+55 21 7929 3391 (Alberto)
+55 21 3206 9800 (Alberto or Horacio) - Plantel

How to be a Brazilian

How to be a Carioca (born in Rio de Janeiro)

Things and places we like

Words we use among us local residents

Sophisticated Brazilians

Hidden spots

Dream tours

(more on glossary below)

(more on glossary below)

(more on glossary below)

and much more ...

Emergency telephone numbers

Military Police (190)
Federal Highway Police (191)
Emergency Rescue – Mobile Emergency Rescue Service - SAMU (192)
Fire Department (193)
Federal Police (194)
Civil Police (197)
Civil Defense (199)

The Phonebook provides, in alphabetical order, useful telephone numbers separated by State. The services are divided into six categories: Embassies and Consulates, Public Defender, Health, Safety, Services and government agencies and Transportation.

Everyday words
(click here for the sound in Portuguese, 
writing the word on google translator)

good afternoon  =  boa tarde
good bye  =  até logo (or tchau/ciao)
good evening  =  boa noite
good morning  =  bom dia
good night  =  boa noite
thank you  =  obrigado (men)  obrigada (women)

Click here for more usual words

Tips from A to Z
(Click on links below for more)




  • Climate
    • The climate is predominantly tropical with some variation according to the region. The average annual temperature in the north is 28º C and 22º C in the south.  It's not unusual, though, temperatures around 35 degrees or more in some regions.

  • Communications
    •    To make an international call, dial: 00 + operator code* + country code + area code (if there is one) + telephone number For reverse charge international calls dial 0800 7032111.
    • *Operators:
                       Brasil Telecom 14
                       Embratel 21
                       CTBC 34
                       GVT 25
                       Intelig 23
                       Telefónica 15
                       Telemar 31
  • Currency
    • The currency used is the Real ( say rayal). ATMs can be found most places although foreign cards often don't work in the ATMs in smaller towns. U.S. dollars, Visa and MasterCard are accepted; sometimes Amex and Diner's Club are as well. Traveler's checks, US dollars and Euros can be easily changed



  • Electricity voltage
    • Varies from one state to another. Check the voltage before connecting any electrical appliance to an outlet.








  • Language:  
    • The national language is Portuguese but it is a little different from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal.  
      Unlike all the other countries in South America, the official language of Brazil is Portuguese, not Spanish. German and Italian may be spoken in some areas in the south of the country.  Brazilians learn English, but only at the best schools.
    • Click here for some usual words.





  • Safety
    • Large cities deserve the same attention as any other in the world.   We've liked  Fodor's advices: " ( Click for More)
    • Exercise the same amount of caution that you would in any large city. Don't walk dark streets alone at night, be wary of over helpful strangers, don't live your drinks unattended where something could be slipped into them. If you exercise some caution and stay alert, it's unlikely that any harm will come to you.

  • Subway  


  • Taxis  
    • The tourist may opt to take an ordinary taxi easily found in the streets or through radio taxi services. It is recommended that accredited taxi services at the airports and at points nearby the main hotels be given priority. It is not usual in Brazil to tip a taxi driver although it is common to round off the amount and let the driver keep the change as a gratuit.
    • Rio de Janeiro has a fleet of 32 thousand taxis so that Cariocas and tourists can circulate with ease and comfort around the city.

      Those vehicles are authorized to charge in advance for any trips departing from Rodoviária Novo Rio (bus station) and from Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG), as long as they keep a booth for providing previous services to passengers and set it on a visible location.

      If you are taking a taxi-cab in Rio, you should note a few recommendations:

      In case of any undue charges, the passenger must file a complaint at the Police station, or even call the City Hall’s Central de Teleatendimento (hotline), dialing 1746;

      Upon boarding a taxicab, passengers must check the following characteristics of the vehicle: red license plates, lighted sign on the top of the vehicle, the outside of the vehicle must be painted in the color yellow with a dark blue stripe on each side and the taximeter must bear a seal by Ipem - RJ (the Institute of Weights and Measurements). In case any of such items is missing, the vehicle is not accredited to render transportation services;

      Passengers are entitled to demand from the driver that the trip is taken with the taximeter turned on.

  • Time Zones
    • Because of its continental dimensions Brazil has 4 time zones. The official time is Brasília time and it corresponds to 3 hours less than GMT. From September to February the clocks are put forward one hour in most Brazilian States.
  • Tips:  
    • In restaurants, the service charge is typically included. Otherwise, a 10% tip is the usual, or 15% at more elegant spots. Workers at smaller venues such as juice bars and cafes are not usually tipped but it's more than welcome. Taxi fares may be rounded up but tipping isn't mandatory.



  • Vaccination
    • There are none required. Others may be recommended depending on where you are traveling to in the country and the degree of contact you will have with inhabitants. These may include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever and Typhoid. Malaria pills may also be recommended but again, only for certain areas. Check with the recommendations in your country before traveling such as with the CDC in the U.S.

  • Visas and Passports
    • Tourists and visitors from Mercosul countries do not need to present passports. They merely need to show their ID cards. Visitors from other countries must present a passport that is valid for the next six months.
    • Visas and their corresponding fees are required according to a reciprocal basis. If your country requires a Brazilian to have a visa for entry, you will need one as well. Check with the Brazilian consulate in your country to be sure of the requirements.
    • For further information on Visas and necessary documentation, access:   or





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