Belo Horizonte Destination Guide
Belo Horizonte in Brazil is a repository of contemporary architecture. It is full of buildings which are of great cultural significance, many of which are to be found in the Pampulha district of Belo Horizonte. It is here that you can find the Mineirão Stadium, which is one of the biggest soccer stadiums in the world. It is also here that you will find prominent landmarks such as: the Igreja da Pampulha or the San Francisco de Assis Church, which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the world famous Modernist architect; the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais campus; and the Niemeyer and Mesbla buildings.
With exquisite natural beauty, historic cities, many museums and countless exciting attractions, you will never have a dull moment on a holiday in Belo Horizonte!
Use this Belo Horizonte destination guide to give you ideas about what there is to see and do during your travel to Belo Horizonte while our Belo Horizonte tours page provides some great tour options. Also, try to find a Belo Horizonte hotel close to your favorite attraction. More general information about what there is to do in the rest of Brazil can be found in our Brazil country guide.
Things to see & do in Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and human creativity. Thanks to the profusion of parks, trees and verdant squares, it is often referred to as Cidade Jardim, or the Garden City. Additionally, it is surrounded by beautiful mountains, waterfalls and caves. But along with this natural splendour, Belo Horizonte also offers a glimpse of both traditional and contemporary architecture. If the older neighbourhoods present classical and baroque architectural wonders, the newer neighbourhoods put forward the modernist versions with curves, so typical of architect Oscar Niemeyer's buildings.
Travel back in time
Travel back in history along the corridors of the baroque structures of Ouro Preto, an erstwhile colony. A World Heritage site, this ancient mining city is at a short driving distance from Belo Horizonte.
Belo Horizonte also offers many programmes, exhibitions, concerts, presentations and expositions that reflect a rich culture. To those seeking the bright lights, there are many nightclubs, bars and pubs, and a host of Belo Horizonte restaurants that offer the authentic cuisine of the state of Minas Gerais!
Belo Horizonte is a good base from which you can explore the state of Minas Gerais.
Downtown Belo Horizonte is the financial and commercial centre of the city, where you will find a variety of services and shops. It is here that you can see the buildings that bear Art Deco, neo classic and modernist styles of architecture.
Main attractions in the Centre
Praça Sete de Setembro (Sete de Setembro Square)
Sete de Setembro Square is the central spot of Belo Horizonte. Obelisk (Lollipop) stands here to commemorate the centenary of independence. This obelisk is also known as Pirulito da Praça Sete or Sete Square Lollipop. The section on Parks and Squares will give you additional information.
Parque Municipal AméricoReneé Gianetti (Municipal Park)
The premier green spot in the city, the Municipal Park covers an extensive area of downtown Belo Horizonte with more than 50 centennial trees. Once in the park, visit the Francisco Nunes Theatre, the Palácio des Artes and the Orchidarium. Children can enjoy themselves with the toys found in this garden. The section on Parks and Squares will give you additional information.
Palácio das Artes (Palace of Arts)
The Palácio das Artes is a repository of culture in Minas Gerais. The building has three galleries that display different art forms, three theatres, a cinema, a café, a bookshop and an enclosure for exhibitions. Throughout the year, there are exhibitions, displays, music and dance performances and operas taking place in some part of the Palácio. The Palácio, which like many other buildings here was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, is a must see for the culturally inclined.
Mercado Central (Central Market)
The Mercado Central is a complete tourist experience. It has over 400 shops and establishments, restaurants and bars. From vegetables, fruits, cheeses, meats and sweets to handicrafts, herbs and pets, you can find them all at the Mercado Central. Our Belo Horizonte shopping guide gives you more information.
The Church of Saint Joseph
The Church of Saint Joséph was built in 1910. It possesses Dutch features and is built in the Manuelino style. The interiors of the church are decorated with murals and paintings by Guilherme Schumacher, a German artist.
Igreja da Boa Viagem
This grand church is built in the neo-Gothic style in honour of Our Lady of Boa Viagem, patroness of Belo Horizonte. The lofty altar, built of Carrara marble, and the windows with cut glass make this church a feast for the eyes.
Igreja Nossa Senhora de Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes Church)
Built in a Gothic style, the Igreja Nossa Senhora de Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes Church) started being constructed together with the capital, but was officially inaugurated only in 1923. In 1958 it was upgraded to a Basilica by Pope Pio XII. At the left of the building there is a grotto and an image of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was donated to the church by Mr. Luiz de Rezende.
