In less than 60 days the city of Rio de Janeiro will host 10,500 athletes from 206 countries for the first Olympic Games to take place in South America. Here is a guide with what you need to know if you’re attending the Games. Get ready to be inspired by the contagious energy and amazing natural landscapes that characterizes Rio, and have fun!
♦ Take Portuguese Classes
You should definitely take some Brazilian Portuguese classes before your trip to Rio, if you want to make the most of your experience, understand better the culture and easily get around.
BRIC Language is offering a course specially designed for the Olympics. It’s not too late to sign up for the course and learn Portuguese!
There’s still time to get tickets for some events like Golf, Basketball, Athletics, Judo and few others, but you should act fast. If you live in the U.S or Canada, you can purchase tickets, and hotel packages on CoSport.
♦ Event Venues
Rio 2016 competition venues are located within 4 neighborhoods in Rio: Deodoro, Maracanã, Barra da Tijuca, and Copacabana, plus five football co-host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Manaus, Salvador and São Paulo. The Olympic Village will be located in Barra da Tijuca, in which most of the events will be held.
Here is a list of the venues and its respective events.
The subway system in Rio is small, with only 2 lines and 35 stations, and it work best for commuting between Copacabana and downtown. The trains run form 5 AM to midnight M-Sat and until 11 PM on Sundays. If you’re used to the subway in NY you will be surprised how clean and well maintained the system is.
Here is the subway map and instructions on how to get to some of Rio amazing sites.
The Brazilian Government has temporarily waived the visa requirement for Americans, Canadians and Japanese citizens, from June 1 to September 18, making a great opportunity to visit the country! Tourists from many Latin American and European Union nations, don’t need a visa to visit Brazil.
At this point hotel options will most likely be scarce in Rio, and you should be prepared to pay premium rates for rooms. Good news is that the Rio Olympic committee has signed an agreement with Airbnb naming the company as the official alternative accomodation supplier. Check out other home-sharing sites like Homeaway, Flipkey, and VRBO.
♦ Zika Virus
According to João Grangeiro, Rio 2016’s chief medical officer, Rio is safe and the risk of infections is low. He said the city is in line with the World Health Organization, following their guidelines and are intensifying preventive measures against the proliferation of the mosquito that transmits zika.
Another positive fact is that the games are taking place in August and September, which are winter months in Brazil, decreasing the chances of infection.
♦ Quick facts
≈ Rio is the second largest city in Brazil after São Paulo, and it’s affectionately known as Cidade Maravilhosa, or the Marvelous City.
≈ The city is home of 23 wonderful beaches, including the iconic Ipanema and Copababana beaches, so make sure you reserve some time to explore the breathtaking landscapes and attractions such as the Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ of the Redeemer, Floresta da Tijuca and many others.
≈ The language spoken in the country is Portuguese, and the national currency is the real, which is pronounced “hey-ow” and it’s currently worth U$0.29.
≈ June through September are the winter months in Brazil, but don’t worry. Temperatures in the winter in Rio are mild, at around 70s.
♦ Helpful Phone Numbers
- Police: 190
- Rio’s tourist police (DEAT) (21) 2332-2924
- São Paulo Tourist Police 11-3120-4447 and 3151-4167
- Ambulance: 192
- Fire Department: 193
- Emergency Traffic Condition: 1188
- U.S. Consulate Emergency Assistance: +55 11 3250-5000/3250-5373
According to the U.S Department of State, U.S. consular personnel will be stationed throughout Rio de Janeiro and in the soccer host cities (Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, São Paulo, and Manaus) to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in need. For emergency services in Rio de Janeiro call +55 (21) 3823-2000