The 2014 World Cup is almost here, and you can bet that millions of people across the globe are anticipating the tournament’s opening ceremonies. The World Cup, after all, is the biggest sporting event in the world. This latest edition of the quadrennial competition pits 32 nations against one another and is being held in beautiful, multi-faceted Brazil. Brazil, it should be noted, is an extremely soccer-passionate country. You might even say that soccer borders on being a religion here. The country has won more World Cups than any other nation, and you would have to say that they are favorites to lift the trophy on home soil. Of course, as is the nature of tournaments, the true 2014 World Cup champions won’t be revealed until the final whistle blows. June 12 is when it all kicks off, with everything culminating in the final match at Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracanã Stadium on July 13.
World Cup Tickets
World Cup tickets are some of the hottest commodities in the sporting world. As such, they tend to command relatively high prices. For soccer fans, the joy of seeing the world’s best players go head to head on such a big stage is worth the price of admission. Of course, it tends to be more enjoyable when you get to see your home country compete. If your country is in the World Cup, chances are good that there are ticket packages that revolve around their games. Just remember that as the tournament goes on, teams will begin to fall by the wayside. As such, if you really want to see your team play, it is best to get tickets for the early rounds when all teams are playing. Also, since the various teams will be traveling to different cities to play their games, anyone who wishes to follow a specific team will also have to do quite a bit of traveling themselves. Thankfully, there are 2014 World Cup ticket packages that include such things as flights from one Brazil city to another.
World Cup Flights
While there are plenty of 2014 World Cup ticket packages that include flights within Brazil itself, most do not include flights to and from the country. In this case, most foreigners will have to arrange their own Brazil flights. As you might imagine, the price for flights to Brazil during the World Cup are fairly pricy and can only be expected to increase in price as the tournament nears. As such, one of the best ways to save some money on World Cup flights is to purchase them as soon as possible. Where you arrive in Brazil can also affect the price of your World Cup flight. Sao Paulo is the main international gateway to Brazil, and flights that arrive in this sizable metropolis tend to be the most affordable. Flying into Brasilia can also be a good way to keep your costs down, though paying extra to land at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport is worth considering if that is your World Cup base.
World Cup Transportation
The size of Brazil is often described using such words as massive and huge. This is actually the world’s fifth largest country, both in terms of geographical area and population. The sheer size of Brazil presents a challenge for visitors who want to travel around the country to see World Cup matches in different cities. Only complicating matters is the all but absolute absence of rail travel in Brazil. This leaves flying or taking a bus as the main means of getting around. Of course, you could also consider renting a car and driving yourself, but unless you are familiar with driving in Brazil and are up for lengthy road trips, this is not recommended. Also, car rentals are quite expensive in Brazil. The good news for foreigners who want to fly is that special air passes are available that allow non-Brazilians to take four flights within the country over a 21-day period. These are offered by Tam, one of Brazil’s domestic airlines. Other domestic airlines in Brazil include Gol and Avianca.
World Cup Hotels
2014 World Cup Hotels
Unless you have a Brazilian friend with a spare couch or something the like, securing accommodations is likely to be one of your main concerns when traveling to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. There are two main options when it comes to finding Brazil World Cup accommodations. The first involves choosing just one of the 12 host cities as your base and focusing solely on its hotels and vacation rentals. In other words, you will stay in that city during the duration of your trip. The second scenario involves traveling around the country to see matches in different cities, in which case you will also need to find accommodations in more than one city. The first scenario is the most convenient, and many would agree that Rio de Janeiro makes for the best overall World Cup travel base. Should you wish to travel around Brazil during the World Cup, however, there are travel packages that already include accommodations, and this can take a lot of stress out of your World Cup planning.
World Cup Attractions
Thanks to the wealth of wonderful attractions in Brazil, those who are traveling to the country for the World Cup will have plenty of options for things to do when they aren’t watching games. In Rio de Janeiro, soaking up some sun on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema is an obvious way to pass the time, and those who are headed to Salvador won’t want to miss the city’s historic center – Pelourinho. In Brasilia, admiring the modernist architecture is a popular pursuit, and those who are heading to Manaus can consider adding Amazon adventures to their agendas. Recife, Natal and Fortaleza give Rio de Janeiro a run for its money in the beach department, and if you are taking in a match down south in Porto Alegre, you might include a side trip to Iguazu Falls on the itinerary. Basically, if you have the time and the budget, Brazil has enough attractions to keep you both interested and satisfied for weeks on end.