the city
bus terminals
popular routes from Rio de Janeiro - Novo Rio
The City
Rio de Janeiro, [fot. Phil Whitehouse]

Rio de Janeiro, the city, is the capital of Rio de Janeiro State. With a population around 6.5 million, it is the second largest but most infamous Brazilian city. It is known for beautiful scenery, endless beaches, hot bodies and steamy music. Pronounced “hee-oh day jan-air-oh,” meaning, “January River,” it definitely lives up to its fame.

This bay town, a mix of sunny coastline and high mountains inside the city, makes you feel like you are in paradise. The city runs around the base of the mountains while the mountains themselves are home to the notorious favelas. These are the neighborhoods where people live in the thousands, illegally, in makeshift structures.

Some of the more famous mountains are Corcovado Mountain, with the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain, accessed by cable car and home to the most breathtaking views of the city.

Some of the more famous beaches are Leblon, Copacabana, Ipanema and Botafogo. Each beach has its own charm but they are all steaming with hot and quite bare bodies. Brazil’s hot and sexy reputation was well founded in Rio and the locals are more than welcoming to travelers.

However, there are other parts of the city which are worth visiting. Lapa and Santa Teresa are bohemian neighborhoods where you will find great nightlife, restaurants and live music.  Rio, of course, is the birthplace of Samba and Bossa Nova. It is also the home to the largest Carnaval parade in Brazil.

Visiting places outside of the city is easy. Buses leave daily to the beaches north and south of the city. The highway runs along the coast and offers breath taking views of mountains cascading into the sea.

Bus terminals

While searching for a bus ticket, it is important to pay attention to the bus stations.

Some destinations only have routes to one bus station and others more than one station. Depending on where you will stay in the city, it can make a difference in time and price if you have a choice in bus stations. Here is a brief summary of each station:

So, whether you go up to Buzios or down to Paraty, Rio de Janeiro is truly a paradise inside and outside of the city.

Terminal Rodoviário Novo Rio – Rio de Janeiro Bus Station
When speaking to a Portuguese speaker you can just say: Rodoviaria Rio de Janeiro or (Hodo-vee-are-ee-ah Hee-oh day Jan-air-oh)

The Rio Bus Station is located in the Santo Cristo neighborhood, which you can find a bit north of the popular beaches. It has 43 bus companies operating out of 51 ticket counters, with around 171 interstate and international bus lines. From this bus station one can go all the way to Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. There are also about 50 city buses that connect to this bus station.

Taking a city bus to your hotel is possible but tricky if you don’t speak Portuguese. Taxis are available at the bus station too, of course, but some people warn against taking the yellow taxis. One must ask the price to get to your destination before-hand and then watch the meter closely as you go.

If you ever have doubts, speak to the people from the information desk inside the bus station. They are usually bilingual and can give you much needed local advice. You will also find showers, lockers, ATM machines, cell phone charging stations, restaurants and some shopping. The bus station is full of security so you can feel safe while inside.