Exploring the Maracanã stadium

It is not so long ago that the final of the World Championship football was played at the Maracanã stadium. With 78.000 spectators, it is a reasonably sized stadium. However, it once provided place to 199.000 spectators. Even for those people that do not really like football, the history of the Maracanã stadium is worth to explore.

From our hotel at the Copacabana beach, we walked to a nearby metro station where we bought a ticket for $R 3.50. As soon as we inserted the ticket into the machine, it disappeared. Hmm..., we are used to travel with a ticket, not without a ticket. However, for the $R 3.50 you can travel anywhere in Rio de Janeiro. You just pay an access fee. We took the metro to the Maracanã stadium, which took about 25 minutes. Because the metro line runs above ground level near the Maracanã stadium, you already have a pretty good sight on the stadium.

The Maracanã stadium

We asked whether there was an opportunity to go on a guided tour. Unfortunately, the next tour was about to leave in two hours. As we didn't want to wait two hours, we bought a ticket for $R 30,- and an audio guide to explore the Maracanã stadium ourselves. The only difference with the guided tour is that we couldn't see the walk of fame.
Because we were one of the first tourists for the day, staff was very helpful to direct us in the right direction. On every corner, at every door, and at every viewpoint, one or more employees of the Maracanã stadium asked if we needed any help. Perhaps we were looking rather desperate...
We followed the directions towards the upper floor: the press area. While listening to the audio guide, we hear that the upper seats are reserved for online media and the lower seats for the traditional media. Then, the audio guide directs us to take a look at the roof, which seems to float in the air. A beautiful construction.

Exploring the Maracanã stadium

One floor down, we entered the VIP lounge. Blatter, Merkel and other very important guests have walked in this area. We were also given the opportunity to try out some of the chairs. And they are just fine. By the way, a funny fact is that because of the severe obesity problem in Brazil, they have installed 120 extra wide chairs. Even in the VIP part of the stadium.

Exploring the Maracanã stadium

Maracanã stadium

Another floor down, we entered the 'normal' part of stand. Dozens of yellow and blue chairs separated us fromthe football field.

Exploring the Maracanã stadium

Because we felt it was time to go to the playing field, we headed for the ground floor. Via the dressing rooms where all star players of the World Championship are honored, we walked through the tunnel to the football field. In our case, the stadium was empty. No visitors. Our names were not being called out. None of that whatsoever. Yet, it still felt special to walk through the tunnel and see the field in front of you. It must have been an amazing experience for all those players to walk here. And when you exit the tunnel, you are on the football field. Ok, not really, as access to the grass is not allowed. We were only allowed access around the two dugouts. Sitting in the chair where normally one of the football coaches would sit and looking up towards the roof of the stadium... we could only think about what an incredible experience it must be to sit here during a match. And then to imagine that the stadium seated 199.000 spectators in the past. What a crowd...

Exploring the Maracanã stadium

Walking towards the field in the Maracanã stadium

When we left the field again, we walked through one of the press rooms after which we finished our tour. Every single location within the stadium is supplemented by an elaborated explanation on the audio guide. You therefore won't miss any details about the stadium. The audio guide is therefore a great way to explore the Maracanã stadium. But go early, when we left it was pretty busy already. Especially with school children that made quite some noise.

Panorama Maracanã stadium

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