Few people know the charm that Belo Horizonte hide inside. It’s a city where as soon as you arrive you’ll feel the dry and perfect weather, know really kind and warm people, try delicious and plentiful food, and the best, you will find an open and friendly city with your student pocket. It’s impossible not to fall for Belo Horizonte. I made a list of some things you can’t miss when you pass through the capital of Minas Gerais, state of Brazil
1. Try cachaça in the central market
If you want to find some souvenir to bring home, you must go to the Central Market of the city. The staff won’t hesitate to make you try all types of cachaça. One recommendation, don’t go with an empty stomach. There, you will be able to experience the most unusual types of cachaça you ever imagined. I recommend you try the passion fruit (maracujá) and coconut ones.
Also, there are the traditional pubs where you can have the liver with Jiló, a traditional appetizer of the people who go to drink some beers.
2. Have breakfast in the Caixa D’agua lookout point.
If you have a car available, don’t miss the view from this place. It has just the best panoramic view of the city. It’s impossible not to fall for Belo Horizonte while you eat a Pão de queijo sitting under the blue sky of Minas. You can also go to Mangabeiras Park which has another great viewpoint.
3. Visit the Astronomical terrace in the Knowledge Space (Espaço do Conhecimento).
If you like astronomy or simply like to admire the night sky, this is your place. The roof space of knowledge Space of UFMG opens to visitors on Thursdays from 19h to 21h. Admission is and passwords are distributed from 17:30. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn about the stars, constellations and take a look at the sky with a telescope. The roof terrace closes if there is no good weather, it is good to take a look at the website or call before going.
4. Walk through downtown
The center of Belo Horizonte is pretty cool because you can walk to all points of interest without a problem. Since the Municipal Park, where you will find the Palace of the Arts, can continue towards freedom square (Praça da Liberdade), through Av. João Pinheiros. You will find the Mining Museum and the Miner Public Archives, at the end, will reach the cultural circuit of Praça da Liberdade. Make sure to visit the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil which besides being an architectural masterpiece always has a great art exhibition. Also the Minas Gerais Memorial, the Museum of Mining and Metal, the UFMG Knowledge Space, Palácio da Liberdade, Niemeyer Building and the State Public Library.
If you still have the energy to do more walking you can go to Raul Soares Square and take down the Av. Amazonas to the Seven Square.
5. Drink coconut water at Pampulha Lagoon
During the weekends, people love to go to the Pampulha Lagoon. An architectural complex designed by Oscar Niemeyer, with beautiful open spaces to take a walk, run or ride a bike. There you can visit the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Casa do Baile, the Minerão stadium, the Art Museum and the Zoo of the city. If the weather gets too warm, you can have a chilled coconut water.
6. Join for a beer at Praça Savassi
Iconic square in the city center concentrates the Bohemia life of Belo Horizonte. You’ll find several options of bars, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops to suit all tastes. At night, the tables in the square give it of cool and relaxed air that will make your visit to the center a good time to relax and experience the city.
7. Living a Virada Cultural
The Virada Cultural is an event made famous in São Paulo. Two days of multiple cultural events around the center of the city without interruption and without any cost. If you have the opportunity to live this experience in Belo Horizonte I highly recommend it. You will have for sure a wonderful night with the company of lovely people.
8. Spend a day at the Inhotim Institute
Just an hour by bus from Belo Horizonte is the largest collection of contemporary art in Brazil. You could miss any other place in Minas Gerais, but this one. You will not regret it. It’s looks like you’re in another world. The art exhibits are simply wonderful, as the gardens and buildings of the Institute.
Tuesdays (non-holiday) the visit is free. I recommend you taking a snack or something to eat because the prices inside the place are pretty high. There is a single bus from Belo Horizonte bus terminal at 8:15h returning at 16:30.
Belo Horizonte is a multicultural city that can offer you all kinds of tourism. You just have to arrive and soon you’ll find a corner in the city to fall for her. Do not miss this incredible destination in Minas Gerais.