is federal permission for a foreigner to enter Brazil. For most countries, it is only issued overseas; but for some, a visitor’s entry and permanence in Brasilian territory is authorized for a determined amount of time, defined according to the purpose of the trip.
However, all foreigners who wish to stay longer in Brazil or who were born in countries that do not have an agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs should request a visa. It is advisable to consult necessary requirements beforehand, because the process may take a few days to be completed.
The visas are granted to foreigners who come to Brazil for reasons that include diplomatic missions, official trips, tourism, to visit friends and family, business, participation in sport and artistic events, as well as their presence in international seminars and conferences.
The foreign visitor shall fill in the Visa Request Form, available in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English, individually, that is, even if the tourist is taking a minor, said minor shall fill in his/her own form. And if the minor is coming to Brazil without his/her parents or guardian, he/she needs to present an authorization with the signature of both parents.
The request for an entry visa to Brazil can be made at any Brazzilian consulate overseas. A fee must be paid, which varies according to the type of visa requested and the amount of time the tourist will remain in the country.
It is important to remember that the passport must be valid for at least six more months, from the date the visa is requested. A recent 3x4 or 5x7 colored photo with white background must also be presented.
When the visa is not required
It is possible to enter and remain in the country for a specific period of time without a visa so long as the visitor’s passport is valid. This permission is derived from diplomatic agreements signed between Brazil and some countries, and it is classified according to the purpose of each trip.
Bearers of Diplomatic passports currently do not need any type of visa or authorization to enter Brasilian national territory if they are from the following countries: Germany, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Spain, Great Britain/RU, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the S. M. Order of Malta, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, San Marino, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican. But if they are from countries, such as South Africa, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Barbados, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chile, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, France, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iceland, Malaysia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Netherlands/Holland, Panama, Poland, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, St. Thomas and Prince, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam, they have the right to temporary permission for up to 90 days to enter and remain in the country without a visa. If they come from the Philippines or Cuba, they can stay for up to 180 days; and for 30 days, if they are from Guiana or China.
Bearers of Official Passports or Work Passports can enter the country freely if they are from: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain/RU, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, the S. M. Order of Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Senegal, Switzerland and the Vatican. And they can remain for up to 90 days without a visa if they are from: South Africa, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Barbados, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, Ecuador, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Finland, France, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Netherlands/Holland, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, St. Thomas and Prince, Sweden, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam; for 30 days, if they are from China or Guiana; and for up to 180 days, if they are from Austria, the Philippines, Peru and Tunisia.
Visitors traveling with common Passports, on tourism, can enter and remain in the country for up to 90 days if they are from: South Africa, Germany, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Slovenia, Spain, Philippines, Finland, France, Great Britain/RU, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Morocco, Monaco, Namibia, Norway, New Zealand, The S. M. Order of Malta, Netherlands/Holland, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and the Vatican. However, tourists from: Germany, Angola, Armenia, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, China, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Slovakia, Gabon, Guatemala, Guiana, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Mozambique, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, St. Thomas and Prince, Senegal and Vietnam, should invariably apply for the visa in their home country.
Tourists coming from Venezuela can enter and remain in the country for up to 60 days without any need for a visa.
Bearers of common Passports, but who are on business, may enter and remain in Brazil for up to 90 days without a visa, if they are from any of the following countries: South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Slovenia, Spain, Philippines, Finland, France, Great Britain/RU, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, The S. M. Order of Malta, Netherlands/Holland, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and the Vatican. However, if they are from: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, China, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Slovakia, Gabon, Guatemala, Guiana, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, St. Thomas and Prince, Senegal, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam, they shall request the visa in their home country prior to departure.
Some countries do not maintain diplomatic relations with Brazil, and therefore, Diplomatic, Official and Work Passports are not accepted, and the visa is only granted to tourist or business visitors, under Brasilian “laissez-passer”. The countries included in this group are: Bhutan, Central African Republic and Taiwan.
