This 2014 Fifa World Cup is in Brazil – a country of contrast and amazing beauty. The matches happen between 12 cities, so if you are in Brazil right now, My Design Week gives you the where to go in between matches. Today Group G is playing: Portugal vs Ghana in Brasilia and Germany vs USA in Recife. Later on, Group H is also playing: Korean Republic vs Belgium in São Paulo and Algeria vs Russia in Curitiba.
Rio de Janeiro
Named the Marvellous city, Rio de Janeiro is the home of the Maracanã stadium, where the World Cup final will take place. It was in the old Maracanã that Brazil suffered a traumatic defeat against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup. To help with the dry hot wheather, you can grab a beer in a boteco, sports bars and restaurants to the west and south of the stadium.
Set among golden sands, stunning lagoons and mountain forests that are home to toucans and capuchin monkeys, the natural scenery is second to none and explains why Rio has become one of the world’s great playgrounds. As well as the strong carnival culture, this is the home of samba, choro and bossa nova music styles, of baile funk parties and the infinite variations heard in the bars and clubs of Lapa. Don’t forget to go by the beach of Copacabana:
The Arena Fonte Nova hosts 6 matches in this world cup, including a quarter-final. It’s easy to get to, within walking distance of the city’s main bus station and its famous old town – where you can grab your beer. Uniquely, one end of the stadium is completely open, giving a view of the city’s small lake and, at night, the twinkling lights of the favelas.
The place for nightlife is the Rio Vermelho area – but beware of the tropical wheather as it can rain for days during this time of year. Salvador was Brazil’s first capital, now it is call Capital da Alegria (literally Capital of Cheerfulness) and hosts the biggest carnival in the World.
The Arena Pernambuco was just finished before the World Cup. The venue is 20km from downtown Recife, on the western outskirts of the city near the town of Sao Lourenço da Mata. The Stadium is located in a somewhat isolated, new development area, so pre- and post-match entertainment will be in the city itself. So, to grab a beer, you need to go downtown.
Just eight degrees south of the Equator line, Recife has similar wheather to Salvador: heat and rain. Ther is a five-mile beach in the modern, upmarket area of Boa Viagem, the longest stretch of city seafront in Brazil – however, you cannot swim here due to shark attacks.
The Arena Castelão will host 6 matches this World Cup, including a quarter-final. Also known as the Gigante da Boa Vista, the stadium looks like a giant, shimmering sea anemone from the air. Hotels, bars and restaurants are scarce in the poor, mainly residential part of town where the Castelão is based. If you are after a party atmosphere, your best bet would be to have a drink near the city beaches of Iracema, Mucuripe or Meireles.During this rain season, Fortaleza attracts surfers, windsurfers and kite-surfers.
In November a crane collapsed an killed two workers on the São Paulo Stadium, host of the opening cerimony of the World Cup. The stadium is 20km away (though connected by train and metro) from the center – where you’ll grab your beer. São Paulo has crazy wheather – you can experience summer and winter in the same day. São Paulo is the largest city in South America, an economic powerhouse and gastronomic hub
Home the the Estádio Verdão (Green Stadium), one of the smallest in the World Cup. You don’t have to walk more than three blocks from the stadium to find plenty of bars and restaurants. Even thought it won’t be raining, in Cuiabá it will be really hot with an average high of 31C in June. It is one of the oldest cities in Brazil but was abandoned for almost two centuries after the decline of the gold. It has a unique culture: especially the language, which is influenced by indigenous people and Spanish-speaking neighbours.
Literally Beautiful Horizont, Belo Horizonte’s stadium is Mineirão that will host the semi finals. While there are bars close to the stadium, your best bet for a good drink is Savassi, home to many of BH’s famous bars and restaurants. All the bars have a similar drinks menu so you can’t go wrong. The stadium is near the man-made lake of Pampulha, home to the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi designed by the great Oscar Niemeyer, and the art museum, but the majority of the action is close to the downtown/Savassi area. Even thought is it hot during the day, Belo Horizonte is chilly at night.
Brazil’s Capital built from scratch in the late 1950s and home of the National Stadium, not too far from the main hotel sector – around 25 to 35 minutes’ walk. To grab a beer, you need to go to one of the commercial court bars in the North Wing. The impressive architecture of the government buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer, makes it the only 20th-century city to be given Unesco world heritage status. During the dry season, Brasilia, can be a bit chilly.
Home of the Arena da Baixada, that will host 4 World Cup matches. Curitiba is proud of its watering holes and some of the best are around the stadium. Locally known as Brazil’s Green Capital, Curitiba is far from the coast, but to compensate it has 30 municipal parks as well as dozens of squares, gardens and other green spaces. It will be cold in Curitiba, as it is, after all, winter.
Home of the Estádio Beira-Rio by the Guaiba riverside and inside a local park will host 5 matches. Porto Alegre has three main neighbourhoods with great bars: the Centro Historico, Cidade Baixa (both more bohemian and traditional) and the flashier Moinhos de Vento. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a steak house (churrascaria in Portuguese). Expect some cold days while in Porto Alegre.
The Arena Amazônia is inspired, as you already guessed by the Amazonia rainforest around the city. Its metallic latticed structure was designed to resemble a traditional indigenous basket and it is a masterpiece of modern technology and one of the greenest arenas of the World Cup. You can grab a beer in downtown Manaus, in a sports bar and even try the Amazon gastronomy. The city’s annual festival, Boi-Bumbá (an Amazonian carnival that combines Brazilian rhythms with indigenous dancing) will coincide with the World Cup. The wheater in Manaus is not to hot or humid, and the temperature avereges between 23-27C year round.
Home of the Arena das Dunas, designed as a multi-purpose structure. Around the stadium, you’ll find good options for eating and drinking but Ponta Negra, 9.5km outside the city, is the most popular place to go – a beach promenade with lots of bars. You can´t escape a night of forró in Natal where you can watch and learn how to dance with the help of a native partner. Natal is also famous for its sand dunes, beaches and warm, calm waters. The wheather is tropical, so pack your bikini!
Source: The Guardian