The Maracana Stadium is one of the iconic football stadiums in the world. The construction of this gigantic building started in 1948 to make it ready for the 1950 World Cup. The stadium was again renovated to open the 2014 World Cup. We offer a guided tour through the city center which might include the Maracana Stadium and other sites in Rio de Janeiro.
It is a very popular tourist destination and every year, thousands and thousands of visitors come to Rio to see it. If you are here, then the Maracana Stadium is a place that you must not miss. Guided visits are offered daily, but if you are lucky enough, you can even enjoy a live sports match in the stadium. Matches held in this stadium are among the most exciting in the world so if you do get a chance to watch one live, do not miss it.
Tickets to the stadium are reasonably priced and it is quite easy to get there as well. You can share a cab or take a 10-minute walk from Maracana Station. One-hour tours are available from 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon so you are completely flexible with your schedule. Guides are also bilingual which gives you an added advantage as a visitor.
The official name for Maracana is Estádio Mário Filho and it was constructed to become the largest football stadium in the world. The stadium was opened on 16 June 1950 with a match between players from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The 1950 World Cup started eight days later with Mexico and Brazil playing the opening match. The final was held between Brazil and Uruguay and the official attendance was close to 200,000 paying spectators. Although the stadium got its official name in 1966, many people still refer to it as Maracana.
The stadium did not undergo any major changes until the 1990s. Sadly, a deathly incident took place and as a result its capacity was reduced greatly. In 2007, Brazil got the chance to host the World Cup 2014 and since Maracana Stadium had to host the final of the championship, it had to undergo a massive redevelopment. In 2010, building works started and following the building of a new roof and bottom tier, it had a capacity of 79,000 seats. With a friendly match between England and Brazil, the stadium reopened on the 2nd of June 2013. Although the state of Rio de Janeiro owns the stadium, it has become home to clubs such as Flamengo and Fluminense. There were some reconstructions for the Soccer World Cup 2014; watch the video to learn more on this:
Being a very popular tourist attraction of Rio de Janeiro, Maracana continues to attract football fans from across the globe. Visitors can take home souvenirs or enjoy the view from the Glass Tower which is also known as Torre de Vidro.
It is quite easy to reach the Maracana Stadium because it is located just 5 km from downtown Rio, the beach areas Ipanema and Copacabana are only 12 km away. When visiting, it is possible to access the stadium by train or metro.
The tour starts right at the gate where the statue of Bellini stands who was the captain of the Brazilian national team during the World Cup of 1958. This is one of the famous spots where tourists and visitors stop by to take pictures before they start their tour. At the entrance, you will also find feet marks of famous football players left in the cement. Inside the stadium, you can follow the history of Brazilian football and get more details about the construction of the Maracana on panels and murals.
Visitors can also enjoy the panoramic view of the stadium, check out the warm up areas of the players and end their tour in the field. Every now and then, mega shows starring major artists and celebrities from around the world are organized at Maracana. Some of those who have already performed there include Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. Right next to the stadium is Célio de Barros which is the Olympic Stadium and a smaller bowl that has a capacity of 20,000.