How to Get to Curitiba: The Capital of Paraná State, Brazil

Curitiba, the capital of Paraná state in southern Brazil, is located about 3,050 feet (930 meters) above sea level near the Brazilian Highlands and the headwaters of the Iguaçu River.

Founded in 1654 as a gold-mining camp, it grew due to the maté and wood industries. Since 1940, Curitiba has experienced rapid growth, and from the 1970s, under Mayor Jaime Lerner, it became a model of urban planning with extensive rejuvenation projects, including parks, flood-control systems, and innovative public transportation. Today, Curitiba is a commercial hub producing automobiles, furniture, and processed foods, exporting goods through the ports of Antonina and Paranaguá.

Getting to Curitiba

By Plane

Afonso Pena International Airport (CWB) is 18 kilometers from downtown Curitiba, located in the nearby city of São José dos Pinhais. It offers daily flights to major cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Brasília, and other cities in Paraná State, including Foz do Iguaçu, Londrina, and Maringá.

International flights include Buenos Aires (Ezeiza), with other destinations served occasionally. Major airlines like Gol, Pluna, and LATAM operate scheduled services, while minor airlines such as Passaredo and TRIP also provide scheduled and non-scheduled flights.

Ground transportation options to the city center include regular city buses (R$4.30), an Airport Shuttle (R$15), and taxis (around R$60). There are also over four rental car companies on site.

By Bus

Curitiba’s Bus & Train Station (Estaçao Rodoferroviária) is a large facility with three terminals (train, interstate bus, and intrastate bus). It offers bus services throughout Brazil and to Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay.

Buses are a convenient option from São Paulo and Florianópolis, with strategically located terminals minimizing traffic and transfer times.

From São Paulo, the journey takes 6 hours, costs R$60–80, and has hourly departures. From Florianópolis, the travel time is 4 hours 30 minutes, costs R$50–70, with frequent departures.

By Train

Curitiba does not have scheduled passenger train services. However, the Serra Verde Express offers a scenic tourist route to the coastal town of Morretes, making it a popular day trip and a major attraction for tourists. The train departs daily at 8:15 AM, traveling through the Atlantic rainforest with spectacular views. On Sundays, the train continues to Paranaguá, although this final leg is less scenic. Ticket prices vary: R$28 for econômico class (limited availability), R$53 for turístico, and R$84 for executivo class. There is little difference in comfort between classes, so the cheapest ticket is advisable. Return tickets are about 30% cheaper. Additionally, a special tourist train, the litorina, operates on weekends with a one-way fare of R$126.

Curitiba is a city rich in history and innovation. Whether you arrive by plane, train, car, or bus, Curitiba offers a seamless blend of cultural heritage and modern urban planning.

From its origins as a gold-mining camp to becoming a model of sustainable development, Curitiba continues to attract visitors with its scenic beauty, historic charm, and forward-thinking infrastructure. As a gateway to Iguaçu Falls and a thriving commercial hub, Curitiba is a destination worth exploring for its unique blend of past and present.