World Cup 2014: A guide for England fans travelling to Brazil, including budget options, when to book, where to stay and match ticket information

The Three Lions are going to Brazil - and you could be too...

England are on their way to Brazil for the final stages of the World Cup finals – which means that thousands of fans are in a quandary. The host nation is vast, as big as the continental US. So should fans commit now to flying to, and staying in, a particular location, and risk England being drawn to play many hundreds of miles away? Or wait until the draw for the group stage takes place in December, and risk even higher prices and lower availability? Our travel guide can help you decide.

Q What if someone wakes up this morning and says "Right, I'm flying down to Rio"?

Fares for flights between the UK and Brazil immediately before the tournament starts on 12 June have soared since England qualified. The starting price for a London-Rio return is around £2,000. Of course even though Rio is the premier venue, and where England will be based, this could take you to the wrong location for the group stage matches. We won't know until the draw for the groups takes place on 6 December.

To guarantee the first three group games, Thomson Sport has a £7,000 package that includes flights from the UK, two weeks' accommodation (with breakfast) in good hotels in the three host cities, and transfers. It does NOT include tickets. The company says that just after Gerrard scored the second goal, traffic on the website went up by 400 per cent.

 

Q What about places to stay? Most cities seem to be completely full already.

As with the London Olympics, a large number of rooms have been set aside for Fifa, officially organised tours, media etc. It is likely that some of these will be released for sale, either shortly after the draw on 6 December or in the few months before the tournament. But rooms in Rio, where the final is played on 13 July, are certainly going to be at a premium. One specialist said rates for good hotels are currently running at £400-£1,000 per room per night, with many accepting only bookings that cover the duration of the tournament.

 

Q Would it be a sensible move to book now?

Yes, if you want some certainty. If you wait until 4pm on 6 December, you will see mighty spikes in hotel and flight prices to wherever England are drawn to play. But by booking now you will be taking a punt, of course, and could end up a thousand miles from where England will play.

 

Q In travel terms, which is the dream group - and what would the group of death be?

Group G is easily the most appealing, with the four fine cities on Brazil's north-east - Salvador, Recife, Natal and Fortaleza - plus the capital, Brasilia, and alluring Manaus in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Beaches, wildlife and architecture in a single group, with relatively easy travel between the grounds (though you'll be flying to Manaus).

Group E, in contrast, looks awful. It has three of the same cities - Salvador, Brasilia and Manaus - but also includes Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Rio. In other words, it's all over the place, with consequently high prices and logistical problems getting between the matches.

 

Q How easy will it be to find transport to the games within Brazil?

That depends on your tolerance for long bus journeys; while there's a big domestic airline operation, capacity will be limited and fares sky-high. But the bus is the backbone of transport in Brazil, and some of them are really luxurious, with lie-flat beds and a hostess on hand supplying refreshments. The other advantage is, if you travel by night, you won't need hotel accommodation - which of course is going to be scarce.

 

Q What else should I do when I'm there?

The two icons of Brazil are Rio and the Amazon. The former is going to be crazy during the tournament, while the latter will be refreshingly accessible; many "normal" tours are being cancelled during the World Cup, leaving plenty of availability. The other area that appeals is the Pantanal, close to the Bolivian border and full of enthralling wildlife. It is also reasonably accessible from Brazil's southern cities.

 

Q And tickets?

Good luck. Some tickets have already been sold through fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/, and another tranche go on sale 5-28 November - of course before the draw is made. Things will get really lively on 8 December, when sales re-start. A good strategy, if you are not fussed about following England and simply want to watch some exciting football: pick a location such as Recife and try to get tickets for all four group matches - from 14 to 26 June.

 

Q Clearly money will buy anything, up to and including tickets to the final - but if you want a budget experience, what's the best advice?

Head for the capital, Brasilia. Air France has just announced a new non-stop flight to the city from Paris, with connections from airports across the UK. Brasilia is not the most exciting place in the world - think Crawley or Milton Keynes on steroids. But fares are much lower than to Rio, and because it's a government town there are plenty of hotel beds. Also, because few people will base themselves there, pressure on the transport links should be lower and fares cheaper.

Additional research by Amy Lewin

 

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game