Sao Paulo Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

Check the official Brazil tourism website for general information regarding visas and customs, and the Cidade de São Paulo homepage for updated events and art exhibitions around town.
By plane

São Paulo has three major airports: Guarulhos International (GRU) and Viracopos (CPQ) for international and some domestic arrivals, and Congonhas (CGH) for most medium and short haul domestic flights.

Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)

If flying into São Paulo from abroad, you'll mostly likely land at Guarulhos International Airport, also known as Cumbica. Located 40 km from the city centre, the airport has two terminals that are served by Brazilian airlines Varig, TAM, Gol and by international United, Delta, American, Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, TACA, TAP, Iberia, Alitalia, KLM, JAL, Swiss, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air (via Los Angeles), South African and many others.

Non-airline shuttle buses are available from Guarulhos to Congonhas Airport, Praça da República (Downtown), Paulista/Jardins region, Barra Funda bus station and Tietê bus station(fastest access to the subway). All lines except Congonhas connect to the Metrô. R$33 one-way(July 2011). There is also a regular urban bus every 20-30 min (timetables ), which costs only R$4,30 (as of February 2012) and goes to and from Tatuapé Metro station (30-45 min, via Ayrton Senna, the other is slower) (line 3, red ). Exit Terminal 1 Arrivals and head for the middle island. Look for buses 257 or 297. Less comfy than the shuttles, but can prove faster way to Paulista (and elsewhere) on days with dense traffic, as it goes for the closest Metro station. Be aware that you might be denied access with luggage that won't fit on your lap.

TAM, Gol and Azul, the three main Brazilian airlines, offer free shuttle buses for their passengers with flights to/from Guarulhos International Airport and Congonhas Domestic Airport. Check the schedules for TAM and Gol . If you're on a budget trip and have enough time, you can ride those buses to Congonhas airport (you must show your boarding pass or printed reservation to the bus driver) and then get a taxi to your destination. It will be much cheaper than getting a taxi directly from Guarulhos airport. The trip between those airports takes between 1h00 and 1h30. No reservation is required.

A taxi co-operative, Guarucoop (tel: +55 11 2440-7070), has a monopoly on cabs leaving Guarulhos. They are plentiful and the queue is outside the arrival terminal. Credit-card users can pay for their journey in advance at the booth, although it's useful to have local currency as not all international credit or debit cards will work at all businesses in Brazil. Expect to pay about R$100–140(depending upon your destination), as of October 2011, for the 25 km journey into the city. Passengers can ask to see the tabela, which shows the fares for each neighbourhood. Other options such as São Paulo Airport Transfers provide upmarket vehicles and drivers, with the added convenience of an online booking service, and cost around R$140. When making your travel plans, keep in mind that a taxi ride into the city can take up to two hours during peak times, or around 45 minutes late at night or early in the morning.

Congonhas Airport (CGH)

The Congonhas Airport is in a very central region, 15 km (9 mi) from downtown. This airport handles most of the domestic flights, including the São Paulo - Rio (Santos Dumont) hop, nicknamed Ponte Aérea. As it was built in the 30s, its simple but glamorous architecture is worth seeing.

The easiest (and cheapest) way to get to Congonhas is by taking any of the "Aeroporto" regular line buses that run along Avenida Paulista. After some 40-60 min in modest traffic you'll be dropped right in front of the airport and the fare is the regular R$3,00 (Bilhete Único accepted). It is mostly faster to take the metro to the São Judas or Conceição subway stations, and then the bus from there (10 min). Take bus number 875 just outside of São Judas station to the airport and when getting off at the airport you need to walk on an overpass to get to the departure building.

Cab drives from downtown or Paulista should be used after checking how is the out of control São Paulo traffic. Check the CET website (only in Portuguese), which is the traffic administration department of the city.

Viracopos International (CPQ or VCP)

Located in Campinas, around 99 km (62 mi) from downtown São Paulo, Viracopos International is sometimes used when weather conditions prevent landing in Cumbica. Brazilian airline Azul has its hub here and they offer free bus transport to São Paulo for their passengers, it might be convenient depending on your exact location. TAP flies to Lisbon thrice weekly from here.

By bus

There are three main bus terminals in São Paulo, all of them served by the Metrô (Subway) network.

Terminal Rodovirio do TietAv. Cruzeiro do Sul 1.800, SantanaPhone: +55 11 3235-0322, reachable from 6AM-11:30PMTiet bus terminal is the second largest terminal in the world, hence an enormous building, but there is an information desk in the middle of the main lobby. Buses leave So Paulo for destinations throughout Brazil and for international destinations including Asuncin in Paraguay (20 hr), Buenos Aires in Argentina (36 hr), Montevideo in Uruguay (30 hr) and Santiago in Chile (56 hr). A taxi ride from Paulista/Jardins costs around R$40. Guarulhos International Airport shuttles also depart and arrive from this terminal.
Terminal Rodovirio da Barra FundaAv. Auro Soares de Moura Andrade 664, Barra Funda district, Expanded CenterPhone: +55 11 3392-1878Located west of So Paulo's downtown, carries departures and arrivals to and from western cities in the So Paulo state, to Mato Grosso, Foz do Iguau and west Paran cities. About 30 min from Paulista Ave by Metr. You can also reach it by boarding the "Barra Funda" (875P) bus in Paulista Ave. Guarulhos International Airport shuttles also depart and arrive from this terminal.
Terminal Rodovirio de JabaquaraR. dos Jequitibs s/n, Jabaquara district, South SidePhone: +55 11 3235-0322The Jabaquara Terminal serves cities in So Paulo state's south coast such as Guaruj, Santos and Bertioga. Located thirty minutes away by Metr from downtown. There is a baggage storage (Guarda Volumes) in the Jabaquara Metro, R$6 for 24 hours.

source: Wikivoyage

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