A set of multiple expressions, from varied faces, ethnicities and religions make Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul into a place where contrasts and differences are always welcome. The city was founded in 1772 by Portuguese couples from the Azores. Throughout the following centuries, it has become home to immigrants from all over the world, particularly Germans, Italians, Spanish, Africans, Polish and Lebanese, as well as Catholics, Jewish, Protestants and Muslims.
Considered one of the best Brazilian metropolises in terms of quality of life by the United Nations Organization (UN), it has over a million trees in its streets and has been awarded 80 awards and titles. Consequently, it is one of the best cities in the country to live in, work at, do business, study and have fun.
Main tourist attractions
Brique da Redenção
Brique da Redenção is one of Porto Alegre’s most visited and traditional spots. Basically, it is a big art fair that since 1978, when it was called the Flea Market, has turned the Redenção Park into Porto Alegre’s most popular and visited spot on Sundays. There is a little of everything at the Brique, for instance, one can buy antiques, drawings, paintings, handcrafts and try a few tasty snacks from the state of Bahia and Arabic spices.
Opening hours: Sundays from 09:00am to 05:00pm
Address: Avenida José Bonifácio – by Farroupillha Park
Mario Quintana Culture House
It is housed in the building of the old and posh Hotel Majestic. In fact, the building underwent restoration in 1990 and in 1982 it was listed by the state. The name pays homage to one of Brazil’s most important poets, Mario Quintana, who lived at the hotel for almost fifteen years. The centre is one of the most complete culture houses in Latin America. It has two theatres with capacity for 300 people, plus five rooms where performances may be held, able to cater for between 20 and 148 people.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 09:00am to 09:00pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00pm to 09:00pm
Address: Rua dos Andradas, 736 – Centro Histórico
Phone: (51) 3221-7147
Rio Grande do Sul Art Museum (MARGS)
The prominent building on Alfandega Square, measuring close to five thousand square metres was designed by German architect Theo Wiederspaghn and built in 1913 to house the Tax Office. Since 1978, the sumptuous building, with stained glass windows and ornaments has been home of the Rio Grande do Sul Art Museum (MARGS). The permanent collection is considered one of the most important in the country. Twentieth century Rio Grande do Sul art is the basis of the collection, which features works from artists like Iberê Camargo, Glauco Rodrigues, Alice Brueggemann, Maria Lídia Magliani and Carlos Scliar. In relation to Brazilian art, there is a section with paintings from Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Lasar Segall, Guignard, Manaby Mabe, among others. In relation to foreign paintings, there are some valuable European items dating back to the end of the 19th century and from other Latin American contemporary artists.
Praça da Alfândega, s/n – Centro Histórico
Phone: (51) 32212646
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00am to 07:00pm - free admission
São Pedro Theatre
Inaugurated in 1858, when Porto Alegre was called São Pedro Province, the venue is considered one of the most beautiful theatres in the country. The building features a Baroque Portuguese style on the outside, and on the inside, it is decorated in velvet and gold. The seats in the theatre are spread out in the shape of a horseshoe, a characteristic of Italian venues at the time. The building has been listed by the State Historic Heritage Institute since 1984. Theatre’s Café. Set up in the upper foyer, it takes up a wide balcony with outdoor tables overlooking Matriz Square. It is a good place for a happy hour, famous for its theme based menus inspired by works from exhibitions. It is open between Tuesdays and Fridays, from 12:00pm to 09:00pm, and from 12:00pm to 07:00pm when there is a show on.
Address: Praça Marechal Deodoro, s/n – Centro Histórico
Phone: (51) 3227-5100
The building was officially opened in 1869 and it provides a link to the city's memory, tradition, diversity, beauty and imagination. Over 100 thousand people move between the 107 stalls and shops spread throughout the Public Market’s two storeys every day. In addition to being listed as a historic and cultural heritage site of Porto Alegre, one can find practically anything at the market: pproducts and utensils from Rio Grande do Sul, exotic fruit and vegetables, spices and delicacies from the international cuisine, Afro-Brazilian religious items, handcrafts, bakeries, wine and cachaça shops. In this festival of smells, colours and taste, there are also cosy cafés and the famous homemade ice cream from stall 40, as well as cold beer and great restaurants.
Address: Lago Glênio Peres s/n – Centro Histórico
Phone: (51) 3289-4800
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 07:30am to 07:30pm. Saturdays from 07:30am to 06:30pm. Except for Saturdays, restaurants stay open till late
The Guaíba Lake is part of Porto Alegre’s landscape identity. The waterfront extends over a distance of 72 km and is one of the city’s busiest outdoor leisure areas. Several boats offer trips through the Guaíba and Jacuí Delta canals. On these trips, visitors may visit 16 islands, canals, swamps and marshes that result from the meeting of the rivers Gravataí, Sinos, Caí and Jacuí. In fact, it is the waters that come through the Delta that make up the Guaíba Lake, whose waters follow onto Patos Lagoon and then, onto the Atlantic Ocean. The boat trips provide visitors with an opportunity to see Porto Alegre's best views, as well as the yellow warehouses on Mauá Port, which reminds us of the city's port based origin. Another excellent choice is to visit Ipanema Beach, on the city’s south zone, where one may take a stroll by the lake and enjoy the many bars and restaurants on the waterfront. It is one of the best spots in the city to watch the sunset over the Guaíba Lake, considered by locals one of the most beautiful in the world.
Area: 496 694 km²
Altitude: 10 metres
Area code: 51
Voltage: 127 V
Temperature: average of 19.5 C Vegetation Atlantic Forest, marshes and pampa
Climate: humid subtropical
For further information
Rio Grande do Sul Government
+ 55 (51) 3288-9172 / 3288-9163 / 3288-9190
Porto Alegre City Hall
Extraordinary Secretariat for 2014 World Cup Related Matters - SECOPA
+ 55 (51) 3288-9172 / 3288-9163 / 3288-9190
Secretariat of Tourism
Tourist Police Station
+ 55 (51) 3371-2703
Open Media Centre – Porto Alegre
Address: Usina do Gasômetro - Avenida João Goulart, 551
10 June - 2 July, from 8:00 to 20:00
+55 51 3288-9164 // firstname.lastname@example.org