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Public Transportation in Rio de Janeiro – How to use it?

Public Transportation in Rio de Janeiro – How to use it?

You arrived in the Wonderful City and wondered: is it possible to get around with public transportation in Rio de Janeiro? The answer is yes! And here in our text you’ll see the best options available and understand better how each of them works. Check it out!


The city of Rio de Janeiro as any other big metropole offers many types of public transportation to the population. It is also true that the means of transport in the city have a fare. But it’s accessible and anyone can use it.

You can use these transport options to visit the main part of touristic attractions in the city. The majority of them are fast and secure. We’ll tell about some of the means of transport available in the city.


Guys, Metrô Rio is without a doubt, the transportation more used and easy. The metro is the city of Rio offers air conditioner (let’s say that’s a real necessity in this city), it’s safe and clean transportation. In this system, 3 different lines are offered. It’s possible to go to every neighborhood in the south area, to the north area and Barra da Tijuca in the west area.


Join our Free Walking Tour Downtown and Lapa. Enjoy that our meeting point is very close to one of Carioca subway station exits. Get to know the city in a fun and interesting way.


Metrô Rio offers one of the exclusive wagons for women at busy times which are: from 6 am until 9 am and from 5 pm until 8 pm.

One other part of the metro system of the city offers integration with the bus. In two big stations of the metro, there’s the ‘Metrô na Superfície’ (Surface Metro), they are:


Antero de Quental

They are like special lines that lead users to other neighborhoods in the south, such as Humaitá, Jardim Botânico, Gávea, and Leblon.


As soon as you get to the city, you should get the Rio Card ticket. This type of card is accepted in every type of public transportation that goes around Rio.

More details in the site: RIO CARD MAIS  

There’s also the possibility to purchase a specific subway ticket in the prepaid options (you can add credit with cash, debit or credit card) or unitary. If you purchase the card the minimum recharge should be R$5,00. The unit rate is R$4,60.

At all stations, there’s a self-service machine and/or ticket office. But remember, the metro card it’s only for the metro if you want to take other transportation also you need to have Rio Card.

Opening Hours:

Lines: 1, 2 and 4

From Monday to Saturday, from 05 am to midnight; Sundays and Holidays from 7 am to 11 pm.

During big events such as carnival, reveillón and football match the opening hours can change. Be aware! More information on the Metrô Rio website.


For tourists who are still adapting to the city’s maps and stations, there is the Metro Rio app. The app is very complete. Time information is provided also which lines to use.

In addition, there are tips on how to get to the most diverse sights of the city using the subway. Very valid for those who arrived in the city for the first time.



One of the newest transport in the city. This modern train is inspired by the old tram that used to work in the center of the city. Nowadays, it offers a very interesting route through squares and memorable points of the city, besides Santos Dumont Airport.

As we said before if you have Rio Card you can use it to access VLT. If you don’t have, you get to buy one in the VLT station.

At all stations, there’s a self-service machine for users, the card costs R$3,00 and the ticket costs R$3,80.

 Working Hours: Daily from 6 am to midnight.


The Praia Formosa Line works until 8 pm.

More information on VLT Carioca website.


With the metro, you can visit amazing buildings and touristic attractions such as The Municipal Theather, Fine Arts Museum and the National Library.

And using the Metro and the VLT, you can visit the Olympic Boulevard Cultural Area. Here are located: Rio Art Museum (MAR), the Tomorrow Museum, AquaRio, Valongo Wharf, and many other places.


All over the city, there are many different lines of buses. Many different routes and destinies. To access the bus in the city, you can use Rio Card ou pay directly to the bus driver with cash.

The ticket costs R$4,05. Many buses work 24 hours. But, after midnight the bus flow slows down and some times have to wait 1 hour or more. In some destinations, buses change the itinerary. Search before.


This is not the best option for tourists unless you already know well the city and know how to move safely with this transportation. The city, like a large urban metropolis, suffers from congestion and slow traffic at peak times.


A good suggestion for the visitors to the wonderful the city is to use some for bus travel apps and websites. See some examples here:


This app will keep you informed where your bus is located at the exact moment. This helps to schedule your departure, thus avoiding spending too much time on the street waiting for your transportation.

APP: Cadê Ônibus  


This is one website but has a mobile version, to make our life easier. It’s only necessary to go to the official website and add your localization and destiny. It will inform the best route, so, the line you have to use and time of the route.

WEBSITE: Vá de ônibus 


BRTs are articulated means of transport. These are types of modern buses that have an exclusive corridor. Which makes the trip shorter and faster. There are 3 BRT lines in the city. Are they:

1 Transoeste Line (Alvorada, Campo Grande, Santa Cruz e TraJardim Oceânico) 

2 Transcarioca Line (Alvorada, Fundão, Tanque, Taquara e Madureira) 

3 Transolímpica Line (Recreio, Centro Olímpico e Sulacap) 

The BRT ticket costs R$4,05.

Opening Hours: Stations can work 24 hours or at different times. Check more information at the website: BRT RIO  


Another option of public transportation in the city is the Train. There are 8 lines offered to the population. They leave from Central Station and it goes to the suburbs of Rio and the Baixada Fluminense.

To access the train you can use Rio Card or SuperVia Unitary card. The train ticket costs R$4,60.

Opening hours and more information on the websiteSUPERVIA 


The waterway network in Rio connects the city with its islands (Paquetá and Governador) and the municipality of Niterói (Arariboia and Charitas). Being a city bathed by the sea, the residents use the boats a lot as a means of public transportation.

One of the main stations is Praca XV, in downtown Rio, and make the route Rio – Niterói and some others.

This is a faster option for those who wish to make this crossing, as traffic is often complicated on the Rio – Niterói bridge. Besides being a very interesting tour for tourists.

Check out the stations, the price and opening hours here: CCR BARCAS  


Nowadays we can see that the number of private car applications has grown. In the city of Rio de Janeiro is no different. The vast majority of Rio de Janeiro residents use these applications to get around, especially on weekends and holidays.

It’s noteworthy that you need to be aware of some details when using these services. Check out some:


If you are a woman traveling alone, prefer safer transportation, such as the metro or even a taxi.


As a tourist, you probably do not know the travel route and this can be a disadvantage when taking taxis and/or private cars.

In the case of taxis, some drivers take advantage of the situation and choose to “go around”. This makes the journey as long as possible, as the customer has no idea what is going on.

In the case of private car drivers by applications, many of them use GPS and navigation applications. Precisely for not having experience in traffic and not knowing all the corners of the city well. In this situation, sometimes they may choose not so safe paths.


Give preference to the yellow ones that are the conventional ones. These have a much cheaper rate. Those of different colors participate in cooperatives and these have a fixed price, which is normally very abusive.


Prefer taxi that uses taximeter and always refuse fixed prices.


There is even an application that can help you make a price simulation before requesting taxi service.

Created by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall, the Táxi Rio gathers most of the city’s drivers. The application also allows you to choose the payment method and offers users a discount.


Have you considered using bicycles to get around the city? And why not? The city of Rio de Janeiro has a very interesting bike rental project. The BIKE RIO project is an initiative of the City Hall with Banco Itaú.

Read more about the Bicycle Path in Rio de Janeiro and see all the advantages.

Our main tip is always to study about the city you are visiting. You can enjoy Rio de Janeiro a lot, you just need to be aware just like any other big city! Remember, don’t keep any doubt, seek information.

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