The buses in Rio de Janeiro are frequent, they cost 3.80 R$; going to faraway destinations like Barra de Tijuca you have more expensive buses. Find out which bus goes where on Vá de Ônibus, (you have to put in a street where the bus actually goes from and to, if you stick to the main streets it works fine). Otherwise asking the driver always works, they are almost without exception very helpful.
Buses in Rio – Functional Chaos
Before you catch a bus make sure you have change ready in your hand, then wave down the bus you want with your arm. Don’t despair if the driver doesn’t stop; just wait for the next one. There are designated bus stops for certain bus lines (there should be legends at the bus stands but they are not always there), the drivers can get fined for stopping at the wrong one. There are bus passes but unfortunately they are not available for tourists. The drivers of these buses are more than often notoriously violent and aggressive drivers, if you have a small kid or and elderly person with you it is better not to go by bus since it is easy to fall over. AirCo is not standard on all lines, although it is becoming more and more common. In the bus there are designated seats for older, mothers with small kids, pregnant and disabled; try to be observant not to occupy these seats.
WARNING – At Night
Be careful of going by bus night time (after 9 PM or rather; when there are few people out). Be extra careful when the bus is going from the shopping center Rio Sul past Parque de Flamengo; many robberies occur on that stretch. If you see something suspicious get off in front of Rio Sul and catch the next bus, it may get cheaper in the end to catch a cab night time…