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Petrópolis Day Trip

Petrópolis Day Trip

Old Jun 1, 15, 12:15 pm
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Petrópolis Day Trip

Planning to spend a week in Rio and was thinking of doing a day trip to Petrópolis. It seems there are several options to do so: 1) on my own by Unica-Facil bus from Rodoviario Novo Rio, 2) by organized bus tour, and 3) by private car hire with driver.
How easy is option #1 if you only speak a handful of Portuguese? Is it straighforward or would you (strongly) recommend options #2 or #3? How much would a private car with driver be for half (whole) day?
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Old Jun 1, 15, 12:30 pm
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IMO, avoid option #1, get to Rodoviaria Novo Rio without any experience and no Portuguese...no way.

The option #2 its the best option (see in your hotel the best / recommended option)

http://destinopetropolis.com.br/rote...al-quitandinha

http://www.viator.com/tours/Rio-de-J...e/d712-2484_10

Private tour for 3 - http://www.decolar.com/atracoes-turi...L_RIO_2195/BRL

About private car with driver, sorry, I don't have any information about.
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Old Jun 1, 15, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by flaviocc View Post
IMO, avoid option #1, get to Rodoviaria Novo Rio without any experience and no Portuguese...no way.
I did something similar before...took the metro in X'ian to the bus station, entered the local bus in X'ian to the Terracotta Army museum and bought a ticket onboard without speaking Mandarin
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Old Jun 1, 15, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Dieuwer View Post
Planning to spend a week in Rio and was thinking of doing a day trip to Petrópolis. It seems there are several options to do so: 1) on my own by Unica-Facil bus from Rodoviario Novo Rio, 2) by organized bus tour, and 3) by private car hire with driver.
How easy is option #1 if you only speak a handful of Portuguese? Is it straighforward or would you (strongly) recommend options #2 or #3? How much would a private car with driver be for half (whole) day?
VERY easy to do on your own. Thousands of tourists do it who don't speak Portuguese. Strongly recommend this option. No reason to pay lots extra for hand holding on this straightforward day trip.

You might be able to get your hotel front desk or a travel agency to order the ticket for you. (I have done this in Salvador. The front desk guy calls the bus company to reserve. I leave the ticket money. A kid delivers for an additional R$3, leaves the ticket and takes my ticket and delivery money. Have never tried this in Rio though, but have heard people say they've walked into a travel agency.) Unless it is a crowded time of year, advance purchase should not be an issue.

Schedules and fares can be found on www.buscaonibus.com

Take a taxi to the bus station (rodoviaria) from your hotel (There is only one main bus station in Rio.) The area around it can be a bit sketchy, but you will be going directly inside. Taxi should be about R$20-25 from Ipanema, less from Copacabana. (U$6-8)

Ask anyone for the bus company's ticket window if you do not immediately see it.
Unica Facil. OOO-knee-cah FAH-seel
Go to the window, say "Petropolis" and hold up one finger. The ticket seller may even speak a little English.
The words:
"quanto" (how much) KWAHN-toe
"embarcar" (board) em-bah-CAR
"aonde" (where) ah-ON-gee
"escreve" (write, accompanied with a hand gesture) ehss-CREH-v
might be helpful vocabulary at the window if not.

Th bus ride is about an hour.
There is tourist info once you get there, or you can read a guidebook, or print a chapter from online about the history.

Have fun. I guarantee you won't regret trying it on your own.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Jun 1, 15 at 12:58 pm
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Old Jun 1, 15, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Unica Facil. OOO-knee-cah FAH-seel
Go to the window, say "Petropolis" and hold up one finger. The ticket seller may even speak a little English.
The words:
"quanto" (how much) KWAHN-toe
"embarcar" (board) em-bah-CAR
"aonde" (where) ah-ON-gee
"escreve" (write, accompanied with a hand gesture) ehss-CREH-v
might be helpful vocabulary at the window if not.


