06/12/2014 08:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Don't Be An Ignorant Tourist In Brazil This World Cup. Follow These 17 Tips

The time has come, and as it turns out #ThereWillBeAWorldCup.

If you've got tickets to the big games, you're probably in the midst of packing -- er, running around borderline hyperventilating from excitement. Or you could be on a plane RIGHT NOW. Point is, you're going to Brazil.

Before we lose you completely to the religious fervor that essentially IS the World Cup, here are a few tips for you to stay sharp, avoid a few cultural faux pas and have the trip of your life. From Brazil, with love...

1. Don't assume Brazilians speak Spanish -- Portuguese and Spanish are totally different languages.


If you want to learn a few words in Portuguese, just ask -- we LOVE teaching. Here, we'll even throw you some basics right now: "oi" [oy-ee] is "hi" and "tchau" [chow] is "bye." You're a natural.

2. No talk of politics at the bar stool.


Unless you truly understand what's going on, let's not. We're in this Cup for better or worse, so let's just focus on the beautiful game.

3. Argentina isn't going to win, so let's not even joke about it. OK?

argentina loses soccer game

There's a huge rivalry here and we could write books about how Pelé is a better player than Maradona. You can joke about Argentina with other people.

4. Head's up: Some airports and stadiums may be unfinished.

airport construction world cup

If it looks incomplete, it probably is, so don't mess with it. Let's stay safe out there.

5. Traffic is going to be unbelievably excruciating, because guess what? This is real life.

sao paulo road traffic

600,000 tourists are expected to arrive in Brazil for the World Cup. You're NOT going to make it to the stadium in 20 minutes -- plan accordingly.

6. If riots break out, steer clear.

brazil police protests

There have been quite a few protests in these recent months leading up to this event, and last year's Confederation's Cup final (also in Brazil) turned violent as people gathered outside the stadiums. The chances of this going off without any sort of chaos are very low.

7. And remember, not every part of every city is safe.

rio de janeiro with favela in background

This is probably too fragile a time to go exploring. But if you must, cling to trustworthy people that know the area like the back of their hands.

8. Please note: Not all Brazilians can teach you how to samba.

Not all of our people are genetically predisposed to be dancing queens and kings. Some of us have absolutely no rhythm.

9. Actually while you're here, get to know some other styles of music.

pearls negras

Like Brazilian pop, funk, frevo, tecnobreja and sertanejo.

10. A majority of Brazilians have never been to the Amazon. In others words, this is not a good conversation starter.

manaus brazil

Sorry, most of us probably won't be able to help out with tips on where to go and eat in Manaus. But if you'd like some travel tips to other cities in Brazil, we'll probably have you covered.

11. Eat all the foods, drink all the drinks.

coxinha and caipirinha

Get out of your hotels -- visit the local bars and eateries that are sure to be alive with excitement during the games. Try a coxinha (mmm, with cheesy catupiry) and Brazilian cocktails called caiprinhas are a must. Kibe and pastéis are also delicious. But as is true of street food in any foreign country (especially fruits and juices that have been sitting out in the sun for a while), be careful where you buy.


brazilian beach

Basic tip here but very, very important.

13. Your weather forecast: humid with a chance of tropical rains and wind. Some scorching hot days may appear.

humidity brazil

Brazil is a huge country and weather will vary depending on what cities you'll be traveling to. If you plan on moving around a lot, come prepared for anything, except maybe snow.

14. Make sure to meet some Brazilians -- the people are what make this country great.


We know you've got your people here too, but this place won't be the same without local interaction. No seriously, it will be like you were never really here. Take advantage of soccer being the universal language for a few weeks and make all the friends. ALL OF THEM.

15. As Brazil continues to win into the quarter finals and semi finals, excitement will increase accordingly.

brazil wins 2002 world cup

If we win the final, the party gods will bestow upon us a celebration like you've never seen before. Please be prepared.

16. However, if we make it to but somehow lose the final game, it was nice knowing you but you should leave as quickly as possible.

brazil soccer fan crying

We're kidding. Unless you're from the country that just beat us. Then seriously, LEAVE.

17. Just remember, Brazilians are generally some of the best people on the planet -- you're going to have a grand 'ole time out here!


So game on and let the world's greatest sporting event begin.



World Cup 2014 Playlist