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Rio de Janeiro

The tiled steps at Lapa

Practical Info about Rio de Janeiro

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

Time

GMT -3 (GMT -2 between the last Sunday in October and the third Sunday in February)

Electricity

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.

Currency

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.

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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2015 2016
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

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 with heavy rains. Temperatures during the summer months frequently rise as high as 104°F (40°C). Winters are cool and dry, never cold, with some precipitation, lasting only from June to September.

Galeão Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport

www.riogaleao.com

Getting to the city

Public buses are available and passengers can connect to Rio's Novo Rio Rodoviaria bus station in the city centre. 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 and 2.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available outside the terminals. 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. If you hail a taxi outside the terminal make sure the meter is cleared of the last fare.

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. Facilities for the disabled are good.

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