Festivals, Cafes and Cultural Centres
Feira de Arte e Artesanato da Afonso Pena (Afonso Pena Arts and Craft Fair)
Every Sunday morning, there is a fair on the Afonso Pena Avenue. If you find yourself free on a Sunday morning, then do visit this fair. You may pick up something unusual.
Praça de Estacão (Station Square)
This square is the venue for many festivals and music performances that are held all through the year. The Museum of Arts and Crafts is one of the highlights of this square. The section on Parks and Squares will give you additional information.
The Café Nice, built in 1939, offers a slice of the history of Belo Horizonte. A favourite spot for many celebrities and politicians including Juscelino Kubitscheck, it is one of the most traditional eateries in Belo Horizonte.
Inimá de Paula Museum
The museum was opened recently, on 29 April 2008. The building was inaugurated in 1932 and has since been renovated into a museum. The Museum Inimá de Paula was named after an important painter from the Minas Gerais state. It possesses dozens of his works of art, displayed permanently on the second and third floor. The last floor is separated to receive itinerant expositions, from Brazilian and Foreign artists. The museum also boasts a Café and auditorium to hold 151 people.
Moreira Salles Institute
The institute was founded by Walter Moreira Salles in 1990. It promotes and develops exclusively cultural programs, divided in five main areas: photography, literature, cinema, plastic arts and Brazilian music. The features that make IMS different from other institutes in Brazil and abroad are many. First, it prefers to execute its own initiatives. Second, it prioritises medium and long term projects, in order to avoid those of a fleeting nature. The third difference is that IMS counts on Cultural centres in three Brazilian states: Minas Gerais (in Belo Horizonte and Poços de Caldas cities), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Besides cultural centres, the Institute also coordinates activities in Cinema Spaces Unibanco/ Unibanco Arteplex, which are exhibition rooms located in 9 cities in Brazil. Considering all the set, Instituto Moreira Salles and Cinema Spaces Unibanco/ Unibanco Arteplex /Unibanco Arteplex, they are the biggest private complex of culture and arts in the country.
Belo Horizonte has a number of museums that display the best of Brazil's culture and history. From literature and arts to paleontology, the museums have a lot to offer.
Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Pampulha Museum of Art)
The building that houses the museum was the first edifice to be designed and built by Oscar Niemeyer, the famous Brazilian architect who is credited with rebuilding Brazil. It was once a casino, but in 1946, the Brazilian government banned gambling and the casino was shut down. Later, in 1957, it was converted into a museum and called the "Crystal Palace". The gardens around the museum are designed by Burle Marx and have sculptures created by José Pedrosa, Zamoisski and Ceschiatti. Today, the museum has a good library, rooms with multimedia facilities, a souvenir store and a café.
Address: The Museu de Arte da Pampulha de Arte is located at Avenida Otacílio Negrão de Lima.16.585 - Pampulha.
Museu Mineiro (Mineiro Museum)
This museum is located in a hundred-year-old, eclectic style building that housed the erstwhile Senate of Minas Gerais. Don't miss the sizeable collection of Sacra Art as well as the many other exhibits that depict Mineiran culture.
Museu Abílio Baretto (Abílio Baretto Museum)
This museum is housed in a colonial style 19th-century building. It is thought to be older than Belo Horizonte itself. On display here is a significant collection of ceramics, furniture and art. The Abílio Baretto museum is located in the Curral D'El Ray village and was once the farm house of the Leitão family. It exhibits various documents and rare photographs that trace the origin, history and development of Belo Horizonte. The historic locomotive ‘Mariquinhas', and the altar and washbasin from the church of Boa Viagem are also on display here. In 1998, an annex to the museum was constructed. Today the museum boasts of one of the best cafés in town, and also has a lecture room and exhibition hall.
Address: Rua Bernardo Mascarenhas, s/n" - Cidade Jardim
Museu de Artes e Oficios (Arts and Crafts Museum)
The history of the industrial and technical aspects of Brazil is chronicled in the Artes e Oficios Museum. You can see here an array of tools, implements, sewing presses, lathes and other tools that were used in Brazil prior to industrialization. This museum is located downtown, in the old Central Station.
