Tips

Useful tips for your travel

Beach

Brazilians only carry a towel, sun tan oil or sun block and a small amount of money to the beach. We suggest you to do the same. Avoid swimming far from the shore and be careful with overexposure to the sun, if your skin is sensitive, you should avoid the beach from 10 a .m. to 3 p.m. Remember, you are in a tropical country.

Banks

Banks are open weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm; they are closed on weekends and public holidays. Before departure from home, visitors are encouraged to check the acceptability of their credit and/or cash cards with their local bank. Automated teller machines (ATMs) can be found almost everywhere; some machines provide 24-hour cash withdrawal (R$) facilities for major credit cards

Business Hours

Most offices and stores are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Stores are also open on Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm while most of the large shopping centers open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Car Rentals

The main car rental companies have branches in Rio de Janeiro. Reservations should be made at the point of origin. Should the visitor require a rented car for a day or two during his stay, the Concierge of the hotel will be able to make the necessary arrangements.

Cashing money with Credit or Bank Card

Visa card holders may withdraw cash from the Banco do Brasil and Banco Itaú. Card holders with a PIN number may obtain cash from the 24-hour machines; those without will have to await verification, available from 10 am to 4 pm.
Rio de Janeiro International Airport Exchange Department (”Sessão de Câmbio”) 3rd floor. Tel.: (+ 55-21) 3398-3652 Hours for exchange: For U$ and Euros from 8 am to 10 pm, daily; for another money exchange: Mondays to Fridays, from 10 am to 6 pm. 24-hour machines also available.

Climate

Most of Brazil lies one the South of the Equator. As a result there is very little seasonal variation. The climate is comfortably temperate in most of the country, and refreshing sea breezes often blow along the coast almost all year round. With the temperatures usually ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 30 degrees Centigrade), casual spring and summer clothes are appropriate for almost every region and occasion. In Rio , Summer runs from December through March with temperatures ranging from 25º C (77º F) to 42º C while winter runs from June though to August when temperatures can drop to around 20º C (68ºF) in the day and cool 16º C (60ºF) at night.

Clothing

Dress Casually. For men slacks and a sports shirts are sufficient; for women, casual attire is fine. Women may appreciate having a shawl or cardigan to hand in the more heavily air conditioned buildings while a light sweater is all the necessary for winter nights . Informality is the keynote in Rio de Janeiro in terms of dress. The use of jackets and ties for men is restricted almost exclusively to offices. A lightweight wrap or jacket is often needed as the major hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as the subway and most taxis, are air-conditioned.

Geographic Location

Brazil covers almost half of South America and the coastline runs along the Atlantic Ocean for over 7.408 kilometers ( 11.919 miles ) of white sandy beaches.

Government

Brazil is a democratic Federal Republic where the President is elected for a 4 years term with the right to reelection.

Hotel Safes

Hotels offer safety deposit boxes in their rooms, It is recommended that jewelry, documents and money are kept in them. Keep only what is necessary for your daily use with you.

Land Área

8.511.865 square kilometers (3.319.666 square miles).

Language and Religion

Portuguese is the national language, although the Brazilian people give different accents and semantics to the Portuguese language spoken in Portugal. English and Spanish are the foreign languages spoken in most areas, especially in hotels, shops, restaurants and other tourist places. English and Spanish are part of the school curriculum.

Medical Services

Most hotels have immediate access to on-call 24-hour medical assistance. There are also many government and private hospitals with 24-hour emergency and out-patient departments. Many of Rio de Janeiro's doctors and dentists were trained or have undergone postgraduate training overseas. All hotels have lists of recommended medical services.

Money

The Brazilian currency is the Real (R$); Coins issued by the government are either bronze for 5, 10 and 25 centavos, silver for 50 centavos and a nickel and bronze coin for R$1.
R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50 and R$100 are the denominations of the bills.
The value of the real against the US dollar varies according to the daily rate. Banks and exchange bureaux charge a commission on exchange transactions, which the visitor should check beforehand.
As elsewhere, the rates of exchange for cash and travellers' checks are marginally different, and coins are not exchangeable. Money changers are obliged by law to display net rates of exchange. Receipt notes must be issued by law; it is advisable to keep these until after departure.

Postal Services

The Brazilian postal services meet all international standards, and there are many post offices around the city. They are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Shopping

Credit Cards are accepted at the majority of shops, although it is always a good idea to confirm this before buying. Occasionally a small discount is offered on cash sales. Personal checks drawn on overseas banks are not accepted. Visitors are encouraged to check the daily dollar rate at their hotels before going on a spree.

Subway System

Rio de Janeiro's subway is safe, efficient and easy to use. Tickets are bought at the counter, as there are no ticketissuing machines. The Copacabana Metro station is located in Praça Cardeal Arcoverde or Siquiera Campos, four blocks from the beach. The Metro is a great boon to adventurous visitors; Catete, Glória, Cinelândia, Carioca and Uruguaiana stations are those closest to the city's principal historical and cultural attractions.

Time Zone

Country and in the main cities, the time is three hours earlier than Greenwich (London) Meridian Time.

Tipping

Restaurants, taxis and hotel tips are 10% - 15% over your bill. Most restaurants include 10% on their bill’s, it is up to you to leave an extra tip.

Voltage

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have 110 or 120 Volt 60 cycles alternate current (AC). Salvador and Manaus have 127 Volts. Recife, Brasilia and a number of other cities have 220-Volt Service. Most Hotels, however, provide both services and/or adapters for guests.

Brazil’s Power Outlets are as follows:

Water

Rio de Janeiro's water supply conforms to international standards; due to the pronounced taste of chlorine in the water it is advisable to drink bottled mineral water.

Safety and Security

As in any city in the world of the size of Rio de Janeiro, the key to an uneventful stay is to protect yourself from pickpockets and carry as little cash and as few valuables as possible.