There are no direct flights from Russia to Rio de Janeiro, you will have to make at least one transfer. It is most convenient to fly from Moscow with a connection in Paris, Frankfurt am Main, Amsterdam or Rome. This direction is served by Lufthansa, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, there are joint flights with Aeroflot. The minimum travel time, including a stop, is almost 17 hours. Sometimes it’s a little cheaper to get to Sao Paulo first, from where about 10 flights fly to Rio every day, taking only an hour.
Since 2010, the Agreement on visa-free entry of Russian citizens to Brazil for a period not exceeding 90 days within six months has been in force. So at the border it is enough just to present a passport, return tickets and confirmation of a hotel reservation or a certain amount of money. A visa is now only needed if you are traveling for the purpose of volunteering, studying or running a business.
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From airport to city
Tom Jobin Airport (or Galean) is about 20 km from the city. You can get from it to the center by bus number 2018, the journey time is about 1.5 hours, as there will be a lot of traffic jams along the way. To avoid them, some travelers use the subway. To do this, you need to take an express bus from the airport to Vicente de Carvalho or Madureira metro stations, located on the outskirts, and then transfer to the underground train and move to the center.
A more convenient and faster way is a taxi, there are parking lots in both terminals, you will have to pay 50-65 BRL for travel to the city, luggage is always paid separately. It is safer to buy a travel voucher at the taxi counter in the arrivals terminal. The destination and the exact amount are immediately indicated there.
The most common form of public transport is buses. Stops are carried out only at the request of passengers, payment is made at the entrance. There are more than 800 bus routes in Rio, they cover the entire city in a dense grid, especially popular are Nos. 583 and 584 – they travel around the center. In order for the transport to slow down at a stop, you need to wave your hand to the driver. The official traffic interval is 15 minutes, but there are delays.
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There are often pickpockets on buses, so you need to keep an eye on things.
The metro is considered the safest transport in the city, besides, it has air conditioning. It is small, only two branches, but convenient. For tourists, the green line is of particular interest, as it connects many attractions. Tickets are sold by cashiers at the stations and special machines. The most popular cards are for a one-time trip, but there are also combined ones: metro + bus, as well as prepaid travel cards. To travel to the Barra da Tijuca area, you need a special Barra Expresso ticket.
Metro hours: 5:00 to 0:00 Monday to Saturday, 7:00 to 23:00 Sunday and holidays. During the carnival, you can ride the subway around the clock.
In Rio de Janeiro, there are three light rail lines that travel only in the city center, as well as the retro Santa Teresa tram, which has been operating since 1877. This route is very popular with tourists, in an hour or so, an old trailer passes almost the entire area of Santa -Teresa.
Rio is a hilly city, so the funicular has become one of the convenient modes of transport. Two three-minute ascents lead to Sugar Loaf Mountain, and an intermediate stop is located on Mount Urca. The lower station is located near the Praia Vermelha beach, from where the cabins depart every 20 minutes.
Rio has many rental stations and a network of city rentals with orange bikes. You will need a local mobile phone number to register. The main plus of “orange rental” is that the first hour you can ride for free, and each next one costs 5 BRL. It is important to return the bike before 22:00, after which the parking lots are closed, and in the morning you will have to pay a fine of 40-45 BRL.
You can identify a free taxi car by a raised red flag. It is better to sit in the back seat, and at the end of the trip it is customary to tip the driver – about 10% of the amount on the counter. Travel around the city costs 30 BRL.
Rio de Janeiro Hotels
Most of the popular hotels are located in the tourist South Zone, along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. The cost of rooms, relative to other cities in Brazil, is very high. A place in a hostel costs from 35 BRL, a double room in a modest three-star hotel will cost from 88 BRL, and for luxurious accommodation in a five-star beach hotel you will have to pay from 240 to 2300 BRL. In addition, houses and villas are often rented out in Rio, which is beneficial for large companies (from 4 people), an excellent house can be rented for 300 BRL per day. Due to the fact that inexpensive options are few, it is better to book them in advance.
Prices go up during the New Year and Carnival. During these periods, most of the hotels in tourist areas only sell 4-day packages, and even if you only want to stay for a couple of days, you will have to pay for the package in full.