Museu de História Natural e Jardim Botânico da UFMG (Museum of Natural History and Botanical Garden of the UFMG)
Established in 1968, this garden stretches over an area of six thousand square meters. Apart from exhibits from the plant world, the museum also displays items of mineral and archaeological significance. There is an interactive laboratory where you can delve into the details of the exhibits. A high point of the museum is the "nativity scene" or the Presépio do Pipiripau. Designed by Raimundo Machado de Azavedo in 1906, this is a depiction of the life of Jesus in 45 scenes using more than 580 figures.
The 'Palacinho', the erstwhile weekend residence of the governors of Mineiros, is located on the grounds of these botanical gardens. Today this building is a resource centre for historical cartography.
Museu das Telecomunicaçoes (Museum of Telecommunications)
This museum was renovated and reopened on 6 February 2007. It traces the history and evolution of telecommunications in Brazil. On display are old machines that were used for communications, different types of telephones, telex machines, as well as the more recent models.
Museu de Mineralogia Prof. Djalma Guimarães (Museum of Mineralogy)
This museum, known as 'Rainha da Sucata' or Queen of Scrap Iron, is located in a futuristic building that is distinct from all the other buildings in the Praça da Liberdade. This is in itself an interesting tourist attraction. Inside, there is an extensive collection of almost 3000 pieces. Around 800 of these are on display. The exhibits comprise the various minerals found all over the world, their sources, uses and modern day applications. A must-see for the scientifically-inclined tourist.
Conservatório UFMG (UFMG Conservatory)
This conservatory, built in 1926, has been recently renovated and has two categories of exhibits. The collection called 'Brasiliana' comprises rare manuscripts and records of historic and artistic importance. The other is an anthology of Contemporary Mineira Art of the nineteen sixties. The Music Conservatory of UFMG is also situated in this building.
Museu do Giramundo (Giramundo Museum)
Giramundo museum is sure to bring out the child in you! The Giramundo Group is a very reputed theatre group that works only with puppets. Formed in 1970 by three artists, it presents plays and dramas, with a new set of puppets each time. After the performances, the puppets become part of the Giramundo museum. This museum has a collection of over 1100 puppets made of cloth, wood and plastic but only 500 in exhibition by now. The Museum also holds exhibitions and conducts workshops and courses on puppet theatre.
Museu de Ciencias Naturais PUC-MG (PUC - MG Museum of Natural Sciences)
This is the museum for those interested in paleontology and archaeology. It houses models of various fossils and dinosaurs, made to scale. You can pick up valuable information about the famous researcher Peter Lund. Travel back in time with the replica of the cave and excavations discovered by him in the 1800s! The museum charges a fee for entry.
Parque Municipal Américo Renné Giannetti (Municipal Park)
This park, which has been in existence since 1897, is older than the city of Belo Horizonte itself! Built along the lines of the parks of France during the Belle Époque, the Municipal Park is located right in the downtown of the city. The contrast between the natural beauty in the park and the urban surroundings is striking. Over 50 varieties of trees grow in this park and provide the perfect backdrop for boat rides on the lakes within. There is also a greenhouse displaying rare orchids. The park houses the Francisco Nunes theatre and the Palácio das Artes, apart from the basketball and tennis courts. Every year between May and September, the Orchestra of Minas Gerais plays a concert called 'Concerto no Parque' every Sunday morning. Try not to miss it if you are there during these months!
Address: Av. Afonso Pena s/n, Downtown.
Phone: + 55 31 3277 - 4161.
Timings: Tuesday - Sunday: 6.00am to 6.00pm.
Parque das Mangabeiras
The Mangabeiras Park is located at the base of the Serra do Curral Mountains. Spread over 337 hectares, the park has something for every kind of tourist. For children, there are amusement rides and toys all around the park, and for the nature enthusiast, there are walking and jogging trails and wild animals like monkeys and capuchins to spot. For the sports enthusiast, there are courts for various games like basketball, volleyball etc. As it is in the heart of the city, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Belo Horizonte from the park.
Address: Av. Anel da Serra - alto do Mangabeiras.
Phone: + 55 31 3277 - 9697
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday and holidays: 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Parque Ecológico da Pampulha (Pampulha Ecological Park)
In 2004, three islands around the Pampulha lagoon were joined together to form the Pampulha Ecological Park. The best way to explore this park is to cycle your way around it. Bicycles are available on hire at the Park administrative office. Thanks to plenty of water and fine weather, the park has a variety of flora and fauna. On weekends, theatre groups, bands and orchestras hold plays and concerts.
Address: Av. Otacílio Negrão de Lima 7.111, Lagoa da Pampulha.
