Transportation in Rio de Janeiro
Set in a breathtaking natural landscape, Rio de Janeiro lies between the green mountains of the Tijuca rainforest and the Atlantic Ocean. A string of beaches and parks make the city a popular year-round outdoor destination.With Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer towering over the city, it’s hard to lose your bearings on the beaches of the Zona Sul or in Rio’s compact downtown. Take advantage of the convenient metro system and affordable taxis to explore the city.In the centre, visit colonial Praça XV square or dance the night away in Lapa. Travel south to trendy Ipanema and upmarket Leblon. Ride a ferry east across the bay for fabulous city views.
Rio’s metro system is the quickest way to move from the beaches to downtown. With only two lines it is very hard to get lost. Buy single fare or multi-ride swipe cards at the ticket booth. Travel outside of rush hour to avoid crowds.
Rio’s yellow taxis are plentiful and can be hailed anywhere. Fares are affordable; a short ride can cost almost the same as taking public transportation. Just make sure the driver turns on the meter.
The metro service runs a series of integrated bus lines with modern, quiet vehicles that connect to a number of popular destinations not accessible by subway. Request a special transfer card when purchasing your metro ticket. Avoid the older city buses, which tend to be noisy and, especially in rush hour, very slow.
Walking is often the quickest way to get about for short trips, and is a great way to discover the unexpected. Join locals for an afternoon stroll along Copacabana beach or explore the colonial architecture in the city’s historic downtown.
Admire Rio’s landmark features from the water. Popular ferry routes leave from downtown Rio de Janeiro to the island of Paquetá or to Niteroi, the large city across the bay that is home to the Oscar Niemeyer ‘Flying Saucer’ Museum.
Rent your car
Rio de Janeiro is challenging for drivers. Traffic is hectic, parking is very limited and the locals all think that they are the next Formula One champion. The efficient metro system and affordable taxis make a car unnecessary unless you wish to explore nearby destinations like Buzios or Petropolis.
When travelling by bus or metro, have some small bills or change to hand. Board the bus from the front and pay your fare in cash as you go through the turnstile. If you plan on using the metro more often, purchase a multi-ride swipe card to avoid lining up for a ticket every time you travel. Note that single ride cards are only valid for 2 days, so don’t stock up on too many.