The 31st Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are ready to begin, as the opening ceremony of the 6th of August 2016 is just a few hours ahead of us. The athletes have already been prepared for this great athletic event and the sport lovers around the world are packing up their luggage to the Brazilian city. All those who haven’t left yet or are already there, ready to watch the games live, it is important to check out the following quick information about Rio, in order to be ready to enjoy this fest of the world’s sports and Olympic ideal.
In order to travel to Brazil and, by extension to Rio de Janeiro a visa is needed! However all the European citizens can travel freely, after a special agreement with the Brazilian government. Citizens from the United Kingdom and Ireland are excluded. It is applicable for a stay up to 90 days! A valid passport is required of course for all the Europeans. Furthermore during the period of the Olympic games, the Brazilian government has decided to waive the visa requirements for all nationals from the United States, Australia, Japan and Canada. Check here for more data
Currency – cost of living
The Brazilian Currency is the Real. One Euro is equivalent to about 3,6 Brazilian Reals. on American dollar is 3,2 Reals and a British pound is about 4,3 Reals. The prices are based to the exchanges rates thee day that the article was written. Overall in Rio you will be able to do a lot of things by spending a few money, since thee prices for food, transportation, accommodation are fairly low! However this has also have to do with the choices you make, because welfare costs a lot in Rio as well. Better use debit cards in order no to curry lots of money for ovbious reasons!
The period during hte Olympic games, from 5 to 21 of August, the weather based to the forecast is expected to be well. The strong Latin american sun will accompany you during the games, while there are going to be cloudy days with rain showers, based to the monthly forecast! The temperatures are expected to be between 23 to 29 degrees, thus take your shirts and you shorts with you. Later during evening and night there will be a drop to the temperature to 17-18 degrees.
Rio is a city with intensive financial differences. Luxury residencies our quite often found right next to poor neighborhoods ( favelas ) and the percentage of people leaving under the limit of poverty is relatively very big. These financial imbalances have led to a steadily increasing criminality rates. So, be very cautious whenever you move around on the streets. Choose to move during the daylight and in crowded places. Avoid becoming a target and don’t provoke with your lifestyle, in a way that screams ” wealthy tourist”. Even among many people, someone would try to rob you if it is for him to make some money. They will even try to steal you right in front of your eyes, without hiding!! Avoid going to districts with a bad reputation and especially downtown Rio and the northern zone at night. If someone come near you trying to sell you drugs, just deny politely and keep walking. ( Unless of course you really want to buy drugs…)
Rio has an extensive transportation network, something you will find out the moment you land with the airplane at the international airport. In the city, in order to move around from one Olympic venue to the other, prefer using the Subway, which is also the safest mean of transportation. Don’t try driving in the city! The traffic congestion is huge and the problem will become bigger due to the Olympic games. Alternatively use the buses that move throughout the city and are divided in the air-conditioned ones and the rest that luck air condition system. The ticket for the first ones ranges from 3 to 5,40 Reals while for the rest costs 3,40 Reals. During the day they are considered safe, but avoid them during the night! The taxis are quite expensive, still they offer significant safety.
Definitely the Olympic games are going to be the only interest of yours this period. However, find time to go sightseeing and visit some of the important landmarks in Rio! The statue of “Christ the Redeemer”, atop the Corcovado hill, with the staggering view and the full of people beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, are some of the places you just have to visit! Furthermore the “Sugarloaf” hill, the distinctive monolith with the famous cable car, the botanic gardens with the 8000 species of plants, the national park of Tijuca with its important forest and the Maracana stadium, the temple of football , fill up the list with tourist’s sites that will offer you unique memories.
Be well informed of the schedule of the games, so that you plan your vacations in Rio accordingly, through the official page of the Olympic games. Moreover have always with you, a map of the city with all the sport’s venues, as they are presented in the site’s page. In case you are well accustomed with the use of a smartphone, simply download the city’s map and move around easily with the help of the GPS. Wait patiently at the queues and pay extra attention to your personal belongings!!!
The best way to purchase your tickets for the games, is from the official page of the organizing authority, through the internet or alternatively from the various ticket offices around the city. Avoid buying from black market! In the best case scenario you will buy them significantly more expensive and in the worst case scenario, they will fool you by selling you fake tickets.
The Zika virus is probably the greatest fear of the authorities in consideration of the Olympic games. The virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes, is a true pain for the officials, that inform everyone who travels to Rio to be cautious. They recommend that people wear long sleeves and use mosquito repellents. Furthermore the vaccination for malaria and hepatitis A’ and B’ is highly advised. Lastly take with you simple medicines like painkillers and antidiarrheal drugs.
Try fearlessly the various local dishes, specimens of the South-american cuisine, being careful the same time where you eat! We say yes to the street food and the ethnic cuisine, but with extra caution! See where the local use to eat and choose the same shops. Beans with rice is a very popular dish, as well as the various pizzas with exotic ingredients like guava cheese and banana. Prefer eating roasted foods and boiled ones if the use tapped water. Drink only tapped water.
About accommodation, learn that in Rio there are choices that cover all the needs! From expensive 5- starred hotel to humble, yet decent hostels. Due to the Olympic games, the prices are expected to be higher, thus search well before booking a room! Unfortunately, cases of extortion and overrated prices will be present in Rio. Try to book a room in places that are nearby the Olympic venues of your interest, to avoid the hassle of moving around.
So what are you waiting for??? You can still be in time for the games in Rio! The Olympics, the greater sport event in the world, awaits you. As for those that are going to watch the games from the TV, i have to say only this: I am one og you! Rio de Janeiro will have to wait an other time for us….
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Photo source: Wikipedia.com