Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Porto Alegre, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1769 by Manuel Sepúlveda, Porto Alegre is the capital of the Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul. Population is about 1, 5 million people (4,5 million – metropolitan area) and the majority is formed by European emigrants, which came In the late 19th century. The city is also one of the richest in Brazil. Most of the people who live in Rio Grande do Sul consider themselves as gauchos rather than Brazilians..
Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre
 Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.


Location

Porto Alegre is situated on the eastern bank of the Rio Guaiba, where 5 rivers converge and infuse in the lake, forming a delta. Rio Guiba is connected to the Lagoa dos Patos, which is a fresh water lagoon. It is not a problem even for big ships, coming from the Atlantic Ocean to dock at the port.

Climate

Porto Alegre has a humid subtropical climate. It is very muggy in the summer, because of high levels of humidity and temperatures, which may reach 36-40 °C (97-104 °F). Winter is mild and the temperatures are between 4 °C (39 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F), but during the coldest season days, the temperature may fall even below 0 °C / 32 °F.

How to get there

  • by air
Salgado Filho (POA) International Airport   is just 7 km/4.3 mi away from downtown.

Bus lines to and from airport:
B09 – AEROPORTO/IGUATEMI Consórcio:Conorte.
B091 – AEROPORTO/IGUATEMI/ANCHIETA Consórcio:Conorte
If you prefer to travel by taxi, the company that serves airport is – COOTAERO and prices are fixed.
  • by bus
The bus station is located downtown and there are connections to some Brazilian, Argentine, Chilean, and Uruguayan and Paraguayan cities.
  • by boat
There is a ferry operated by CatSul , which connects Porto Alegre to Guaiba.


How to Get Around

You can get around Porto Alegre mainly by bus. There are two type of bus lines – Transversal (“T”) and Circular (“C”) ones.  The only problem is that it is difficult to find the bus stops with signs for lines and destinations, so the best way to manage is to ask the locals. Fares varies from R$ 1,40 / US$ 0,63 to R$ 2,80 / US$ 1,27 for adults. Another possibility is to use so called “Lotação “, which is similar to bus transportation , but  served by vans. It will cost you R$4.25 / US$ 1,92.
The taxi is one of the best options to get around Porto Alegre, because it's faster, safer and it is an easier transport option.
For people who like to get around walking it is advisable to do that only during the day and preferably – downtown.

World cup 2014 Stadium location

Located on the banks of the River Guaiba (3 km./ 1,86 mi from the historic city center), the Estadio Beira-Rio will be the venue for 2014 world cup).
With its capacity is of 50 000 people the stadium will host five matches:
Match 10
15.06.14 – France - Honduras
Match 20
18.06.14 – Australia - Netherlands
Match 32
22.06.14 – South Korea - Algeria
Match 43
25.06.14 – Nigeria - Argentina
Round of Sixteen
Match 54
30.06.14 – 1G - 2H

Except by taxi, you can get to the stadium by bus lines: 110, 111, 149, 1491, 165, 171, 173, 179, 184, 187, 188, R1, R3 and R5.

Where to Stay

There are some hotels located at short distance of Estádio Beira-Rio:


 You will find many more options a little further away in Porto Alegre’s city centre.

Where to Eat

Porto Alegre is famous with its churrasco ( grilled meat ). Here, like in most Brazilian cities, you will find buffet lunch, where you pay fixed price and eat as much as you want. “Tudo Pelo Social” offers Brazilian cuisine, in Bar Gamrinos you will find Portuguese one, Sabor Natural is typical buffet and self service, Galpao Criolo offers Argentine cuisine.
A must try:
erva mate - traditional beverage

What to see

The best option to see most of the tourist attractions at Porto Alegre is to take “Linha Turismo”.  This is a tourist bus, which route is 28 km/17 mi long, and it’s the best opportunity to see the main attractions of the city. The ticket price is R$ 5-7  (US$ 2-3). Don’t miss to visit Monumento aos Açorianos , Santuário Mãe de Deus or some of the city parks. It’s also a good idea to see the fantastic sunset over Guaíba river.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Recife, Brazil

About:

Founded by Dutch colonizers between 1535 and 1537, Recife is the capital city of Pernambuco. With its population of more than 1,5 million people, the city is one of the largest in the northeastern part of Brazil. Metro area is fifth largest with 3,744,000 inhabitants and is host of one of the major Brazilian ports. Recife is also known as the capital of the North-east and Brazilian Venice. It is one of the most exciting cities, after Salvador with its historic center. 
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.

