As the 2014 FIFA World Cup approaches, millions of football fans and tourists will be flocking to Brazil to see this incredible spectacle. Twelve cities threw in their bid to host a portion of the tournament and won. Of those cities, the famed city of Rio de Janeiro is poised to host the final match to decide the 2014 FIFA world champions. It is the second largest city in Brazil. Commonly known as simply “Rio,” this city is packed with beautiful sights and tourist destinations to keep you busy between matches.
Among the long list of destinations in Rio, there are the beaches. Rio boasts being home to some of the most famous beaches in the world such as Copacabana, Ipanema, and Barra da Tijuca. Stretching 4km along the Copacabana beach, the Copacabana promenade is a breathtaking black and white Portuguese pavement landscape lined with hotels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and even residential developments. If you are looking for a thriving commercial area and delicious food, you will find it on the promenade.
Ipanema, made famous by the song “The Girl from Ipanema,” is one of the richest neighborhoods in Rio. Its beach, Ipanema beach, is adjacent to Copacabana, but each is distinct from the other. Ipanema has world class restaurants, shops, and cafes. It is definitely the place to go if you want to spend a considerable amount of money experiencing the best Rio has to offer. Each week, pedestrians and tourists gather along the street closest to the beach. This street is closed down every Sunday for walkers and bikers to enjoy. Surfers and avid sun bathers often make this beach their favorite Rio destination. The local laid back culture of Rio provides the perfect way to unwind from the excitement of a World Cup match. The nightlife of Ipanema beach is some of the best for visitors to Rio. At night, the area is well-lit and manned by police to make the area safe for tourists. A fun way to grab a piece of the World Cup action is to place bets on your favorite matches at Ladbrokes then join other football fans at a game or a local sports bar to watch the excitement.
If you are looking to explore Rio rather than lounge at the beach, popular attractions such as a cable car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain or a visit to the many museums and cultural centers are great ways to see more of the landscape and culture of Rio.
Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) is a monolithic hill of granite and quartz flush against the waters of Guanabara Bay. You can take a cable car up 396 meters (1,299 ft) to the summit for breathtaking views of Rio and the rich geological diversity of the surrounding area. If you desire, you can also take a relatively easy hike up to the summit beginning in Pista Cláudio Coutinho in Urca, and catch a ride on the cable car, for free, anytime after 6:00pm. From the summit, you will get a bird’s eye view of the many islands scattered around the harbor and incredible natural formations that make Rio such a beautiful and unique place.
Visit the National Historical Museum to see an awe-inspiring 7.353 square meters of exhibitions divided into two themes: the economic and social factors of the history of Brazil. Here you can learn of the incredible melting pot of cultures that came together to form the modern city of Rio.
Rio de Janeiro would make the perfect final destination of an amazing trip around Brazil for the FIFA World Cup. This picturesque coastal city has all the beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, and a diverse cultural background to ensure an unforgettable trip. Watching the final championship match for the World Cup in this city would be a once in a lifetime experience.