Phone: + 55 31 3277 - 7439
Opening hours: Friday - Sunday 8.30am to 5.00pm.
Praça de Liberdade
A square meant to be the centre of power, the Praça de Liberdade is surrounded by government buildings built in the nineteenth century and a garden. There is also the Palácio Cristo Rio, which was built in 1940s art deco style, apart from some prominent buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
Praça do Papa (Pope Square)
Belo Horizonte's most famous symbol is the Serra do Curral mountain range. Praça do Papa lies at the beginning of this range. The square shot into prominence when the Pope held a mass here and exclaimed, "Que belo horizonte!" (what a beautiful horizon), as he saw the ocean of faces around him and the scenic beauty around the square. The square is also the venue for cultural programmes, plays and concerts. Don't miss the view of Belo Horizonte city at night from this square.
Praça 7 de setembro (Sete de Setembro Square)
At the intersection of two important avenues, Amazonas and Afonso Pena, lies the Praça 7 de setembro. The highlight of this square is the obelisk, which the locals fondly call "Pirulito" or Lollipop. It was constructed to commemorate a hundred years of Brazilian independence.
Praça da Estacão (Station Square)
The old train station is a very important landmark of the city. It was in the station's tower that the first community clock of the city was installed. The station is also very important as it was through it that all material required for the reconstruction of the city was routed. The station building was renovated recently and converted into the Museum of Arts and Crafts. The square around the station is also where festivals and concerts take place all around the year. Prominent tourist attractions on the square include the pair of marble lions, the Santa Teresa viaduct, the Serraria Souza Pinto space and the bronze sculpture honouring the heroes of Inconfidencia.
Pampulha is a picture postcard city. It has something to offer every kind of tourist, from scenic beauty to sports. The weather is pleasant and the surroundings are beautiful, thanks to the 18 km long lagoon. It is along this lagoon that the famous race "Volta Internacional da Pampulha" is held every year. This 18 kilometre race was first held in 1993 and has since been attracting an increasing number of participants every year.
Pampulha is also home to the Belo Horizonte Zoo, the Ecological Park and the Burle Max gardens. The Pampulha Airport, the Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG) and the Art Museum of Pampulha are important landmarks here.
The architectural aficionado can observe the modernist structures of Oscar Niemeyer, while the aesthetically inclined can soak in the beauty of the sculptures of José Pedrosa, Zamoisski and Ceschiatti as well as the paintings by Cândido Portinari. Xapuri in one of the many restaurants where you can get a good meal.
Main Attractions in Pampulha
Pampulha Architectural Complex
Oscar Niemeyer is one of the architects credited with changing the face of Brazilian architecture. His signature creation is the complex in Pampulha. The complex includes the buildings listed below.
Igreja São Francisco de Assis - Igrejinha da Pampulha (São Francisco de Assis Church)
This church is a must see for its bold and original design. Its beauty is enhanced by the gardens designed by Burle Max and the paintings on the external and internal panels by Portinari. You will be required to pay a small entrance fee here.
Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Pampulha Museum of Art)
This building was originally a casino. However, when Brazil prohibited gambling in 1946, the authorities converted it into the Museum of Arts in 1957.
Casa do Baile (The Ball House)
In the 1940's this rounded building along the edge of the lagoon was the favourite haunt of the rich and the famous of Belo Horizonte. It used to be the venue for lavish dance parties. Today, the Centre of Reference in Urbanism, it hosts architecture functions. Many exhibitions and events are held here as well.
Mineirão - Estádio Governador Magalhaes Pinto (Mineirão - Soccer Stadium)
This is one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world, attracting thousands of tourists each year. A must see for all soccer fanatics, the stadium was constructed in 1965 and has seen many historic soccer matches and legendary concerts. Soccer fans should try to catch a match played by the Atlético Mineiro or the Cruzeiro team! There is an entrance fee for the stadium. Also try our Belo Horizonte's Football Experience activity.
Mineirinho - Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drummond (Mineirinho Stadium)
The Mineirinho stadium was built in 1980 and can hold up to 25,000 people. Many games are played in this stadium which holds the world record for the number of people at a volleyball and indoor soccer game! Every Thursday and Sunday there is a handcraft fair held at this stadium.
Parque Ecológico da Pampulha
The second largest green area in Belo Horizonte, Parque Ecológico da Pampulha, is ideal not only for strolling and stretching out under the trees, but also for practicing sports and playing a game. (Look for more information under the section on Parks and Squares).
