Tourist visas are also granted to international visitors who come into the country to participate in artistic contests, congresses, conferences, seminars and sports competitions where there is no selling of tickets or fees that are paid by Brazilian institutions, even when prizes are involved.
The citizens of the countries with reciprocity treaties with Brazil may be exempted from a visa. To know which countries are benefited, access the Quadro Geral de Regime de Vistos.
For more information on Brazilian visa, visit Portal Brasil.
International and domestic flights arrive at Afonso Pena International Airport which is located 18km from the city center of Curitiba. All commercial flights operate from this airport. Notice that most of the international flights arrive at São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro airports, so you will need a connection flight to Curitiba (50 min flight). You can also reach Curitiba by bus. It is a six-hour journey from São Paulo and 10-hour journey from Rio de Janeiro.
By far the largest international airport in Brazil is São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (IATA: GRU ICAO: SBGR), the hub of TAM Airlines, which has direct flights to many capital cities in South America. Other direct flights include: North America: New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Toronto. Europe: Lisbon by TAP, Madrid by Iberia, Amsterdam and Paris by KLM-Air France, London by British Airways, Frankfurt and Munich by Lufthansa, Istanbul by Turkish Airlines. Asia: Seoul by Korean Air, Tel Aviv by ELAL, Doha by Qatar Airways, and Dubai by Emirates.
The second largest airport in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, (IATA: GIG ICAO: SBGL) the home of Gol Transportes Aéreos, which flies to many regional destinations including Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asuncion. Other direct flights include: North America: Delta Air Lines flies to Atlanta, and New York, US Airways flies to Charlotte, and United Airlines to Washington, D.C., and Houston. Africa: Taag Angola to Luanda about 3 times a week. Europe: Paris by Air France, Rome by Alitalia, London by British Airways, Madrid by Iberia, Amsterdam by KLM, Frankfurt by Lufthansa, Lisbon and Porto by TAP Portugal, Istanbul by Turkish Airlines.
Several bus, taxi and transfers companies provide airport shuttle. The transportation services from the airport are:
In Curitiba, the standard is 120 volts @ 60Hz. However, be aware that Brazil is one of a few countries that uses both 120 and 240 volts for everyday appliances. Expect the voltage to change back and forth as you travel from one place to the next — even within the same Brazilian state, sometimes even within the same building. There is no physical difference in the electric outlets (power mains) for the two voltages.
Brazil has its own type of electric outlet. In 2009/2010, a the IEC 60906-1 was introduced to Brazil and some newer buildings already have it. It is backwards compatible with the Europlug, but it has a receded socket. Again, T-plugs can be used as adapters for other common formats.
Old electric outlets usually accept both flat (North American), and round (European) plugs. Otherwise adaptors from flat blades to round pins are easy to find in any supermarket or hardware shop. Some outlets are too narrow for the German “Schuko” plugs. The best makeshift solution is to buy a cheap T-connection and just force your “Schuko” in, -the T will break, but it will work. Very few outlets have a grounding point, and some might not accept newer North American polarized plugs, where one pin is slightly larger. Again, use the cheap T.
Working hours are usually from 8AM or 9AM to 5PM or 6PM. Banks open Monday to Friday, from 10AM to 4PM. Street shops tend to close at noon on Saturday and only re-open on Monday. Shopping malls normally open from 10AM to 10PM, Monday to Saturday, and from 3PM to 9PM on Sundays. Some malls, especially in large cities, are also open on Sundays, although not all the stores may be open. It is also possible to find 24-hour stores and small markets that are open even on Sundays.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, spoken by the entire population. Indeed, Brazil has had immigrants from all parts of the world for centuries, whose descendants now speak Portuguese as their mother tongue.
Brazilian Portuguese has a number of pronunciation differences with that spoken in Portugal (and within, between the regions there are some quite extreme accent and slang differences), but speakers of either can understand each other. Note that a few words can have a totally different meaning in Brazil and Portugal, usually slang words.
English is not widely spoken except in some touristy areas. Don’t expect bus or taxi drivers to understand English, so it may be a good idea to write down the address you are heading to before getting the cab. In most big and luxurious hotels, it is very likely that the taxi fleet will speak some English. If you are really in need of talking in English, you should look for the younger people (-30 years), because they, generally, have a higher knowledge of the language and will be eager to help you and exercise their English.
Spanish speakers are usually able to get by in Brazil, especially towards the south. While written Portuguese can be quite similar to Spanish, spoken Portuguese is much harder to understand.
Brazil’s unit of currency is the Real (pronounced ‘hay-OW’), plural Reais (‘hay-ICE’), abbreviated BRL, or just R$. One real is divided into 100 centavos. As an example of how prices are written, R$1,50 means one real and fifty centavos.
Foreign currency such as US Dollars or Euros can be exchanged major airports and luxury hotels (bad rates), exchange bureaus and major branches of Banco do Brasil (no other banks), where you need your passport and your immigration form. Travellers’ checks can be hard to cash anywhere that does not offer currency exchange.
Look for an ATM with your credit/debit card logo on it. Large branches of Banco do Brasil (no withdrawal fees for credit cards) usually have one, and most all Bradesco, Citibank, BankBoston and HSBC machines will work. Banco 24 Horas is a network of ATMs which accept foreign cards (charging R$ 10 per withdrawal). Withdrawal limits are usually R$ 600 (Bradesco) or R$ 1000 (BB, HSBC, B24H), per transaction, and in any case R$ 1000 per day. The latter can be circumvented by several consecutive withdrawals, choosing different “accounts”, i.e. “credit card”, “checking”, “savings”. Note that most ATMs do not work or will only give you R$ 100 after 10 PM.
A majority of Brazilian shops now accepts major credit cards. However, quite a few online stores only accept cards issued in Brazil, even though they sport the international logo of such cards.
In Brazil it is very common for credit cards being used like debit card. So, when you pay using card commonly you will hear the question: “Crédito ou débito?(Credit or debit?)”. Debit card is like as paying cash.
Coins are R$0.05, R$0.10, R$0.25, R$0.50 and R$1. Some denominations have several different designs. See the images from the Central bank of Brazil. More images from the Central bank of Brazil.Bills come in the following denominations: R$1 (being phased out), R$2 , R$5 , R$10 (still a few plastic red and blue around), R$20 R$ 50 and $100. Images from the central bank of Brazil.
Vaccination is not necessary. It may be necessary only if you are traveling to central-western (Mato Grosso) or northern (Amazon) regions. If you’re arriving from Peru, Colombia or Bolivia, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required before you enter Brazil. Some countries, such as Australia and South Africa, will require evidence of yellow fever vaccination before allowing you enter the country if you have been in any part of Brazil within the previous week. Check the requirements of any country you will travel to from Brazil.