On Arrival From & to Galeão Airport: Most international flights arrive at Antônio Carlos Jobim Airport (GIG), more commonly known as Galeão Airport. Buses are the least expensive way to get to the city center (15 km away) and the southern beaches (about 25 km away). The public Transcarioca BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) express line links the airport to the affluent beach suburb of Barra da Tijuca. A private bus can drop you in central Rio or directly at your beach hotel. Taxis are more expensive but can cut up to two-thirds from your journey time.
Rio’s underground metro network offers a quick and easy way to get around the city . To reach parts of the city not covered by the Metro , you can use city buses , BRT rapid transit buses or VLT Carioca light-rail trams.
Driving in Rio can be challenging given its hectic traffic and sparse parking. Luckily, a car isn’t required for exploring Rio: you can move around the city easily using a combination of public transit and taxis. Driving is on the right. The city has a “dry law” policy, with a near zero alcohol quantity allowed if you’re driving.
Parking spaces are highly sought-after in Rio de Janeiro and can be particularly difficult to come by in busy areas such as Leblon and Copacabana
Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Yellow taxis can be hailed anywhere on the street and you will also find taxi stands throughout the city. There is a day rate, and one for night, public holidays and Sundays.
Radio taxis are more reliable but are about 20% more expensive. They often work with a set fee per destination and can be contacted by phone; try Coopertramo(+55 21-2209-9292) or TransCoopass (+55 21-2209–1555).
The smartphone apps Easy Taxi and 99 are used to book licensed cabs. Both are free and use GPS to alert taxi drivers close to your current location.
Rio de Janeiro’s Centro and Zona Sul are flat and pedestrian-friendly, but the city’s cobblestone streets and uneven sidewalks can be challenging for people with disabilities or strollers. Take care when crossing the street and always watch for motorcycles, which often zip between parked or stopped cars and sometimes go in the opposite direction of traffic.
Walking around Centro at night, or on Sundays when it’s quiet, is not recommended as the area can be dangerous.
Rio’s waterfront is very bike-friendly and cycle paths extend from downtown through Flamengo Park, all the way to Urca and along the southern beaches. On Sundays, some road lanes are closed to cars in Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and the Aterro do Flamengo to make extra space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Bike e Lazer Ipanema rents bikes by the hour or by the day. The local authority also runs a bike rental system with pickup and drop-off points around the city. Monthly passes are about R$10 and daily passes R$5.