In Part 1 of our 3-part Travel Guide to Rio Olympics, we discussed about the Olympic venues, the major attractions in Rio, places for shopping in the city and places near Rio to escape to, which are more peaceful and offer an equally breathtaking landscape away from the energy sapping madness of the activities in Rio.
In this part we will talk about accommodation and transportation options in Rio that will help you commute easily to the games venue as well as some of the major attractions in the city.
So if you are serious about visiting Rio for the Olympics then don’t procrastinate. Travelers who are interested in attending the games are advised to start planning and booking as soon as possible.
The 2016 Olympic Games are fast approaching, with the Opening Ceremony taking place on August 5th, and the Paralympic Games kicking off on September 7th.
Tips to travelling to Rio during the Summer Olympics and Paralympics 2016
- Most airlines have opened up for the period of the major event and prices will escalate as the games approach nearer, so it’s better not to put off booking flights any further.
- After booking flights, the next step is to buy tickets to the events, for those who haven’t done to it yet. While the first two rounds of ticket releases are over, tickets are now openly on sale on a first come, first served basis, through official resellers worldwide. Click here for the complete list of authorised ticket resellers across the world.
- Venues for the events are clustered around four areas: Barra, Copacabana, Maracanã and Deodoro.
- It is advisable to the tourists to book accommodation around their chosen venues. The most convenient area for most will be the Zona Sul (South Zone), From where transport options to all event locations and major attractions are easily approachable.
- There are many options for accommodation nearer individual venues, especially accommodation in the Barra, Lagoa and Copacabana areas; Near Deodoro, Maracanã you will not find too many places to stay.
- Zona sul has world famous beaches like the Copacabana and Ipanema beach. The biggest concentration of events, however, will be in Barra. The new subway line connecting the centre and tourist zones of Rio with this western zone of Barra will make the commutation considerably easier.
- Travelers can stay in Barra and move easily to the south and centre of the city for sightseeing and other Olympic events. However, it is worth spending part of the trip in the Zona Sul, closer to the action and attractions of the Marvelous City.
- Accommodation in the centre of the city is not of very good quality. That is, at the most you may find three star hotels, as it is basically a business centre.
- Renting an apartment in the centro or the neighbourhood areas is not advisable for tourists as it is not safe for them. But, at a ten minutes drive is Santa Teresa neighbourhood where many Pousadas are located.
- Areas like Rocinha and Vidigal are risky options to stay because of chaotic traffic and easy transportation issues. And even after permanent police presence safety is still a concern in these shanty towns.
- Hotels are booking out fast, however there are other options for accommodation like the Pousadas which refer to small, independent bed and breakfasts, inns, guesthouses, ecolodges and boutique hotels. There a couple of hundred of these in Rio. where one can get a more personal experience. Also, Airbnb is an official partner of the Summer Olympics, providing a plenitude of options and will somehow have to rustle up 20,000+ rooms in people’s houses in a very short period of time.
- Some attractions can be easily combined with the games. The beach volleyball will be played on the iconic Copacabana beach, the marathon is ending in the Sambadrome, the home of Carnival, and the opening ceremony, as well as the soccer matches, will take place in the famous Maracanã Stadium. But try not to miss out any major attraction of the city.
Despite the higher prices and mad rush to secure tickets to events, the grand spectacle of the Olympics are sure to be worth it. Rio has proven its capacity to successfully host large events, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the yearly Carnival celebrations. Add this to the spectacular tropical backdrop, and one has the recipe for a truly special Summer Olympics.
(This information has been picked up from hiddenpousadasbrazil). Check out the website for more information.
Any frequent traveler to Rio would find it very easy to navigate the city and if you are conversant with Portuguese it would be a cherry on the cake. There are a number of public transportation options in Rio de Janeiro, including city buses, executive buses (Frescao), the subway (metro), vans and even a Ferry service. Given that Rio is a very cosmopolitan city, the transportation prices are very cheap.
Arriving at Rio by Air
- Aeroporto Antônio Carlos Jobim: Most international flights arrive at this airport (also called Galeão), located 15km north of the city center. From there, Premium Auto Ônibus operates buses approximately every 30 to 40 minutes to Flamengo, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and other neighborhoods.
- It takes 75 minutes to two hours depending on traffic.
- Radio taxis charge a set fare of R$130 to Copacabana and Ipanema (45 to 90 minutes). Less-expensive metered yellow-and-blue comum (common) taxis cost between R$60 and R$90.
