Belo Horizonte is the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais and is the country’s third largest metropolitan region, with 4.8 million inhabitants. It is also one of the country’s main business tourist destinations. Founded on 12 December 1897, Belo Horizonte was the country's first planned city. National capital of bars - the city has more bars per capita than any other big city in Brazil -, Belo Horizonte has a surprising and simmering nightlife, able to cater for a great variety of tastes. There is a great offer of traditional bars on street corners, wine bars, pubs and cafés, in addition to sophisticated restaurants that serve the best of the international cuisine.
Belo Horizonte was also one of the host cities of the 1950 World Cup and was the stage of matches with England, United States, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Bolivia and Uruguay.
The new Mineirão shall be the venue of six 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil matches. Four games in the group stage and two in the knock-out phase. In the second round, the winner of Group A will play the second place in Group B on 28 June. Therefore, if Brazil qualifies first in Group A, they will play in Belo Horizonte. If Brazil makes it to the semi-final, they will play at the Mineirão again, on 8 July.
Main tourist attractions
Cheese bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, cold beer, several types of cheese, meat to eat in and take away, handcrafts for consumers and artists, chillies, cachaça (Brazilian sugar cane spirit), hairdressers, flowers, real estate, trinkets, musical instruments, fried scarlet eggplant, medicinal herbs and many other things. The list of things one may find at the Central Market is indeed very long. Address: Avenida Augusto de Lima, 744
Telephone: + 55 (31) 3274-9434
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 07:00am to 07:00pm, Saturdays from 07:00am to 06:00pm, Sundays and holidays from 07:00am to 01:00pm.
Liberdade Square Circuit
The Cultural Circuit at Liberdade Square is ideal to get to know a little about Belo Horizonte's history. It is a rich complex with cultural venues, in addition to the Liberdade Palace and the Tancredo Neves Tourist Support Centre. Each building, which was used by a State Secretariat before, has been turned into a cultural venue open to visitation.
Developed in the 1940s, the Pampulha Complex is a bold and modern compound, made up by Saint Francis Church, the Art Museum, the Ballet House and the Yacht Tennis Club. The buildings were designed by Oscar Niemeyer, with panels by Portinari, landscaping by Burle Marx and sculptures by Ceschiatti, Zamoiski and José Pedrosa. This innovative nature and proposals had an influence over Brazilian modern architecture. More recently, other attractions were incorporated to the complex, such as the Mineirão Stadium, the Mineirinho, the Pampulha Ecological Park and the São Francisco Basin Aquarium.
Address: Avenida Otacílio Negrão de Lima - Pampulha
Inhotim – (56 km from Belo Horizonte)
The Inhotim Institute was devised in the mid-80s. In 1984, landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx visited the venue and provided a few suggestions and recommendations for the gardens. Since then, the landscape project grew and went through several changes. Inhotim’s artistic collection includes around 500 pieces of work, from over 100 artists, from 30 different countries. The garden collection is today better represented by groups with good landscape and phylogenetic value. In all, there are over 4,700 species, representing 181 plant families, 953 genera and approximately 4,300 vascular plant species. Such diversity makes Inhotim a very unique place.
Address: Rua B, 20 – Brumadinho/Minas Gerais
Telephone: (31) 3571-9700/ 3571-6638/ 3223-8224
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 09:30am to 04:30pm, Saturday, Sundays and Holidays from 09:30am to 05:30pm. Free admission on Tuesdays. An entry fee is charged on the other days.
Transport – Viação Saritur – Platform F2 at Belo Horizonte Coach Station - leaving at 09:15am from Tuesday to Friday and returning on 04:30pm. Weekends and holidays, the return journey takes place at 05:30pm.
Ouro Preto - (100 km from Belo Horizonte)
Built in colonial times, Ouro Preto’s urban outline is integrated into the landscape and the town is home to several prominent monuments. All of this resulted in the town being the first Brazilian site to be inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List. The old Vila Rica (Rich Villa) was founded in the end of the 17th Century. Rich in history, art, culture, religion and politics Ouro Preto has been the setting of important happenings that stood out in the national development process. Considered the most important town during the gold cycle, Ouro Preto is home to several baroque buildings that serve as examples of humanity’s creative genius and the place’s cultural tradition.
São João Del Rei – (186 km from Belo Horizonte)
The town is a mixture of architecture styles, from baroque to modern, seen in the old streets, the hundred year old churches and colonial townhouses. At the same time, the town is famous for its popular celebrations. Tourists may take an old train ride and be taken back to Colonial times. The train was built in 1881 and links up the towns of São João del-Rei and Tiradentes, which is 8km away.
Tiradentes – (194 km from Belo Horizonte)
Founded in 1702, when people from São Paulo found gold in the São José Mountain, the town is listed by the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN) as it houses a bit of the history of the state of Minas Gearis in its churches and houses. In addition to being able to taste some of the local cuisine, tourists may also visit waterfalls and hike through the region. Tourists may walk through the town's historic streets and roads, reaching the Forras Square, the Riosário dos Pretos Church and the São José Fountain.
Climate: high altitude tropical
Average temperature: 22.2 C
Population: 2,375,151 people
Vegetation Cerrado (Brazilian Savannah like vegetation)
Atlantic Forest Area: 331,400 km²
Altitude: 852 metres
Area code 31
Voltage: 110 V
For further information:
Minas Gerais State Extraordinary Secretariat for the World Cup (SECOPA-Minas Gerais)
+ 55 (31) 3916-0477
Alô Turismo (Hello Tourist)
State Tourism Secretariat
Telephone: (31) 3270-8501
Tourist Information Bureau
Pampulha Airport: Praça Bagatelle, 204 - Telephone: (31) 3246-8015.
Tancredo Neves International Airport - Telephone: (31) 3689-2557
Belotur: Rua Pernambuco, 284 - Telephone: (31) 3277-9754
Bus Station: Rio Branco Square – Telephone: (31) 31 3277-6907
Open Media Centre - Belo Horizonte