I'm Dutch. The few words Portuguese I can speak to come by with should be good enough. No worries about teaching me pronunciation
And if my Portuguese is not up to snuff by the time of my trip (September), I will switch to Spanish (if that make sense).
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Old Jun 1, 15, 1:10 pm
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Another option is just to rent a car and drive yourself. If you have a smartphone Waze or Google Maps works extremely well for routing and traffic congestion. there are tolls but those you can manage easily with no Portuguese.

The biggest advantage of driving yourself is to get around easily once you get to Petropolis.

Several times I have helped friends do that, who spoke zero Portuguese. Everyone survived quite well. I do not recommend this choice for people who are not comfortable with heavy urban traffic and undisciplined drivers, but I do recommend it for everyone else.

Speaking Portuguese is a big advantage but is not necessary. Since the last few years there has been a growth in numbers of people who have some English in major tourist areas. if you have a need somebody will be an English speaker anywhere you go in Petropolis/Itaipava.

there are many who argue that this is a bad option, most of whom have never tried it. You will be amazed how many more options you'll have and how much more time you'll have. By the time you take a taxi to the Rodovia from Copacabana you can be halfway to Petropolis.
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Old Jun 1, 15, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by jbcarioca View Post
Another option is just to rent a car and drive yourself. If you have a smartphone Waze or Google Maps works extremely well for routing and traffic congestion. there are tolls but those you can manage easily with no Portuguese.

The biggest advantage of driving yourself is to get around easily once you get to Petropolis.

Several times I have helped friends do that, who spoke zero Portuguese. Everyone survived quite well. I do not recommend this choice for people who are not comfortable with heavy urban traffic and undisciplined drivers, but I do recommend it for everyone else.

Speaking Portuguese is a big advantage but is not necessary. Since the last few years there has been a growth in numbers of people who have some English in major tourist areas. if you have a need somebody will be an English speaker anywhere you go in Petropolis/Itaipava.

there are many who argue that this is a bad option, most of whom have never tried it. You will be amazed how many more options you'll have and how much more time you'll have. By the time you take a taxi to the Rodovia from Copacabana you can be halfway to Petropolis.
Since I am just by myself, a car rental would probably be relatively expensive?
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Old Jun 1, 15, 2:42 pm
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Here's the bus schedule:
http://www.buscaonibus.com.br/horari...?dt=02/06/2015
one way fare: R$23.56=U$7.42

(Tiny) economy car (Ka or equivalent) with ac and unlimited mileage from domestic company Localiza is about R$106=U$33.37/day.
https://www.localiza.com/brasil/en-us/cars-and-fees

I would not recommend it for Rio though. I do not agree with the timing put forward, that one would save so much getting a rental. By the time you finish with the rental process, the bus would be on the road to Petropolis.
Plus...can you read and understand the contract (in Portuguese)? If anything were to happen, there may be provisions such as paying the daily fee for any time the car spends in the shop due to an accident, things you may not be used to when renting at home. And you will be long gone home when your credit card gets charged for what may be a reasonable local fee for a given repair, or a total ripoff, and good luck contesting that from home.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Jun 1, 15 at 3:24 pm
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Old Jun 1, 15, 5:04 pm
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When I said about no speaking Portuguese and experience is related to get around Rodoviaria without all the signs (just a few) in 2 languages (PT-BR and English).

Its the cheapest option, but far from the most easy, you have to deal with the transit + taxi or bus from /to hotel to Rodoviaria, getting there, search, move around etc. In Rio don't have any metro station inside / integrated with Rodoviaria, you have to get the train + bus in Estacio station.

IMO the best option is private tour or private tourist guide, of course the most expensive option.

I wouldn't recommended drive in the crazy transit in Rio (2).

And if you ask in hotel for a reliable taxi driver to spend a day in Petropolis and do the city by yourself ?

Good luck and Petropolis is a beautiful city. Don't miss the "Torrada Petropolis with hot chocolate".
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Old Jun 2, 15, 7:27 am
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One more comment relative to driving, besides getting out of the city, I drove up there only once and the road is twisty and steep. But then I am a nervous Nellie about driving in Brazil so avoid it, just me. If you are comfortable with driving in congested ( confusing with much construction going on...Rio) and crazy highway driving outside of the city may not be an issue. For me, not so much. Great place to visit, enjoy.
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