#WorldCup Cheat Sheet: São Paulo City Guide
Even people who aren’t fans of the beautiful game might still succumb to World Cup fever, if only from tantalizing, chaotic glimpses of the host cities’ many allures. From Niemeyer-sculpted concrete monuments to Amazonian biodiversity, Brazil has an exuberance that draws you to put boots on the ground — or bare feet on the sand.
So beat the rush after the rush and see which city — or two or five — to map out for your South American escape. And yes, you can congratulate yourself for waiting for the crowds to clear — although the social tumult and ongoing construction won’t after the final game.
Starting today, Yahoo Travel will be publishing daily guides to all the World Cup host cities. Keep checking back for more.
Stadium: Arena de São Paulo, 68,000 capacity
Games: June 12 (Brazil vs. Croatia), June 19 (Uruguay vs. England), June 23 (Netherlands vs. England), June 26 (South Korea vs. Belgium), July 1 (final 16), July 9 (semi-finals)
Ibirapuera Park (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
Lowdown: Ranked third in high-rises (following Hong Kong and New York City), São Paulo is all about superlatives: Brazil’s biggest and most ethnically diverse city, the world’s most populous city (depending how you define “city”), and of course the birthplace of Brazilian football. Outsiders can find the sprawling metropolis daunting to navigate. High crime rates may have dropped over the decade, but express kidnappings and “criminal sweeps” in public areas are still alarming.
Skyscrapers for miles… and miles… (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)