São Paulo (GRU) Stopover Tips | Australian Frequent Flyer
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São Paulo (GRU) Stopover Tips

AFF Editor

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This thread is a place to share tips and recommendations for stopovers at Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. You can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • How to transfer between Guarulhos (GRU) and Congonhas (CGH) airports
  • Things to do in Sao Paulo
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Your favourite GRU airport lounges
  • Airport facilities such as luggage storage and showers
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over

Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in Sao Paulo? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!
 

ZElliot

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Jun 27, 2010
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To and From GRU
São Paulo traffic is notoriously bad. Getting to and from the airport to the city centre can be as quick as 30 minutes and long as 3 hours. Outside of rush hour I budget 1 hour. I usually use Uber or 99 (99 is cheaper). There are dedicated Uber pick up points in all the terminals that are signposted.

A new option since October 2018 is the airport train. It goes directly from near Terminal 1 (Azul domestic) non-stop to Luz Station which has good metro connection to most areas in São Paulo. The non-stop service only runs 4 times a day (why?!) but I took it recently and it was quite fantastic. Much more relaxing than sitting in traffic or dealing with crazy drivers.

Random GRU tips
  • Arriving internationally? Avoid the maze and harassment in the duty free by taking a hard left just before you get in the store.
  • Be aware of belongings and personal security. There are beggars in the airport but seem to have reduced recently.
  • It is a very large airport. Walking between Terminal 2 and 3 takes about 10 minutes. Terminal 1 is very far from T2 & T3, take the bus.
  • Travelling domestically? CGH is a lot more convenient and has an impressive landing.

GRU <> CGH
Transfer between GRU and CGH usually takes 1-2 hours depending on traffic. Azul and Latam have a free bus every hour or so. You must have a ticket for that day to use it free. Otherwise just Uber or 99 it.

GRU Airport Hotels
There are two on-site airport hotels. Fast Sleep in Terminal 2, rooms are tiny and expensive. If you are flying into GRU and have an international connection the Tryp inside Terminal 3 is great. It is after security and immigration and you can walk straight the gate in the morning but the breakfast is pretty bad.

Things to do in São Paulo
Lots of fantastic things to do in São Paulo:
  • See a football game at the old-school stadium (Pacaembu) or the modern stadiums (Allianz or Arena Corinthians)
  • Run, cycle or people watch while getting an agua de coco in Ibirapuera Park
  • Check out the restaurant, beer and coffee scene in Pinheiros
  • Tour the graffiti in Beco do Batman
  • Zip up and down Avenida Paulista or Faria Lima on an electric scooter (Yellow or Grin)
  • Eat rare tropical fruits at the Municipal Market
  • For the art lovers see the masters and local artists at Masp on Avenida Paulista. Pinacoteca is also a wonderful museum with 19th Brazilian artists and beautiful architecture.
 
Last edited:

juddles

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My experiences of here is of a person transitting internationally. It is a big airport, and depending on your arrival and departure flights, this may take up to half an hour brisk walk to get from one gate to another. And the signage is very poor. Easy to get lost, so ASK. The various lounges are also quite separated from the gates.
 

Mattg

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Interesting to know that there is now an airport train to GRU. I used to always take the shuttle bus to Tietê and then the metro from there. Would often get stuck in traffic though, so this wasn't great.

I have an overnight layover at GRU coming up in July. I will be looking at an airport hotel - how does it work with Tryp? I'm arriving on a domestic flight in the evening and leaving on an international flight in the morning - as it's airside would I have to and/or be able to check in and clear immigration the evening before? Or would a hotel located a short drive from the airport be a better option?
 

ZElliot

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Jun 27, 2010
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Are the flights on the same booking reference? i.e. will you have your international boarding pass when you check in for your domestic flight? Also, is the flight out of T3 in the morning?

If yes, then Tryp works well. You clear immigration and international security the night before, check-in to the hotel and just walk to the gate in the morning. You can actually stay airside from the domestic arrival (T2 only). It is very badly signposted.

If not, I'd go to a hotel close by. The other airport hotel is pretty bad (although I am staying there next week).

I have an overnight layover at GRU coming up in July. I will be looking at an airport hotel - how does it work with Tryp? I'm arriving on a domestic flight in the evening and leaving on an international flight in the morning - as it's airside would I have to and/or be able to check in and clear immigration the evening before? Or would a hotel located a short drive from the airport be a better option?
 

Mattg

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Are the flights on the same booking reference? i.e. will you have your international boarding pass when you check in for your domestic flight? Also, is the flight out of T3 in the morning?

If yes, then Tryp works well. You clear immigration and international security the night before, check-in to the hotel and just walk to the gate in the morning. You can actually stay airside from the domestic arrival (T2 only). It is very badly signposted.

If not, I'd go to a hotel close by. The other airport hotel is pretty bad (although I am staying there next week).
My international LATAM flight in the morning does leave from T3. But I'm arriving the previous afternoon on an Avianca Brasil flight (completely separate ticket). So I don't think this will work in my case as I will also have checked baggage. But good to know for next time!
 

ZElliot

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Jun 27, 2010
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My international LATAM flight in the morning does leave from T3. But I'm arriving the previous afternoon on an Avianca Brasil flight (completely separate ticket). So I don't think this will work in my case as I will also have checked baggage. But good to know for next time!
That's a real shame, as it is pretty cool. Next time!
 

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