Yey, you are in Rio! After recovering from the emotion of being here a question may pop up: what’s now? What is the best way of leaving the airport? So follow my lead to get local advice:
Santos Dumont Airport (SDU):
This airport is well located, right in the middle of Downtown, but it only operates national flights.
Subway: The closest subway station is Cinelândia (less than 1 km). However, the path is not indicated to do with heavy bags and it can be a bit dangerous. I wouldn’t recommend.
Bus: to get a regular bus (R$3,80), you would also need to walk to Cinelândia. But there is a special line (Real Auto Ônibus) that leaves from the front of the airport and goes to several neighbourhoods of South Zone. It costs R$14,00, but it has air-conditioning and more comfort.
Cab: a cab ride leaving from SDU to Botafogo costs at least R$20,00, to Copacabana R$30,00 and Ipanema R$35,00. The most important thing is to never go on those especial cabs of the airport or any other that wants to settle a fixed price without taximeter. Go to Departures sector instead of Arrivals to avoid long lines and this kind of trouble. Another important thing is to put the route in your cellphone to be sure that the driver is taking the best way.
Traveler tip: enjoy the wi-fi of the airport to set the itinerary and leave the location on so you can track it on Google Maps even without internet.
Uber: an option that is been growing around the world and in Rio is not different. The app works fine in here and is cheaper than cab. For foreigners, there is the option of ‘Uber English’, but since you put the destination in the app I don’t think the language is so necessary.
Aeroporto Internacional Tom Jobim, known as Galeão, (GIG):
This is the only airport that operates international flights. Located in Ilha do Governador, is further from the city than SDU. To leave, there is no option of train or subway. So, if you don’t want to pay at least R$50,00 by cab or R$35,00 by Uber, the only option is to take the executive bus of Real Auto Ônibus. It goes to several neighbourhoods in South Zone and costs R$14,00. Check the full itineraries and other details in here.
You may also like to read: