On the Sidelines in Rio de Janeiro
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On the Sidelines
Jóquei Clube. This beautiful old stadium manages to conjure a bygone sense of grandeur to even the smallest of race meetings with its impeccably preserved betting hall, 1920s grandstand, and views of the beach in the distance framed by Cristo Redentor and the Dois Irmaos mountain. When the big event of the year, the Grande Premio, comes around every August, expect the crowds to swell as the great and the good seize the opportunity to get dressed to the nines. Entry is free, too, but you need to dress smart-casual, with no shorts or flip-flops allowed in the main stand. Praça Santos Dumont 31, Gávea, Rio de Janeiro, 22470-060. 21/2512-9988. www.jcb.com.br.
Estádio Maracanã. Nothing short of legendary, watching a game of soccer here is a must if the season (mid-January to November) is in swing. Undoubtedly as entertaining as the games are the obsessive supporters, devoted to their team colors but not afraid of trashing their own players, the opposition team, other fans, and of course the referee. Their huge flags and fireworks are always spectacular. Tickets are available in advance and often on the day from the stadium ticket office. The branco or white section of the archibancado or upper tier is the safest option for the neutral fan. Expect to pay around R$25 for a ticket in that section, and arrive in good time to grab the best seats and soak up the atmosphere. The stadium is currently under construction for the 2014 World Cup. Rua Prof. Eurico Rabelo s/n, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 20271-150. 21/8871-3950. www.suderj.rj.gov.br/visitacao_maracana.asp.
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