Você está preparado?! (Are you ready!?) With the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia rapidly approaching in June, Cariocas and expats alike will soon flood Rio de Janeiro with the greens and yellows of Brazilian futebol pride. Expectations are high as Brazilians across the nation begin to pull on their jerseys, sing the Hino do Brasil at the top of their lungs, and gather together to support the most successful national team in the history of the FIFA World Cup!
If you find yourself in the Cidade Maravilhosa at any point during the 2018 World Cup (which begins on June 14 and ends on July 15), why not dive right into the frenzy and cheer alongside the Cariocas at their favourite local joints? The entire city population will have its eyes on the screens, and you should, too! Here, picked by our local Rio tour guides, are the best spots around town to watch the five-time world champions kick their way towards World Cup victory.Baixo Botafogo
Nestled into the heart of Rio’s most bohemian neighbourhood is the vibrant hub of Carioca bar life known as Baixo Botagofo (baixo means “point” in Portuguese). Locals spend their evenings mingling and meandering through the various bars that line the streets of Voluntários da Pátria, Nelson Mandela and São Clemente. The most popular establishments fill the sidewalks with chairs and tables where Cariocas can gather together, crack open a few ice-cold Brahma beers, and scream at the televisions in response to every futebol goal scored by Brazil.
A gorgeous, tree-lined suburb by day, Gavea transforms into the bustling centre of student festivities by night. This inviting neighbourhood is home to one of Rio’s most prestigious universities, where many students celebrate the end of the school day by heading over to the concentration of bars next door and socialising with a caipirinha in hand (they typically cost USD 3!). If vibrant university nightlife is your kind of scene, make your way to the most popular bars like Garota da Gávea, BG Bar and Hipódromo, which will be streaming the FIFA World Cup throughout the evenings.
With the arrival of every World Cup, a deluge of thousands of face-painted, jersey-clad futebol fans descend upon the famous street of Alzira Brandão, located in the Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio’s North Zone. Largely considered the pinnacle of World Cup festivities in the entire city, Alzirão da Tijuca became the birthplace of local viewing when a dozen Cariocas gathered on the sidewalk to watch the games on a tiny television in 1978. Four decades later, the Cup is now streamed on enormous screens through the Alzirão and accompanied by live music concerts and samba performances.