Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup Brazil city guide: Fortaleza

BBC Brazil's Camilla Costa offers an insider's view of the 12 cities hosting matches in this year's Fifa World Cup tournament.

Fortaleza

Overview

Image copyright Google
Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Fortaleza is a major tourist destination

The city of Fortaleza was born around a fortress built by the Dutch.

Now, it's the richest of the Brazilian north-eastern state capitals and is known for its 30km (20 miles) of beautiful beaches, such as Praia do Futuro.

Even in June, during the Brazilian winter, temperatures can reach as high as 31C (88F).

On the not so bright side, the city has seen an increase in violence linked to social inequality.

Venue

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stadium Castelao. Capacity: 64,846.

Stadium Castelao, the first stadium ready for the World Cup, was originally built in 1968.

It was completely renovated to become Brazil's first green stadium - and it has an international certificate to prove it.

The arena's stunning facade is covered in a so-called glass skin which reflects sunshine and reduces heat.

Even though it's a traditional sporting venue, the stadium attracted its biggest crowd during a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1980. A staggering 120,000 people attended.

Culture and cuisine

Image copyright Thiago Gaspar
Image caption Savoury or sweet: you decide what filling you want

Fortaleza is one of the best places for seafood in Brazil. But alongside its shrimp and crab dishes, it is also well-known for a crepe made with cassava flour, known as tapioca. Fillings range from beef jerky and cheese to banana.

The city's Iracema beach - named after a character created by one of Brazilian literature's founding fathers, Jose de Alencar - is where the city's bohemians gather to drink and dance in bars and clubs until dawn.

Visitors often take home a hammock.

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