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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Rio de Janeiro

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Rio de Janeiro each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday)

To celebrate the transition to the new year, revellers gather on the Copacabana beach. Several million people all dressed in white enjoying a lavish midnight fireworks display.

February 24-28 2017: Carnival (local event)

World famous event, the unmissable Carnival of Rio is “the” celebration of Brazilian people. For three days and nights, Rio de Janeiro, its inhabitants and tourists from all over the world all live to the unbridled rhythms of samba and costumed parades.

May 1 : Labour Day (national holiday)

May 22 : Corpus Christi (national holiday)

This springtime commemoration of the Holy Eucharist was introduced by the Portuguese. This is an all-day affair in Rio de Janeiro, with processions of children dressed in white and streets covered in sawdust, leaves, dried flowers, coffee grounds and chalk.

September 7 : Independence Day (national holiday)

Brazil's independence in 1822 is celebrated in Rio with a huge military parade. There are also concerts and shows, street parties, dances and a fireworks display late in the evening.

November 2 : All Souls' Day (Dia de Finados, national holiday)

On this day, families pay tribute to the departed, decorate their tombs at the cemetery and enjoy various specialities cooked for the occasion. Musicians and artists give the streets a festive atmosphere.

December 2 : National Samba Day (celebrated nationwide)

This day celebrating Brazil's most popular dance form also marks the official start of the summer holidays. As in other cities across the country, it is celebrated in Rio with numerous samba performances, concerts and revellers dancing in the streets.

December 25 : Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has a tropical climate. However, the climate throughout the metropolitan area is strongly affected by its topography (proximity to the ocean, some mountainous areas), thus resulting in milder temperatures. As Rio de Janeiro is located in the Southern Hemisphere, summer runs from December to March, when the weather is generally hot and humid. Winters are mild and last from June to September.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 23/73 30/86 130/5.1 Good period to go Good period to go
February 23/73 30/86 120/4.7 Good period to go Good period to go
March 23/73 29/84 130/5.1 Good period to go Good period to go
April 22/72 28/82 100/3.9 Not the best period to go
May 20/68 26/79 70/2.8 Not the best period to go
June 19/66 25/77 50/2.0 Not the best period to go
July 18/64 25/77 40/1.6 Not the best period to go
August 19/66 25/77 40/1.6 Not the best period to go
September 19/66 25/77 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
October 20/68 26/79 80/3.1 Not the best period to go
November 21/70 27/81 90/3.5 Not the best period to go
December 22/72 29/84 130/5.1 Good period to go Good period to go
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Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport

Rio de Janeiro's Galeão Airport is located about 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the city centre.

  • Two terminals:
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2

Getting from the airport to Rio de Janeiro and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via two major thoroughfares, Linha Vermelha and Avenida Brasil. About 30 minutes of travel time.
    • The parking complex is accessible from both terminals. BRL 2 to BRL 6 per hour, BRL 30 per day.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall of each terminal.
  • By bus
    • By Bus 

4 bus lines: 2018, 2101, 2145 and 915. About BRL 14 for a one way ticket and 30 minutes of travel time
  • By rail
    •  Line 2 connects the airport to the city centre. About BRL 3.50 per one-way ticket and 30 minutes of travel time.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis can be booked from within the airport or picked up at the ranks outside the terminals. Fixed-rate fares are available, around BRL 123 to Copacabana or Ipanema and BRL 116 to the city centre.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +55 (0)21 3004 6050
  • Website : http://www.riogaleao.com

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GETTING AROUND Rio de Janeiro

It is relatively easy to get around Rio de Janeiro, although distances between points of interest are sometimes considerable.

By rail

Rio's Metro is convenient and inexpensive, ideal for exploring the city. There are two lines, covering a total of 40 kilometres (25 miles), one serving Rio's northern districts, the other serving destinations in the southern part of the city. Trains run from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday to Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday and holidays. The one-way fare for all destinations is BRL 4.10.

By bus

Buses are inexpensive and use exclusive lanes thus ensuring relatively smooth progress through the city's streets. There are no tickets and payment is made directly to the driver when boarding. A single trip costs BRL 3.80.

Note : In areas less frequented by tourists, bus stops may be hard to find. The best solution is to flag down the bus as it approaches your position.

By taxis

Taxis are plentiful in Rio and fares are not very high, but it is important to remember that distances between destinations can be considerable in the city. Official taxis are yellow with a blue stripe. The meter starts with the minimum charge of BRL 4.90, then adding BRL 1.95 per kilometre.

Note : Fares tend to rise around Carnival time.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay

Prefeitura da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Further information available online for visitors to Brazil

The official website developed and maintained by Embratur, the national tourist board, provides a wealth of information on Rio de Janeiro.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Brazil is the Real (BRL).

1 € = 3,83 R$

1 R$ = 0,26 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Rio de Janeiro counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.

Vaccinations

Brazilian authorities now require proof of vaccination against yellow fever for travellers arriving from the following countries: French Guiana, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The original of the vaccination certificate must be presented. Obtaining a booster vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio is mandatory. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Drinking tap water is not safe. It is recommended to drink bottled water.

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Administrative formalities

As a general rule, foreign nationals must apply for visas before travelling to Brazil. However, Brazil has entered into visa exemption agreements with a number of countries.

To find out if you will need a visa for travel to Brazil, visit the consular section of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: http://www.portalconsular.mre.gov.br/apoio-no-exterior/observatorio-de-inadmitidos

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Useful contacts

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Rio de Janeiro, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Brazilian Portuguese phrases that will make your stay in Rio de Janeiro a little easier:

Good morning: Bom dia

Good afternoon (until 6 p.m.): Boa tarde

Good evening / Good night: Boa noite

Good-bye: Adeus

Yes: Sim

No: Não

No, thank you: Não, obrigado(a)

Thank you very much: Muito obrigado(a)

I don't understand: Eu não entendo

Could you please repeat?: Você pode repetir

Please: Por favor /  Desculpe

What time is it?: Que horas são?

Excuse me: Com licença

Airport: Aeroporto

Station: Estação

Taxi: Táxi

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Hospital

Bank: Banco

Telephone: Telefone

I am (…): Eu sou (…) 

I'm looking for (…): Eu procuro 

How much is (…)?: Quanto custa ?

Do you have (…)?: Você tem (…)

Where can I find (…)?: Onde é que há (…) 

Where can I buy (…)?: Onde posso comprar (…)

I would like (…)?: Queria (…)

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Good to know

00 55
+ phone number without the 0
-3 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg
Start of daylight savings time: third Sunday in October
End of daylight saving time: third Sunday in February

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
127/220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping?
In Rio de Janeiro as in the rest of Brazil, a 10 percent service charge is included in the bill at bars and restaurants. However, it is customary to leave a little extra tip if you are particularly pleased with the service.