Zoológico - Fundação Zoobotânica de Belo Horizonte (Zoo-Botanical Foundation of Belo Horizonte)
This zoo is known to be one of the most extensive zoos in Latin America. It is also home to the first butterfly sanctuary in South America. There is a centre in the zoo which is engaged in the conservation and preservation of species that are under the threat of extinction.
Sante, as Santa Tereza is also known, is famous for its bars, authentic restaurants and night life. It presents the bohemian and informal face of Brazil and has thrown up many famous singers and bands. Sepultura, a band renowned for heavy metal music, Skank, Lô and Márcio Borges, Fernando Brant and Milton Nascimento come from Santa Tereza.
Main Attractions in Santa Tereza:
Bar do Bolão (Bolão Bar)
Bolão Bar, established in 1961, is a long established and reputed bar in Santa Tereza. Frequented by the rich and famous, its walls are decorated with golden records of many of Santa Tereza's musicians. It is popularly regarded as the best place to wind up the night with one last beer for the road. It is best known for its pasta but you could also settle for" rochedão"or "mexido" made with bean and rice. These are equally well spoken of!
Savassi, near downtown, is the venue of various cultural programmes and events. It has some fine restaurants and a very active nightlife. The Palácio da Liberdade or the Palace of Liberty, which houses the Executive Offices of the Governor, is located here. It was the first structure to be completed as part of Savassi's development programme of the eighteen nineties. The Praça da Liberdade or the Liberty Plaza is another prominent landmark of Savassi.
Savassi is one huge open shopping mall. It offers a wide range in both food and drink, with its numerous bars and restaurants. It lays out a unique night time experience full of joy, fun and good cheer! Savassi epitomizes how life should be lived!
Mangabeiras, which lies to the south of Belo Horizonte is situated atop a hill and overlooks the city. It was the sight from Mangabeiras that prompted the Pope to exclaim "Que Belo Horizonte!" The Israel Pinheiro Square here was renamed Praça da Papa (or the Pope Square) after the Pope visited this place.
Do not miss the two prominent landmarks that are found near Mangabeiras, the Rua do Amendoim and the garden Parque das Mangabeiras. At Rua do Amendoim, drivers perceive their cars going uphill rather than down the slope when they are parked! Is it an optical illusion or is it magic? The fun lies in guessing!
Mangabeiras is the quiet, green and noble quarter of Belo Horizonte. It straddles the Central and the Southern region of Bela Horizonte. An exclusively residential area, Mangabeiras is home to many celebrities and important political figures. Mangabeiras also has some unique attractions, like the street that defies gravity, the square anointed by the Pope's visit and the Magabeiras Park.
Main attractions in Mangabeiras
Praça do Papa (Pope Square)
This square overlooks the city and offers a breathtaking view of Belo Horizonte. It was originally called the Israel Pinheiro Square, after Israel Pinheiro, a respected Brazilian statesman. In 1980, Pope John Paul II visited this square and conducted a mass here. Looking at the sea of humanity as well as the scenic landscape around him, he remarked "What a beautiful horizon" ("Que Belo Horizonte!"), thus validating the name of the city. Since then this square began to be called Praça do Papa or Pope Square. The section on Parks and Squares will give you additional information.
Rua do Amendoim (Peanut Street)
This street is a strange experience in itself. To the casual observer, all things that should be coming down actually seem to be going up. Is it an optical illusion or is the street magical? Visit the Peanut Street, which is officially called Rua Professor Otávio Coelho Magalhaes, and find out for yourself!
Parque das Mangabeiras (Mangabeiras Park)
This park is situated at the base of the Serra do Curral mountain range, which is symbolic of Belo Horizonte. Spread over 337 hectares, this park is one of the largest parks in the country. The section on Parks and Squares will give you additional information.
Belo Horizonte is famous for its festivals. Here are the most important and traditional events of the city, selected by our team for you. Also check out what's going on right now in events in Belo Horizonte listing!
Comida di Buteco (Bar's Food Competition)
The biggest and best gastronomic festival in Belo Horizonte. Generally happening forty days after carnival, the Bars' festival attracts people from everywhere. Over the course of 31 days, many bars in Belo Horizonte compete with an original meal or tira-gosto (snack bar). The intention of the competition is to award the best bar; so, besides the food, they also count the coldest beer, hygiene and attendance. During the festival there are cultural attractions in the establishments as well. It is the best time to experience the Belo Horizonte bars! Read more information.
