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"The Paradisal Frontier"

Belo Horizonte Tourism

Belo Horizonte, the capital to Brazil's second most populous state Minas Gerais, is the sixth largest city in Brazil. Nicknamed as the garden city, BH is famous among travellers for its beautiful natural setting amidst the mountains combined with its cosmopolitan charm.

The name 'Belo Horizonte' strikes a chord in one's mind as to why the fore founders of one of the earliest urban planned cities, named it as 'Beautiful Horizon'. The curious mind shall be content as one takes a view of this metropolis from Mangabeiras park. Framed by the grandeur of imposing Curral mountains and a modernistic skyline, the city does complete justice to its name. The beauty of the horizon lies not only because of its natural setting and varied morphology but also as a testimony to mankind's advancement. Modelled after the planned US capital Washington DC, Belo Horizonte with its grid plan, intersecting diagonals and wide tree lined boulevards was built to serve as the capital of the state of Minas Gerais in 1897. The buildings here are a mixture of neo classical, colonial and modern styles which makes the city all the more fascinating. Home to the earliest works of Oscar Niemeyer under the leadership of Juscelino Kubitschek, Belo Horizonte's charm is a precursor to the magic that this duo would create in the country's capital a decade and a half later.

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Currency in Belo Horizonte

Brazilian Real is the only accepted currency in the country. All major credit and debit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and in few taxis as well. ATMs are easily available throughout the country, though it is advised to carry some Brazilian Real before entering the country. Keep the in hand cash in small denominations to avoid counterfeited large bills, also paying for goods in cash makes you eligible for some discounts.

Exchanging Money in Belo Horizonte

ATMs are the best option for currency exchange and are can be located easily. They charge a transaction and conversion fee depending on the bank and are closed between 10 pm to 6 am for security reasons. Currency exchange desks 'Cambio' can be found in all tourist areas and offer better exchange than airports and are better than withdrawing cash from ATMs.

Daily Budget for Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is fairly inexpensive as compared to Brasilia or Rio. A budget travel can be done here for BRL 70 which includes food at a local restaurant, bus fares and visit to the museums. A budget of BRL 150 is a decent mid range budget to get you going. And if you are willing to have a luxurious stay, BRL 350 per day should suffice to satisfy your needs.

Religion of Belo Horizonte

The dominant religion in Belo Horizonte is Christianity like the rest of Brazil. Catholics comprise 60% of the population where as Protestants make up 25% of the population.

Belo Horizonte Customs

Belo Horizonte is a big cosmopolitan city, its residents are friendly and open people. Men shake hands and women kiss each other on the cheeks while greeting. Tipping is not expected in Brazil and generally not given. Restaurants have 10% service charge already included in the bill, however it is not compulsory. You can tip the housekeeping staff at the hotel at BRL 5 per day or beach vendors for their services. People dress casually in BH and none of the restaurants insist on collar and tie.

Language of Belo Horizonte

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and a vast majority of the population speaks Portuguese as well. However, Brazilian Portuguese is slightly different from Portugal's. Not many people speak English here, even if you speak Spanish, you might be able to communicate only a little bit. Thus, it is advised to learn some basic Portuguese before you travel. Use 'Oi' for Hello, 'Por favor' for please, 'Bom Dia' for Good Morning and 'Boa Noite' for Good night. Your efforts to learn and speak Portuguese will be highly appreciated by the locals.

History of Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte meaning 'Beautiful Horizon' was the first planned urban city of Brazil. Initially, it was the site of a village called Curral del Rey established by gold seekers around 1700s. This also attracted people from neighbouring region to settle around the village. Once Brazil became independent, republican intellectuals decided to set a new capital within the state of Minas Gerais to replace Ouro Preto which was viewed as a symbol of colonialism and there was no place for further expansion. The new capital titled Minas city was build from scratch with proper urban planning in 1897 and got the name Belo Horizonte in 1906. The city further expanded under the governance of mayor Juscelino Kubitschek in 1940s who worked with a young architect Oscar Niemeyer to design the new Pampulha district which is still know for its splendid architecture. The duo is to be given credit for what the city is today with its wide avenues, lakes and parks. Today, Belo Horizonte is an important commercial hub in Brazil and also happens to be a place for art and culture.

Nightlife in Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is a nightlife hotspot and has all kinds of options such as pubs, cafes, sports bar, outdoor bars etc. promising a vibrant scene to its travellers. With the highest number of bars per capita in the country, hopping from one bar to another has become a common activity for the locals to chill on weekend and special occasions. Most of the bars are located in Savassi and Barro Preto neighbourhoods. Some of the most recommended places include A Obra, O Alambique and A Autentica.

