Discover boutique hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

When to go

December to February is summer (high season), when the city buzzes with excitement during the Carnival build-up, and long days on the beach give way to party nights. Winter is cooler and calmer – but only just.

Getting there

  • Planes

    The international hub is Antonio Carlos Jobim airport | aka Galeão | 20km north of the city centre. The 40-minute taxi ride to the Zona Sul area should cost R$80.
  • Boats

    Ferries from Rio to Niterói leave from the quays near Praca XV; the hydrofoil is a bit faster.
  • Trains

    The metro system serves a limited area, north through the centre from Copacabana.The metro system serves a limited area: Linha 1 runs through the centre down to Copacabana; Linha 2 goes to Zona Norte. Santa Teresa has trams (bondinhos) to hop on.
  • Automobiles

    Driving can be slow and/or scary: have a go if you think you’re tough enough (the main thoroughfare isn’t called Avenida Ayrton Senna for nothing). Traffic lights are often ignored. Buses are cheap | and fine for daytime trips.
  • Taxis

    Affordable and plentiful. Unless you speak Portuguese, write down the address, and don’t worry if the driver asks a fellow cabbie for directions. Make sure the meter is on.