The FIFA World Cup will be played in 12 cities around Brazil. Initially, seventeen cities showed interest in being chosen as World Cup host cities. However, according to current FIFA practice,the number of host cities is limited between eight and ten. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) requested permission to assign 12 cities hosting World Cup Finals. On 26 December 2008, FIFA gave the green light to the 12-city plan. And the 12 host cities for the 2014 World Cup were announced on 31 May 2009.
Let us have a look at the 12 beautiful host cities where the matches of the FIFA World Cup 2014 are scheduled to take place.
FIFA World Cup 2014 Host Cities
1. Belo Horizonte
The first planned city in the country of the republican period was inaugurated on December 12th, 1897. The name “Belo Horizonte” was adopted four years later, in 1901. Capital of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte is located in the southeast region and is the sixth most populous city in the country and has been indicated as the city with the best quality of life in Latin America. It is also 45th among the 100 best cities in the world. Today, the city has the fifth largest GDP among the Brazilian municipalities, representing 1.38% of the total wealth produced in Brazil.
In addition, it is a reference in business and health tourism. Currently, it is the seventh Brazilian city that most receives international events. Its touristic diversity attracts people from Brazil and the world, enchanted with art, music, theater, dance and literature, making the city standout as contemporary and surprising. Belo Horizonte received the title “Garden City” for being one of the most tree-living cities in the country. Whether in its tradition or modernity, the people’s hospitality, values, and affection are registered characteristics, creating an appeal apart, always welcoming and encouraging tourists to come back.
Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, was inaugurated on April 22nd 1960, in the central area of the country. Just five years before, the area resembled a desert, with no people, scarce water, few animals and plants. Juscelino Kubitschek, who became President in 1956, invited the best Brazilian architects to present projects for the new capital. Oscar Niemeyer, today one of the most famous world’s architects, combined straight and rounded shapes to create innovative architectural masterpieces.
While many Brazilians claim that Rio de Janeiro remains the country’s heart and soul, there is no denying that the capital city is Brazil’s modern center. Some even claim Brasilia is close to being an urban paradise. Everything about Brasilia is orderly and clean. Unlike many other major cities, traffic jams are virtually nonexistent in the city and pollution is not much of a problem. The dining and shopping scene are also superb, while the nightlife is positively energetic. In addition, this lovely city is situated in a prime real estate. It is bounded by the Lake Paranoa and sits atop the Planalto Plateau. The Brazilian capital is the only twentieth century urban place to ever have been included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Cuiabá is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. It is located in the exact centre of South America and forms the metropolitan area of the state, along with the neighbouring town of Várzea Grande. Cuiabá was founded in April 08, 1719 as the capital of Mato Grosso State. The city serves as the main gateway to the northern part of the Pantanal — the Transpantaneira Highway starts just 98km (61 miles) away — and as the jumping-off point to the Chapada dos Guimarães. In the City, there is so much to do and see. Three spacious shopping malls, amazing restaurants, and late night clubs. Not to mention the beautiful open downtown center where you can find live music, open air shopping, street vendors,and fresh coconut water.
Curitiba is a city in southern Brazil and the capital of Paraná state since 1854. It was founded in 1654 as a gold-mining camp. From the early 19th century, it received many German, Italian, and Polish settlers, and immigration continued during the 20th century with the arrival of Syrians and Japanese, as well as a massive influx of internal migrants from rural areas. In Paraná State, it stands out as the largest municipality in number of inhabitants, accounting for 17.5% of the total population. The bus system of Curitiba, Brazil, exemplifies a model Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and plays a large part in making this a livable city. The buses run frequently—some as often as every 90 seconds—and reliably, and the stations are convenient, well-designed, comfortable, and attractive.
Whenever travelers mention that they are going to Curitiba, people always advise them to take warm clothes. This is one thing you can be sure about in this city, for low temperatures have already become part of the lives of the curitibanos (residents of Curitiba). However, this is not the only piece of advice that may be given to the Curitiba-bound. He could also be told that he should arrive in Curitiba with his eyes wide open to see the signs of an urban scenario in which dwellers, environment and the urban area coexist in a harmoniously. This co-existence itself has become a tourist attraction. Aligning this factor to the fact that the city has an infrastructure implemented specifically for receiving tourists, Curitiba is a city that is ready to welcome them and can truly state: “Make yourselves at home!”
Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. With a population close to 2.3 million, Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil. Residents of the city are known as Fortalezenses. Fortaleza is one of the three leading cities in the Northeast region together with Recife and Salvador.
The capital city of the State of Ceará, has been for decades one of the most popular destinations of Brazilian tourists. In recent years, the fame of Fortaleza has been gaining the world, and the number of Europeans, North and South Americans travellers coming to Ceará has grown fast. What attracts so many Brazilian and foreigners to Fortaleza? Rather than pointing out one single reason, it is safer to say that visitors are attracted by a combination of the sunny beaches, the busy and safe nightlife, the delicious culinary, the rich Brazilian culture, the very peaceful and friendly people. On top of that, it’s worthy mentioning that Brazil is free from natural disasters, and is a country with low cost of living.
Manaus is a Brazilian city of about 2.5 million, located on the Rio Negro a few miles before it meets the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River proper. The very location of the city of Manaus is one of its most remarkable attractions: the confluence of the rivers Negro (Black) and Solimões (how the Amazon River is known in this part of Brazil). The dark-coloured waters of the former and the muddy waters of the latter flow side by side for over 18 kilometres without mixing, forming one of the Amazon’s most majestic sights.
