All eyes have been on Brazil since June 12 when they began hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The years leading up to this competition have been fraught with setbacks and delays as the country built new stadiums and renovated old ones to house the thousands upon thousands of fanatic footballers that will descend on the country. While the stadiums may not have been completed by the first kick off, there are plenty of new stadiums that have been completed on-time and under-budget. Here’s a quick overview of where the stadiums are and the things you can try whilst there!


Located right at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões (Amazon) Rivers the dark-coloured waters of the Negro mingle but don’t mix with the muddy waters of the Solimões creating a clear divide in the two waters where one side is dark and the other is light. You have to see it to believe it, but in person, this spectacle is one of the most interesting sights in Brazil. Manaus is the home of Arena Amazonia and seats close to 43,000 spectators.


Fortaleza features 34km of incredible coastline and it is consistently one of the main tourist destinations in the north-east of Brazil. It’s a bustling city centre with over 2.4 million residents within the city limits. Most of the city’s tourist attractions centre on the beach, but with the World Cup, now the attention will also be on the Estadio Catelao which has been fully revamped for the World Cup to host over 58,000 fans.


Natal is proudly known as Cidade do Sol, or Sun City, thanks to its never-ending tropical climates and sunny days (close to 300 of them a year!). The design of its stadium, Estadio das Dunas, imitates the rolling sand dunes found throughout the region.


Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco and has a population of 3.7 million people. There is a large Dutch presence in the city that has influenced architecture, culture and more in the area. Their football stadium is called Arena Pern and it was built specifically for the games at the metropolitan area surrounding Recife.


Salvador was established back in 1549 and has grown to become a culturally-rich city that tourists and local Brazilians alike flock to. In order to showcase their economic prowess, their former stadium was imploded and a brand new one was built on the same ground to host the FIFA World Cup matches.


A large portion of Brazil’s federal administration and political power are centred in Brasilia, which is Brazil’s capital city, contrary to popular belief that Rio de Janeiro is the capital. There are wide streets to wander on and their Estadio Nacional will was built with the environment in mind with a metal roof and stands and a lowered pitch to create an unobstructed view of the pitch from every single seat.

Rio de Janeiro

The Estadio Do Maracana in Rio de Janiero will host more games than any other venue!

The undisputed party city of Brazil will play a major part in the World Cup and it makes sense: the city consistently tops the charts for where tourists want to go. It’s a cultural hotspot full of historical and famous sites and the Estadio Do Maracana was built specifically for these games. It will host seven games in all, which is more than any other venue on the list.


One interesting fact about Cuiaba is that it is located in the exact geographic centre of South America, an equidistant 2,000 km from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Especially built for the 2014 games – where it will host four matches – the Arena Pantanal seats 39,859 football fans and sits on the site of the old Estadio Jose Fragelli.

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte has been on the list of Latin American metropolises that provide the best quality of life for a while now. From the beauty of its green areas to the careful city-planning; from the wide array of cultural activities to the nature wonders of the Serra do Curral surrounding it, the award makes sense. Their stadium for the World Cup has been renovated for the games and it has turned into a comfortable 58,000 seater.

Sao Paulo

The financial and business hub of Brazil, not only is Sao Paulo the biggest city in the country, it also ranks among the most populous in the world, with just over 11 million inhabitants within its area of 1,523 square kilometres. The Arena de Sao Paulo has been chosen to host the Opening Match of Brazil 2014 and will also welcome five other encounters, including one semi-final.


Curitaba is culturally rich, thanks in part to massive immigration numbers from the 19th century that brought German, Italian, Ukrainian and Polish immigrants into the city. The architecture picks up some of these traits and they are noticeable in some of the city landmarks. Their stadium, Arena da Baixada, was built with sustainability in mind and the builders didn’t disappoint. Wood for the construction came from certified sources and the rubbish that was produced was recycled within the building project.

Porto Alegre

This city stands out from the rest because of its subtropical climate and cultural habits. The city lies on the eastern bank of the Guaiba River right where five other rivers come together to form the enormous Lagoa dos Patos, or Ducks Lagoon. Once the stadium finished renovations, the Estadio Beira-Rio will have a capacity of almost 43,000 people.

Catch the World Cup games starting on June 12 in Brazil and watch as teams from around the world battle it out on the green. If you are lucky enough to be travelling to Brazil to watch a game (or three!) in person, be sure you travel with a travel insurance policy in your back pocket. Cover-More UK’s silver travel insurance plan may be just what you are looking for so compare plans and see what you need for your Brazilian holiday.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Jose Fernandez Jr.

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