What to see and do in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
September 13, 2019
by Luli Monteleone
Outside the traditional circuit of tourism in Brazil, Belo Horizonte is an excellent destination option to get to know the Brazilian culture better. Located in the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil, Belo Horizonte is a large city that hasn’t lost the charm of a country village. The capital of Minas Gerais brings together the best of the state: impeccable cuisine, beautiful architecture, great parks and a lot of culture.
Must see attractions in Belo Horizonte
Lagoa da Pampulha
Called affectionately by the locals as BH, the main postcard of the city is Lagoa da Pampulha, a beautiful lagoon located in the city center. In addition to enjoying nature and relaxing, you can find a lot of attractions around it to visit. There you can see the first three works created by architect Oscar Niemeyer, composing the “Conjunto Moderno da Pampulha”.
Formerly used as a casino, the Pampulha Art Museum houses an extensive collection of contemporary Brazilian artwork. The building called “Casa do Baile” (House of dances) is landscaped by Burle Marx and houses exhibitions and events about architecture. The St. Francis of Assisi Church is one of the most famous spots in the city and also has gardens created by Burle Marx. Inside, you can admire tile panels created by Cândido Portinari.
Circuito da Liberdade
In the city center, visit the “Circuito da Liberdade”, which brings together 16 institutions in a historic area. There are several museums and cultural centers, many within historic palaces, forming a beautiful architectural ensemble. Built-in 1898, the Liberty Palace catches the eye of those passing by. The lush architecture is complemented by richly decorated décor and English-style gardens. The space can be visited free of charge on Sundays.
Delicious and typical food
Cosmopolitan, Belo Horizonte offers a multitude of restaurants, from the most traditional to the most refined. The cuisine of the world is present, but the star is the typical food of Minas Gerais, called as “Comida mineira”. Cheese bread, pork rinds, “cachaça” (a typical brandy) and other delicacies can be tasted in many places around the city.
It is in the Central Market that you will find all the flavors of Minas Gerais gathered. The traditional space brings together dozens of merchants selling cheese, fruits, spices and even local crafts. A real party for all the senses!
On Saturdays, it is worth checking out the Tom Jobim Fair, on Candaraí Avenue, 3km from the city center. About 30 exhibitors are selling the best of local and international cuisine. All accompanied by a good Brazilian popular music!
Be sure to do as the locals and enjoy a late afternoon in a typical bar, sipping a cold beer while enjoying some snacks. After all, BH is known as the “world capital of bars”!
Just 62km from Belo Horizonte is the largest collection of contemporary art in Brazil. The Inhotim Institute brings together more than 500 works, exhibited in galleries, rooms and also outdoors. Visited by people from all over the world, the space also has a Botanical Garden with over 400 hectares. No wonder the place has earned the title of largest museum of contemporary open-air art in the world. A delightful walk to do on a sunny day with your family and friends!