The capital of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte has wide, tree-lined avenues, lots of green space, and good museums and galleries. Belo Horizonte is also reputed to have more bars per person than any other city in the world.
There are too many good bars to mention but if you go to Savassi you will find some of the best.
The Museu de Ciências Naturais and Museu Histórico Abílio Barreto have good exhibits on the natural environment and history of the city.
The city has some lovely green spaces, and the Parque Municipal Américo Renné Giannetti has boating ponds and an amusement park.
The views from the Alta Vila Tower are stunning and you can dine at the Hard Rock Cafe while enjoying the vistas.
Belo Horizonte has some great nightclubs, with some of the best around Avenida Raja Gabáglia. You can enjoy everything from live shows to the latest electronic tracks or Brazilian music.
Also known as the Central Market, Mercado Central is one of the best-known markets in the world and welcomes thousands of tourists every month. Visit this large and vibrant market building to find everything from peppers to perfume and savor a variety of delectable delicacies at the Tradicional Limonada local, then mingle while sipping a refreshing beer at the Anexo do Mercado. The market is open daily and until 1 pm on Sundays and holidays.
The Church of Saint Francis is considered to be one of the most iconic attractions of Belo Horizonte. Gaze at the stunning decorative scheme, the Portinari painted murals, and the traditional glazed Portuguese ceramic tiles depicting narrative scenes. The historic church is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located in the Pampulha area, 5.6 miles from the downtown region, Mineirão is the biggest football stadium in Belo Horizonte, and the host of the World Cup in 2014. Tickets for Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro matches are available online, and it's worth it to see a game if you're in town. Get to the stadium by taking bus 64 and feel the rush of excitement in the 64,000 seat stadium. Afterwords, stroll to the Lagoa de Pampulha which is just a short distance away and enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake. Make a quick stop to the nearby São Francisco de Assis church and Niemeyer-designed Pampulha Architectural Complex and marvel at the breathtaking architecture. Relax after a long day at the Bristol Pamulha Hotel which is conveniently located near the stadium.
Sitting on a 144-hectar forest in the Pampulha, the Fundação Zoo is considered the city's second largest public flora and fauna area. Visit the zoo housed in the woods and experience thousands of animals of about 250 species like lions, rhinos, hippos, elephants, and giraffes. The species featured at the zoo come from Europe, Asia, and Africa. See a python live in action at the Reptile House, learn important facts about the various species of plants at the Botanical Garden, and admire the greenhouses that showcase diverse representations of medicinal and aromatic plants, as well as palm trees and bromeliads.
The Praca is a perfect place to relax and indulge in physical activities that are worth your while. It's the nerve center of public administration as it houses most of the state offices. Enjoy a captivating view of the Pampulha Lagoon while you hike, jog, or cycle on a warm summer day. It features a greenhouse, basketball courts, and a small amusement park. It's also near the Fransisco de Assis Church and Guanabara Park, which is a must-see attractions for kids. Relax with some well-deserved cold coconut water after the vast exploration.
Belo Horizonte has a tropical savanna climate. Temperatures are fairly stable around 80 degrees, and the city can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
The city's major airport is Aeroporto Internacional Tancredo Neves (CNF), which has direct flights to many international destinations in Europe and North America. It is around 30 miles from the city center; a taxi will cost R$100 and a bus R$9.50.
A single train line connects the city to neighboring Contagem. Tickets cost R$1.60
The city is at the center of the country's largest state road network. The BR-040 runs to Rio de Janiero and Brasilia, while the BR-381 takes you to Sao Paulo.
The city is the hub of a major bus network centered at the Terminal Rodoviária de Belo Horizonte. There are services to cities such as Rio de Janiero, Brasilia, and Sao Paulo.
Rock! and Hostel on Rua Cristina has comfortable rooms, while the Normandy Hotel on Rua dos Tamôios offers a little more luxury right in the center of town.
Pampulha - this area has some of the city's finest 1940s architecture and is home to Lake Pampulha. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Savassi - Savassi is famous for its bars and clubs and also has a number of good restaurants.
Nova Lima - Nova Lima was once a separate city, but it is now a busy business district of Belo Horizonte with some good hotels and restaurants.
The bus network in the city is extensive but can be busy and slow during rush hours. A single fare is R$2.65.
Belo Horizonte has a large and reliable taxi fleet. The starting fare is R$3.90 and then around R$4 per mile.
Roads in Belo Horizonte are in good repair but traffic can be heavy. Car rental is available from companies like Avis and Lokamig - Rent a Car for around R$50 per day.
BH Shopping in Belvedere is one of the city's largest malls, selling fashion, homewares, and food. The Diamond Mall focuses on more upscale fashion and jewelry.
A quart of milk in Belo Horizonte costs R$3.11 and a dozen eggs is priced at R$5.78.
Dona Lucinha II on Rua Sergipe serves good local food in buffet style from R$59. Porcao BH on Avenida Raja Gabáglia is a good steakhouse, with mains from R$70.