- The public transport in Rio which consists of buses, trains and subways (metro). Buses are the mass transportation means with nearly 440 bus lines. Travelling in buses to go around the city is a good option during the day but it is not recommended at night because it may be unsafe.
- There are both non-air conditioned and air-conditioned buses with different ticket prices. A more comfortable and upper scale bus is called the “Frescão”. The ticket is a little bit more expensive, it is only available during weekdays and it runs from Centro (Downtown) to Leblon passing through Botafogo, Copacabana and Ipanema (and vice versa).
- Rio’s new BRS (Bus Rapid System) features dedicated public transportation corridors in Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra. Fares on most buses are around R$3.40.
- Every bus has its key destination displayed on the illuminated signboard in front.
- Rio has two metro lines that go through 42 kilometers (26 mi) and have 32 stations. The first line starts in General Osório in Ipanema and goes to Saens Peña in Tijuca; the second line runs from Botafogo to Pavuna in northern Rio.
- The metro opens 7 days a week, from 05:00 to 24:00 Mondays to Saturdays, and from 07:00 to 11:00 on Sundays and public holidays
- Taking the metro is the safest and fastest way of using public transportation in Rio; locals as well as tourists use it everyday to go from one place to another. A Metro/Bus ticket is available for a single journey.
- Taxi system in Rio de Janeiro is quite good. Rio’s taxis are excellent for zipping around and charge about R 5 per km.
- The taxis are the safest option of transportation at night. They are yellow colored and can be hailed on the streets
- When catching a taxi make sure it has the official identification sticker in the window and check that the meter is reset once you get in. Radio taxis are safe and reliable but 25% more expensive than yellow taxis.
- Minivans (called vans in Rio) are an alternative form of transportation in Rio and usually much faster than buses. They run along Av Rio Branco to the Zona Sul as far as Barra da Tijuca. On the return trip, they run along the coast almost all the way into the city center.
- They run frequently, and cost between R$2.50 and R$5. They do get crowded, and are not a good idea if you have luggage.
- Rio has several islands in the bay that you can visit by ferry, including Ilha de Paquetá and Ilha Fiscal. Another way to see the city is by taking the commuter ferry to Niterói.
- Niterói’s main attraction is the Museu do Arte Contemporânea, but many visitors board the ferry just for the fine views of downtown and the surrounding landscape.
- The ferry departs every 20 minutes from Praça Quinze de Novembro in Centro.
- Rio has many kilometers of bike paths along the beach, around Lagoa and along Parque do Flamengo.
- In addition to a public bike-sharing scheme, you can rent bikes from stands along the east side of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas for around R$15 per hour and at various bike shops along the bike path between Copacabana and Ipanema.
- Driving a car in Rio can be a challenge but it is the best choice to reach distant beaches like Grumari and other distant amazing places. Traffic-jams are very common especially at rush hours in neighborhoods such as Copacabana, Botafogo, Laranjeiras, and Tijuca.
- A special traffic management program sets that during weekday’s mornings, from 7am to 10am, the beachfront roads of Ipanema and Copacabana run in one way towards the city.
- Hiring a car is fairly simple as long as you have a driver’s license, a credit card and a passport. Most agencies require renters to be at least 25 years old, though some will rent (with an added fee) to younger drivers.
- Prices start around R$120 per day for a car without air-conditioning, but they go down a bit in the low season. If you are quoted prices on the phone, make sure they include insurance, which is compulsory.
- Car-rental agencies can be found at both airports or scattered along Av Princesa Isabel in Copacabana.
- At the international airport, Hertz, Localiza and Unidas provide rentals. In Copacabana, among the many are Hertz and Localiza.
This concludes the second part of our Olympic Special. In case you missed the first part, you can access it here – Complete Travel Guide to Rio Olympics 2016: Part 1.
So we’ve covered What to See, What to Do, Where to Stay and How to Get Around. In the third and final part we’ll guide you on What to Eat and Where to Eat. Rio is famous for several awesome dishes and in the final post we’ll tell you how to eat like a local. We’ll also show you how you and your pals can use MyTripKarma.com to collaboratively plan your visit to Rio, so stay tuned!
You can easily plan your entire trip to Rio using MyTripKarma. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs, allowing you and your friends to plan all your trips together in one place. Just Log on to MyTripKarma.com today or download the free app to start planning your next trip!