We want you to be aware of all the "practical details" so you can enjoy your time in Rio. You don't need to worry, Rio has everything you really need. However, if you want to check out the "nitty gritty", click on any of the items listed below: (top)
- ATM's, Credit Cards, Exchange Bureaus
- Business Hours
- Mail Service
- Phone Cards
- Phone: "How to Make a Phone Call" - Useful Telephone Numbers
- Phone: "How to Make a Collect Call"
- Phone Alternative: SKYPE
- Restrooms / WC
- Safe Water
- Time Zone and Current Time
Most bank machines are on the Cirrus, Maestro and PLUS Networks. If you plan on using your cards in Rio, check the back of your card to make sure that your credit card is on one of these networks. (It is also a good idea to let your bank know that you will be travelling in Brazil prior to your departure). Two international banks that are also popular in Rio are HSBC and Santander. (Tip: Many of the ATMs are not in English - Note that "Saque" means "Withdraw", "Corrige" means "To Correct", "Entra" means "Enter" and "Fim" means "End").
Credit cards are also widely used and accepted throughout the city. Please remember that purchases on credit card accounts are generally subject to an international service and currency conversion fee.
If you prefer to carry your own currency with you to Brazil, you can also exchange it at currency exchange offices called "casa de câmbio". There are exchange offices in the airport Arrivals terminal, bank offices and other tourist areas. (back to top)
The stores on the street operate under a different schedule. They are typically open 9:00 - 6:00 p.m. (9:00 - 18:00) during the week. On Saturdays, many of the stores close at 1:00 p.m. (13:00) and are often closed all day on Sunday. (back to top)
Local SIM cards are widely available from convenience stores and newspaper stands. The cost for a Prepaid SIM card normally starts around R$ 10,00. At some locations, you may be asked to show identification to complete the transaction.
Another option is to bring your Nextel "radio" cell phone. Nextel phones are popular in Rio and do not require a SIM card. The "push to talk" feature works fine - you should just contact your carrier and make sure your international roaming service is activated for Brazil. The Nextel phone will operate under your standard subscription service. (back to top)
International Call Prefix
(exit code) = +__
Useful Telephone Numbers
DEAT - District for Attending to Tourists
(Delegacia de Atendimento ao Turista)
RIOTUR - City of Rio de Janeiro Tourism Authority
TurisRio - State of Rio de Janeiro Tourist Authority
+55 (21) 3398-5050
+55 (21) 3814-7070
+55 (21) 2332-2924
+55 (21) 2332-2885
+55 (21) 2271-7004
+55 (21) 2333-1040
If you are in Rio and find yourself on the street without change or a phone card, you can still make a call from a pay phone by calling collect. If you want to place a call to a number in Rio; dial 9090, then the relevant 8 digit number in Rio and announce your name and desire for a collect call when prompted – you will be connected with the party who can then make a decision to accept the call.
If you require assistance or want to make a collect call outside of Brazil, you can dial 0800 703 21 11 for an operator from Embratel, the Brazilian phone company. (back to top)
Entrance to the Rio Zoo at São...
Tandem Hang Gliding over São C...
A fountain at the Jardim Botân...
Enjoying the Quinta da Boa Vis...
Wildlife on the Lagoa
On the Road Near Macumba Beach
"A traveller without observation is a bird without wings" - Moslih Eddin Saadi