Transportation - Sao Paulo, Getting There, Away & Around
Sao Paulo is by far the most important air hub in Brazil. The city is served by two large airports.
Sao Paulo/ Guarulhos International Airport(IATA-code: GRU), is the largest and is located 28 km / 17 miles north east of the Sao Paulo city centre. Guarulhos is sometimes called by its former name: Cumbica.
From April 2012, this Sao Paulo airport has three terminals (1, 2 and 4) with a fourth under construction (terminal 3). Guarulhos is the busiest airport in Brazil and is notorious for its many delays.
Guarulhos International Airport connects Sao Paulo and Brazil to the rest of the world with direct flights to/ from:
Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Bariloche, Montevideo, Asuncíon, Ciudad del Este, Santiago de Chile, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Cochabamba, Lima, Guayaquil, Bogotá and Caracas.
North America and the Caribbean
Panama City, Mexico City, Cancún, Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Aruba, Barbados, Miami, Orlando, Dallas/ Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, New York and Toronto.
Lisbon, Porto, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Milan, Rome and Istanbul.
Africa and Asia
Luanda, Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Beijing and Seoul.
Would you like to book a cheap flight ticket to this city?
To get into the city from Sao Paulo Guarulhos international airport:
• Taxi: Your fastest option is to take a prepaid cab from the exit of the terminals. It has fixed rates to each destination. You can use credit cards here.
• Bus: At the exit of the terminals is a convenient and much cheaper Airport Bus Service, which coaches connect to several city destinations roughly between 6 am and 11 pm, to some also at night. There are stops among others at Praça da Republica, Avenida Paulista, the bus terminal (Rodoviário Tietê) and Congonhas airport.
Congonhas, conveniently close to central Sao Paulo
All major cities in Brasil are directly connected to Sao Paulo by Guarulhos, but the smaller
Congonhas airport(IATA-code: CGH) also handles a lot of domestic traffic.
Until the mid 1980s, Congonhas was the largest airport of Sao Paulo, losing this status to the then new Guarulhos International Airport.
However, today Congonhas is still steady in the top 4 of busiest airports in Brasil (together with Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro- Galeão and Brasilia- Kubitschek International).
At a convenient proximity of 10 km / 6.5 miles from downtown, Congonhas Airport is a business travellers’ favourite.
A third airport serving the Sao Paulo metropolitan area is Viracopos–Campinas International Airport (IATA-code: VCP), inconveniently located at 94 km / 58 miles from central Sao Paulo. However, Campinas can be considered as Brazil’s Silicon Valley, so the airport is still very popular and has numerous domestic connections and one international one to Lisbon. Viracopos is also the 2nd busiest airport in Brazil in terms of cargo handled.
|The main bus terminal (rodoviário) is located 5.5 km / 3.5 miles north of the city centre and called Tietê.
The Sao Paulo bus terminal is excellent equipped for the long-distance traveller and Tietê also has its own convenient metro station.
Some time indications on
travelling by bus to and from Sao Paulo– Tietê terminal:
Interior of Tietê bus terminal, Sao Paulo
|Ubatuba :||4 hours||Foz do Iguacu :||15 hours|
|Rio de Janeiro :||6 hours||Porto Alegre :||19 hours|
|Curitiba :||6 hours||Montevideo (Uruguay) :||30 hours|
|Belo Horizonte :||8 hours||Buenos Aires (Argentina) :||36 hours|
|Florianopolis :||12 hours||Santiago (Chile) :||54 hours|
|Brasilia :||14 hours|
For destinations closer to Sao Paulo you might need to leave from one of the three other, smaller bus terminals: Terminal Intermunicipal do Jabaquara for i.e. Santos, Guarujá and Sao Vicente, Terminal Bresser for destinations in Minas Gerais and Terminal Barra Funda for destinations in Parana and Sao Paulo state.
• Bus: Unlike other metropolitan areas (Rio de Janeiro for example), riding a bus is something for everyone, not only for poor people. It makes it a less dodgy way of local transport than elsewhere. Nevertheless, petty crime still occurs so keep your wits. Senior travellers (65+) will travel for free at the coaches (not the microbuses).
• Metro: If you like the metro system in Rio de Janeiro, you will love
the metro of Sao Paulo. Its network is very extensive. The downside is that tickets are relatively pricy and only available apiece, so no multiple journey cards or something similar. However, there are combi tickets available for metro and bus, which has some value.
• Taxi: of course, taking a cab is an important way to go for the foreign visitor, especially at night.
Meter prices in São Paulo are a bit higher than in Rio de Janeiro. Be aware that the many traffic jams can influence your fare severely.
If you know roughly the price to your destination, it pays to make a deal beforehand instead of using the meter.