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Overview

One of Brazil’s largest and most important cities, the capital of Minas Gerais (population 2.6 million) is not a major tourist destination. A planned city with generic high-rises and industrial suburbs that reflect its economic importance, “BH,” while pleasant, has little in the way of charm or history. On the upside, it has a rich cultural scene, an impressive culinary scene, and more bars per capita than any other Brazilian city – at last count 8,000 – most of which offer great music, mouthwatering “petiscos” (snacks), and a chance to sample the renowned regionally-produced cachaças of Minas. Belo Horizonte is also a convenient gateway to ...

One of Brazil’s largest and most important cities, the capital of Minas Gerais (population 2.6 million) is not a major tourist destination. A planned city with generic high-rises and industrial suburbs that reflect its economic importance, “BH,” while pleasant, has little in the way of charm or history. On the upside, it has a rich cultural scene, an impressive culinary scene, and more bars per capita than any other Brazilian city – at last count 8,000 – most of which offer great music, mouthwatering “petiscos” (snacks), and a chance to sample the renowned regionally-produced cachaças of Minas. Belo Horizonte is also a convenient gateway to exploring nearby colonial gold-mining towns (particularly Sabará) and natural attractions such as the Serra do Cipó National Park and the stalactite and stalagmite-studded caverns of Lapinha and Rei do Mato. Also not to be missed is the Inhotim Institute, Brazil’s largest (and most fabulous) private collection of contemporary art set amidst the emerald hills and forests of nearby Brumadinho.

Michael Sommers
About the Expert

Michael Sommers is the author of Moon Brazil and Moon Rio, as well as the blog Thrill of Brazil. He has been living in Salvador, Brazil since 1999.

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Michael Sommers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Belo Horizonte, "Beautiful Horizon" is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of the country.
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Brazilian Real
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round, although expect rain from December to March.