Traveling to Rio this week? Here's what you need to know

August 4, 2016 Sara Cartwright

Are you planning on attending the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? If so, we can offer a few helpful hints for your trip!

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - photo by Lima Pix - used under Creative Commons license

First off, you better get your tickets to the events you are interested in. This year, tickets from the United States are being sold through official reseller CoSport. CoSport has information on the individual events that have remaining tickets for purchase, hotel room packages for visitors to the games in Rio, and more!

Once you have your event tickets, you’ll want to contact a travel advisor for your air, hotel, and transportation needs. Also make sure that you have a valid passport and have reviewed all visa requirements. Brazil has waived the visa requirement for U.S. passport holders entering Brazil, strictly as tourists, between June 1 and September 18, 2016.  

Now that the most important piece of your Olympic puzzle is complete (getting your tickets and getting to Rio!), here are a few tips and tricks to follow when you’re in and around Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics:

  • More Tickets: If you happen to arrive in Rio and decide you’d like to try to attend some additional events, any remaining tickets will be sold at several authorized reseller booths throughout Rio during the games. However, be aware that many scammers and unlicensed sellers will try to sell tickets at higher prices. It is a criminal offense to sell or supply Olympic tickets at higher than face value so be sure that you are purchasing through a valid ticket reseller. Tickets procured from unauthorized sources may be declined at the door and result in the bearer being out of luck and out of that ticket money!
  • Money: Speaking of money, the Brazilian currency is called the Real. One Brazilian Real (BRL) is currently equal to about 30 cents in U.S. Dollars (USD). While most major restaurants and hotels will accept credit and debit cards (be sure to notify your bank and credit card provider of your international travel!), you should also make sure you have some physical Real currency for any smaller shops that do not accept credit cards.
  • Packing/Weather: Temperatures in Rio can reach to the mid-90s (even in August, which is Rio’s winter!), so be sure to pack light clothing and a parka for random torrential rains that occur often during this time of year.
  • Safety: While en route, be sure to continually check the Department of State Travel Alerts and Warnings for any area you are traveling to.
  • Around Rio: There are four areas where official Olympic events and ceremonies will take place, so be sure you are checking the official venue map to ensure you are headed to the right area for the event you are attending! 
  • Transportation: It is no surprise that traffic and transportation will be a mess during an event as huge as the Olympic games, so purchasing an official Olympic Pass to get around to the different venues and events is not a bad idea! It includes unlimited travel on busses and railways. One-, three-, or seven-day passes are available and can be purchased at numerous subway stops, the airport, bus transit locations, or online.
  • Food/Drink: Visit the CDC’s helpful Food and Water Safety page for tips and advisories on what culinary treats to enjoy and what to avoid while in Rio. 
  • International calling to/from/within Brazil: In Brazil (within the same state/area code) you will just need to dial the last eight or nine digits of the phone number. To call the United States from Brazil, dial 00 + operator code + 1 + area code + phone number.
  • Helpful Resources: For even more travel information, including up-to-the-minute updates and fact sheets on the travel situation in and around Brazil, visit the Department of State’s Brazil country information page.

For information on other happenings around Rio De Janeiro for you to enjoy between games - including concerts, festivals, and sightseeing - make sure to visit the official Rio tourism site!

For further updates on Olympic events, activities, and information, whether you’re attending the games in person or not, be sure to visit the official site of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games often!

Photo above by Lima Pix. Used under Creative Commons license. 

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