Curitiba is recognized in Brazil as the "model city" due to its transportation system. Although Curitiba doesn't have subways, the bus system is so well organized that problems with the high traffic density are drastically reduced for a Latin American city.
Planned with one eye firmly on the future, Curitiba is one of the most organized and prosperous cities in Brazil. A model of well-organised urban solutions, Curitiba has a diverse transport system and a city design that is easy to negotiate.
Curitiba Transportation Directory
Curitiba is well connected by a great road system. There are four roads surrounding the city and connecting Curitiba to the states of Santa Catarina and São Paulo. The Curitiba international airport is another important connection channel. It´s still possible to access the city from the coastline via the train line that links Curitiba to Morretes, and on Sunday to Paranaguá.
Distances to Curitiba
Curitiba - São Paulo: 410 km / 0:45 flight / 6 hours by bus
Curitiba - Rio de Janeiro: 850 km / 1:20 flight/ 13 hours by bus
Curitiba - Iguassu-Falls: 636 km/ 1:00 flight / 11 hours by bus
Curitiba - Florianópolis: 308 km / 0:40 flight / 5 hours by bus
Curitiba - Porto Alegre: 706 km / 1:10 flight / 10 hours by bus
Curitiba - Campo Grande: 1003 km / 1:30 flight / 16 hours by bus
Curitiba - Belo Horizonte: 1002 km / 1:30 flight / 16 hours by bus
Getting to Curitiba
Afonso Pena International Airport is the busiest airport in the state of Paraná. Its area is around 45 thousand square metres and it can handle 3.5 million people/year. It's located in the metropolitan area of Curitiba, in the city of São José dos Pinhais, situated 14 km from Curitiba city centre. The airport offers many services such as restaurants, coffee shops, banks, post office, magazine stores, a fast sleep centre and a handcrafts shop.
Among the options to go from the airport to Curitiba city centre, there are the regular buses, taxis, shuttles and the executive microbuses; which cost R$8,00 per person and go through some of the most important points in downtown. For your comfort, book our reliable private pick-up service. Our staff will be glad to wait for you in the airport!
Travelling by road is the most common form of transportation in Curitiba and Brazil. Brazilians usually travel by car and Curitiba has several roads connecting Curitiba to the rest of the state and the country. The most important are listed below.
Highway BR-277: BR-277 crosses the state of Paraná from east (city of Paranaguá ) to west (city of Foz do Iguassu), going through other important cities such as Curitiba, Guarapuava and Cascavel. This is the main connection from Curitiba to the beaches. This highway continues through Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru, with a different name.
Highway BR-376/116: Also called 'Rodovia do Café' or 'Coffee Road'. In the past this highway was the main route to transport all the field production to the country harbours. Nowadays, this road continues to be an important connector of Curitiba to the coast side.
Graciosa Road (PR-410): This is a historical road built in 1721, during the colonial period in Brazil. The colonial way crosses the most protected stretch of the Atlantic Rain Forest and it is largely frequented by locals during weekends. The Graciosa road connects Curitiba to the coastal side and includes important tourist destinations such as Antonina and Morretes. It is very pleasant to go by train to Morretes and Antonina and return by the Graciosa Road. Ask us about such options. The Graciosa Road can be reached leaving Curitiba towards São Paulo on BR 116.
In our Curitiba map you will see the main roads leading to the city, as well as the location of our Curitiba hotels.
Going by bus is one of the best ways to reach the surrounding cities of Paraná and major destinations including Brasília, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo or even to the neighbouring countries. The Rodoviária, or bus station, is located at Sete de Setembro Avenue. Many services are available in this main bus station in Curitiba, such as snack bars, stores, restaurants and 24-hour bank tellers. The buses are usually clean and comfortable. There are differences between 'conventional' - regular buses, the more comfortable 'executivo' - executive buses, and 'leito' - buses with better seats and good for longer trips where you will travel overnight and sleep on the bus.
Many travellers arrive by bus and prefer to stay in hotels close to the main train station. Some recommended Curitiba hotels in this area are: Hotel Promenade (a nice mid-range hotel), Hotel Vernon (good mid-range hotel just in front of the bus station), Hostel Roma (backpacker, just in front of a shopping mall), Hotel Victoria Villa (very comfortable mid-range hotel), Hotel Villaggio (a nice, small budget hotel with flare), Hotel Paraná Suíte (a practical mid-range hotel close to the bus station and a shopping mall), Hotel San Juan Executive (a nice mid-range hotel) and Hotel Lizon (good mid-range).
