Flying through Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport? A layover here doesn’t have to feel like a waste of time. In fact, travellers voted this airport one of the best in South America in 2017 thanks to its recent modernization, good shops and restaurants, and overall efficient design. Thanks to these eight things to do on a layover at Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport, you can enjoy your time here.
1. Grab a bite to eat
Start your layover with a meal. Choose from a few dozen eateries, including cafes, bars, to-go options, and a few sit-down restaurants. Cuisine includes plenty of Brazilian fare, sushi, Italian, delis, pizza, and more. Suppose you’re feeling less experimental, head to Subway, Starbucks, Quizno’s, or McDonald’s. Several eateries are open 24 hours.
2. Hang out in a lounge
Airport lounges are an excellent way to pass the time, especially if you want to relax or work in a quiet environment. Any traveller, no matter airline or flight class, can pay to enter several airport lounges here. You get food and drinks, WiFi, and TV and news in a comfortable lounge for a single fee. Most lounges here also have shower facilities for freshening up. Pre-book online or use your lounge membership program to gain entry. See our Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport Guide for details and locations.
The shopping here isn’t particularly standout, but nearly 50 shops will help you pass the time. Browse the Duty-Free areas or window shop at international boutiques. Pick up some Brazilian footwear at Mr. Cat and Havaianas, shop for local art and souvenirs at Arty Rio, or sample locally sourced chocolates at the Britt Shop and Chocolate Q. You’ll also find plenty of convenience stores.
4. Visit the spa
The Wellness Spa in Terminal 2 offers spa and massage services if you want some pampering.
5. Get your hair done
You can head to the Werner Coiffeur salon in Terminal 1 for some hairstyling.
6. Go sightseeing
Stay in the airport for hours or head into Rio for sun, surf, and fresh air? Easy decision! If your layover is 8 hours or longer, you can head into this vibrant city for some dining and shopping or relax on some of the best beaches in the world.
Public transit options from the airport rely on the BRT, the bus rapid transit, and they’ll have you in the heart of Rio in 60-75 minutes. Taxis are pricier but cut that transit time in half.
Walk or ride the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for iconic city and ocean views. For another type of icon, head to the Christ the Redeemer statue considered one of the World’s New Seven Wonders. Stroll the Botanical Gardens for a bit of nature. Football fans will love a visit to Maracana Stadium. Famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema are further south of downtown, but well worth it if you’ve got the time.
Keep one eye on the time while you explore – make sure to get back to the airport and clear Security before your next flight, or your layover will be even longer! Visit Tripadvisor for more Things to do in Rio de Janeiro.
WiFi is free, but you’ll have to be stingy as it only lasts 1 hour.
Catching up on a sleep on a layover is totally acceptable, though you may not be too comfortable. Most seats have armrests, and carpeting on the floor is rare. Chilly temps make it challenging to rest, especially at night. Some travellers report luck at comfortable couch-like benches in Terminal 1’s food court. Otherwise, opt for a hotel. The Aerotel is a transit hotel inside Security of the International Terminal, with rooms available in 3- and 6-hour blocks, plus a shower-only package. Zzzleepandgo Sleep Pods are available in Terminal 2. The Rio Aeroporto Hotel is inside the airport, but pre-security in the main Terminal has day rooms available. See our Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport Guide for details.
These are just a few things to do on a Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport layover. Visit our Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport Guide for more information about more services and facilities available, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.