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Rio de Janeiro

The tiled steps at Lapa

Practical Info about Rio de Janeiro

Time

GMT -2 (GMT -3 between the third Sunday in October to the third Sunday in March).

Electricity

Brazil has a variety of electrical voltages, sometimes within the same city. The better hotels offer 220 volts. If not, transformers are available in electrical stores. Outlets often accept a variety of plug types but the three-pin type is standard.

Currency

The Brazilian currency is the Real (BRL), which is divided into 100 centavos. 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.

Communication

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.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 190 (police), 192 (ambulance)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Carnival / Mardi Gras 3 Mar - 5 Mar 16 Feb - 18 Feb
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Tiradentes Day 21 Apr 21 Apr
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Corpus Christi 19 Jun 4 Jun
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
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Situated in the tropical South Atlantic, Rio de Janeiro is warm all year round. Summers, between November and March, are very hot and humid. Winters are cool and dry, never cold, with some precipitation, lasting only from June to September.

Getting around the city

Driving in Rio is not recommended for overseas visitors due to the chaotic nature of the traffic. The public transport system in Rio is cheap and efficient, and most places can be reached by metro or bus. By far the quickest and easiest way to get around is by the efficient metro, but there are limits to its coverage of the city with only two lines. Walking around is generally safe as long as there are crowds of people, although walking in the centre of the city is not recommended after the shops close and their security guards go home. The most inexpensive form of transport is the local buses, which travel all over the city as fast as the traffic will allow. Unfortunately, they are often badly driven, crowded, and the scene of much petty theft, especially during rush hours when the crowded conditions are ideal for pick pockets. Special care should be taken on buses known to be used by tourists, such as those to the Sugar Loaf. Public transport stops between 11pm and midnight, with some buses operating twenty-four hours, but it is safer to hire a taxi late at night. Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive, charging a lower rate after 6pm (except Sundays, holidays, and in December). Radio taxis can be ordered and are said to be safer and more reliable, usually with air-conditioning, but they are thirty percent more expensive than regular taxis. Drivers may add a surcharge for extra luggage.

Galeão Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport

www.infraero.gov.br

Getting to the city

Public buses are available and passengers can connect to Rio's Novo Rio Rodoviaria bus station in the city centre. Fares are less than BRL 10. More expensive airport shuttles are available to downtown hotels and popular destinations and often have an English-speaking guide.

Car rental

Car rental companies, including Avis and Hertz, can be found in Terminal 1.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available outside the terminal. Visitors are advised to buy prepaid taxi vouchers at the Rio Tourism Authority desk; they are usually a little bit more expensive but give you peace of mind. It is advisable to ignore the RDE taxi desk and go to the Rio de Janeiro State Tourism Authority desk instead and buy prepaid taxi vouchers there.

Transfer between terminals

A moving walkway connects the two terminals.

Facilities

The airport is well equipped with facilities including ATMs, banks and bureaux de change, shops, restaurants and bars, duty-free shopping, luggage lockers and a tourist help desk.

Parking

There is a multi-level car park across from the terminal that offers short and long-term parking.

Internet

There are a few wifi hotspots operated by pay services like Trustive and Boingo.

Airports nearby