Ten answers you will need before going to Rio
The city of the most colourful carnival in the world is open 24/7 for tourists willing to enjoy its multiple beauties. I’ll help you get the most of Rio.
#1 - Let’s begin by the arrival – reaching the airport and bus tickets
A very practical tip is to buy your bus tickets online and print them in the totems in Rodoviaria. This is the bus terminal strategically located near town and the city’s main access points.Totems are practical machines that allow you to print the tickets bought on the Internet. You’ll only need the password obtained when buying the ticket from home. Therefore, have it with you all the time. Make sure not to lose it. Totems are the solution to avoid waiting in the long queue to buy bus tickets in the window. To reach Rodoviaria, you need to take one of the premium blue buses at the airport terminal.
#2 –Is it a good idea to book everything beforehand?
Booking in advance is a good idea when talking about tickets, either for the bus or for a special unmovable event you may want to assist to. However, I realized that booking the tickets for the Sugar Loaf Mountain wasn’t wise. The day I had booked then for, there was bad weather. I wished I hadn’t bought them minutes before reaching that summit.
#3 –Accommodation – a good range of options
From five-star hotels to cheaper options, everything is possible under the Brazilian sky. My advice is to stay in an apartment. Such option will allow you to prepare your own food (something very important when trying to save some dollars) and you can also book it online before flying there. Try to find one near the beach for that’s the place you will need to have very close to you.
#4 - The food – eating out or at your improvised home?
Even though Subway and McDonald’s provide the best options in prices, don’t forget you’re visiting an exotic country, so you may want to try typical dishes you’ll probably never find at home.Take into account that food stall near the beach are much more expensive than local restaurants scattered around the city. On the other hand, there’s always the option of diving in the supermarket and prepare your own homemade Brazilian dish.
#5 –The bus – the best alternative to save money
I was determined to move around by taxi, especially after having heard about the insecurity, but my pocket convinced me that buses were not that bad. Actually, they are really cool with the air conditioning refreshing you after a morning sunbathing in Copacabana. There are also those vans that pick you in the main avenue, which are even cheaper than buses.
#6 –Walking in the street – an adventure or a risk?
Both. Never forget you’re in Rio, mainly when you go to the beach. Nothing was stolen from me, but I can’t say the same about a couple who was next to me on the beach and whose backpack was stolen without anyone realizing when or how. Look at both sides when you’re walking down the street and if you happen to have eyes on your back, they will also be very useful.
#7 – Monuments you can’t come back without having been in them
To have a view of Rio from “the space”, don’t forget to conquer Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain’s peaks.
#8 –Careful with the beer
It’s delicious and it will do no harm to you as long as you drink it responsibly, but bear in mind that in some pubs it can be as expensive as one of the best Brazilian desserts. Again, I think the supermarket can be your hero when you crave for barley.
#9 – Is it worth go to the shopping centre?
Well… not really. I went to Rio to find something different and the shopping center showed me more of the same. I can buy those wonderful brands in my home town, but I can’t bargain for the handmade bracelets, rings and sarongs offered on every corner.
#10 – The art of bargaining
Yes, definitely! Never accept the first price you’re asked for. And I’m not only talking about street stalls… tour sellers are ready for a price-based talking show in the middle of the street.