USE THE NATURAL LANDMARKS: The visitor neighborhoods of Rio are blessed with spectacular natural scenery. From within the narrow band along running along the beach from Gloria in Centro to Leblon in Zona Sul the natural landmarks can generally easily be observed, this is yet another way to better appreciate this spectacular scenery. 
Line 6 is planned to link the International Airport on Ilha do Governador with Barra de Tijuca (22 km). It will offer transfer to
Line 2 and Flumitrens' suburban service. Line 3 will be privately financed and run to Niterói and São Gonçalo including a tunnel under Guanabara Bay. Bids were called in Dec. 2000.
Source: SUBWAY MAP by  metropla.nett
METRO  || TOP ||
METRO SUBWAY: Clean, comfortable and efficient, but it is rather limited in the area it covers. Unfortunately the only neighborhood in Zona Sul with a subway is Copacabana. The expansion of the subway south to Impanema is on the drawings boards and is expected to open in a few years. 
clcik for subway map
click foto for larger map

There are only two lines: 
Line 1 is 14.5 km long and runs from the beaches in Copacabana north to the city centre, then turns west via the main railway station to Estácio, where transfer is provided to Line 2, and further to the district of Tijuca. The first section of the line opened in 1979 between Glória and Praça Onze (5 km), after 9 years of construction. It was then extended to Botafogo in the south (1981) and Saens Peña in the west (1982). 16 years later, in July 1998 it reached Copacabana (Cardeal Arcoverde station, 1.7 km). It was extended further south to Siqueira Campos (Dec. 2002) and might soon reach Ipanema (Praça General Osório).

Line 2 is 22 km, partly elevated and retains elements of its history as a light rail line serving the suburbs. Leaving from Estácio station on Line 1 in various stages it was extended towards the northwestern districts and its terminus Pavuna.  In the future it will be extended from Estácio into the city centre and to the harbour, crossing Line 1 again at Carioca. It's useful for going to the Maracanã Stadium and the Quinta da Boa Vista.

  •  The hours of operation are only Monday-Saturday 0600-2300 and 1am on weekends
  •  No day pass but you can get a 10-ride card
  • Extremely quick, the trip takes about 20 minutes to move you from Centro to Copacabana (as compared to a 40- to 60-minute bus ride in rush hour).
  • When emerging from stations into an unfamiliar area be careful to not attract attention as lost tourists by keeping your wits about you. 
Official web site

BUS: || TOP ||
BUS: RIO Buses are fast and  relatively easy to get to know how to use effectively. Get advice about the bus lines near where your staying as soon as possible. Tickets costs are very reasonable and are purchased from the conductor, who sits next to the turnstile at the back of the bus.

Jardineira  buses: Locally known as frescão (fresh-caun) run along the beach and can be hailed just like taxis. From Copacabana to São Conrado to Barra. The bus stops are white posts along the street
Vans: These are tolerated privately operated green minivans running back and forth along beachfront avenues and they will stop when flagged

  • Remember to enter from the rear, money & bags at the ready to go through a turnstile and to exit from the front.
  • Carry something with your hotel name & address on it before you embark on your first bus adventure. The knowledge that you can return safely to your hotel by taxi will empower you to be more daring in your bus selection.
  • Compare your map with route number and final destination displayed in big letters on the front of the bus. Smaller signs displayed inside the front window and posted on the side of the bus list the intermediate stops or other important information like  "via aterro"
  • Go "via aterro" between Centro and hotel-beach area of Zona Sul. Look for a smaller front window sign  which says "via aterro."  These buses get on the waterfront boulevard in Botafogo and don't stop until they reach downtown.
  •  If you see your bus coming, and your the only one at your stop, wave your hand up and down at the driver
  • You pay for each ride; there are no transfers.
  • Buses are quite safe during the day, just watch for pickpockets when it gets very busy. Openings to your backpack should be kept visible. Don't wear jewelry, flash money or let go of your bags.
  • On weeknights, or whenever it seems  too problematic take a taxi. Ask how much before you get in. 
TAXI || TOP ||
Yellow taxis with a blue stripe are hailed on the streets, plentiful and reasonable.
FARES: The flag, bandeira, indicates the tariff and usually reads '1'. However, the tariff will be '2' after 2200, on Sundays, holidays and throughout December. Fares during these times will be about 20% higher. Also during the late evenings and holiday periods like Carnaval and New Years, yellow cab drivers may be only interested in working for premium rates. 

