Brazil World Cup 2014 travel guide

With the World Cup just weeks from kick-off, it’s time for thousands of Brits to pack their cases, pull on ill-fitting footie shirts and jump on a plane to Brazil. Join the party with APH.com’s World Cup 2014 guide to everything that travelling fans simply need to know.

Kick-off time

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aerea2_maracana.jpg">Image credit</a>

Rio’s Estádio do Maracana
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The 2014 tournament starts on June 12 with hosts Brazil taking on Croatia in Sao Paulo, with the final to be played on July 13 in Rio De Janeiro. As always, the competition will be split into group stages with matches across the country.

In total, the tournament lasts 31 days, but if your team fails to progress beyond the group stages (we’re not mentioning any names here) then expect an early bath and to be heading home by June 24.

However, this uncertainty means planning your trip and managing your budget will be vital to cover the possibility of an extended stay in Brazil.

Where: World Cup venues at-a-glance

Here’s our at-a-glance guide to where the World Cup matches will be taking place. Simply place your cursor on each city’s hotspot to reveal all the information you need. England matches are marked by our flag. You can also see how far you’ll need to travel when following England’s group matches.

Hover your cursor over the hotspots below

England fixtures

If you’re planning to follow the Three Lions’ group stage matches, here are the dates venues and essential information you’ll need.

England vs Italy

Downtown Manaus on the banks of the AmazonImage credit

Downtown Manaus on the banks of the Amazon
Image credit

Date: Saturday, June 14
Kick-off: 7pm (local time) 11pm (BST)
Venue: Arena da Amazônia, Manaus
Capacity: 44,000
Average temp: 32C
Humidity: 48%
Altitude: 236ft

Getting to Manaus: Most fans will be arriving in Rio de Janeiro, from here Brits will need to catch a connecting flight to Manaus. Brazil is vast, so expect to be in the air for a further five hours as you fly 2,659 miles to the Amazon. TAM (tam.com.br) and GOL (voegol.com.br) both provide flights to Manaus from Rio with prices starting around £250 each way. Once at Manaus airport, buses run to the city centre every half hour, while licensed taxies should cost around £15 for the same trip.

Where to stay: Accommodation isn’t going to be cheap during the World Cup. Hotel prices have seen a dramatic increase ahead of the tournament, with visitors paying around £125 per night in a mid-range hotel. Rates in FIFA-affiliated hotels are likely to be five times higher than standard costs. However, using a website such as airbnb.co.uk will help you find rooms, flats or entire houses rented out by local residents. Many of these may be in favelas – shanty-town areas – where crime can be a big problem. Make sure you speak to the host and research the area you are planning to stay in. We found single rooms in Manaus from £26 per night, with entire apartments costing from around £300 per night – sharing with friends makes this cheaper than booking many hotels.

Living costs: Here are the average prices for everyday essentials in Manaus. These prices were calculated over the past 18 months and last updated in March 2014, so expect to add up to 50% on items during the World Cup period.

Meal for one cheap restaurant – £5.40
Meal for two, mid-range restaurant, three-course – £27
McDonalds meal or similar – £7.29
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) – £1.35 (local beer will be considerably cheaper than imports)
Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle) – £2.70 (expect to pay up to £20 per pint in bars near the stadium)
Cappuccino (regular) – £2.16
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) – £1.08
Water (0.33 litre bottle) – £0.81

Amazonia_Arena

Amazonia Arena where England take on Italy Image credit

What to do in Manaus: If you can’t get tickets to the Italy match then don’t despair… simply head to the official fan area Park Praia da Ponta Negra – a riverside beach area on the Rio Negro river. Grab a cool one and watch the match on one of the huge screens or in a waterside bar. The beach venue is just 10 minutes from the city centre. If you’re looking for cheap food, head to the Amazonas shopping centre near the stadium.

If you want to sample some of the local culture, then head to the Adrianopolis and Cachoeirinha areas for lively bars and live music. Make for the Banzeiro or Village Casa de Comidas areas for some local dishes.

Crime: The once affluent city now has a big crime problem, with a sky-high murder rate that’s related to it being a major hub for trafficking cocaine that has been brought down the Amazon river. Visitors should avoid the city’s East district where the crime-ridden favela (shanty town) is notorious for drug and gun crime, robbery and murder. Avoid this area when booking accommodation – even if the prices do look very attractive.

The stadium: Originally built in 1970 as the Estadio Vivaldao, it was knocked down in 2009 and rebuilt as the Arena da Amazônia. The stadium resembles Beijing’s Bird Nest stadium and has been worked on 24 hours a day as workers struggled to get it finished. The area hasn’t got a strong football heritage and there are rumours the stadium will be turned into a prison after its World Cup duties are discharged.

Let’s go to Sao Paulo: Okay, next stop is the Arena de Itaquera stadium in Sao Paulo. If you’re driving, that’s a cool 2,360 miles you’ll need to cover. We’d advise taking a plane, which will cost you around £130 with TAM (tam.com.br).

