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#WorldCup Cheat Sheet: Curitiba City Guide

Vera H-C Chan
Senior Editor, Special Projects
September 18, 2015

Photo: Bruno Vaz/Flickr

(With contributions by Yahoo Brazil editors Cassiano Gobbet, Fernando Vives, and Tainah Fernandes)

Yahoo Travel continues its daily guides to all the World Cup host cities. Even if you’re not a fan of the beautiful game, you may discover your next South American escape. Keep checking back for more.

Curitiba (“Pine Nut Land”)

(Photo: Stringer/Getty Images)

Stadium: Arena da Baixada, 40,000 capacity

Games: June 16 (Iran vs. Nigeria), June 20 (Honduras vs. Ecuador), June 23 (Australia vs. Spain), June 26 (Algeria vs. Russia)

Known for: Jardim Botanico, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Italian cantinas, and its pedestrian-loving historic center.

(Photo: Cristina Valencia/Flickr)

Lowdown: One of the lesser-known cities, the capital of Paraná prides itself on an enviable infrastructure—from public transport to its parks—that seems almost out of place in chaotic Brazil. Curitibanos themselves reflect the city’s heritage as a 19th-century immigrant destination for Polish, Germans, and Italians, among others. Ironically, despite being famed for its efficiency, Curitiba barely squeaked in finishing its new World Cup stadium.

Paula Ferrari/Flickr)

View: Even raptors and vultures perch on the ledges at Oi’s cellular tower Torre Panoramica to take in views. A modest museum outlines the history of the phone. (Rua Prof. Lycio Grein de Castro Vellozo, 191, Merces)

Sleep: While not a five-star hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton receives kudos for service. (Av. Sete De Setembro, 4211) Moderately-priced Slaviero Conceptual Full Jazz wins hands down on concept alone, with jazz (canned or live) as a constant backdrop and music DVDs available for loners. (Rua Silveira Peixoto, 1297, Batel) There’s a good selection of favorite hostels, and a bright yellow paint job—among other niceties—makes Motter Home Curitiba Hostel stand out. (Rua Desembargador Motta, 3574) stand out.

(Photo: Paco Pomares/Flickr)

Eats:  Among the traditional dishes is barreado, a slow clay-pot simmer of beef, bacon and spices with a side of plantains, rice and cassava flour. The local cuisine’s distinction are the cosmopolitan influences of German, Italian, Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish flavors. Barolo (Av. Silva Jardim, 2487) is a favored trattoria.

What to buy: From the Ukrainian tradition, the pessankas are elaborately fashioned eggs. Or, go modern with souvenirs from the shop at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum.

Best pickup line: “Is this seat taken?” (Public transportation’s a marvel at Curitiba.)

Photo: Getty Images

How to avoid a fight: Try not to ask how Brazil’s most organized city, which successfully supports two football clubs to boot, almost had its World Cup hosting duties snatched away just weeks before the games.

When the football gets to be too much: Marvel at how old quarries have taken on renewed life in places like the sprawling Parque Barigui. (Rodovia BR 277, s/n, Santo Inácio)

Vera H-C Chan is a senior editor and Web trends analyst for Yahoo. Written with contributions from Yahoo Brazil editors Cassiano Gobbet, Fernando Vives, and Tainah Fernandes.

Keep coming back every day for Yahoo Travel’s series on the #WorldCup, with guides to the host cities, advice on safety, and great tips and insider information you won’t find anywhere else. You can also check out all our World Cup coverage here.