Experience Rio by subway  

Unlike most major metropolitan cities, Rio de Janeiro was a bit behind in building a subway system. The Metro Rio, as it is called, was first opened in 1979. The system is still rather small with only 2 lines and 35 stations. However, plans are in the works to add a third line.

Taking the Metro

The subway runs from 5am to midnight Monday through Saturday and 7am to 11 pm on Sunday and holidays. During Rio Carnival the subway is available 24 hours a day. The Metro is best to use when trying to access areas from Copacabana through to Downtown Rio. It is considered the safest way to travel and has very clean and air-conditioned stations and subway cars. Expect it to be crowded during rush hours just like any other big city.

Metro Station in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Finding Your Way

There are maps in the subway stations to help you navigate the system. In 2006, all the signs were changed to include English as well as Portuguese. Do not rely on the public announcement system to let you know your train has arrived. It is often difficult to hear. There are some areas where the subway does not run. In its place the system uses buses called Metronibus or Metro na Superficie.You must buy special subway tickets to use these buses. Metro Rio also have a connection to the Bus Station Rodoviária Novo Rio, Barra da Tijuca, Jardim Botânico and Gávea (and many others). If you are a woman you have the option of traveling on the last train marked in pink as no men are allowed, only in rush hours and during the week. Some stations offers bicycle parking, check them out on metro rio map.


The Main Lines

The first line serves Copacabana, downtown, and Tijuca. Tijuca is the jumping off point for Corcovado. The second line has stops for Maracana stadium, the zoo and Rio State University and then goes to the suburbs. A recent change in 2009 has lines one and two traveling together from Sao Cristovao until Botafogo. Remember, that line 1 travels from General Osorio to Saens Pena and line 2 runs from Botofogo to Pavuna. Be sure you are not getting on the wrong line.

Before taking the subway it is advisable to obtain a map from your hotel and familiarize yourself with the different routes. This way it will not seem so confusing once you reach the subway station.


The Expansion of Metro Rio

For the 2016 Olympic Games the subway system will be expanded. The first line that ends today at General Osório in Ipanema will have five new stations in South Zone, until Gávea and two new stations in the opposite direction (Uruguai and Cidade Nova). A new concept of transportation BUS RAPID TRANSIT is going to be constructed linking Gávea station to Barra da Tijuca.

Visit the Main Attractions close to Rio subway stations


municipal theatre cinelandia 
maracana stadium maracana
corcovado largo do machado
sambadrome praça onze 
ipanema beach / hippie fair general ozorio