You were dreaming about Rio de Janeiro for months or maybe years, you finally got your visa and bought your tickets! I can feel your happiness! But wait, don’t expect too much. As any other city, Rio de Janeiro has its difficulties and peculiarities. Here’s a list of the most annoying ones.
1.Huge distances. Rio has one of the most beautiful city landscapes in the world, but it makes things more difficult. There’s no unique transportation, but rather a lot of kinds of transport that are horribly connected to each other: BRT buses, metro buses, long distance city buses and subway.
2. Not only that you spend hours and hours in Rio public transport, changing it like a woman changes clothes, moreover, transportation costs incredible money! A usual route can have 2-3 changes and take around 2-2.5 hours one way. As a result, it costs around 5 dollars. And you need to come back home. I know, I know, but it’s true.
Rio de Janeiro residents don’t feel it so much because work companies and educational institutions usually give transport cards that are free. Therefore travellers and guests of the city are the ones who pay for the transport.
3. It’s extremely cold here! In transport. (Yep, one more paragraph about transport in Rio.) Maybe that’s why they turn on the AC system – to excuse high prices. For me, it makes things even worse. Let me feel comfortable, I don’t want your freezing cold! So, always have a pullover or a light jacket with you to use in the subway / a train or a bus.
4. People are extremely opened and loud. What is fun for a Carioca can be stressful for a “gringo”. They don’t have this strong feeling of respect for someone’s personal space. That’s why they act as they want. There are moments when you want to make a remark, but you look around and see smiling faces of Rio people, observing the “normal” situation.
5. Wild people. Literally! If you doubt, take a train back home at 5 – 7 p.m. on a working day. And leave a comment about your experience here. I’m sure it’ll be funny. Waiting for the doors to open, people start squeezing each other trying to get a sit in a car. Almost useless.
The only advice: be careful!
6. It’s so hot here! Be ready for a high temperature in Rio. Summer in Rio is crazy! The usual temperature can be around 38 degrees C, if not above 40. Be always hydrated and wear a cap.
7. You can be burnt! Buy the strongest sunblock and use it every time it’s either sunny or cloudy outside. You, as a foreigner, don’t need a lot of time to get burnt with the sun of RJ.
Maybe now Rio opened for you from another side. If you can control your emotions, relax in extraordinary situations, find a common language with any person, you’re probably prepared to stay in Rio de Janeiro.
If not, the only thing you have to prepare thoroughly is money to avoid most of the uncomfortable situations. Bbut still, it is a dream city and totally worth to visit at least once in a lifetime, better during both: New Year and the Carnival.