In a huge city like Sao Paulo roads can be extremely congested, with peak traffic between the hours of 6am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm. Driving is not recommended in the city, as parking can be as much of a problem as the traffic. There are hundreds of buses covering the city, but these can be very crowded and slow during peak hours. Buses won't stop unless hailed, and pickpocketing is also common. The subway system is usually the fastest option for getting around in Sao Paulo. The metro system consists of five color-coded lines: Line 1 (Blue), Line 2 (Green), Line 3 (Red), Line 4 (Yellow), and Line 5 (Lilac), all of them operating from Sunday to Friday, from 4:40am to midnight, and on Saturdays until 1am. The Bilhete Único is a smartcard that makes it easy to pay for transport on Sao Paulo's buses, subways, and trains. You can buy them at underground stations, and charge them at newspaper stands with credits for public transportation. Taxis are freely available and absolutely essential after dark. White cabs can be found at stands near big venues and central areas. Radio taxis are more reputable and favoured by tourists, but are more expensive and must be ordered by phone. Sao Paulo is large and spread out. You won't be able to walk everywhere, but the various neighbourhoods are easy to negotiate on foot and are usually safe by day.
GMT -3 (GMT -2 between the last Sunday in October and the third Sunday in February)
Brazil has a variety of electrical voltages, sometimes within the same city. The better hotels offer 220 volts, 60Hz. If not, transformers are available in electrical stores. Outlets often accept a variety of plug types.
The Brazilian currency is the Real (BRL). The US dollar is also welcome in most tourist establishments. In the main cities foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks or cambios. There is an extensive network of ATMs in the country and most major international credit cards are accepted.
The international access code for Brazil is +55. Mobile phone networks cover the main cities and towns, and phones are available to rent. Internet cafes are widely available and most hotels provide internet access. Every town has a central telephone office called a Posto Telefonico where long distance calls can be made, and public phone booths are everywhere, operated by phone cards.
Emergencies: 190 (police), 192 (ambulance)
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Carnival / Mardi Gras||16 Feb - 18 Feb||8 Feb - 10 Feb|
|Good Friday||3 Apr||25 Mar|
|Tiradentes Day||21 Apr||21 Apr|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Corpus Christi||4 Jun||26 May|
|State Rebellion Day (São Paulo state only)||9 Jul||9 Jul|
|Independence Day||7 Sep||7 Sep|
|Our Lady of Aparecida||12 Oct||12 Oct|
|All Souls Day||2 Nov||2 Nov|
|Proclamation of the Republic||15 Nov||15 Nov|
|Black Consciousness Day (selected cities)||20 Nov||20 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
The climate of Sao Paulo may not be as congenial as other Brazilian cities, but it is warm and sunny enough by world standards. The weather remains mild to warm all year round, the lowest average temperatures of around 54°F (12°C) being experienced during July and the maximum averages of around 82°F (27°C) being enjoyed during the hottest month of February. Sao Paulo receives around 53 inches (135cm) of rain a year, mostly during the summer months.
EMTU buses depart GRU Airport, bound to Congonhas Airport, Praça da República, Tietê Bus Terminal and Barra Funda, Itaim Bibi, Circuit Paulista, and Brooklin Novo. The nearest metro station to the airport is Tietê. There the passenger must use a bus to get to the airport. There is an airport shuttle bus which drops off at the main hotels
Car hire companies include Avis and Hertz.
Taxis are available outside the terminals; visitors are advised to take the prepaid taxis, they are usually a little more expensive but give peace of mind.
Terminals One and Two are connected and easy to walk between; transfer to the other terminals takes longer but is still possible on foot.
There are a number of bars, restaurants and shops at the airport. There are banks, currency exchange bureaux and ATMs. There is duty-free shopping before customs for Arrivals, as well as tourist information desks, business facilities and conference rooms.
Parking is available at a variety of different parking buildings around the terminals, including standard and premium parking options.
Pay-per-use wifi is available in both terminals.