Uruguay vs England

Will England face a stormy night in Sao Paulo? Image credit

Will England face a stormy night in Sao Paulo?
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Date: Thursday, June 19
Kick-off: 4pm (local time) 8pm (BST)
Venue: Arena de Itaquera, Sao Paulo
Capacity: 65,000 (including 20,000 temporary seats)
Average temp: 25C
Humidity: 62%
Altitude: 2093ft

Getting to Sao Paulo: If you’re heading to Sao Paulo straight from the UK, then direct flights will cost from around £1000 with TAM (tam.com.br), while fans travelling on from Manaus will pay around £130 for the five-hour flight.

Where to stay: Accommodation will be extremely expensive in Sao Paulo, with mid-range hotels charging in the region of £340 per night. Once again, cheaper deals can be sourced from websites such as airbnb.co.uk. This site matches locals who have rooms, flats or houses to rent with visitors who are looking for reasonably priced accommodation. Once again, avoid renting rooms in the city’s largest favelas such as Heliopolis and Paraisopolis. While these areas are improving, the risk from crime – such as ‘quicknapping’ where tourists are marched to ATMs and forced to withdraw cash – is extremely high. We found everything from a sofabed for £21 per night to an entire flat to sleep three from £218 per night – around £75 per person. The best hotel deals can be found in the Centro (the city centre) area.

Living costs: Here are the average prices for everyday essentials in Sao Paulo. These prices were calculated over the past 18 months and last updated in March 2014, so expect to add up to 50% on items during the World Cup period.

Meal for one cheap restaurant – £5.40
Meal for two, mid-range restaurant, three-course – £27.00
McDonalds meal or similar – £4.99
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) – £1.35 (local beer will be considerably cheaper than imports)
Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle) – £2.70 (expect to pay at least £5.00 during the tournament)
Cappuccino (regular) – £1.25
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) – £0.92
Water (0.33 litre bottle) – £0.63

Arena de Itaquera, Sao Paulo

Arena de Itaquera, Sao Paulo
Image credit

What to do in Sao Paulo: Once again, if you’ve not got tickets or are just looking to enjoy the ambience, head to the Vale do Anhangabau official fan park in the downtown area. Here you’ll be able to have an (expensive) beer and watch the match on giant screens with fellow fans. If fancy a beer elsewhere, then head to Rua Aspicuelta in the Vila Madalena area, which is home to many hip but friendly local bars.

On a non-football day, take a trip to the top floor of the Edificio Italia – the tallest building in the city centre – and take in the spectacular skyscraper-studded cityscape. You can also have a meal at the on-site Terraço Italia restaurant.

Crime: As with many cities in Brazil, poverty is a major driver of crime. Some reports claim that in Sao Paulo state there is one gun for every 74.5 people – most of which are illegally held. However, shootings involving tourists are extremely rare and robbery is a far greater problem. Official advice is to avoid wearing expensive watches and clothes, while keeping mobile phones and cameras out of sight. It’s also wise to leave your passport and valuables in your hotel safe. However, you will need to carry some sort of photo id when you’re out and about. Don’t resist if you are attacked – as the perpetrators could be armed or under the influence of drugs.

Carjacking is also very common in Sao Paulo, so always drive with your doors locked and in the middle lane of slow-moving traffic on large highways. Remain especially vigilant at traffic lights – and never engage in conversation with anyone approaching your car.

The stadium: The Arena de Itaquera has a tragic legacy after two construction workers were killed when a crane collapsed. It is located in one of the poorest areas of Sao Paulo and will host six matches – along with the World Cup opening ceremony. It will be fitted with 20,000 temporary seats that’ll be removed after the tournament.

Let’s go to Belo Horizonte: Okay, next stop on the fixture list is a possibly group-deciding ding-dong in the Mineirão stadium, Belo Horizonte, where the Three Lions take on Costa Rica. It’s just 360 miles away from Sao Paulo, so you could try out the extensive coach system that operates in Brazil. It might mean an eight-hour trip, but coaches are generally comfortable and the £45 fare will be a welcome cash saver. Book with Cometa (www.viacaocometa.com.br). Flying will cost from around £55 with Azul (www.voeazul.com.br/)

Costa Rica vs England

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte
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Date: Tuesday, June 24
Kick-off: 1pm (local time) 5pm (BST)
Venue: Mineirão, Belo Horizonte
Capacity: 64,000
Average temp: 24C
Humidity: 43%
Altitude: 2795ft

Getting to Belo Horizonte: The newly expanded Aeroporto da Pampulha, located 40km north of the city has plenty of flights between Sao Paulo and Rio – just in case the final match against Costa Rica doesn’t go as planned. Flights to Belo Horizonte from Sao Paulo start at around £55 with Azul (www.voeazul.com.br/), while onward flights to Rio start from around £32 with TAM (tam.com.br).