 "Let the meter speak for you. Always ask the driver how much it will cost before you get into the cab. It gives the impression that you know where you are going. By luck, you may get to ride in an air-conditioned Yellow taxi."

We prefer getting a quote you in advance. Of course, it is helpful if you have an idea of the metered rate or another competing cab driver is easily hailed but minimally it is cheap insurance in an industry known for fleecing tourists. If you do not see the meter running determine this rate as quickly as possible if you have not done so prior to entering the vehicle. 
Radio taxis  may be white, blue or red with a red and yellow stripe, are ordered by telephone and are generally nicer and air-conditioned
Pre-paid taxi 
is how the airport does it using zones 
TIPPING: Most Brazilians do not tip taxi drivers but rounding up and saying keep the change is appreciated. 

Radio taxis are about 20% more expensive and can be contacted by phone; try 
Central de Táxi
(tel: (21) 2593 2598
(tel. 021/2560-2022) 
Transcoopass (tel. 021/2560-4888


Check with your hotel for cars supplied with a driver.
Here are some high end vendors of luxury cars and limousines with a chauffeur 

Golden Car (tel: (21) 2275 4748; e-mail:, which provides Rolls Royce cars with English-, Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking drivers, for R$1800 for four hours
Grace Festas
(tel: (21) 2516 9297; e-mail: has a fleet of Mercedes Benz mini-limousines available with English-speaking chauffeurs, for approximately R$400 per hour.
Turismo Classico Travel (tel: (021) 287 3390).
Dina Car Rental
(tel: (021) 9994 2377) 
Rio Limousine Service (tel: (021) 9974 9838) 
CAR || TOP ||

Car Rental 
 Driving is a good option for local excursions and visiting some of the beaches up or down the coast. Insurance is required and a credit card is essential. Some major
Use Rio airport code GIG
Use Rio International Airport Code of GIG for price quotes from Hertz & Avis
companies with car hire offices in the city include: 
, Avenida Princesa Isabel 150, Copacabana (tel: (021) 542 3392); 
, Avenida Princesa Isabel 334B (tel: (021) 275 7440); Localiza, Avenida Princesa Isabel 214 (tel: (021) 275 3340; website:; 
, Avenida Princesa Isabel 350 (tel: (021) 295 0040)

Driving in the City
It is not recommended to attempt to negotiate the many confusing one-way streets in the crowded city centre. While Brazilians are among the world's most aggressive drivers, there has been a successful campaign to get Rio driver's to heed all traffic signs and signals, still caution and good navigational assistance are most helpful. Seatbelts should be worn and doors should always be kept locked. 

Car Parking
Not only is it difficult to park on public streets but you are likely going to have to deal with someone who insists on helping you park. Cariocas call them flanelinhas because of the flannel cloth they wave to give directions. Most people settle on R$2 (US$1)Restaurants and clubs have free valet parking (manobrista), though you are expected to tip the driver; R$2 (US$1) is usually adequate.
For visitors making a day trip to Rio by car the best option is to park in a secure car park, leaving your car with an attendant.
If you rent a car at the airport get a hotel that has parking. +rio 

Bicycle Hire 
Worth investigating soon after you arrive. Ask at your hotel for recommendations. There is terrific access to the ribbon of beaches and parks using the cycle paths. Rio has a growing network of over 74km (46 miles) of bike paths
 Rua Figueiredo Magalhães 285 s. 303, Copacabana (tel: (021) 257 1726), from R$15 per day. bicycle+guide+rio+de+janeiro 

MAPS || TOP ||
Rio Maps imageFolio.
Find a very nice selection in our image server with links to bigger versions

Rio MAPS on
Outside links on our main city guide page SECTRAN (tel: (21) 2299 346
 State Agency oversees all forms of organized public transport in state of Rio de Janeiro.