Belo Horizonte Journals

Belo Horizonte - Unjustifiably Unknown

A travel journal to Belo Horizonte by daviebee

Quote: It was in the pursuit of the love of a good woman that I first travelled to Belo Horizonte, returned three times, and will eventually be living there. This is a journal of my travels to Belo, which I hope will encourage you to visit this relatively unheard of city.

Belo Horizonte - Unjustifiably Unknown

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Ask the average person on the street where Belo Horizonte is and you’ll probably receive a blank stare. But why is it that this city of 3 million is not well-known? A more intelligent person could no doubt write an essay on the reasons for Belo’s anonymity, but I would argue that it’s certainly not for a lack of things to do. Admittedly, I can see why newcomers to Brazil would opt for Rio’s famous beaches rather than a little-known city to the north. However, for the returning tourist or anyone wanting to experience a purer form of Brazilian culture, Belo Horizonte is the place to go. The city’s charms are not immediately obvious. To the European eye accustomed to the grandeur of P...Read More

Chalezinho

Restaurant

Quote:
If you're looking for a romantic evening out, look no further than Belo Horizonte's very own Swiss restaurant, Chalezinho. Complete with candle-lit tables and live piano music, the Little Chalet is intimate and cosy. It is advisable to reserve a table and I recommend sitting upstairs if possible. There is a balcony with two tables on it, but the view isn't particularly spectacular, so anywhere upstairs will be perfect. The restaurant's specialty is fondue, which is served on its own little stove with skewers and a selection of dips. The fondue is more than enough for two people, so unless you have a huge appetite, I'd skip starters and save yourself for dessert. If you fancy a dance af...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 25, 2005

Chalezinho
Alameda de Serra,18- Seis Pistas
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
286-3155

Palacio das Artes

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Attraction

Quote:
If culture, art, or architecture is your thing, I highly recommend paying a visit to the Palacio das Artes. This rather interestingly shaped building is comprised of a large theatre, several smaller theatres, a cinema, and an exhibition area. The theatres put on comedies, dramas, classical music, opera, and even acrobatic displays. The cinema shows a wide variety of foreign and cult films, and the exhibition area puts on displays of photography, art, and sculpture. These are just a few of the events that take place at the Palacio das Artes, so it’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the most important cultural centres in Latin America, never mind in Brazil Prices vary from £2 ($4) for eve...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 27, 2005

Palacio das Artes
Avenida Afonso Pena 1537
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Parque das Mangabeiras

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Attraction

Quote:
Covering 2.3 million square miles, Parque das Mangabeiras is one of the largest urban parks in Brazil. Most of its area is covered by natural forests, but there are several walks cut into it with viewing platforms and dining areas along the way. There are also several little shacks at strategic locations where you can purchase an ice-cold beer or Coke and shelter from the heat. The park is worth visiting, both for the nature you’ll encounter in the form of vegetation, animals, and five-foot anthills, and the exceptional views of Belo Horizonte and the park itself. There’s a bus right to the entrance, plenty of parking if you go by car, and a visitors centre where you can obtain details of the walk...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2005

Parque das Mangabeiras
Mangabeiras
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Eating Out

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The food in Brazil is fantastic, the food of Minas Gerais is particularly fantastic, and Belo Horizonte has enough great bars and restaurants to last a lifetime. Add this together and what do you get? Gastronomic Heaven! In my opinion, there are three major factors that determine your enjoyment of any eating experience and many of Belo’s bars and restaurants score highly in each. The first is obvious. If the food isn’t good, you might as well eat at home. Fortunately, Belo’s establishments take great pride in their fare and whether it be Comida Mineira (traditional Mineiran cuisine) or pizza, you’re guaranteed a fresh and tasty dish. The second factor is service. ...Read More

Churrasco (Barbeque)

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Story/Tip

Quote:
I have spent a total of 12 months in Brazil, and I haven’t met a single vegetarian yet. It may be that they were just keeping quiet or perhaps I move in particularly carnivorous circles while I’m there. However, I suspect the real reason is that Brazilian meat, and beef in particular, is too good to miss out on. It’s no wonder then that Brazil is full of restaurants that specialise in churrasco (pronounced, shoohassco). A churrascaria often comes in the form of a rodizio (hodjeezeeio), which is basically an all-you-can-eat restaurant where the waiters wander round the tables offering you food. You can indicate that you want a break by turning a little card on your table ...Read More

Self-Service Restaurants

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Before I went to Brazil, I thought there were basically two kinds of restaurant - one where you choose a dish and pay a fixed amount for it and the other the all-you-can-eat system, where you pay a lump sum and then attempt to get your money’s worth by stuffing yourself. Prior to my first visit to Brazil, I believed the latter to be the ultimate meal deal. However, upon my arrival in Belo Horizonte, I discovered that there is, in fact, a third way. It’s called self-service. The idea is that you go to the buffet counter, fill your plate, have your plate weighed, and then pay for what you’ve taken. It’s simple but incredibly sensible. You don’t have to worry about getting your money’s worth, ...Read More

Poverty and Crime

Story/Tip

Quote:
Like many Brazilian cities, the differences between rich and poor in Belo Horizonte are stark. Rather than the gradual change from wealthy to poorer areas that you find in Europe or the US, the rich often live right across the road or round the corner from a ‘Favela’ (slum). Another aspect of the city which causes a shock to the system is the amount of street children who ask you for money while stopped at traffic lights or on the street. The city’s government wants the public to stop handing money to street children in order to encourage parents to send their children to school. It’s difficult, however, not to be affected by the poverty around you, especially when this kind of existence is unhear...Read More

About the Writer

daviebee

daviebee
Edinburgh, United Kingdom