Back in February, we were glued to our sets to follow Team GB at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Since then, the FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janiero, Brazil has been the next most anticipated sports event for football fans across the globe. Looking to get underway on the 12th June, the summer millions of fans will be tuning in on their TV and turning on their patriotic sides as they cheer their teams to (hopefully) victory in Brazil.
Over two million tourists are expected to visit Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil is well known for its stunning white sand beaches, dense green rainforests and of course, their talented football team, with the likes of David Luiz, Fernandinho, Neymar and Ronaldinho playing for the team at one point or another.
If you're thinking of visiting the country for the upcoming World Cup tournament, British Airways flies almost non-stop to and from Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo. If you plan to criss-cross the country and follow the England team as they take part in matches in Manaus, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, the resorts have loads to offer fans:
Manaus is the capital city of the Amazonas in Brazil. Its city borders and surrounded by a Brazilian glimpse into scenery similar to that of the Amazon rainforest, with lush, dense vegetation. Tourists can enjoy a three-hour tour that makes stops at the Rio Negro Palace, a colourful structure with Victorian influences built originally as a home for a rich rubber baron, the Indian Museum displays handicrafts, weapons, ceramics and ritual masks from the region's local tribes, and the Teatro Amazonas was built at the height of the rubber boom in Brazil, with a rubber driveway to soften the noise of late-arriving carriages.
Head to the top of the 161-metre skyscraper, Banespa, in Sao Paulo, for a panoramic view of the city below, or visit Mani, a rustic Brazilian restaurant run by a Brazilian-Spanish couple which is often said to be Sampa's best restaurant.
Named after its astounding view of the neighbouring mountains, Belo Horizonte has an urban touch to it nowadays which means the city foreground is often more imposing than the range beyond it. You can visit caves that have prehistoric paintings on the inside, or visit the Parque Municipal, an enormous sea of tropical greenery with artificial lakes and winding pathways - perfect for people watching in between matches.
Although the improved infrastructure and economy of Brazil has made the country safer and easier to travel round than ever before, the home of the samba has a much higher crime rate than the UK, which could make local streets unsafe for tourists whilst they visit. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has already warned potential tourists to the country that "œviolence and crime can occur anywhere and often involves firearms or other weapons."
They also stated some travel tips for football fans travelling to the country -"œAvoid wearing expensive jewellery, watches and clothes. Don't carry large amounts of money. Keep mobile phones and cameras out of sight and leave your passport and valuables in a sage place, though you should carry another form of photo ID like a driving licence with you at all times."
The FCO added "œBe ready to hand over valuables if you are threatened. Don't attempt to resist your attackers. They may be armed and under the influence of drugs."
A brochure which has been released features a list of safety tips designed to prevent football tourists from becoming victims to crime. The first piece of advice - "œDo not react, scream or argue" with robbers or muggers, the leaflet advises, as many people visiting the country for the games come from Europe or the United States, where they don't see this type of crime very often.
A good idea would be to invest in some good quality travel insurance that covers you for theft of personal possessions, travel documents and personal injury expenses. Travel and long stay holiday insurance can also be used to cover cancellation or curtailment - At Alpha, we have have policies to suit every budget for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
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