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You are here: Home / Conferences / São Paulo 2015 / Travel Information

Travel Information


GRU Airport (also known as Cumbica Airport) is the main international airport serving São Paulo. It is located in the city of Guarulhos, 25km (16 mi) from downtown São Paulo.


Passports and Visa

Please visit to check if your country is visa exempt.

If not, please go to your country’s Brazilian Consulate’s Web site to make your visa application. It is important to be aware that the visa application process can take up to 3 weeks, so it is advisable to start the process in good time.


How much does it cost?

Tourist visa fees vary according to the nationality of the passport holder:
Some examples in USD:

  • United States: US$ 160.00, charged in reciprocity for an identical fee paid by Brazilian citizens who apply for a tourist visa to the U.S.;
  • Algeria: US$60.00;
  • Angola: US$100.00;
  • Australia: US$ 35.00;
  • Canada: US$ 65.00;
  • Japan: US$ 25.00;
  • Nigeria: US$ 65.00;
  • United Arab Emirates: US$55.00;
  • United Kingdom: US$175.00 (only if stay is over 180 days);


Transportation – Airport Information

The Guarulhos International is located 25 km from the city center of Sao Paulo. Several bus, taxi and transfers companies provide airport shuttle services.

By Car Rental

In the GRU Airport different companies provide car rental services. The company counters are located in the passengers terminal 1 and 2 in the departure area. Below are some of the car rental companies operating in GRU Airport and their respective telephone numbers: 

  • Avis: + 55 (11) 2445 4294 and 2445 4345
  • Budget: + 55 (11) 2445 2262
  • Hertz: + 55 (11) 2445 2107
  • Lolcaliza: + 55 (11) 2445 2133 and 2445 2097
  • Movida: + 55 (11) 2445 4638
  • Unidas Aluguél de Carros: + 55 (11) 2445 4771.

By Taxi

To leave the Garulhos Airport by taxi, the cooperative Guarocoop it's the best choice. The cooperative is authorized by the airport to work exclusively there, conceding services with approximate tabulated prices.



Price (BRL)

Pinheiros (Western part of São Paulo)


Morumbi (Southern part of São Paulo very close to the West area)


Pompéia (Western part of São Paulo)


Vila Mariana (Southern part of São Paulo)


Centro (Center of São Paulo)


The company also offers 24 hours services with bilingual drivers and receptionists. Its fleet is comprised of more than 650 vehicles, all with air-conditioning. To get in touch with Guarocoop the company's number is +55 (11) 2440-7070.

By Private Bus, City Bus or Metro

A popular option for passengers to get to or from the airport is public transportation. At GRU, the Airport Bus Service named as EMTU/SP provides a service of executive and suburban bus lines to attend the airport passengers with a lot of destinations.

The executive lines are more expensive than the suburban ones, at 36.50 BRL the value of the tariff plus the departure tax of 1.50 BRL in Barra Funda and Tietê Bus Terminals. The lines of this type offered by Airport Bus Service are:


Line Name



Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Aeroporto de Congonhas)

Congonhas Airport: located in the southern part of São Paulo


Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Praça da República)

República Square: located in the Center of São Paulo and has access to a metro station with the same name.


Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Terminal Rodoviá¡rio Barra Funda)

Barra Funda Bus Terminal: located in the western part of São Paulo and has access to a metro station named Palmeiras-Barra Funda.


Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Circuito dos Hotéis)

Paulista Avenue and August Street: both are located in the new center of São Paulo in the western part of the city.


Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Terminal Rodoviá¡rio Tietê)

Tietê Bus Terminal: located in the northern part of São Paulo and has access to a metro station named Portuguesa-Tietê.

The suburban lines are probably the cheapest alternative for passengers to get to or from the GRU Airport, but unfortunately they only offer one destination: Metro Station Tatuapé located in the eastern part of São Paulo. The tariff value is R$ 5,15 charged only for the following lines:

  • 257 Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Metrô Tatuapé)
  • 299 Guarulhos (Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo)/São Paulo (Metrô Tatuapé).