Trains are not common in Paraná. They are used mainly for transporting goods. But between Curitiba and Paranaguá there is one of the most impressive railroad tours in South America. It crosses the Atlantic Rain Forest. A very interesting tour! You can find more information on our tours & activities page. We will be glad to book your train tour. Our suggestion is to return via the scenic Graciosa Road.
If you only want to book the train ticket and return to Curitiba by yourself, you can book your train ticket in advance:
Train ticket turistico - Portuguese speaking guide - daily - R$ 66 per person
Train ticket executivo - English-Portuguese speaking guide - daily - R$ 96 per person
Train Tour Curitiba Morretes: Available daily! The tourist categories (Portuguese) and Executive category (English) are available, returning by the Graciosa road by car or van.
Getting Around Curitiba
The actual Curitiba transportation system was created in the 70's as an effort to reduce costs and offer an efficient and high-quality transportation system to the population. This system, a kind of surface subway, includes exclusive roads for the buses and more than 300 stations, called 'estações-tubo' - kind of glass tubes used as bus stops. The fleet is composed of more than 2,500 buses that guarantee the efficiency of the system. The bus fare is around R$1.90. If people change buses in the so called 'terminal', they do not need to pay again, so travelers can cross the city paying only once.
The local famous 'biarticulated' buses in Curitiba have the capacity to transport 270 passengers. The regular buses are identified by different colours, which indicate the kind of routes the buses run. Grey buses ('ligeirinhos'), stopping only at a few points along the route, are basically direct buses. Green buses ('interbairros') connect the different regions in the city without crossing the centre. Yellow buses connect the different regions to the city centre. Orange buses have local routes and connect the suburbs to main stations. There are also white mini buses that are called 'circular centro', crossing different areas downtown.
The Tourism Line in Curitiba is a special double-decker bus line that goes passed the main tourist attractions in Curitiba. With these buses it's possible to visit the most important parks, squares and attractions in the city. They circulate every 30 minutes, in an approximately 45 km trip that takes around 2.5 hours to complete. The tour starts at the Tiradentes Square, the zero mark of the city, but it's possible to start the tour at any of the stops. The fare to board the bus is R$ 20.00 and gives you the option to stop off at as many as three points of your choice. The bus runs from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5:30 pm, every 30 minutes. Another more comfortable alternative is to book a private city tour.
A fleet of about 5000 vehicles comprises Curitiba's taxi service. To ensure the safety, comfort and security of passengers most taxi drivers are trained in first aid and defensive driving. They are well versed when it comes to the city, making them great alternative tour guides.
Yellow taxis run inside the city. For a taxi to the airport in Curitiba that is in another town, a percentage of 30% over the price shown on the taximeter must be paid as return fee, as these taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers outside Curitiba. White taxis are usually from the airport and are not allowed to pick up guests on their way back to the airport. They also charge a return fee.
There are also 'executive taxis', with no taxi sign posted, offering more comfort, but also charging more for their service.
Driving in Curitiba
Driving on the right side of the road is mandatory while driving in Curitiba. Road signs are colour coded. Red and white signs are regulation signs, yellow and black are warning signs, and information signs are blue. Brown and white are tourist signs. The speed limit within the city is 60 km/hr. On the highways top speed is 110 km/hr. Please pay attention to the local signs, as the speed can change from point to point.
There are private parking lots in Curitiba. Most streets downtown have signs with 'Estar', where you must fill in a parking form to avoid penalties. On such streets you are not allowed to park longer than one hour during business hours.
Gas stations are scattered throughout Curitiba. General hours of operation are 7 am to 10 pm, though a few operate round the clock. Most cars can be filled with gasoline or ethanol ('álcool'). Pay attention to the details regarding the car you are using.
Car Hire in Curitiba
Renting a car in Curitiba is quite easy with rental companies located all over the city. Some agencies can also provide a driver. We can also help you if you wish a car with driver-guide (also available in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian).