Where to go and where to avoid during the World Cup in Brazil
We've previously detailed where to go in our World Cup Survival Guide, now here's our take on places to stay and spots to avoid when visiting Brazil for the world game. The 2014 FIFA World Cup promises to be one of the most exciting for years with the passionate support of host nation Brazil sure to deliver a memorable atmosphere for fans and players alike.
Brazil is a vast country with plenty of beautiful places to stay and play, and with accommodation and flights filling quickly, it’s important to get yourself sorted if you plan to attend the games during June. If you’re planning on taking a trip to South America for the tournament, there are many cities that will make your stay truly memorable and a few of which to be a little wary. Here are our picks of both.
Places to stay:
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil’s largest city is home to the final and if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to it, you’d be a fool to miss out. Even without the final, Rio is going to have a carnival atmosphere throughout the tournament and many of the best sides have a group game here, including Argentina, Belgium and Spain. Built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the city’s stadium, Maracana, was once the largest in the world, seating 200,000 fans. It has since been extensively renovated and now seats almost 74,000 and is the country’s largest.
Tickets for Brazil’s games are in high demand but even without entry to the ground there will be an amazing atmosphere on the streets, in the bars and everywhere else you go in the country... provided they win. Sao Paulo will host the opening match of the World Cup – Brazil versus Croatia – and there’s no better place to be when the tournament kicks off.
The nation’s capital is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its futuristic architecture, and offers easy living and plenty of tourist attractions. The city boasts a 70,000-seat stadium and group games featuring the likes of Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal.
Spots to potentially avoid:
Australia’s three group games are spread widely across the country, with one match each in Cuiaba, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. The opener against Chile in Cuiaba in central Brazil is the furthest removed from Rio, and around 21 hours on the road to Curitiba and another eight hours on to Porto Alegre. If you’re going to support the Socceroos, it’s a better plan to stick to the latter two towns where you can see Australia take on Spain and the Netherlands, the two finalists from the 2010 World Cup. For more about where the Socceroos will be playing in Brazil's south, head here for more details.
Aside from a lesser-looking selection of fixtures with only England versus Italy looking to truly provide any excitement from the city’s four games), Manaus is considered among the more riskier places to visit in Brazil. As well as this, the city’s remote northeast location tends to make it harder, and somewhat more expensive, to reach. That said; it is the largest city in the Amazon – an urban pocket surrounded by a magnificent jungle that’s definitely worth exploring with a reputable operator.