World Cup’s Host Cities Series: Curitiba

Did you know that Curitiba was named the “best city to live in Brazil”? Ligia Fonseca is our guest writer and shared her thoughts about her city as part of the World Cup’s Host Cities Series.

Ligia Fonseca is a journalist.

Ligia Fonseca is a journalist and a DeRose Method instructor.

Curitiba, a Brazilian city that has become an international reference for sustainable development in recent years, is one of the coldest 2014 FIFA World Cup host cities.

If you have chosen to watch one of the matches planned to take place in the “ecological city”, prepare yourself for an average temperature of 8oC to 18oC in June. Quite cool temperatures for a so-called tropical country, although they should guarantee excellent playing conditions.

Image by Halley Pacheco de Oliveira

Image by Halley Pacheco de Oliveira

Apart from hosting the first match to be played by the Spanish team, the current world champions, Curitiba have much more to offer to its 2 million residents and thousands of occasional visitors.

Cultural life in the city is rich and vibrant, but not very widely publicised. The Oscar Niemeyer Museum (named “Museum of the Eye” by the locals) displays a permanent collection and constantly brings itinerant exhibitions from renowned artists like Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas. Three rooms of the “Eye” are dedicated exclusively to photography.

The cafés are also very popular in Curitiba, probably due to the very high average annual rainfall in the city. It really rains a lot around here. Well, maybe not so much if we consider the Scottish standards.

Image by Jeferson Milao

Image by Jeferson Milao

So if you are a coffee lover, some of the best places to have an espresso or cappuccino, and even a soup or small sandwich while catching up with friends, are Brooklyn Coffee Shop and New York Café, both inspired by this American city. And to combine coffee, history and architecture, you can stop and spend some time at “Café do Paço”, located inside a magnificent building erected in 1916 that functioned as Curitiba´s first city hall.

And there are always the parks and street markets, of course. Curitiba is full of them. Bosque Alemão, Tanguá Park, the street markets of “Passeio Público” and “Largo da Ordem” (in the old city centre) and many others. They are part of the locals’ everyday life, whether for a morning walk, for a quick bite or just to see and be seen.

Oh yes, the football!

Image by Omar Junior

Image by Omar Junior

So finally, must we consider “Arena da Baixada”, the stadium where the World Cup games are going to happen in Curitiba, one of the sights to be visited in the city? Well, if you really came for the football, you will already check it out.

But even if the World Cup was just an excuse to be acquainted with the “best Latin American big city in which to live” (at least according to the US magazine Reader´s Digest), this is definitely a venue to be seen. “Arena da Baixada” was originally built in 1914 and it is the oldest stadium at the World Cup. After the renovation works undergone during the last years, it is now regarded as one of the most modern stadiums in Brazil. It is absolutely worth a visit.

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