World Cup Fever

Attending a World Cup Match
Photo: Marcello Casal Jr/Agencia Brasil [Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil license], via Wikimedia Commons

Attending a World Cup Match

Browse our best tips for attending a World Cup match as well as where to catch a match if you can't score tickets.

World Cup tickets are available through the FIFA website or through travel agencies. The cost will vary according to where you're sitting and how far along the match is in the championship. World Cup tickets will not be released all at once, and some countries will have more tickets allotted to them than others. Check with your national soccer federation for more information (i.e., the United States Soccer Federation or the English Football Association).

Tips for Attending a World Cup Match

  • Get there early—one or two hours before the match—to mingle with other fans, have a drink, and let expectations build.
  • No outside food or drink will be allowed into stadiums.
  • Bring cash, preferably small bills, and do not carry backpacks or valuables.
  • Never underestimate traffic and the long lines generated at World Cup games. In South Africa, many fans missed the first half of matches because they couldn't get into the stadium on time.
  • Wear comfortable clothing, as it will be a long day.
  • The matches will happen during Brazil's winter, so a light jacket is a good idea, particularly in the South.
  • Do not expect to find a taxi to or from the stadium; plan to walk to the nearest public transportation option.
  • Think of it as a pilgrimage, and enjoy the experience, hassles and all.

Fan-Fest Locales for the World Cup 2014

Brazilians love big communal bashes, and each host city will have a fan-fest location: a designated beach, public square, or park where crowds will be able to watch all 2014 World Cup games on massive screens, while also enjoying live music, drinks, and other festivities. Get there early—two hours before the match if possible—and stake out a spot close to the screen. No tickets are necessary and it is first-come, first-served. The areas will be closed after a certain number of spectators gather to avoid overcrowding, but be prepared for Brazilians' limited need for personal space.

Belo Horizonte: Praça da Estação

Brasília: Esplanada dos Ministérios

Cuiabá: Parque de Exposições Acrimat

Curitiba: Parque Barigui

Fortaleza: Praia de Iracema (Aterrão)

Manaus: Memorial Encontro das Águas

Natal: Praia do Forte

Porto Alegre: Largo Glênio Peres

Recife: Marco Zero

Rio de Janeiro: Praia de Copacabana

Salvador: Jardim de Alah

São Paulo: Vale do Anhangabaú