Maracanã Football Stadium
Image by Giovani Cordioli Getty Images
For a quasi-psychedelic experience, go to a futebol match at Maracanã, Brazil’s temple to football (soccer). Matches here rate among the most exciting in the world, particularly during a championship game or when local rivals Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense or Botafogo go head-to-head. Games take place year-round and generally happen on a Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.
For a behind the scenes look at the stadium, take a tour. You’ll get to see the press box, the grand stand, and the locker rooms, then stroll through the tunnel and out onto the field. You’ll also visit a room that pays tribute to Brazilian legends who made history here like Pelé and Garrincha. Tours (around $40) take place from 9am to 5pm, though on game days the last tour starts four hours before kick-off.