Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, you will be well aware that the FIFA World Cup in Brazil is due to kick off today in Sao Paulo, as the national team of Brazil face Croatia in the first of the group stage matches. The tournament will go on for just over a month, with the final taking place in Rio de Janeiro at the Estádio de Maracanã. Many different stadiums across Brazil will be utilised for the competition, in a number of cities all over the country. This blog will take a look at some of the host cities and stadia that you can cruise to, as well as the group stage matches taking place there, to hopefully leave you tempted to book a last minute cruise to the game!
The first game of the FIFA World Cup 2014 will take place in São Paulo – the largest city in Brazil. São Paulo offers a brilliant mix of historic and contemporary cultural experiences, from the historic centre of town to the many marvellous theatres and concert halls distributed around the region.
Stadium: Arena de São Paulo
12th June | Group A | Brazil vs. Croatia
19th June | Group D | Uruguay vs. ENGLAND
23rd June | Group B | Netherlands vs. Chile
26th June | Group H | South Korea vs. Belgium
The wonderful city of Natal on Brazil’s Atlantic coast boasts a fantastic mix of intriguing historical sites, verdant nature reserves and pristine sandy beaches. It is also the ideal location from which to explore the breathtaking natural landscape of the entire Rio Grande de Norte state in which it resides.
Stadium: Arena das Dunas
13th June | Group A | Mexico vs. Cameroon
16th June | Group G | Ghana vs. USA
19th June | Group C | Japan vs. Greece
24th June | Group D | Italy vs. Uruguay
A city often seen as the birthplace of Brazilian culture, Salvador is famous for the stunning architecture of its historic old town – which has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – as well as its lively music scene and bustling carnival atmosphere.
Stadium: Arena Fonte Nova
13th June | Group B | Spain vs. Netherlands
16th June | Group G | Germany vs. Portugal
20th June | Group E | Switzerland vs. France
25th June | Group F | Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Iran
One of Brazil’s largest and most vibrant metropolises’, the city of Forteleza is a contemporary city but has not forgotten its historical roots. While many of the area’s structures date back for centuries, the city is also a hotbed for offshore activities and modern-day pursuits, such as kite and wind surfing.
Stadium: Estádio de Castelão
14th June | Group D | Uruguay vs. Costa Rica
17th June | Group A | Brazil vs. Mexico
21st June | Group G | Germany vs. Ghana
24th June | Group C | Greece vs. Ivory Coast
When you aren’t watching the football in Recife, a trip to the coast is essential! Boa Viagem Beach on Recife’s scenic coastline in arguably one of the world’s best urban beaches, whilst further inland, visitors will discover a wealth of historic churches and fantastic museums.
Stadium: Arena Pernambuco
14th June | Group C | Ivory Coast vs. Japan
20th June | Group D | Italy vs. Costa Rica
23rd June | Group A | Croatia vs. Mexico
26th June | Group G | USA vs. Germany
Rio de Janeiro
Perhaps Brazil’s most famous city, Rio de Janeiro is known throughout the world as a hub of vibrant culture. Tourists can head to Copacabana beach to relax n the sun, travel up Sugarloaf Mountain to gain a unique vantage point and take a cable car up to the iconic Christ the Redeemer monument – or perhaps even watch some football?!
Stadium: Estádio de Maracanã
15th June | Group F | Argentina vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina
18th June | Group B | Spain vs. Chile
22nd June | Group H | Belgium vs. Russia
25th June | Group E | Ecuador vs. France
The tropical city of Manaus – situated close to the lush Amazon Rainforest and river – will play host to the first of England’s group stage matches as the team take on Italy. Whilst the city centre boasts an array of historic architecture, a trip into the nearby rainforest is a must for intrepid travellers.
Stadium: Arena de Amazônia
14th June | Group D | ENGLAND vs. Italy
18th June | Group A | Cameroon vs. Croatia
22nd June | Group G | USA vs. Portugal
25th June | Group E | Honduras vs. Switzerland
Image Credits: Mark Hillary – flickr.com