Stuck on a layover in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? The Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) also known as Galeão International Airport is Rio de Janeiro’s biggest airport. The airport is a major hub, last year attracting more than ten million passengers. Located roughly 13 miles from the city center, makes the sights of Rio de Janeiro accessible to passengers stuck on a long layover (Layover Guide suggests a minimum of four hours as adequate time to leave the airport. Always remember to plan out your activities according to the length of your layover and budget extra time for delays, security lines, customs, and immigration). If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your Rio de Janeiro layover, click here for useful tips.
Depending on where you are traveling (your airport category and type of flight), you may need to pay a departure tariff. For more information on the different types of fees, click here.
Inside the airport, there’s duty-free and regular shopping in both Terminals, as well as restaurants, bars and coffee shops. There’s also a pharmacy, a luggage baggage wrapping, and a small 24-hour hospital. In addition, there’s the hotel airport, Luxor Hotel, in Terminal 1 where you can access conference and business facilities. For a comprehensive list of Rio de Janeiro hotels at varying price points, click here.
There are shuttle buses between Galeao and Santos-Dumont as well as taxi service anywhere in the city. The shuttle buses take longer than the taxis as they tend to stop at the larger hotels.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Rio De Janeiro Layover:
Rio De Janeiro Tour
If you only have limited time in Rio De Janeiro, a tour might be a great way to see a bunch of sights. There’s many to choose from including day tours, bus and bike tours, night cruises, dinner theater, outdoor activities, and more.
Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar)
At 1,299 feet above the city, Sugarloaf Mountain, overlooking a peninsula that sticks out from the bay, offers magnificent views of the city. You can take a cable car to the top in about 5 minutes.
Ipanema Beach is a world-famous beach is trend-setting, and gives a taste of the spirit of Rio. Here’s a map of the neighborhood, street by street, and a suggestion of attractions. You can find boutiques for shopping, restaurants and many fun spots to check out.
Tijuca National Park
The Tijuca National Park is an 8,000 acre park and is considered the largest urban forest in the world, with 30 waterfalls, and hundreds of species of plants and animals. The park is best explored by jeep tour. You can catch views of the entire city and beaches. You can also climb to the peak of Pedra Bonita and hang glide down to the bottom!
Copacabana is a famous Rio beach that begins at Pricesa Isabel Avenue and ends at Posto Seis. For a lively beach activities such as sunning, relaxing and people watching, hang out on the promenade where you can visit the shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Quinta de Boa Vista
This public park was part of the beautiful grounds of the gardens of one of Brazil’s Emperors in the 19th century. The complex contains the Museu Nacional and the Jardim Zoologico (Zoological Garden).
Have a suggestion for a Rio de Janeiro layover? Leave a comment below!