Last Minute Guide to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
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Last Minute Guide to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

6 min read

Jul 26, 2016


By Michelle Beetham

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It’s not too late to plan a last-minute trip to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games! Get ready for the experience of a lifetime and celebrate the worldwide event. Read on for our tips on planning a trip to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Is it too late to buy tickets for the games?

Absolutely not. Buy tickets online from the Rio Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (ROCOG). Or you can use CoSport; this is the official U.S. authorized ticket seller. If you’re buying tickets from a 3rd party site, be cautious. StubHub requires people to ship the physical tickets to the StubHub offices in advance to guarantee authenticity. Inspect the tickets carefully and make sure they have the right 2016 hologram. If you wait, and arrive in Rio and still have not bought tickets, it might not be too late. You can go to the Rio box office to get tickets, but those can run out. In Rio, you might see people selling tickets off site and at some hotels. Again, be careful when buying tickets this way and be sure to inspect them.

How is public transportation?

If you are used to public transportation being punctual, then prepare yourself, because this is going to be a busy time for Rio. If possible, avoid driving during rush hour from 6 am – 9 am and 4 pm – 8 pm. Rio has a subway, so that is always an option, but again during rush hour it can become very crowded. If you need a cab, just ask the hotel to call you one, or download the app Easy Taxi. 99 Taxi, Easy Taxi, and Resolve aí are some of the popular taxi services in the city. If you do plan on using public transportation, you can get the Rio 2016 Olympic Game RioCard here.

Learn some Portuguese & remember the national language is NOT Spanish.

Since this isn’t Rio’s first time hosting a national event – World Cup in 2014 – English is rather prevalent. Most restaurants have a menu in English and people working in the travel and tourism industry usually, speak English. However, just because some people speak English doesn’t mean that everyone does. Study a few Portuguese phrases before visiting and the locals will appreciate your effort. Download Duolingo and get started learning Portuguese.

What about Wifi? T-Mobile offers free high-speed data. 

If you are a T-Mobile customer from the U.S. with an international data plan, you will have free unlimited access to the T-mobile 4G LTE network throughout Brazil for the month of August. Calls within Brazil and home will be free, along with texting worldwide.  Read more on how to qualify at What should I pack? Since it is winter in the Southern hemisphere, the weather has cooled down slightly, but not that much. Dress for summer and dress comfortably. During Rio’s winter months the weather ranges between 20 ºC and 30 ºC (70 ºF and 83ºF). Dress in layers; there can be some occasional rain during this time. And of course, always bring sunscreen.

How safe is Rio de Janeiro? 

Because of the Olympic Games, there will be mass numbers of tourists flocking to Rio, unfortunately, as you would see in many large cities during a worldwide event, there will be an increase in petty crime. Be aware of your surroundings and leave your valuables in the hotel safe. You don’t need to carry a lot of cash on you; nearly every place accepts credit cards.  During the day, R$100 = $10 USD,  is plenty of cash to take with you for small purchases throughout the day. Use common sense, be alert, and stay in the safe areas of the city.

How can I protect myself against Zika?

Brazil has taken many precautions to eliminate the mosquito that carries the Zika virus, such as, spraying insecticide in the stadiums, cleaning unsanitized areas and educating the general public on prevention methods. With the colder weather, there will be fewer mosquitos. Take your own precautions and avoid improper sanitation areas, like slums, use EPS registered insect repellents with DEET, wear long sleeves and pants, and finally, stay in a hotel with air conditioning and keep your windows closed. Read more about how to minimize the risk of infection from the Zika virus.

Don’t forget to see the sights of Rio de Janeiro!

No trip to Rio would be complete without going on a city tour to see the highlights. can help set up a private tour just for you. Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer are two prominent places to visit. The website tells you what to do and see during your stay in Rio. I recommend visiting the Museum of Tomorrow; this is a new museum representing forward-thinking in a sustainable world, the futuristic building itself is a sight to see! Don’t forget about visiting the Escadaria Selarón steps, Parque Lage (pictured on the left), the botanical gardens, and of course, relaxing on the beach.

Helpful Apps & Websites while Traveling in Rio de Janeiro

  • Menu for Tourist – If you plan to go to some off the beaten path restaurants, you’ll want this app to help translate the menus.
  • Duolingo – This is your go-to language app to learn Portuguese.
  • – This website is full of fun events and things to do in the city.
  • Easy Taxi  – Request a taxi.
  • Rio 2016 Olympic Game RioCard. Get your public transportation card online.

What should I do after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games? 

The best part about visiting Rio during the Olympic Games is that your travels do not have to end once the games end! Rio is the perfect starting point for an Amazon adventure, a trip to the sand dunes and natural rivers in the breathtaking Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, or spend a few days in the colonial town near Rio called Paraty. Make your trip to Rio happen! It’s not too late. Visit us online at  and start planning your trip to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games today!


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