Rio de Janeiro – the more you know the easier it will to get around and mingle with locals
Rio de Janeiro is a very busy city and it is important to learn a few important facts. The more you know about the city the easier it will be to get around and get along with the local Cariocas.
Known as the Marvelous City, Rio is home to a 45-mile (83km) stretch of coastline that houses 23 different beaches. The city has several tourist booths that are open daily from 8-5 to provide travelers with tips, information and recommendations.
There are several ways to get around Rio. The two public transit systems are the bus and subway. Buses run to just about every part of the city they are popular. The subway is quite safe and very friendly. However, it has limited destinations. The subway connects to the underground track with its southern areas last stop at General Osorio Square in Ipanema up to the Tijuca neighborhood with its last stop in Saens Pena Square, calling it Line 1. The line 2 begins in São Cristóvão Station going to the terminal station in the neighborhood of Pavuna (but can be accessed from Botafogo). Through bus lines integrated metro reaches also other neighborhoods like Leblon, Gavea, Jardim Botânico, Humaita, Urca, Barra da Tijuca, Rodoviaria Novo Rio Bus Station, among others.
Taxis are the best way to move about Rio, especially at night. Just be sure you are using a genuine taxicab and the driver uses the meter to avoid getting ripped off.
Always carry a copy of your passport and visa stamp with you in case a law officer stops you. The law states personal identification must be carried at all times. Try your best not to stand out as a tourist as you could be targeted by muggers and thieves. Leave the expensive jewelry at home. Purchase a cheap watch for your travels and take off your diamond engagement ring before leaving home. Keep your camera in a camera bag securely attached to yourself. Always carry backpacks in front of you and make sure your purse is secure. Stay away from parks and the beaches at night and never go to the favelas without a guide.
The currency for purchasing goods and services in Rio is the Real. Exchange counters can be found all over the city. Most shop and office hours are from 9am to 7pm Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are from 9am to 1pm. Bank hours are 10am to 4:30pm during the week. The larger shopping malls are open until 10pm. While most establishments are closed on Sunday some smaller grocery stores and pharmacies may be open.
It is important to know how to stay safe and get around Rio. By understanding the city and its people you will find you have a more enjoyable vacation