We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU).
About São Paulo Airport
São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport is the main international airport serving Brazil’s most populous city, São Paulo, and is located 16 miles (26 km) northeast from the city’s central district. Line 13 (Jade) is the new rapid transit line that just opened this year, which connects GRU Airport to the Engenheiro Gourlat station. From Engenheiro Gourlat guests can then access Line 12 (Sapphira), which goes to the central part of São Paulo. The airport bus service connects GRU to a number of different areas, including Congonhas Airport, Paulista and Augusta hotel circuit, and Tatuapé subway station. Otherwise, taxis are readily available, or car rental service is located in terminals 2 and 3. Travelers can also request an Uber.
GRU is one of Latin America’s busiest airports, frequently ranked only behind Mexico City International Airport. It has 3 terminals, although Terminal 1 is just for domestic flights. Complimentary shuttle buses transport passengers between terminals, or alternatively, travelers can walk between terminals 2 and 3 (15-minute walk).
Travelers to São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport will find some familiar franchise restaurants like Olive Garden (Terminal 3), Pizza Hut (2 & 3), TGI Fridays (Terminal 3), Red Lobster (Terminal 2), McDonald’s (Terminal 2), and Subway (1 & 2). However, there’s also some international culinary diversity, such as Nagarê (Terminal 3) for sushi, Spoleto (Terminal 2) for Italian, La Bonbonniere‘s French café (Terminal 2), and Cortés Asador (Terminal 2) for a nice sit-down, Latin American steakhouse experience. Other dining options include Frango Assado (Terminal 2) for fast food, Montana Grill (Terminal 2), and Viena (Terminal 2). If you have one meal, however, let it be at Cortés Asador or Rascal (Terminal 3), both of which afford a nice, sit-down meal that can be hard to come by at airports.
Many of the restaurants I mention above are also travelers’ best option for grabbing a drink. Cortés Asador and Rascal are your best bet for an upscale place to enjoy a glass of Latin America’s fine wines. Elsewhere, Heineken has two bar locations, in terminals 1 and 2. Otherwise, grab a drink at the appropriately named On The Rocks, which has a full bar, or order a quick beer at Montana Grill Express.
For those travelers who have to stay overnight, or who just need a few hours of sleep, São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport has several accommodations options. This includes Tryp by Wyndham in Terminal 3, which requires guests to have checked luggage with an international boarding pass, and Fast Sleep, which is located in the public area of Terminal 2 for those who just need a little shut-eye. Like most international airports, GRU has a plethora of shops for passing time on a layover. Many of these are familiar designer brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and Michael Kors. With even just a few minutes to spare, travelers can stop into Clínica Oriental, where they can enjoy a quick massage before their flight.
As one of Latin America’s busiest airports, São Paulo Airport has numerous airport lounges. While many of them are reserved for frequent travelers with airline status and certain credit card holders, some of them are available for a fee. GRU Airport Executive Lounge (Terminal 3) offers a couple different day pass options, as well as shower use for a fee. Other lounges include Star Alliance, LATAM VIP Lounge, American Airlines Admirals Club, Mastercard Black VIP Lounge, GOL Premium Lounge, and Bradesco VIP Lounge.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.