As it is the case with São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro’s subway [underground] network is minute, specially when you take into account the size of the city. However, it’s good to be familiar with it as it runs through a number of places of interest in the city.
There are two subway lines: linea 1 (orange) and linea 2 (green). Both lines meet at Estácio station. On the Subway website you can check and download a map of the network.
LINEA NARANJA (orange line)
It is the most interesting line, running from Saens Peña station through the centre of the city till the west end of Copacabana. Those wanting to visit the centre of Rio need to stop at Cinelândia station, which happens to be near the Teatro Municipal, the Biblioteca Nacional, the Arcos da Lapa, the bondinho de Santa Teresa and the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes. It is also quite close to the entrance to the Santos Dumont airport (domestic flights) – it is a bit too far to walk there with your luggage.
To go to the Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) you have to stop at Botafogo station, where bus Expresso 511A will take you to the Urca neighbourhood, where the Sugar Loaf is. To use this shuttle bus you need a special ticket (integração) that allows you to combine subway and bus at a reduced price.
To go the the train station that takes you up the Corcovado mountain, you have to stop at Largo do Machado station, where bus Expresso 584A will take you to the Cosme Velho neighbourhood, where the Corcovado train station is located. As before, you need to buy an integração ticket.
During carnival time, the nearest station to the Sambódromo is Praça Onze – within walking distance of the main carnival venue.
The orange line has three stations in the Copacabana area: Cardeal Arcoverde, Siqueira Campos and Cantagalo. The latter is, for the time being, the terminus. It is also the closest to Arpoador and Ipanema.
LÍNEA VERDE (green line)
The main interest on the green line is the Maracanã station, next to the football stadium.
As well as the two lines mentioned here, Rio has a Metrô na Superfície (surface subway) which is not really a subway at all, but a bus service linked to different subway stations. Three of the Metrô na Superfície lines are quite interesting:
- Botafogo – Gávea. From Botafogo station, takes you to the Jardín Botánico (Botanic Gardens).
- Siqueira Campos – Gávea. From Siqueira Campos station, cuts through Ipanema and Leblon.
- metrô Barra. From Siqueira Campos station, follows the coast to the far away area of Barra da Tijuca.
Destination: Rio de Janeiro
48 hours in Rio de Janeiro – what to do, where to go
hotels in Rio de Janeiro
budget accommodation in Rio de Janeiro
the Rio de Janeiro subway
map of Rio de Janeiro
the new official Rio Guide
Rio de Janeiro’s Michelin guide for free
hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro
Rio bus station: Terminal Novo Rio
Category: Destination: Rio