FIT - Festival Internacional de Teatro (International Theatre Festival)
The FIT occurs every two years in all theatres in the city and also in its streets, parks and squares. This event congregates local, national and international groups. It normally happens in July and August, in all regions of Belo Horizonte, with good prices; some of them are even for free. You can see all the informations about the last and next editions in the FIT Festival Official website.
FAN - Festival de Arte Negra (Black Art Festival)
The event occurs in November and features artists from diverse countries in Africa and also Belo Horizonte and from other Brazilian regions. The FAN celebrates partnerships and agreement between Brazil and Africa. During the week, there is music, dance, cinema and theatre, amongst other activities. Most of its attractions are for free. Read more information.
Brasil Sabor (Brazil Flavour)
A big festival that congregates all restaurants in all Brazilian states from March to April. It's the best time to go out in the city, try nice restaurants and know the best of Brazilian gastronomy. Read more information.
ARAIAL DE BELÔ
The festival celebrates one of the main traditional parties in Brazil - The Festa Junina (June Party). Originally, the Festa Junina was celebrated in honour to St. Antonio and St. Pedro. The party retraces all the countryside culture, beliefs, values, religiosity, the life in the ranch and its gastronomy. At this party there are typical music and dance presentations (quadrilha), fun games and delicious food. The Arraial de Belô occurs in all regions in Belo Horizonte, where quadrilha groups compete for the prize.
Pop Rock Brasil
The Pop Rock is the biggest music event (of pop-rock style music) in Minas Gerais. Now, it's in its 24th year and it counts on national and international bands. Generally the concerts happen at Mineirão Stadium during a weekend. It normally occurs in the second haldof the year, often during November.
The Axé Brasil is the most famous "Baiana" music event in Minas Gerais. The Axé is a style of music influenced by African culture and is a symbol of Bahia state. It is also the official carnival music in Brazil. This festival in Belo Horizonte generally occurs at Mineirão Stadium, during the first half of the year.
For more information about events, check our events section or contact us!
The real spirit of Belo Horizonte, both literally and figuratively, is found in its bars! It is the ‘Bars Capital' of Brazil, with every street having more than just a few bars. To the locals, the bar is not just a place to drink and relax; it is an entire way of life. Any occasion, however trivial, is a good reason to visit the bar. And if you don't have a valid reason, well that is reason enough to visit the bar because you simply don't know what to do with yourself! The bars are believed to be places where you can pass the time of the day, with like-minded people, good food and music. A Town Where the entire World Is a Bar!
There are different kinds of bars to choose from - simple ones, sophisticated ones, bars serving a good meal, bars not serving food - just take your pick and go. Start with one, sample another and round off the night with a "Final de Noite" or "End night bar"!
See our Belo Horizonte Restaurant Guide for some great Bars & Nightclubs.
The Fundação Clóvis Salgado - FCS (Clóvis Salgado Foundation) is an organ of Minas Gerais' Secretariat. Its workmanship began in 1942, during Juscelino Kubitschek government in Belo Horizonte's Hall, and it was finalized in 1971.
The original project of Oscar Niemeyer, a theater turned to Municipal Park and linked to Avenue Afonso Pena by a concrete bridge, was adapted by the architect Larry Young Pinto according to the needs of that time. The inauguration took place on January 30, 1970, when the Grand Gallery was open.
The Fundação Clóvis Salgado is the largest cultural institution of Minas Gerais and has a key role in development projects of Literature, Popular Classical Music, Theater, Dance and Fine Arts.
The FCS administers the Palácio das Artes, one of the most complete and dynamic centres of artistic production and exhibition of Latin America. In the same address, there are two theatres for plays, performing arts, music and dance; three fine arts galleries; room for chamber concerts; cinema; specialized library; music and video rental; workshop for wind instruments; luthiery; several rooms for testing and many scenography and costumes, ateliers and workshops.
In this great artistic and cultural complex, the Fundação Clóvis Salgado houses the Centro de Formação Artística-CEFAR (Centre of Artistic Training) - with vocational schools of theatre, music and dance - and the Officials Artistic Groups - Symphony Orchestra, Dance Company, and Choral. The FCS still maintains a Children /Youth Choral -, Symphony band, Youth Orchestra and Youth Ballet.
In December 1998, the restored building of Serraria Souza Pinto was incorporated to the Heritage administered by the FCS. Today, the place is the perfect place for many events.