Recife, Brazil
Recife, Brazil

Location

Recife is situated on the northeastern coast of Brazil, where Capibaribe River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The city is divided into four major areas – Centre (Centro), North Zone (Zona Norte), South Zone (Zona Sul) and West Zone (Zona Oeste) and occupies an area of 218 sq km (84 sq mi). 

Climate

Recife has a tropical climate and temperatures in the dry season (September to March) varies between 21 °C / 70 °F and 38 °C / 100 °F and 15 °C / 59 °F and 37 °C / 99 °F in the rainy season (April-August).

How to get there

  • by air
To get to Recife by air, you will land at International Recife Airport / Guararapes – Gilberto Freyre, which is 11 km/6.9 mi away from the city center. There is a metro station at the airport, so the city can be reached very easily by metro line South (Lihna Sul). If you prefer to take a taxi, just call +55 81 3322 5050 (Common) or  +55 81 3322 4153 (Special).
  • by bus 
The main long-distance bus terminal is Terminal Integrado de Passageiros. It is served by metro and it takes 15 minutes to get to downtown.
  • by sea 
With its reconstructed passenger terminal, Recife port accepts cruise ships from all over the world. 

How to Get Around

It is very easy for foreign travelers to get around Recife by its Metro system, which is second largest in Brazil and is connected with airport and main bus terminal.  However, buses are the most useful form of public transportation. 
Using a taxi is also a good option to get around, but I recommend you to look for air-conditioned ones.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The Pernambuco Arena was built in 2013 and is the venue for 2014 world cup. The capacity of the stadium is 46 000 people and will host four matches:
Group stage
Match 6
14.06.14 – Ivory Coast v Japan
Match 24
20.06.14 – Italy v Costa Rica
Match 34
23.06.14 – Croatia v Mexico
Match 45
26.06.14 – USA v Germany
Round of Sixteen
Match 52
29.06.14 – 1D v 2C
Pernambuco Arena is located about 18 km/ 11 mi west from Recife center in a suburb of Recife - São Lourenço da Mata. The easiest way to get there is by metro - you have to get off on Cosme Damian Road station or TIP station and after that to catch a bus, which goes straight to the stadium. 

Where to Stay

Most accommodation options are in the city along the coast, so I will recommend you to look for a hotel , which is close to a metro station. There are however some hotels which a closer to the stadium:


Where to Eat

Gastronomy lovers will appreciate Recife, because they will discover a lot of high-quality restaurants. There is some Portugal, Dutch and African influence on the local culinary.  Except the restaurants, there are a lot of options to eat fresh food, sitting on the beach. The best choice there is seafood.
Some of the restaurants that I could recommend:
  • Chica Pitanga – per-kilo buffet;
  • Quina do Futuro - Japanese cuisine;
  • Buraco da Otília – traditional cuisine;
  • Mingus – a stylish restaurant with a relaxing jazz music.

A must try:
Caldinho - a type of soup

What to do and what to see

Don’t miss to visit Recife beaches, with its white sand, clear waters and coral reefs. A very popular one is the Boa Viagem beach.
Other popular places, which worth seeing are: Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel; Mercado de São José; the cathedral Pátio de São Pedro; the Malakoff Tower; Recife Antigo (Old Recife) buildings.
You could try Catamaran Rides in the Capibaribe River, Scuba-diving or Panorama flight, also.