Airport Transportation in Rio de Janeiro

Options for getting to and from your hotel and the airport in Rio de Janeiro

Boarding a bus at the airport
Boarding a bus at the airport cc licensed photo by juliana swenson

Rio de Janeiro is served by 2 major airports; RJ International (Galeão) which serves international flights and Santos Dumont which is for domestic flights. There are some options for public transit available from either of these airports which we outline below. Neither airport is served directly by the metro which leaves buses, taxis or shuttles.

One option is to use regular city buses, but the routing and options are many making them complex and it can be difficult to board with luggage. They also make many stops on the way to the hotel zones where you are likely to be travelling. For this reason would not recommend them to visitors who are not well versed in the city and bus network.

The best bus option is to take the Premier Onibus Route 2018 operated by Real. This bus, which is identified with the word Aeroporto on the front and sides, serves both airports and takes you right into the hotel zones along Copacabana and Ipanema Beach. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 5:30am until 10:30pm (11:30pm on weekends and holidays). You can purchase tickets inside the arrivals area of the terminal. The price is currently R$ 13,50 one way.

Catching the bus at one of the airports is very straighforward, but be forewarned that for the return trip to the airport the stops are rarely signed and you must wave down the bus. The #2018 can be waved down just past any pedestrian crossing light along the beach side of Delfim Moreira Ave or Vieira Souto Ave in Ipanema (except on Sundays and Holidays until 6pm (7pm during Daylight Savings time)) when you must flag the bus down on Rua Visconde de Pirajá. In Copacabana you wave the bus down along the beach side of Atlantica Av.

Be advised that running intervals are not always consistent due to traffic tie-ups and other issues. Also if, in the driver's opinion, the bus is already full with either people, too much luggage or both, he or she will not stop and you will have to wait for the next bus to come along.

Picture yourself waiting on the sidewalk with all of your luggage; hoping you are in the right spot; waiting patiently for the right bus to come along and, when it finally does, waving frantically to get the driver's attention, only to be passed by because he or she sees your luggage and doesn't think there is room for it in the onboard racks. It does happen and could happen to you. Then, when you finally do arrive at the airport, you also need to be vigilant that no one else grabs your bag. Considering the above, even though public transit is an option if you are travelling light, you may want to book one of the private airport transport services listed below and save yourself some frustration. They will drop you off and pick you up right in front of your hotel.

Private Transfers

If the above options sound too daunting, consider pre-booking one of the airport transport options below. Rates shown are per person, based on filling the vehicle making these a good option for families or those traveling in a small group. It’s a good idea to book at least 48 hours before arrival.

More Info for Getting Around Rio de Janeiro on Public Transportation

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