If you thought that there is no sea and marine life of significance in Belo Horizonte, then you must visit the aquarium. Spread over 600 square metres, this aquarium displays around 120 species of fishes, corals, sea horses, crustaceans etc.
The Address: Rua Montes Claros, 322, Carmo Sion.
Phone: + 55 31 3264 - 4467
Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday 1.00pm to 7.00pm; Saturday and holidays 10.00am to 7.00pm; Sunday: 10.00am to 6.00pm.
Chevrolet Hall is a multi-functional space that offers facilities to host all kinds of events. So, as well as musical concerts, it also caters well for fairs, circus and theatrical performances, expositions of art, and other cultural events.
Chevrolet Hall offers three distinct spaces in accordance with the characteristics of each event - Main Arena, Multipurpose Room and Dom Silvério Theatre. It has capacity of 3,400 seats in the main area and 395 inside Dom Silvério Theatre.
Dom Silvério Theatre was established in 1995 and is a cultural reference in the city. Its stage has already received a great name worldwide. The classic style construction, from the beginning of the 20th century, offers its visitors a charming and cosy atmosphere. The access is made by an elevator with capacity for up to 20 people and signalled stairs.
While the Main Arena holds larger events, the Multipurpose Room is designed to host fairs, thematic samples and expositions. This space makes use of exclusive entrance for audience, restrooms and social and cargo elevators.
The general architectural project was planned with social and environment concerns. With many events, only natural illumination and ventilation are used. Furthermore, the structure of the building makes accessibility for all spectators possible, allowing those with disabilities access to the advanced ticket office, wireless Internet network and special parking.
It's also distinguished for its privileged location, right next to the Savassi and served by all kinds of restaurants, hotels, banking institutions and more. Being highly connected by bus service, taxi rides are also beneficial.
Moreover, Chevrolet Hall adopts a modern and informal style, making it a receptive place to different audiences, an important cultural reference for Belo Horizonte and an enjoyable entertainment centre for all kinds.
For more info:
Av. Nossa Senhora do Carmo, 231, Savassi, Belo Horizonte.
55 (31) 2191 - 5700
About 50 km from Belo Horizonte is Inhotim, an artist's commune where contemporary artists work and display their masterpieces in the museum. Spread over 87 acres of verdant gardens designed by Burle Marx, Inhotim encourages artists to innovate in Modern Art by freeing them from the confines of structures and buildings.
Inhotim is an institution compromised to the development of the local community. Its botanical collection and large quantity of contemporary art are used for educative, cultural, and social projects, and also for the formation of professionals involved in environmental and artistic areas. Inhotim actively participates in politics for the improvement of the community’s life quality, either in partnership with the government or in an independent way.
Since its general opening in 2006, Inhotim has received more than 230 thousand visitors. The museum is among the most visited institutions of art within Brazil. The collection of Inhotim has been formed since the mid '80s, and has been focused on art produced internationally ever since 1960. Painting, sculpture, drawing, photograph, video and installations of famous Brazilian and international artists are shown in galleries spread across the Parque Ambiental.
It also has on display a wide variety of tropical plants. The museum charges an entrance fee but children under six years of age do not have to pay.
Address: Rua B, 20 - Brumadinho - MG.
Phone: + 55 31 3227-0001
Timings: Thursday - Sunday and holidays: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
The 17th century saw a lot of activity in this region. The quest for diamonds and gold, the thirst for the glory of discovering and acquiring new territory, the consequent prosperity in trade, all led to the rise of new and prosperous cities in Minas Gerais. This prosperity was reflected in the art and architecture styles of those times, which were essentially Baroque and Rococo, with liberal use of gold and heavy colours.
This period was also marked by intense religious fervour. The need for expressing this fervour threw up an entire stream of art called "Sacra Art", in which religious figures and legends were depicted through various art forms. The "12 Profetas" (12 Prophets), a set of sculptures made of soap stone by Master Aleijadinho, a prominent artist of that time, is a case in point. The churches of São Francisco de Assis and Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Pilar in Ouro Petro were built at this time.
The history of Brazil is linked with many cities in Minas Gerais, and many monuments in the World Heritage List are located here. A tour around Diamantina, São João Del Rey, Tiradentes, Serro, Mariana, and Ouro Preto is a fascinating journey through time.
