Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (BR)
Rio de Janeiro's Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (named after the beach it lies near, and a Brazilian musician) is located on Governor's Island, 20km north of the city centre. It's the second busiest international airport in Brazil.
The airport has two semi-circular terminals, Terminals 1 and 2, located beside each other and connected landside by a moving walkway. Both terminals have 3 levels: Level 1 (ground floor) is Arrivals, Level 2 is the shopping floor with food, retail and cash points, while Level 3 hosts Departures.
All airlines operate from Terminal 2.
Note: All passengers must use the automated check-in machines before dropping off luggage. Be sure to arrive on time to allow time for airport procedures – travellers have reported that customs and passport control are regularly understaffed.
There are three options for getting to the centre of Rio de Janeiro: shuttle bus, local bus and taxi. Unless you speak Brazilian Portuguese, the most convenient way to get to the city is to take a taxi.
Ignore the taxi desk outside of arrivals and head to the Rio de Janeiro State Tourism Authority desk for prepaid taxi vouchers. Ensure you have the address and phone number of your hotel, and that your driver resets the meter before you leave the airport. This can cost as much as double the rate of an ordinary taxi, but you'll have peace of mind that you're not being overcharged or taken a longer route. (However, if you want to take a local taxi, Aerocoop or Aerotaxi are decent companies.)
Cost: Around BRL 120 to the tourist zone (around BRL 60 in a yellow metered taxi)
To save money, take the air-conditioned Real Auto Bus (Premium) line 2018 to the city centre. Journey time is around 45 minutes and buses run from 05:30-23:00. It covers the most important destinations along its route, including Rio's other airport (Santos Dumont), the city centre and the beachfront destinations of Flamengo, Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. The line 2018 terminates at the Alvorada bus terminal near the mall BarraShopping in Barra da Tijuca, with a journey time of 60 minutes - sometimes up to twice that in busy traffic.
Tip: When you want to get out of the bus, just ask the driver for it, and he will stop anywhere as soon as it is safe.
There's also a smaller bus that goes every 30 minutes to Alvorada by Linha Amarela and stops on request, with a shorter journey time of around 35 minutes.
Cost: Line 2018 costs BRL 16.
Location: Line 2018 leaves from Terminal 1, Arrivals B.
There's also an hourly airport shuttle bus that stops at major hotels and beaches.
There are showers available in the Smiles VIP International Lounge on the second floor of Terminal 2. After the security checks, turn left and take the escalator at the end of the hall down to Level 2. Turn right to locate the lounge entrance. 3 hours for USD 40.
Terminal 2, floor 2
Hours: 06:00 – 03:00 daily
The following car rental agencies are available at Galeão Airport:
For convenience, the Rio Aeroporto Hotel is located on Level 3 of Terminal 1, but the accommodation is basic and rooms are windowless.
If you prefer a hotel with a little more to offer, head to the Linx Hotel, 1.2 miles from GIG airport. Rooms feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, cable television, and a minibar. Other facilities include a 24-hour gym, pool, bar, and daily breakfast buffet. The hotel operates a free shuttle service from 05:00 to midnight, daily. Rooms start at USD 147 per night.
Travellers report that the airport food courts are dismal, but some of the restaurants offer a redeeming quality.
For a truly Brazilian dish, try Casa do Pão de Queijo on the 1st floor of Arrivals or the 3rd floor, to the right of passport control. The Rei do Mate café in the food court is also a good option in T2 – good coffee and fresh pastries and cheese bread.
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