The Visa Request form must be filled out for all of the following countries – regardless of the type of passport and the purpose of the trip -, before departure from their home country. They are: Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bosnia, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Chad, Cyprus, Singapore, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, North Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Arab Emirates, Eritrea, United States, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji Islands, Gambia, Ghana, Georgia, Granada, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Yemen, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kiribati Islands, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives Islands, Mali, Malta, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Mauritius Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldavia, Mongolia, Myanmar/Burma, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine Authority, Papua/New Guinea, Pakistan, Kenya, Kyrgyz, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, St. Lucia, Saint Christopher-Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leon, Seychelles Islands, Syria, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, East Timor, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu Islands, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Should you have any doubts about obtaining a visa to enter Brazil, contact the local or nearest Braziliaan consulate. The information written above is subject to change, serving only as a preliminary general orientation to the foreign traveler. When planning a tour or business trip, it is indispensable consulting the Brasilian diplomatic offices in your country. It is worth remembering that all country in the world request visas for those who are going there to work.
Brazilian Embassy and General Consulates in the US
Jurisdiction: District of Columbia, States of Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North American bases, excepting Guam.
Address and phone numbers:
3009 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 238-2828
Fax: (202) 238-2818
Brazilian Consulates in the US:
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1850
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 464-0244
Fax: (312) 464-0299
Jurisdiction: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Park Tower North
1233 West Loop South, Suite 1150
Houston, TX 77027
Phones: (713) 961-3063/961-3064/961-3065
Fax: (713) 961-3070
Jurisdiction: Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
8484 Wilshire Blvd., suites 711/730
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Phone: (323) 651-2664
Fax: (323) 651-1274
Jurisdiction: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, in California, following counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
80 SW 8th St. - Suite 2600
Miami, FL 33130
Phone: (305) 285-6200
Fax: (305) 285-6229
Fax on demand for information and forms: (305) 285-6259
Jurisdiction: Florida, Porto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
1185 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), 21st Floor
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (917) 777-7777
Fax: (212) 827-0225
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Bermudas.
300 Montgomery Street, suite 900
San Francisco, CA, 94104
Phone: (415) 981-8170
Fax: (415) 981-3628
Jurisdiction: Oregon, Washington, Alaska and in California, following counties of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Ladera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benedito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislau, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolunme, Yolo and Yuma.
3009 Whitehaven St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 238-2828
Fax: (202) 238-2818
Jurisdiction: Columbia District, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and north-american bases, except Guam.
Types of VISA
Tourist Visa Requirements
B - TYPES OF VISAS
Please note there are ten types of visas. For further information, enter the link in each one.
b1) Tourist Visa ( VITUR ):
- tourism trip;
- visit to relatives and/or friends;
- scientists, professors or researchers attending cultural, technological or scientific conferences, seminars.
- participation in artistic or amateur sport competitions, whenever no monetary prize or paid admission is involved.
- Scientists, professors, researchers, participants in cultural, technological or scientific missions. (services provided must not be paid for by a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil, except for wages for services rendered, with the submission of a receipt);
- Scientists, technicians, researchers or volunteers under the umbrella of an international cooperation program;
- Interns and other unpaid trainees, bearers of scholarships receiving professional practice in Brazil;
- Exchange students;
- Technicians receiving training in the operation and maintenance of machinery or equipment produced in Brazil;
- Amateur athletes, under 21 year old, participating in training programs in Brazil;
- Provision of services to a religious or social assistance entity, without employment relationship with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil.
- Travelers with business purposes, except when the trip involves the provision of services of any nature in Brazil (in which case an item V is mandatory). Business visas are issued to business travelers who possess signed import/export contracts or who are traveling to visit companies, make commercial contacts or evaluate investment opportunities;
- Media coverage or filming;
- Flight/ship crew members not holding an international crew card. and
- Adoption of a Brazzilian child.
- Paid participation in athletic or performing arts events.
- Pursuing graduate or post-graduate academic studies in Brazil.
- Provision of services to the Brazillian Government, arising from an international agreement, contract or undertaking to which Brazil is a party;
- Employment contract with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil;
- Technical assistance services arising from a contract, cooperation agreement, services agreement, or similar instrument signed with a foreign corporation or other legal entity;
- Professional training, without an employment relationship, immediately after the completion of vocational training or university education;
- Medical residency in an educational institution accredited by the Ministry of Education and Recreation;
- Employees of foreign companies admitted to work in Brazil as trainees or interns at a subsidiary or Brazilian branch of the foreign company, provided that they are paid exclusively outside of Brazil by that foreign company;
- Foreign instructors or professors who intend to travel to Brazil for a period of training in foreign language instruction;
- Crew members of foreign vessels traveling to Brazil to operate in waters under Braziliaan jurisdiction, as required under a charter, services or risk contract entered into with a Brazillian company;
- Crew members of foreign fishing vessels leased by Brazzilian companies;
- Crew members or other professionals who perform paid activities aboard cruise vessels along the Braziliann coast, in the Amazon River basin, or in other inland waters.
- Media correspondents
- Travel for religious/missionary purposes.
- Family reunion;
- Transfer of residence following retirement;
- Personal investment in Brazil;
- Intra-company transferees to work as managers, directors, or executives;
- Job offer at a Brazillian research, scientific, or academic organization based on field of expertise;
- Manager or director of a religious or social assistance organization.
Brazil Public Holidays
Rio de Janeeiro and Brazil have a number of public holidays during the year. These include:
January 1 - New Year’s Day
January 20 - St. Sebastian – Patron Saint of the city of Rio de Janeeiro (only in Rio) Moveable - Carnival
Moveable - Good Friday and Easter
April 21 - Tiradentes – Independence Martyr
April 23 - Saint George Day
May 1 - Labor Day
Moveable - Corpus Christ
September 7 - Independence Day
October 12 - Our Lady Aparecida – Patron of Brazil
November 2 - All Souls' Day
November 15 - Proclamation of the Republic
November 20 - Zumbi dos Palmares - Negro Consciousness Day
December 25 - Christmas Day
Brazilian Moveable Holidays in 2008:
Carnival - February 2nd to February 4th
Good Friday – March 21st
Easter – March 23rd
Corpus Christ – May 22
Rio Shopping Centers
Rio de Janeeiro has several good shopping malls options, but Belavista-Rio believes only two of them are worthwhile paying a visit. The first one is Rio Sul Shopping Center. Located at Botafogo with more than 400 shops, multi-brand Rio Sul is especially famous for hosting several bikinis and sports stores. This is where you can buy a typical bathing suit to use in Rio beaches or abroad. Most famous fashion bikini brands such as Blue Man, Bumbum, Banco de Area and Salinas, have a store at Rio Sul. A second shopping center in Rio considered a must for visitors is the Shopping Leblon.. Inaugurated last year, the glamorous Shopping Leblon was made following São Paulo´s Iguatemi Shopping upscale trend, and hosts top luxury Brazzilian and international brands such as Diesel, Calvin Klein, Colcci, Ermenegildo Zegna, and L´Occitane to name a few. One of this made-to-impress shopping center highlight is the bookstore Livraria da Travessa, with 15000 square feet. Pay special attention to its fine CD / DVD section and also the area for kids. You will not surprise yourself if you see famous intellectual or Brasilian movie stars browsing the latest magazines at Livraria da Travessa. Finally, we listed below the main Shopping Centers in Rio, organized by districts.
Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca Shoppings Malls
Rio de Janeiro Hospitals and Clinics
Rio de Janeiiro has a number of internationally respected hospitals, clinics and doctors, but treatment is expensive so visitors are strongly advised to take out medical trip insurance before traveling to Brazil. In case you have a medical emergency in Rio though, try to reach a hospital or clinic close in the neighborhood or district where you are located. See below a list of the main hospitals and clinics in Rio, as well as their website and complete address information.
Rio Dentistry Services
Yellow Fever Vaccine
For tourists who have been in transit over the past three months, or who are coming from certain countries - Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leon, Sudan, Venezuela and Zaire -, an International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever is required.
The yellow fever vaccine is also recommended for all national and international tourists who intend to visit the following Brazillian areas: North (Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá, Pará, Tocantins States) and Mid-west (Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás e Distrito Federal States) Regions of Brazil, to all municipalities of Maranhão and Minas Gerais, to the municipalities located in the South of Piauí, West and South of Bahia, North of Espírito Santo, Northwest of São Paulo and West of the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
The vaccine should be taken ten days before your trip –that is how long it takes for you to be protected against the disease. The reason for this is that, in some forest areas of the country, there is the possibility of people not having taken the vaccination becoming contaminated and getting sick with yellow fever. The Brazzilian coast is free from the disease in the strip that goes from Rio Grande do Sul to Piauí. The forests in the coastal strip ranging from the North of Espírito Santo to the South of Bahia have not registered the circulation of the wild yellow fever virus. It is important to remember that no cases of urban yellow fever have been seen in Brazillian cities since 1942.