São Paulo Airport (GRU): An Essentials Guide to Getting Around!

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São Paulo Airport (GRU): An Essentials Guide to Getting Around!
Thinking of taking a trip to the beautiful city of São Paulo? Want to know where São Paulo Airport hotels or car rentals are located at? Keep reading to find out all of the details all travelers should know before landing at the GRU airport!
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Airports are a country or destination's first impression for every traveler. It's frequently the stress of entering a foreign airport that makes the start of every traveler's trip full of anxiety.

But it doesn't have to be!

We've covered other airports before, such as the nearby Rio airports. We'll be covering all of the good-to-know information you should have before you land in São Paulo.

Let's get started with what the São Paulo airport is called and where it is located.

What's Sao Paulo Airport called?

São Paulo's airport is officially called the Governor André Franco Montoro International Airport (IATA: GRU), located just around 25 km away from the heart of São Paulo. It'll take roughly half an hour to reach by car, but traffic may fluctuate.

Here are the transportation options available for you in Sao Paulo airport to get you to where you need to go.

How do I get from Sao Paulo Airport to the city?

There are several ways to get to the city center or your hotel from the São Paulo Airport. Let's explore the most convenient options available:

By Train:

Subway train
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Especially if you're traveling light, taking the train could be the most convenient and cost-effective option to reach the city center from the São Paulo airport. For the mere cost of $1 (4 BRL), you can reach the city in less than 40 minutes! 

From 5 a.m. to 12 p.m., the train line 13-Jade departs every 15 minutes from Terminal 1. At the São Paulo airport, there are 3 terminals, which means that you could land far from the train departure point. However, a free shuttle is available to move among the terminals, allowing you to always be able to reach Terminal 1 if needed.

Pros and cons of going by train from the São Paulo Airport to the city:

Pros:

  • Super cheap!
  • Fast option.
  • No need to book in advance.

Cons:

  • Not the most comfortable option.
  • You'll need to transport your luggage.
  • Not available from midnight to 5 a.m.

By Bus + Subway:

You can easily reach the city using the Subway. However, a Subway station is not available inside the São Paulo Airport.

You need to take the bus or a taxi to reach the Tietê Subway Station, Line 1 Blue, the nearest subway station to the São Paulo Airport.

Booking a bus ticket

Booking a bus ticket is possible through the Airport Bus Service. An English version of the website is not available. However, booking a ticket is still easy!

Follow these steps below:

  1. Under “Origen”, select the Aeroporto de Garulhos.
  2. Under “Destino” select Sao Paulo -Tieste.
  3. Once you've clicked on "Busca", you'll be redirected to the Buson website, where you'll be able to select and book the bus fare you prefer.  

From the Tietê Subway Station, take the Portuguesa-tietê to the São Bento line and reach the historical city center of São Paulo in around 7 minutes, for the price of $1. A subway ride will be available from the Tiete Subway Station every 3 minutes!

Pros and cons of going by Subway from the São Paulo Airport to the city:

Pros:

  • Really cheap.
  • By subway, It is possible to reach different areas of the city.
  • Also available routes for the outskirts of São Paulo.

Cons:

  • Websites to book tickets are in Portuguese.
  • Multiple hop off-hop on needed.

By Car Rental:

Rent a car directly at the Sao Paulo Airport and enjoy the freedom that a car can guarantee you for your trip! Freely explore the area and return the car to the airport when you're ready to take your flight!

This is a super comfortable option as you'll not be dependent on the local public means of transportation, and it'll make moving your luggage trouble-free. If you are landing at Terminal 1, a car rental option will not be available on the premises. Take the free internal shuttle and travel to Terminal 2 or 3 to find the car rental services!

You can use the inbuilt search engine to find the best car for your budget. Avis, Foco, Hertz, and Unidas are the most popular car rental companies. You'll find the prices totally reasonable, from $14 a day for the cheapest cars to more expensive SUVs at $20/30. 

Pros and cons of renting a car from the São Paulo Airport to the city:

Pros:

  • Complete freedom to explore the region.
  • Comfort option
  • Cars are relatively less expensive

Cons:

  • Finding a parking spot can sometimes be hard in Sao Paulo.
  • Gas prices may fluctuate depending on traffic!

By Taxi or Uber:

Taxis will always be stationed outside of the Sao Paulo Airport and available to transport you to the city center at any time of day or night. The Taxi ride will take 40 minutes and cost you around $30.

Uber is also available in Sau Paulo, with prices that may be lower. In this case, Uber will not be stationed near the airport. You'll need to have the Uber app downloaded on your phone and book a car to come and pick you up.

Pros and cons of taking a taxi or Uber from the Sao Paulo Airport to the city:

Pros:

  • 24/7 availability.
  • Takes you directly to your accommodation.
  • No prior planning or ticket reservation required.