The Airport Bus Service only lets passengers circulate inside the São Paulo city. To bring or take passengers from or to countryside and coastal destinations, bus companies like Caprioli, Pássaro Marrom, Litorânea and Viação Cometa are the best options. All of them operate in GRU Airport in the passengers terminals 1 and 2 in the disembarking floor.



Brazil's electric current varies from 100 to 240 volts, and from 50 to 60Hz; even within one city there can be variations, and power surges are not uncommon. For laptops or battery chargers, bring an adaptor that can handle the full range of voltage. Most hotels do a good job of labeling their outlets, but when in doubt check before plugging in! Brazilian plugs usually have three round prongs ( . Adapters for converting North American plugs are cheap (R$3) and widely available.


Climate and weather - Sao Paulo in the Spring

From September to November, Sao Paulo's spring weather is generally warm and sunny. Day time average highs are around 25°C, with evenings at around 12°C. If you're visiting Sao Paulo in the spring, pack lightweight clothing but bring some with long sleeves, or take a shawl or cover up for the cooler nights. Don't forget something waterproof for those spring showers.



Brazil's unit of currency is the Real (pronounced 'hay-AHL'), plural Reais ('hay-ICE'), abbreviated BRL or just R$. One real is divided into 100 centavos.




Although traditionally a working and not a tourist city, its inhabitants, if more educated, probably speak better English (and perhaps Spanish, Italian or French) than anywhere else in Brazil. English is generally spoken at main hotels and tourist-related businesses, although a menu in English is a rare find.


Mobile phones

Most foreign cell-phones are able to work in São Paulo, but you should check yours with your service provider.

Brazil uses GSM (700-1800Mhz) and CDMA network, what means that most cell-phones from Europe and United States are able to work here. Despite that, it´s recommended to get in touch with your service provider to check if they really have any roaming contract with Brazilian companies.

You should also check if your mobile can accept chips from different service providers. With an unlocked phone you could buy a new pay-as-you-go chip from a Brazilian company (for about $5) and make your calls cheaper. But then you will not be able to keep the same number.

There are three cell phone operators in São Paulo: Vivo, owned by Portugal Telecom and Telefónica Móviles; Claro, owned by Telmex, and Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM).


Safety and Health

Stay alert and guard your belongings at all times. Avoid wearing expensive sneakers or watches and flashy jewelry, and be careful with cameras, smart phones, and tablets—all of which attract attention. Muggers love to target the airports, tourist-frequented neighborhoods, and ATMs, so be vigilant while in these spaces.

If driving, stay alert during traffic jams and at stop signs, especially at night, and don't deviate from the main streets and beltways. Watch out for motorcycle drivers—many are express couriers, but some are robbers. You should always be wary when there are two people on one bike. It's best to keep your windows up and doors locked.

The tap water in Brazil is increasingly safe to drink. However, as a result of the treatment process it still doesn't taste great. To be on the safe side, drink bottled or filtered water (most Brazilians do). All brands are reliable; ask for agua sem gas for still water and agua com gas for carbonated water. However, you can certainly shower, brush your teeth, or rinse an apple with tap water.

Getting around Sao Paulo

Public Transportation

Municipal bus service is frequent and covers the entire city, but regular buses are overcrowded at rush hour and when it rains. If you don't speak Portuguese, it can be hard to figure out the system and the stops. The stops are clearly marked, but routes are spelled out only on the buses themselves. Buses don't stop at every bus stop, so if you're waiting, you'll have to flag one down.

Bus fare is R$3. You enter at the front of the bus, pay the cobrador (fare collector) in the middle, and exit from the rear of the bus. To pay, you can use either money or the electronic card bilhete único. The card allows you to take four buses in three hours for the price of one fare. Cards can be bought and reloaded at special booths at major bus terminals or at lottery shops.

For bus numbers and names, routes, and schedules, go to the (Portuguese-language) website of Transporte Público de São Paulo (SPTrans), the city's public transport agency, or use its OlhoVivo application. The Guia São Paulo Ruas, published by Quatro Rodas and sold at newsstands and bookstores for about R$15, is another option.

