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GRU Layover

GRU Layover

Old Jan 16, 17, 12:09 pm
  #1  
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GRU Layover

Hi Everyone

I'm in GRU in a few weeks, I arrive on the 247 and have 8 hours before my LATAM flight to SCL departs.

Is it possible / easy / safe / worthwhile heading into Sao Paulo for a few hours? I'll need to enter Brazil anyway I guess to check and recheck bags - normally it would be hand baggage only but my ultimate destination on this trip is MPN.

Any advice appreciated. Thank you
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Old Jan 16, 17, 12:15 pm
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It's marginal. GRU is quite a way from the city centre and you'll be hitting the rush hour traffic. After allowing for travel time and a buffer on getting back you're probably looking at 4 hours in town.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 12:31 pm
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Or stay at the Marriot just outside the airport, with a shuttle bus.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 2:41 pm
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I've done a day trip into SAO but I had a later departure out of GRU (~1am). The bus wasn't too expensive and I was able to walk around SAO at my leisure. Got some good pictures of the cathedral.

Possible, yes. Easy, so-so. Safe, yes, but pay attention.

Worthwhile? I think so. I got to see a different culture for a few hours, eat a big bologna sandwich at the market, try cheese bread, etc.

MPN? Ahhh, I hope to make it there one day!
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Old Jan 16, 17, 2:53 pm
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Longest layover we've had at GRU was about 16 hours. On strict orders from the wife we never ventured further than around the block from the Ibis Guarulhos where we stayed.

People do go there on holiday so it must have something going for it. The Brazil forum has loads of these type of threads.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 3:50 pm
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Sao Paulo isn't really a tourist city and the historic centre with the cathedral etc is in one of the less appealing areas. Frankly, unless you fancy braving the traffic I'd stay at the airport in one of the lounges/pay lounges/fast sleep pods or even better, get a day room at one of the hotels which operate shuttles such as the Marriott & Sofitel Pullman, or the cheaper Panamby Guarulhos or Mercure Guarulhos a bit further away. BA & LATAM use the new Terminal 3 which is a much more pleasant place to stopover than the other two.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:00 pm
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Do what Bullswood said.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:09 pm
  #8  
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Lets move this thread over to the Brazil forum for further input

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Old Jan 17, 17, 2:19 am
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+1 traffic will be a nightmare, and SAO isn't the sort of place you can just nip into for a few hours. Perhaps if you were flying into CGH. I wouldn't risk it.
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Old Jan 17, 17, 3:57 am
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Sao Paulo really needs to be seen (from the air / land) to be believed - it's absolutely massive, and feels far bigger than any other city I've ever visited (including most major North American / Australian / European cities). Don't underestimate the traffic, which makes London look easy! Don't recall there being good public transport (as opposed to taxi) links when I was last there in March 16.

The Marriott GRU is good for a quick overnight stopover although with just 8 hours I'm not sure it would be worth the hassle.

From your signature I think you have OneWorld Emerald status, in which case the LATAM lounge in GRU is huge, comfortable and includes (among other things) a sleeping area which you may find useful, although you probably have a daytime stop IIRC from my last trip to GRU. The AA lounge is literally next door, which is also worth a look although isn't quite as good in my opinion.

Have a fun trip
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Old Jan 20, 17, 4:14 am
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Whenever I stop over in Sao Paulo and have a long lay over (at least 8 hours) I do go out BUT I know my way around very well and don't need to pick up my luggage and recheck it. Example, if I arrive in GRU from SCL on LA750 at 13:30 and have a connecting flight with JJ8084 to LHR at 23:45, I'd go out and make sure to head back to the airport at around 19:30. I've done it many many times and never had a problem. You do feel like you've utilized your time very well. However, when I only had 4 - 6 hours layover, I stayed at the airport. As you're flying with LATAM, LATAM has an excellent VIP lounge right opposite the duty free shop, going up the stairs. It's roomy, plenty of good food and drinks and a sleeping area if you're interested, so I wouldn't bother with going to a nearby hotel, which is nothing to call home about and will be expensive anyway. That's it in a nutshell and I'll be happy to give you more info if you so desire. Safe Travels!
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Old Jan 26, 17, 5:45 am
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Thank you everyone for your tips - we have 9 hours - I'll play it by ear when we land and take it from there!

Safe travels all!!
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Old Jan 26, 17, 11:31 am
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Visa for Transit only?

I have about 9 hours in GRU, flying EWR-GRU-JNB. I'm a US citizen. If I don't leave the transit area, do I need a Visa? I would think no, but somewhere I read that transit time is limited to 7 hours to be Visa free.. is that correct?
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Old Jan 27, 17, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by luv2go View Post
I have about 9 hours in GRU, flying EWR-GRU-JNB. I'm a US citizen. If I don't leave the transit area, do I need a Visa? I would think no, but somewhere I read that transit time is limited to 7 hours to be Visa free.. is that correct?
I think you should speak to the Brazilian Consulate in NYC as, according to their website, US Citizens do need a visa to travel to and through Brazil irrespective of how long you'll be in transit for.

http://novayork.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/transit_visa.xml

Here's their contact details:

NEW YORK:

225 East 41st Street,
New York, NY 10017-6927
Tel: (212) 827-0976
Fax: (212) 827-9225
Website: http://novayork.itamaraty.gov.br
E-mail: [email protected]

Safe Travels!
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Old Jan 28, 17, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by luv2go View Post
I have about 9 hours in GRU, flying EWR-GRU-JNB. I'm a US citizen. If I don't leave the transit area, do I need a Visa? I would think no, but somewhere I read that transit time is limited to 7 hours to be Visa free.. is that correct?
If JNB is the final destination on your ticket, then you should not need a visa, as you will only be in transit. If you're on two separate tickets, then your problem will be that the airline won't let you onto your flight to GRU; unless you show a Brazilian visa.

If the first scenario I mentioned applies, then check with your airline; as your checked baggage should stay checked all the way to JNB.

Regarding transit time, I once stayed in the lounge/transit area for an entire day and was fine. You don't have to show a visa, only your boarding pass, to get into the transit area.
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