This Sunday's (July 13) World Cup final has turned Rio into a world capital of sorts, if only for this weekend. The city is packed with fans from all over the world for the match between Germany and Argentina at 5 PM, and volunteers from the federal government will be on hand to give tips to visitors so that they enjoy the city and the World Cup atmosphere to the fullest.
Guiomar Porto, a 65-year-old volunteer working at the city's Santos Dumont Airport, suggests that, before everything, tourists need to visit Rio's tourist spots. “If you are arriving on Saturday or Sunday, I think the first thing you want to see is the Sugar Loaf, the Copacabana Fort... basically our classic attractions. The Christ the Redeemer is ready to receive with open arms," he says.
Guiomar also has transportation tips to those coming into the city. “I always suggests fans to take a taxi from the airport. They are the best means of transport for those unfamiliar with Rio. Afterwards tourists can ride the subway or the bus. No problem at all," she recommends.
Both on Saturday and on Sunday, the Atlântica Avenue in Copacabana will be closed to allow free passage for pedestrians going to the FIFA Fan Fest. According to the Rio City Government, the World Cup safety operation will employ 1,650 controllers from the city's Traffic Engineering Company and the City Guard. Volunteers suggest that tourists use the subway, where they can disembark near the Maracanã and the FIFA Fan Fest.
“For those going to the stadium the best option is the subway, since taxis and buses can only stop fairly far from the stadium," recommends Cleiton Carvalho da Silva, 21, who highlights that the stations surrounding the arena are within a 10 minute-walk from the entrance. According to the Rio subway system, the lines will operate at rush hour levels during the match, with the entire fleet deployed and extra trains positioned in strategic points.
Those with tickets for entry through gates A, B and C must disembark at the Maracanã station. The São Cristóvão station is the best option for those who will need to enter through gates E and F. Fans accessing the stadium through gate D should disembark at the São Francisco Xavier Station.
For those going to the FIFA Fan Fest to watch the match broadcasts or enjoy the shows on Saturday or Sunday, the closest stations for embarking and disembarking are the Cardeal Arcoverde and Siqueira Campos.
“We have volunteers in all major subway stations of Rio de Janeiro ready to provide information. If in doubt, feel free to ask us. We will know how to help. We are prepared," says volunteer Leonardo Carneiro, 18, who also commented that subway access will be free from 7 AM to 11 PM for ticket-bearing fans going to the Maracanã to watch the match.
According to the security operation for the World Cup, the bars in the surrounding areas of the Maracanã will be closed and access to the subway stations will be restricted. The Secretariat of Public Security of Rio de Janeiro will employ about 26,000 police officers from the State, Civil, Federal and Federal Highway Police forces, plus troops from the National Public Safety Force and the Armed Forces (who also participate in the scheme).
Since the closing ceremony starts at 2.20 PM, the recommendation from the volunteers is for fans to arrive as early as possible. “It is best to arrive around 12 PM or 1 PM on Sunday, before the closing ceremony, because the flow of people will be quieter at these times and the fans will have time to take pictures without having to do anything in a rush," says Cleiton.
FIFA Fan Fest
In Copacabana, due to the broadcast of matches at the FIFA Fan Fest during the weekend, the Atlântica Avenue will be closed as of 7 am on Saturday and on Sunday, being repurposed as a leisure area during closure times. “I recommend enjoying the beach, which is beautiful, and enjoying the party just as much, always acting responsible and safe," says Cleiton.
The FIFA Fan Fest runs from 11 am to 11 pm on Copacabana Beach. Admission is free, and fans can follow the closing ceremony and the final match in a 150-square-metre screen. The fun is guaranteed with performances by samba schools Acadêmicos do Salgueiro and Unidos da Tijuca.