From Rio to São Paulo (and viceversa)

March 15, 2007 | By More

During the 90s, the Trem da Prata (Golden Train) transported passangers between Rio and São Paulo. Unfortunately, the train went bankrupt – not surprisingly, given that it took 6 hours to travel from one city to another, and its cost was only slightly cheaper than the plane.

With the train gone, the only two public transport alternatives to travel between the two largest cities in Brazil are the plane and the bus.


All the main Brazilian airlines have flights on the Rio-São Paulo shuttle. During the day, there is a flight every 20 minutes. Shuttle flights operate from the Santos Dumont airport in Rio and the Congonhas airport in São Paulo – and not from the international airports in both cities. Flight time is under 45 minutes.


The bus trip lasts approximately 6 hours and goes from the Rodoviária Novo Rio bus station in Rio to the Terminal Tietê bus station in São Paulo. There is a bus every 15 minutes. Some of the companies doing the trip are Itapemirim, Expresso do Sul and 1001. Buses are very comfortable.

We have written a blog post on the Novo Rio bus station and another one on the terminal Tietê bus station in São Paulo.

[Don’t forget there is a list of all the questions & answers published in the blog here]

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Category: Destination: Rio, Destination: São Paulo

Comments (2)

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  1. Tony Yabar says:

    I need to buy two tickets for two adults on December 12 and return December 17 , fro Sao Pablo Garulhos to Rio de Janeiro main airport. I tried with TAM and GOL and the prices are ridiculus !!! 550 euros… not sure when I arrive to Sao Paulo from Amsterdam three days before buy my ticket at the airport for a cheaper price. Please help!

  2. Tony says:

    Tony, unfortunately airfares have rocketed up out of control in the last few months. That is the state of affairs. I’m not sure you’ll be likelier to find anything cheaper days before your trip as the way both TAM and GOL work is similar to EasyJet (you will be familiar with them). The cheapest tickets sell first. Your only hope is for a weekend promotion of the kind we were familiar with months ago. As an alternative, you can take the bus, it’s incredibly comfortable at a fraction of that price.