Today Manaus is a foreign trade zone. Electronics, wood industry and oil refineries have settled in the outskirts in industrial areas. The harbour is the most important trading center for the care of the city with regional, national and international products. The city is pleasant and friendly, although quite hot, and is still a major port, and a good starting point for river tours. The combination of outstanding natural beauty, local traditions and a metropolis on the rise gives Manaus a unique atmosphere.
Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, is a city on the Atlantic coast. Natal has some great beaches, historical sites, and nature areas, and it is a frequently used base for exploring the beaches and nature of the Rio Grande do Norte state.
The construction of the Via Costeira – a large coastal avenue – in the 1980s was a milestone for the development of Natal, which is now one of the preferred destinations for foreigners visiting Brazil. They come for such wonders as Ponta Negra, Genipabu, Redinha, Pipa, Pirangi and several other spectacular beaches within the city and right next to it.
Natal is proudly known as Cidade do Sol (Sun City) thanks to its faultless tropical climate that provides an annual average of 28º C, and roughly 300 sunny days a year. Its location, as close to Europe as any other city in the Americas, has also boosted international tourism.
8. Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul and the biggest urban agglomeration of south Brazil. Porto Alegre lies on the eastern bank of the Guaíba River, right at the convergence point of five other rivers, which together form the enormous Lagoa dos Patos (Ducks Lagoon). Its 497 square kilometres are covered with more than one million trees, making it one of the greenest cities in Brazil, despite being the nucleus of the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the country, with roughly four million inhabitants.
The perfect blend of Brazilian-Portuguese and River Plate-Spanish cultures, added to a strong European heritage gives the city a unique background within Brazil. Temperatures are a lot milder in Porto Alegre than they are in most of the Brazilian capitals, with an annual temperature average of 19.5ºC and cold winters that have historical records of snow and subzero temperatures. The four seasons are very defined, though, and during the summer, temperatures may go well beyond 35ºC. The capital of Rio Grande do Sul is also famous for featuring one of the highest human development index figures in the whole country.
Recife, capital city of the State of Pernambuco, is one of the largest cities in Brazil (it’s the 9th city by population). The history of Recife and Pernambuco is unique. The contact between native Indians, black slaves and Portuguese settlers was very strong in Pernambuco, and left visible traces in the culture of the region; also visible is the legacy of the Dutch, who occupied the area for more than 20 years.
The Boa Viagem beach in Recife is one of the most famous urban beaches in Brazil. Visitors get enchanted by the sandy beaches with warm green waters and also by the complete infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and services which surrounds it. The city is also a renowned educational center, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet Castro Alves, moved to Recife to attain their education. This mixture of influences made the culture of Pernambuco to be one of the richest in Brazil.
10. Rio De Janerio
Although not the capital of Brazil, nor the largest city, Rio de Janeiro is one of the main tourist and cultural centers in the country, attracting the largest number of international tourists. Rio de Janeiro is located in the southeastern part of the country and is the second largest in Brazil. Its population of 6.3 million people, and as a metropolitan area population exceeds 12,300,000.
When they hear the name of Rio, most people think of endless sandy beaches, sun and palm trees. And it is not at Rezon. One of the most famous, of course, is Copacabana. But this is not everything that the city can boast. Some other points of interest include Botanical Garden, the famous Maracana stadium, which is the largest in all of South America, Aventureyro marine park, and the little mountain sugar loaf, which offers a wonderful view of the city. One of the emblematic symbols of the city is undoubtedly the statue of Christ the Redeemer, towering over the city from the top of Corcovado Mountain. An interesting fact is that in 2007, the statue was included in the list of new 7 Wonders of the World.
Salvador is a port city in the eastern part of Brazil, located in the Bay of Todos Santos axis of the Atlantic coast. Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia. With a population of 2.7 million it is the third largest city in the country after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Salvador is located on a peninsula separating the bay from the ocean. An interesting fact is that the city is divided by rocks into two parts – upper and lower, including a 85 meter difference in height.
Today, El Salvador is a cultural and historical site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do Porto beach bar is very popular among lovers of water sports and recreation. There are other quieter beaches, which offer excellent opportunities for recreation suitable for underwater fishing, sailing, swimming and diving, and surfing. El Salvador has four large parks with lots of greenery – Jardim, Costa Azul Pituachu and City Park. The latter is located in the central part of the city and its rich vegetation and vast area has become a favorite place for recreation for tourists and residents of the city.
12. Sao Paulo
São Paulo is the name of both one of States of Brazil, and its respective capital. The city of Sao Paulo is the largest and richest in Brazil, and one of the largest in the World. Sao Paulo is the finance and business capital of Brazil and is home to the São Paulo Stock Exchange, the second largest stock exchange in the World. More and more businesses are setting offices in Sao Paulo. In 2011, more than 10 million foreign people visited the city – most for business purposes.
People from the city of São Paulo are known as paulistanos. The city, which is also colloquially known as “Sampa” or “Cidade da Garoa” (city of drizzle), is also known for its unreliable weather, the size of its helicopter fleet, its architecture, gastronomy, severe traffic congestion and multitude of skyscrapers. The city is considered an alpha world city according to the Global City economic system. The State of São Paulo has the largest network of hotels in Brazil.
So this was a quick trip to the host cities of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Although there is a lot more to be explored about each and every one of them, but we tried to share with you the points that are the most appealing about these 12 host cities. We hope you enjoyed this little trip.
If you have any opinions to share with us, please feel free to comment in the box below.