Well, Brazil is certainly the place to be this summer. The eyes of the sporting world and beyond will be glued to the World Cup, which promises to be a month-long football festival of the highest quality. However, if you are an England fan travelling to watch the Three Lions, there is plenty more to do in Brazil other than just following the World Cup itself. Here is a guide to some of the must-do activities in one of the world’s most beautiful countries.
England begin their campaign with a tough game against Italy in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas. This is the perfect venue to discover the Amazonian rain forest and to get a taste of Brazil’s natural beauty. It is possible to take a seaplane trip to explore the Amazon, but if you have the time then it is well worth taking a 3-4 day cruise to see the Anavilhanas, a remarkable collection of small islands. It is a small slice of paradise and you can discover it on a riverboat complete with cabins and deck with hammock. There is also usually a bar on board! It is the perfect way to unwind. You may need it, depending on how England perform in their opening fixture!
If you are moving on to Sao Paulo where England take on Uruguay in another tough game just a few days later, then you will be able to enjoy perhaps the cultural capital of Brazil. Yes, this is a city for all the culture vultures following Roy Hodgson’s team. It is also a centre for fashion and food, so there is plenty to keep you busy. In particular, the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo houses the largest collection of Western art in South America, including works by the likes of Picasso and Goya. If you are looking for somewhere to eat off the beaten track, then get down to a neighbourhood restaurant called Torta no Quintal, where you can find excellent pies, refreshing juice and superb desserts. To top off your Sao Paulo experience, check out the top floor of the city’s tallest skyscraper, Edificio Italia and enjoy a vista of the city’s skyline.
Finally, England finish up their qualifying group against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte. The city has undergone a makeover during the last few years and is now a trendy place to be and has plenty to keep you entertained other than the football. It is worth paying a visit to the Memorial Minas Gerais – Vale, an interactive gallery which displays the heritage of the city and will give you a real feel for where you are. However, Belo Horizonte is also a place to enjoy a thriving night life. In the Savassi district you can find live jazz and DJs performing most evenings and if you are looking for something a little quieter, then there are also great cafes and bookstores to keep you busy.
Although Brazil is most famous for beaches, samba and of course football, there is a whole world of opportunities waiting as you cheer on the Three Lions this summer.