Contact - Transporte Público de São Paulo (156.

Car Travel

The principal highways leading into São Paulo are: the Dutra, from the northeast (and Rio); Anhangüera and Bandeirantes, from the north; Washington Luis, from the northwest; Raposo Tavares, from the west; Régis Bittencourt, from the south; and Anchieta-Imigrantes, from Santos in the southeast.

Driving in the city isn't recommended, however, because of the heavy traffic (nothing moves at rush hour, especially when it rains), daredevil drivers, and inadequate parking. You'll also need to obtain a temporary driver's license from Detran, the State Transit Department, which can be a time-consuming endeavor.

Major Highways and Roads

The high-speed beltways along the Rio Pinheiros and Rio Tietê rivers—called Marginal Tietê and Marginal Pinheiros—sandwich the main part of São Paulo. Avenida 23 de Maio runs south from Centro and beneath the Parque do Ibirapuera via the Ayrton Senna Tunnel. Avenida Paulista splits Bela Vista and Jardins with Higienópolis and Vila Mariana as bookends.

You can cut through Itaim en route to Brooklin and Santo Amaro by taking avenidas Brasil and Faria Lima southwest to Avenida Santo Amaro. Avenida João Dias and Viaduto José Bonifácio C. Nogueira cut across the Pinheiros River to Morumbi. The Elevado Costa e Silva, also called Minhocão, is an elevated road that connects Centro with Avenida Francisco Matarazzo in the west.


In most commercial neighborhoods you must buy hourly tickets (called Cartão Zona Azul) to park on the street during business hours. Buy them at newsstands, not from people on the street, who may overcharge or sell counterfeited copies. Booklets of 10 tickets cost R$50. Fill out each ticket—you'll need one for every hour you plan to park—with the car's license plate and the time you initially parked. Leave the tickets in the car's window so they're visible to officials from outside. After business hours or at any time near major sights, people may offer to watch your car. If you don't pay these "caretakers," there's a chance they'll damage your car (R$2 is enough to keep your car's paint job intact). But to truly ensure your car's safety, park in a guarded lot, where rates are R$5–R$7 for the first hour and R$1–R$2 each hour thereafter.

Invest in the Guia São Paulo Ruas, published by Quatro Rodas, which shows every street in the city. It's sold at newsstands and bookstores for about R$30.

Subway Travel

Five color-coded lines comprise the São Paulo Metrô, known simply as the Metrô by locals, which interconnects with six train lines administered by the Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) to blanket most of São Paulo in rail. The most glaring gaps exist around the Ibirapuera, Moema, and Morumbi neighborhoods, as well as near the airports. You can print maps of the entire network from the Metrô's English-language website, where you'll also find ticket prices and schedules. The first four lines are the most useful to tourists. Most notably they cover the center, Avenida Paulista, and Vila Madalena.

Kiosks at all Metrô and train stations sell tickets; vendors prefer small bills for payment. You insert the ticket into the turnstile at the platform entrance, and it's returned to you only if there's unused fare on it. Seniors (65 or older) ride without charge by showing photo IDs at the turnstiles. Transfers within the metro system are free. You can buy a bilhete único (combination ticket, good on buses and the metro) on buses or at metro stations for R$4.65.

Subway Information - Metrô (0800/770–7722.

Taxi Travel

Taxis in São Paulo are white. Owner-driven taxis are generally well maintained and reliable, as are radio taxis. Fares start at R$4.10 and run R$2.50 for each kilometer (½ mile) or R$0.55 for every minute sitting in traffic. After 8 pm and on weekends, fares rise by 30%. You'll pay a tax if the cab leaves the city, as is the case with trips to Cumbica Airport. Good radio-taxi companies, among them Coopertaxi, Ligue-Taxi, and Radio Taxi Vermelho e Branco, usually accept credit cards, but you must call ahead and request the service.

Taxi Contacts
Coopertaxi (011/2095–6000 or 011/3511–1919.
Ligue-Taxi (011/2101–3030 or 011/3873–3030.
Radio Taxi Vermelho e Branco (011/3146–4000.