Traveling from the city of Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro is quite simple:
1. Go to brazilbustravel.com’s search page.
2. In the FROM field type: São Paulo - All Bus Stations
3. In the TO field type: Rio de Janeiro (RJ) - Note: (RJ) = State code for Rio de Janeiro
4. If you are looking for a one way ticket, click on the little calendar and choose a departing date.
5. If you want to buy a return ticket in advance, click the circle beside RETURN. Then choose a departure date and return date.
6. Click SEARCH BUS TICKETS
7. Choose your ticket(s) from the results of the search.
How to choose a ticket:
8. Bus Station: The buses that go to Rio de Janeiro from Sao Paulo leave from the Tiete Station and from the Guarulhos Station. You will need to figure out which of these stations is best for you. Tiete will have many more options than Guarulhos. But, if you can find similar tickets from both stations, which ever is closer should be better. Remember that it is good to give yourself about an hour to pickup your ticket and get to your departing bus platform. Google Maps is a good way to look up directions from where you are staying in Sao Paulo to your bus station.
The Tiete bus station address to put into Google Maps is Avenida Cruzeiro do Sul, 1800, Santana, Sao Paulo, SP. The phone number is (11) 3866-1100. If you take a taxi, just say Rodoviaria Tiete (Hodo-vee-are-ee-ah Chee-eh-teh).
The Guarulhos bus station address to put into Google Maps is Alameda dos Lírios, SP, Brazil. Phone: (11) 2403-5861. If you take a taxi, just say Rodoviaria Guarulhos (Hodo-vee-are-ee-ah Gwa-roo-lee-oose).
Rio de Janeiro Station
For trip planning, it would be a good idea to see how far your lodgings are from the arrival bus station. You can calculate this easily on Google Maps. The address of the Rio de Janeiro bus station is Ave. Francisco Bicalho, 01, Santo Cristo, RJ Phone: (21) 3213-1800
9. Bus Company: Expresso do Sul, 1001, Kaissara and Expresso Brasileiro are the bus companies that connect to Rio from the Tiete station. Util is the company that connects from the Guarulhos station. Pay attention to the bus company when you buy your ticket because when you arrive at your station you will need to pick up your ticket at that companies ticket counter. The logos for the bus companies are what to look for above the ticket windows. Show your Id and the attendant will give you your ticket. A print out of you Brasilbustravel.com ticket information will be helpful as well.
10. Class: The price of your ticket will depend on the class you choose.
Conventional is a standard long distance bus seat that reclines.
Executive and Golden offer a seat that reclines more, with more legroom; there is always a restroom, air conditioning, a sound system, and there is more space between the seats.
Bed 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 meter between seats. The term for this type of seat in Portuguese is Leito.
Gtv 1.cls is a first class seat on a GTV bus. They were designed to have seating similar to a long distance airplane. The first class of this bus is located at the front. 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 choose an overnight trip, the Bed or Gtv 1.cls is your best bet so that you can sleep comfortable. However, since this is only a 6 hour trip, the Conventional or Executive seating should be comfortable enough.
11. Seat Choice: Once you choose your ticket(s) you will need to pick a seat. White seats are available, Red seat are occupied and Green seats indicate your chosen seat(s).
12. Passenger Details: Clicking on a seat will take you to the Passenger Details screen. Your passport is the best form of ID to use to fill out this section. RG is a Brazilian ID, RNE is a foreigner’s Brazilian ID, Passport is for all other foreigners and Other is for those without a passport. To avoid confusion, as a foreigner, it is best to use your passport. But, if you have another type of ID to use, it should work fine. You may choose more than one seat by repeating this process.
13. Book Your Ticket: Fill in your credit card information in the next screen and click the red BUY NOW button on the right hand side of the screen. Note: CPF is a field for Brazilian credit cards only. Once your ticket is purchased, print the receipt and take it with you to the bus station on the day of travel. This will help you at the ticket counter. If you show up without it, your ID will be enough to claim your ticket but if you don’t speak Portuguese the printout will speak for you.
14. Finding Your Bus: Once you get your ticket, go to where the buses depart. Look for the sign that has Embarque Plataforma written on it. Your platform number is on your ticket. It is a number in the box that says Plataforma.
15. Baggage: If you have a large suitcase or other item, you will go around and wait in the line at the side of the bus before you board. There should be an attendant loading bags into the side of the bus. He will give you a ticket stub and load your bag for you. You will give this stub back to the attendant when you retrieve your luggage at the end of the trip. Once you board the bus, there is room above the seat to store any carry on luggage.
16. Boarding: You need two things to get on board the bus; your ID and a little paper slip that comes with your ticket. You will actually receive two little paper slips to fill out when you are handed your ticket. One of them is for insurance purposes. It can be filled out during the trip and it stays with you. It will have the word Seguro on it, which means Insurance. The other paper is to be filled out before boarding and handed to the driver as you present your ID.
17. Your Seat: The word for seat in Portuguese is Poltrona. You will want to match the number in that Poltrona box of your ticket to the seat numbers on the bus. If you have trouble finding your seat, just ask around and someone will help you. Brazilians are usually very helpful and kind.
18. Rest Stops: Along the way, your bus may stop at roadside cafes or little shopping areas. Feel free to leave the bus and walk around to stretch your legs. Just don’t stray too far and tell the driver if you go to buy something so that they know to wait for you.
19. Arrival: When you arrive at your destination, simply gather your belongings and proceed to the side of the bus to reclaim you baggage, if you had it stored away. Hand the attendant your baggage ticket stub and reclaim you items.
20. Explore!! You are now free to explore your new Brazilian location! Have fun!!