For the archaeology aficionados, Minas Geiras has the largest concentration of caves and grottos in Brazil. To the north west of Belo Horizonte lie more than 500 caves that give a glimpse of Brazilian ancestry. A human fossil dating to almost 11,000 years, the oldest in America, can be seen in the caves of Minas Geiras. It is also from these caves that the Danish researcher, Peter Lund started his research on Brazilian Palaeontology.
Lapinha in Lagoa Santa, Rei do Mato in Sete Lagoas and Maquiné in Cordisburgo are caves that are worth a visit.
Belo Horizonte is a city surrounded by rugged mountains, winding rivers and plunging waterfalls, all of which provide the perfect background for adventure activities like trekking, paragliding and river rafting. The Brazilian beaches, too, have a beauty of their own.
The Serra do Cipó National Park (The Parque Nacional da Serra do Cipó) is located about 100 kilometres away from Belo Horizonte and offers a complete experience of adventure and eco tourism. The archaeological sites on the park give a glimpse of the primitive tribes, their life and culture. The amazing variety of flora and fauna is the botanist's delight! And finally, for those of you who enjoy the outdoors, there is a well equipped camping site. If you prefer something more modern, then check into the guest houses in the park.
The Parque Natural do Caraça (Caraça Natural Park) is another very interesting tourist experience. This park is situated in Catas Altas town, which is slightly off the beaten path, and is spread over 11,000 hectares. It is here that you can see the first Gothic Church in Brazil. If you can keep up all night, you can see the Lobos Guará or the Brazilian wolves, which come to the Church to be fed by the Fathers.
The Belo Horizonte 360° is the apex organisation that coordinates all the clubs, athletes and operators who are involved in adventure and sports activities.
This road links 162 towns of Minas Geiras to eight towns in Rio de Janeiro and seven cities in São Paulo. It was an arterial road between the 16th and the 18th century when the Bandeirantes and their slaves dug the mountainsides to look for diamonds and gold. Trade and merchandise reached important ports via this road.
If you want to experience a slice of history and relive "the Golden Century", then this is the road to explore. You can cover this mountain trail by foot or by road; since there are two or three routes, do take a guide along.
Sebastião das Águas Claras, well-known as Macacos, is a cosy and calm village at just 27km from Belo Horizonte. The village was born in the end of the 17th century, and for its abundance in ore, it was a prospector’s target in that period. There you will discover a charming place among hills, with a wonderful nature, perfect for adventurers, couples and family.
The gastronomy also enchants with the unique flavour from Minas Gerais state, made in firewood stove. In Macacos there are many good restaurants and accommodations, being then a nice place to have a lunch or enjoy on the weekends.
Banks are not open on Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays. However, ATM's can be found all around the city.
Banking Hours: 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Electronic tellers: 6.00am to 10.00pm.
Shops are closed on Sundays. Their normal business hours are as follows:
Weekdays: 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Saturdays: 9.00am to 1.00pm.
Malls remain open all throughout the week from 10.00am to 11.00pm and in some cases up until midnight.
Currency Exchange Service
TPSTPC28 – First floor - Sector B, Confins airport
Phone: + 55 31 3689-2861
From Monday to Monday, from 5 am to 10 pm
Language/ Visas/ Holidays/ Power/Post/Tel/Money
For information more informationlog on to the Brazil Country Guide.
Location and Time Zones
Belo Horizonte is located at the intersection of the main roads to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia. The distance between Belo Horizonte and the Rio de Janeiro capital is 340 kilometers. São Paulo city is 490 kilometers from Belo Horizonte.
Belo Horizonte is normally 3 hours behind GMT. However, between the third Sunday of October and the third Saturday of March it is 2 hours behind GMT.
Belo Horizonte (BH) is Brazil's third largest metropolis. Its population hovers around 2.4 million people. "Great Belo Horizonte", which includes Belo Horizonte and the metropolitan area, has a population of 5.1 million people.
Belo Horizonte is also known for its beautiful tropical climate. Even the winters are enjoyable. The transition between the four seasons tends to not be extreme and alternates between humid summers and dry winters.
Maximum and minimum temperatures
Summer: Max 30°C and Min 18°C.
Winter: Max 25°C and Min 13°C.
Brazilians find the winters cold!
There are clinics all over Belo Horizonte. They function between 8.00am. and 7.00pm. In case of emergency, you can always go to the 24/7 emergency rooms of various hospitals or dial 192 from a local phone.
Drug stores and pharmacies are open everyday, except on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Most regions have a 24-hour pharmacy.
Business Hours: 9.00am to 1.00pm and 3.00pm to 7.00pm.