Cons:

  • On the pricey end of transportation options
  • Can get even more expensive if stuck in traffic!

What are the best lounges at the Sao Paulo Airport?

Lounges are available at the São Paulo Airport. However, some of them may face restrictions due to COVID-19-related health requirements. If you're a Loungebuddy member or hold a Priority Pass membership, check with your lounge service provider if you have access to these lounges!

Sao Paulo Airport lounges.
Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash 

Best Lounge at Terminal 1: W Lounge Guarulhos

The W Lounge is one of the lounges accessible and still in operation 24/7, located at Terminal 1 of São Paulo's airport. This designated lounge is for domestic and in-transit flight travelers. Therefore you can just show up and see if there's space available. However, a better option might be to book your spot via Priority Pass to avoid being rejected during peak hours.

Some available facilities and perks:

  • Free Wifi
  • Dataports/Computers
  • Refreshments and Drinks
  • Showers (available with a fee)
  • Conference rooms

Best Lounge at Terminal 2: Urban Cowork Airport Lounge

You can spend a few hours at the Urban Cowork Airport Lounge away from the airport chaos for a comfortable stay. Just show your boarding pass, and you'll be welcomed 24/7 with complimentary drinks and snacks. The lounge features a quiet area accessible for an extra fee.

Some amenities you might like:

  • Breakfast and Happy Hour
  • Showers
  • 26 available desks

Best Lounge at Terminal 3: American Express Lounge

The American Express Lounge at Terminal 3 is open every day from 11:00 to 2.00 a.m. This elegant lounge features individual boots, workspaces, and semi-private resting spaces. The catered food is displayed along one wall, offering all kinds of refreshments, with plenty of vegan and healthy options! 

A self-serve wine and beer boot are also available, and a bartender is onsite to help mix your cocktails.

Highlights of the lounge:

  • First-class, curated environment
  • Private boots/spaces
  • Healthy food options

What are the best options to eat at the Sao Paulo Airport?

The São Paulo Airport offers a wide range of restaurants and fast food options for you to choose from. Let's explore the alternatives from famous restaurant chains to lesser-known typical eateries!

Mc Donald's:

McDonald's is available on Terminal 2 in 3 different locations:

  • West Boarding Floor: Available 24/7.
  • East Boarding Floor Available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • East Arrival Floor: Available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Subway:

You can find the famous panini chain at Terminal 1, open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. At Terminal 2, you will find 2 Subways, one on the West Mezzanine and one on the East Mezzanine, both open 24 hours.

Starbucks:

Whether it's an early breakfast at 5 in the morning or late afternoon coffee and snack to recover from a long flight, Starbucks has your back at the Sao Paulo Airport. 

You'll find Starbucks open 24 hours at Terminals 2 and 3.

Nutty Bavarian:

If you're in the mood for something sweet, check out the German glazed roasted almonds, cashews, and pecans. Nutty Bavarian is available on Terminals 2 and 3, both open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Nagarê Sushi

If you're eating at Terminal 3 and looking to fuel up on sushi, check out Nagare Sushi near the Boarding Floor. The Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Casa do Pão de Queijo

When in the mood for tasty local food, try Casa do Pao de Queijo! 

This famous Brazilian chain was the first to serve the typical pão de queijo dish (delicious fried cheese bread). 

This chain is present on all the terminals and is open 24 hours.

pão de queijo fried cheese bread sao paulo airport
By Ricardo Bacelar on Unsplash

Where can I go shopping at the Sao Paulo Airport?

Need to kill a few hours at the São Paulo Airport? Try roaming around and doing a bit of shopping!

If you enjoy finding new accessories, perfumes, and apparel, check out these featured brands: 

  • Empório do Aço
  • Mac
  • My Gloss
  • O Boticário
  • It Beach
  • Chilli Beans (Brazilian sunglasses!).

For some classic retail shopping options at terminal 3:

  • Armani Jeans
  • Burberry 
  • Calvin Klein
  • Gap
  • Desigual

At Terminal 2 and 3, you'll also find several bookstores: Editora Globo, Saraiva, and Hudson News at Terminal 2. Super News at Terminal 3.

Sao Paulo GRU airport layout
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Looking for new ways to enjoy traveling?

From elegant lounges to endless shopping to tasty food, the Sao Paulo Airport has so much to offer for travelers waiting for their flight home or a connection. It's also the gateway for arriving travelers to explore the amazing city of Sao Paulo!

If you're ready to plan your trip to Sao Paulo, make sure to check out Pilot!

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Collaborate stress-free with your travel companions and have all the features you need all in one place with Pilot. It’s completely free and ready for you to try it out now!
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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

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Arianna P.
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