Hipmunk Guide to Rio de Janiero for the 2014 World Cup

As thousands descend on Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, all eyes are on Rio de Janeiro: the host city to the Cup’s final match is South America’s premier tourist destination for a reason. Whether you’re cheering on your favorite team or planning a relaxing beach vacation, check out our guide to beautiful Rio:

The Setting

Brazil’s most famous city has a population of about 6.3 million, making it the country’s second largest city and South America’s third largest metropolitan area. Known as the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city), Rio is a spectacular city surrounded by natural paradise, including white-sand beaches, rainforest and mountains. Home to the final match of the World Cup on July 13, Rio is one of the premier tourist destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Stadium

Maracanã Stadium has a powerful FIFA history: it hosted both the 1950 World Cup final and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup before being tapped for this year’s championship match. The stadium seats 78,838 spectators, making it the largest stadium in both Brazil and South America. In addition to hosting football matches between the major football clubs in Brazil, the venue is also used for local concerts and sporting events.

What to See

Rio de Janeiro is combines beautiful geography and vibrant city for an incredible vacation experience. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and hit the beach: Rio has dozens of gorgeous white-sand beaches that all link into each other, meaning you can walk from one to the next or simply stay put and soak up the sun. Hikers will find lots to love in Rio, including Floresta da Tijuca, a national park and rainforest within 15 minutes of the city center. Head to Sugarloaf Mountain at sunset for incredible views of the city, including cable cars to take you to the top. For the true Rio experience, dance to samba beats at one of the city’s gafieras (dance halls), where locals meet to party into the night.

What to Eat

In Rio, the local cuisine is all about fusion: traditional indigenous flavors blend with Portuguese and Africa influences to create a unique hybrid flavor. Two of the carnivore-friendly area’s most famous dishes are feijoãda, a stew with black beans and pork, and churrasco, a meal prepared with up to ten types of meat. Cool of with a caipirinha, a cocktail consisting of cane liquor, lemon, sugar and ice. For dessert, Rio locals love quindim, a cake made with egg yolks, sugar and shredded coconut.

Weather

Although Rio’s temperature during the day should stay within the 65-75 range, winter in the Southern Hemisphere means there’s always a chance of rain. To avoid the mid-match chills, pack a light raincoat to layer in case of a sudden downpour.

Ready to book your trip to Rio? Check out http://www.hipmunk.com/ to book your flights and find your perfect hotel.

Hotels for Dad

No matter what your dad is into, his perfect hotel is on Hipmunk. Check out our top five Dad-approved hotels to find his ultimate getaway.

The Outdoorsy Dad: The Estes Park Resort Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

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 Stay minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the country’s most beautiful hiking spots with scenery ranging from mountains to lakes.  The resort itself features private balconies and patios with lake and garden views, perfect for relaxing after a long day on the trails.

The Golfer Dad: InterContinental the Clement Monterey in Monterey, California

http://bit.ly/1xQL6gr

The InterContinental is a short drive from Cypress Point Golf Club, a course surrounded rugged coastline that is consistently ranked as one of the country’s best. After dad’s 18 holes, he can relax with the InterContinental’s outdoor pool, full-service spa, and access to the shops and restaurants of Downtown Monterey.

The Foodie Dad: Affinia Shelburne in New York, New York

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This New York hotel, minutes from Times Square, puts Dad within walking distance of  many of the city’s greatest restaurants, including Chef Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, a seafood restaurant consistently rated the United States’ best. After a five-star meal, work it off at the hotel’s complimentary fitness center or mingle with other guests at a complimentary manager’s reception.

The Beachgoing Dad: Ocean Key Resort in Key West, Florida

http://bit.ly/1leTFaL

This four-star resort is the perfect home base for a relaxing beach vacation: it’s situated steps away from the beach, restaurants, and other popular Key West attractions. Private balconies and poolside bars let you soak up the sun, while jetted bathtubs, room service, and a spa provide luxurious indoor alternatives.

The Techy Dad: Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Washington

http://bit.ly/SEmAyl

Take a quick walk to the Living Computer Museum, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to preserve the history of information technology. After a day of interactive sessions with vintage computers, geeks can unwind at the hotel’s restaurant or with room service, or stop by the spa, health club and sauna.

 

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City Spotlight: 24 Hours in San Francisco

At Hipmunk, we’re proud to call San Francisco home. Here’s our guide to exploring our beautiful City by the Bay, all in 24 hours: it’s a jam-packed day, but you’ll love every minute!

5:30 AM: Sunrise in Twin Peaks

To make the most of a 24-hour stay, rise early to see the sunrise from an elevation of over 920 feet. Twin Peaks is the second-highest point in the city, offering incredible 180-degree views of the Bay Area, including the Golden Gate Bridge and other major city landmarks. It’s a beautiful spot to see skyline views, and there’s no better time than sunrise. Stop by to relax, snap photos, and take in the beauty of the City by the Bay. Just don’t forget a jacket—Twin Peaks gets windy!

10:00 AM: Brunch in Noe Valley

After taking your time to explore Twin Peaks, walk slightly east to nearby Noe Valley. A laid-back and family-friendly neighborhood in central San Francisco, Noe Valley is a great place to score a delicious brunch. Walking the area’s main street reveals a great selection of cafes, bistros and coffee shops nestled alongside fun clothing boutiques and bookstores. Try Chloe’s Cafe at 1399 Church Street or Griddle Fresh at 4007 24th Street for a delicious morning wake-up call.

1:00 PM: Hiking in the Presidio

The Presidio, particularly its Pacific coast side, is a can’t-miss destination for some of the most beautiful hiking the city has to offer. Miles of hiking trails cross through woods, over hills, and even under the Golden Gate bridge, while numerous scenic overlooks offer incredible views of the Presidio scenery and the city itself. We recommend ending a hike at Crissy Field, a beautiful park on the waterfront with views of the Golden Gate and the Marin Headlands.

4:00 PM: Shopping on Union Street

Take a stroll down Union Street to browse block after block of local boutiques and shops. With its high concentration of independent and locally owned stores, this is the place to find unique items away from chain retailers. When you’ve exhausted the area’s dozens of shops, stop for a cup of coffee or a drink in one of the numerous coffee shops and bars lining the street. The area’s architecture is a sightseeing bonus!

7:00 PM: Dinner in the Mission

Grab a quick BART detour to The Mission, home of hipster vibes and trendy restaurants galore. There’s something for every taste and preference here—a walk up Valencia Street reveals everything from Indian buffets to Mediterranean-inspired tapas. Check out Delfina at 3621 18th Street for incredible Italian, or stop by Foreign Cinema at 2534 Mission Street for innovative American fare. If you’re in the mood for something cheap and filling, there’s always the Mission’s legendary burritos: Try El Farolito at 2779 Mission Street.

9:00 PM: Live Music

After dark, San Francisco is home to a thriving nightlife scene that deserves a post-dinner stop! Walk a few quick blocks to The Chapel, a new live music venue and neighborhood bar located at 777 Valencia Street. The venue occupies a newly renovated 1914 building that’s a destination in and of itself. To check out a legendary performance space, head up to The Fillmore at 1805 Geary Street. A San Francisco destination for decades, The Fillmore has hosted music legends the likes of James Brown, Tina Turner and The Grateful Dead.

Ready to book your trip to the City by the Bay? Check out http://www.hipmunk.com/ to book your flights and find your perfect hotel.

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