Olympic Games 2016

2016 offers a lot to sport fans: Only a few weeks after the UEFA EURO, the Summer Olympics are just about to start in Rio de Janeiro. ECC Austria collected important information and helpful tips for consumers who travel to Brazil.

 

The opening ceremony on August 5th kicks off the Summer Olympic Games 2016. Until August 21st, top athletes from all over the world will compete in 28 disciplines. Tickets for the event should only be purchased at the official shops. A full list of those is provided here.

 

Before departure

 

As an Austrian consumer, you don't need a visa for Brazil, given that you won't stay longer than 90 days. Requirements are:

  • a passport that is valid for at least six months at arrival in Brazil.
  • a ticket for your return flight.

Furthermore, you should check which vaccinations are recommended for this region.

 

ECC Austria advises all travellers to Rio to use the travel registration service by the Austrian Foreign Ministry (BMEIA). On the website of the BMEIA, you will find current information regarding Brazil. The Austrian embassy in Brazil has also published tips and important contacts for the Olympics on its website. Please note that the above mentioned information is provided in German language. For advise in English, please directly contact the Ministry or embassy.

 

Paying in Rio

 

In order to be able to withdraw money from Brazilian ATMs or to pay with your debit card, you need to unlock it beforehand. Look for the "GeoControl" function in your online banking account settings or turn to your bank for assistance.

 

Visa is official sponsor of this year's Olympics. According to the organisator, cashless payments at the venues are only possible with cards of VISA (credit card, debit card, prepaid card). Prepaid cards are available on-site. Find out more here.

 

Zika virus

 

The Zika virus is transmitted mainly by mosquitos, but unprotected intercourse can also lead to an infection. It is recommended to use insect protection on the whole day. The Health Ministry advises to first apply sun protection, let it work in and then use the insect protection. The mosquitos are especially active in the morning and evening hours. A mosquito net above your bed and long clothing are therefore also important.

 

Pregnant women or those who plan to have children in the near future should avoid travelling to Brazil. The virus can have long-term negative effects on unborn children. Further information is provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

 

On-site in Rio

 

Even though the hotel capacity of Rio de Janeiro doubled in the past six years, according to the organisator, experience shows that it can become difficult to find affordable accommodation during such events like the Olympics. Besides traditional hotels, rooms or apartments are also provided through Airbnb. Another alternative are camping sites outside the city. Keeping the safety situation in mind, ECC Austria advises against travelling to Rio without an accommodation. On the website of the Brazilian Tourism Ministry, a all registered hotels are listed.

 

On the above mentioned website of the organisator you can find a list of all venues. Besides 32 sites directly in Rio de Janeiro, some soccer competitions will take place in five other cities.

 

Good to know

  • Littering will lead to a fine. During the Olympics, controls are extended.
  • There is no obligation to tip the hotel staff or taxi driver, but of course they appreciate it when they're service is recognized.
  • In restaurants, a ten percent tip is often already included in the bill, but it is not obligatory to pay it.
  • Shops are open on Sundays as well.
  • It is prohibited to smoke in closed restaurants and bars.
  • According to the government, you can drink tap water. However, citizens of Rio prefer filtered or bottled water.

Further information

 

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) has published a brochure with the most important tips regarding the Olympics 2016. Another source of information is the website "Olympic Tourist".