Where to stay: Accommodation in Belo Horizonte can be found on airbnb.co.uk – where local hosts offer rooms in their homes – with prices starting from around £33 per night for a shared room. Browse the site, contact the owner and make your booking to save plenty of cash by swerving over-inflated hotel costs. Try to find accommodation in the Savassi area, which is great for its nearby bars and clubs.

Living costs: Here are the average prices for everyday essentials in Belo Horizonte. These prices were calculated over the past 18 months and last updated in May 2014, so expect to add up to 50% on items during the World Cup period.

Meal for one cheap restaurant – £3.84
Meal for two, mid-range restaurant, three-course – £20.00
McDonalds meal or similar – £4.86
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) – £1.35 (local beer will be considerably cheaper than imports)
Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle) – £2.55 (expect to pay at least £5.00 during the tournament)
Cappuccino (regular) – £1.08
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) – £0.83
Water (0.33 litre bottle) – £0.53

Mineirão, Belo Horizonte

Mineirão, Belo Horizonte
Image credit

What to do in Belo Horizonte: Belo Horizonte means ‘beautiful horizons’ and the mountain views surrounding the city more than explain the name. It also has a flourishing art and cultural scene that the more discerning footie fan might like to sample.

TripAdvisor lists Provincia di Salerno, La Victoria and Vecchio Sogno as the city’s top three restaurants, while budget meals can found in the Central Market – including the local fave, liver with aubergine. For football related camaraderie head to the official fan area that’s located at Rui Barbosa Square. Here you can drink, eat watch the football action on large screens.

Crime: Belo Horizonte isn’t especially known for crime, but as with anywhere in Brazil, poverty is never far away and the lure of ‘wealthy’ football fans will prove a huge temptation. Follow official advice to avoid wearing expensive watches and clothes, while keeping mobile phones and cameras out of sight. You should also leave your passport and valuable in your hotel safe. However, you will need to carry some sort of photo id when you’re out and about.

The stadium: The 64,000-seat stadium can be found in the Pampulha district, which is around 10 miles from the downtown area of the city. Get there from central Belo by taking the 64 or 2004 buses – the journey can take up to an hour.

Let’s go to… From here it’s either pack your bags and head back to the UK via Rio, or if things go well we could be heading to Recife as winners of Group D, or to play in Rio as runners-up… watch this space for updates.

Health

One bite is all it takes to become infected with Malaria

One bite is all it takes to become infected with Malaria

If you’re travelling to Brazil for the World Cup, you’ll need to head to the docs to discuss what vaccinations and preventative drugs you’ll need to take. Possible infections and diseases include:

Yellow Fever: Yellow fever is a serious viral infection usually spread by a mosquito known as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. About eight people out of 100 who contract yellow fever will die from it.
Beat it: Get a vaccination at least 10 days before your travel. This allows enough time for your body to develop protection against infection.
Look out for: high temperature, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, including backache, jaundice caused by liver damage.

Rabies: A very serious viral infection that attacks the brain and nervous system. You can catch rabies if you are bitten by an infected animal and haven’t been vaccinated. It is almost always fatal unless treated is started immediately.
Beat it: Speak to your doc about a suitable vaccine.
Look out for: Tingling and itchiness at the site of infection, high temperature, fear of water (hydrophobia) and aggressive behaviour.

Malaria: A serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. If malaria is not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion, it can be fatal. A single mosquito bite can result in a person becoming infected.
Beat it: Speak to your doctor, who may recommend that you take antimalarial tablets to prevent infection.
Look out for: High temperature, sweats and chills, headaches, vomiting, muscle pains, diarrhoea.

Other vaccinations
Vaccinations such as diphtheria-tetanus-polio must be up-to-date, and other vaccinations, including for typhoid fever and Hepatitis A and B, are recommended. Speak to your doctor for advice.

Find out more at NHS Choices

Don’t do this

Here are some tips from WorldCupRioBrazil.com covering what not to do in polite Brazilian society…

  • The American OK sign inverted is an obscene gesture.
  • When using a toothpick in public cover your mouth with your other hand.
  • In a restaurant don’t drink out of a soft drink can or bottle or a water bottle. Use a straw or glass.
  • Brazilians generally don’t eat with their hands. They use a knife and fork even for pizza. They normally wrap a napkin around a sandwich or hamburger. Some Brazilians even use a fork or toothpicks to eat French fries.
  • Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet! Use the waste paper basket beside the toilet. The plumbing in Brazil cannot handle the paper. This is especially important when visiting in the home of Brazilians. Some of the newer hotels can handle toilet paper.

Enjoy the football and stay safe.

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1 comment for “Brazil World Cup 2014 travel guide

  1. Robbie
    May 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Interesting reading. I have sent this to our son who is planning to travel to watch some of England’s games in Brazil.

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