Getting Around, Rio de Janeiro Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) photographDue to the abundance of attractions in and around Rio de Janeiro, ease of travel to and from, as well as around the city, is extremely important. Luckily, there is a good network of public transport on offer within Rio de Janeiro, providing possible travel options for everyone, regardless of budget or time constraints.

However, one of the best ways to see the city is to simply hire a car and travel around on your own. Unlike using bus transport, you will not have to follow a schedule, and will be free to come and go as you please.

Terminal picture taken at Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport (GIG)

Galeao - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) / Arriving by Air

Address: Infraero-Empresa Brasileira de Infra-Estrurura Aeroportuaria, 21942-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tel: +55 21 398 4597
There are two major airports in Rio - Galeao, which handles international flights, and Santos Dumont, catering largely to domestic travellers. Both airports feature a number of different facilities, including banking, dining and shopping, and both are located fairly close to the centre of the city.

Taxis, bus transport and hire cars are available from these airports, although if you are on a budget, the bus is the best option. There are taxi stands outside the terminals and hire car companies tend to be grouped inside Arrivals.

Galeao - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport Guide

Highway picture

Car Rental

Visitors arriving in Rio de Janeiro by air will find that there are car hire companies situated at both airports. It is, however, cheaper and more convenient to book a car in advance, online. It is then a question of simply picking up the keys when you arrive at the airport. If you would rather wait until you get into the city, you will find many car hire places throughout the city centre.

Driving is a good way to see Rio and its surrounding areas, although you should take extra care when driving in a foreign country. The minimum age you need to be in order to hire a car is 21 and you will also need to have an International Driving Licence.

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Aerial view of the coastline

Buses and Coaches

Buses run to Rio from all major destinations throughout Brazil, although if you are travelling by bus, it is important to book your ticket in advance through a travel agent. Bus transport may not be the most comfortable way to reach your destination, but it is the cheapest way and in Brazil, buses are very reliable. When you are in central Rio de Janeiro, there are a number of different bus routes offering a cheap way to travel around the city. As long as you have a bus map and a rough idea of where you're going, there should be no problem.


Rail services to Rio de Janeiro from other cities in Brazil are limited and unreliable. In fact, train travel is not recommended, as it is usually slower and more uncomfortable than bus travel. In contrast, the city's metro system is highly efficient and the safest form of public transport around. There are a number of different lines which encompass the entire city. There are single and multiple passes available.


Travelling by taxi is one of the safest ways to travel in Rio. However, it is also the most expensive way. Yellow taxis are metered cars and can be hailed on the street. Red or blue taxis are radio cars which usually work at the airports. These can be booked in advance, but there is a set price which is usually much higher than those of metered cabs.