Traveling by Bus in Brazil: 8 Frequently Asked Questions

So you are planning to travel by bus in Brazil but still have some doubts and fears? That’s totally understandable. See our 8 frequently asked questions before bus travel in Brazil.

  1. Why choose bus travel in the first place?

It’s a money-saver! If you want to get to know Brasil fully, you need to travel between cities. Even the highest-class tickets with bed-like seats and access to a VIP lounge on the terminal are way below the price of promotional air fares.

Plus, you usually save money and time in the city itself – both while boarding (you need to arrive max. 30 minutes before the bus – not two hours, as the air companies require) and upon arrival. Once in your destination, you retrieve your baggage immediately. What’s more, the bus terminals are much closer to the city centres than airports, so you won’t spend a lot of money or time commuting.

  1. I cannot think of a 30-hour ride by bus. My legs will be so cramped!

First, if possible try a shorter route for your first experience with Brazilian bus travel. You’ll love it. Second, even the most economic class of buses offer reclining seats and an on-board toilet. Third, as a rule,  the drivers stop every 3-4 hours for a half-hour or so; you can exercise your legs, have a meal, take a walk…


  1. You mentioned a toilet. I’ve travelled by bus in my home country, and I cannot imagine how it may look like in Brazil…

Fear not! The toilets in Brazilian buses are pressurized, similarly to the ones on airplanes, and there is isolation between the main cabin and the loo.

  1. Speaking of uneasy subjects… is it safe to travel?

Intercity bus travel is generally safe in Brazil, the same way other means of transportation are. Nothing more than the usual precautions – pickpockets, etc. – are necessary.


  1. Right… and the roads? What’s their condition?

The state of the roads is directly related with the region’s prosperity. Southern Brazil has the most and the best roads, with generally good, wide highways, while in the Northeast they are not so great.


  1. Any entertainment on board?

Most companies offer a free WiFi connection, especially in the classes executive or higher. The router is using 4G mobile technology, so the intenet velocity may fluctuate over the route.  Some operators start investing in their own systems of onboard entertainment – once you download the bus company’s app, you get access  to movies on your mobile device via WiFi.


  1. Classes? What are the classes you mentioned?

The price of your ticket will depend on the class you choose. Here is some information on the seat types:

  • Conventional (Port. Convencional) is a standard long distance bus seat that reclines about 35 degrees.
  • Executive (Executivo) and Golden (Semi-Leito) offer a seat that reclines more (~55°), with more legroom; there is always a restroom, air conditioning, a sound system, and there is more space between the seats.
  • Bed (Leito) is a seat that reclines almost fully , like a bed, so that you can sleep during the trip. The seats have a leg rest, are extra wide and there is over a lot of space between the seats.
  • Gtv 1.cls is a first class seat on a Gran Turismo Vehicle bus. They were designed to have seating similar to a long distance airplane. The first class of this bus is located on the lower deck. There is a leg rest, the seats are almost fully reclining, ample legroom and personal space and all personal comfort and gadgets you would expect on an airplane.

If you travel long hours or on an overnight trip, the Bed or Gtv 1.cls is your best bet so that you can sleep comfortable.


  1. You convinced me. So how do I prepare for the journey?

Buy your bus ticket online to minimize stress and queues.
– If you have any specific alimentary needs, allergies etc., prepare food for the journey – the offer on roadside cafés can be limited.
– Even if it´s scorching hot outside, take a jacket or sweater for the trip, especially for overnight buses. Brazilians like their coaches chilled to some 16 degrees C.

One Reply to “Traveling by Bus in Brazil: 8 Frequently Asked Questions”

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