Shopping in Belo Horizonte

BH is a shopper's paradise as one can find whatever they are looking for. From souvenirs and artworks to accessories and upscale fashion brands, BH has an incredible variety to offer. BH Shopping is the oldest mall in the city and also the most convenient shopping centre in town. If you are looking for crafts, you should definitely visit Centro de Artesanato Mineiro or head to Feira do Hippie which is a Sunday handicraft street fair. The city's central market Mercado Central is famous amongst tourists for getting fresh produce and souvenirs at an affordable price.

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How to Reach Belo Horizonte

How to Reach Overview

Belo Horizonte is a renowned city in Brazil and an important travel hub. The city is served by an international and a domestic airport and a bus station connecting it to major cities.

How to reach Belo Horizonte by flight

Tancredo Neves International Airport knows as Confins Airport is the main airport serving the city. Many domestic and international flights connecting to USA, Carribean and Europe operate here. Located at a distance of 40 kilometres from downtown, the airport is connected to the city by taxis and executive buses. The domestic airport is located in Pampulha suburbs and has flights connecting to cities within the state of Minas Gerais.

How to reach Belo Horizonte by road

Car rental companies such as Alvis and Hertz have their offices at the airport offering many options to choose from. International driving license is not required in Brazil as most countries' license are valid for a duration of upto 90 days. Time spend in transit is usually a lot, so, choosing a car is a good option if you have time to spare and want to explore the lesser known towns and villages on the way. BH is connected to Brasilia and Rio via BR-040 and to Sao Paulo via BR-381.

How to reach Belo Horizonte by train

Rail network in Brazil is scarce, however BH is one of the few cities to be served by a railway station. There is a long train ride of 12 hours connecting it to Vitoria, the capital of Espirito Santo.

How to reach Belo Horizonte by bus

The main bus terminal Rodoviöria is located near Praca Rio Branco at the northwest end of Avenida Afonso Pena and has interstate buses connecting to Rio, Brasilia and Sao Paulo. Though the travel time is quite long for these destinations, taking around 8 -10 hours.

How to reach Belo Horizonte by waterways

There are no waterways connecting to Belo Horizonte.

Local transport in Belo Horizonte

Getting around Belo Horizonte is easy as it is served by a good public transport system. The bus network here consists of colour coded buses - the blue buses ply from one region to another via downtown whereas Orange buses run between different regions without going through downtown. Yellow buses have circular routes around the Contorno and green buses connect to the BH bus station. BH also has a metro system, but at present, it only covers a limited portion of the city in north. New lines connecting important neighbourhoods such as Savassi and Pampulha are under construction. Taxi service here is reliable and inexpensive as compared to other cities in Latin America. You can get more information about taxi fares at www.tarifadetaxi.com/belo-horizonte. Travelling on foot is also an option, provided you have a pair of comfortable walking shoes and a map so that you don't get lost in orderly grids and diagonals of BH.

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FAQs on Belo Horizonte

What is the best time to visit Belo horizonte?

Belo Horizonte is located near the tropical zone at an altitude of 850 metres above the sea level and thus enjoys a tropical Savannah climate. The weather here is characterized by two distinct seasons, dry season from April to September with low humidity and wet season from December to March with the highest humidity in the entire year. The best months to experience BH are April and May, as the daily average temperature ranges from 20 - 22 degree Celsius and these months are host to renowned Brazilian Carnival, making it the best place for entertainment. Due to the carnival, this also becomes the peak season and the hotels rates shoot high. So if you are planning a low budget trip, the months from June to September will suit you the best.
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What is the local food in Belo horizonte?

Brazilian cuisine comprises of a bold mixture of African, European and native Indian cuisines making it as varied as the geography of the country. The gastronomy of Minas Grerais (Miniera) is a unique blend of these influences to create a compltely different style believed to be the true essence of Brazilian cuisine. Food and cooking is something which every resident hold dear and treat with honor. The gastronomy here include elements such as cheese, stew, desserts and sweets from the time when Brazil was a Portugese colony. To get a taste of the local 'Miniera' food head to Xapuri at Mandacaru, and if international food is what you are looking for, A Favorita located at Santa Catarina is your stop.
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What is the best way to reach Belo horizonte?

Belo Horizonte is a renowned city in Brazil and an important travel hub. The city is served by an international and a domestic airport and a bus station connecting it to major cities.
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What are the things to do in Belo horizonte?

The top things to do in Belo horizonte are Praa da Liberdade, SÜo Francisco de Assis, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Belo Horizonte, Palacio Das Artes, Museu de Artes e Oficios, Parque das Mangabeiras . You can see all the places to visit in Belo horizonte here

What are the places near Belo horizonte?

The top places near to Belo horizonte are London which is 9015 km from Belo horizonte, Dubai which is located 11827 km from Belo horizonte, Amsterdam which is located 9321 km from Belo horizonte, New york city which is located 7426 km from Belo horizonte, Bali which is located 16128 km from Belo horizonte

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