how to go from Guarulhos international airport in São Paulo to town

February 5, 2010 | By More

aeroporto de Guarulhos

You are landing at Guarulhos international airport in São Paulo and need to get to town. Unless you have a friend in São Paulo giving you a lift, you have three options available:

  1. take a taxi. They are safe, they are reliable and they are expensive. We gave details of how the taxis operate at taxis from Guarulhos int’l airport in São Paulo.
  2. take the shuttle bus. It costs R$30 and has lines serving different parts of the city: it goes to Congonhas Airport, to Praça da República (downtown), to Avenida Paulista / Circuito dos Hotéis (serving the main hotels in the Avenida Paulista area), to Itaim Bibi (in the south of the city), to the Barra Funda bus station and to the Terminal Tietê bus station. There is more information on schedules and itineraries at the service’s website. All buses depart from the external side of the airport, right after you leave the terminal. Each line is clearly identified. The buses are safe and reliable and can carry big amounts of luggage.
  3. take a local bus to metrô Tatuapé (on the red line of the São Paulo underground). From there you will have to navigate your way to your destination making the most of the smallish subway system. The bus costs R$3,65 and we only advise it if you are not travelling with heavy luggage (it is not a bus designed to carry luggage). The bus can be very crowded as it is taken by the locals. Also bear in mind that São Paulo’s underground system is one of the busiest in the world. You can check schedules here.

It is absolutely impossible to venture travel times between the airport and your destination in town (and viceversa). Traffic conditions in São Paulo can be horrendous and its traffic jams are something of a legend. A ride from the airport to Avenida Paulista can take anything between 45 minutes and 2 hours. The roads connecting the airport to town are some of the most congested in the city.

São Paulo must rank, without any doubt, among the most unfriendly large cities of the world when it comes to transportation between its international airport and the city. For years there have been talks of a train connection but so far nothing good has come out of it. The government promised the rail connection would be up and running in 2008, then in 2010 and now the date has been postponed to 2014. Affordable public transportation has never been a priority for São Paulo.

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Category: Destination: São Paulo