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Belo Horizonte

Capital of the state of Minas Gerais. It is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life in Latin America. Strategic point of the country and of the Americas with strong vocation for commerce and services and for its rich artistic and cultural production.

Discover more about Belo Horizonte

Night Life

Belo Horizonte celebrates its fame as the national capital of bars. From the fashionable eateries to urban warehouses, to bars of different styles and persuasions, there's always something new guaranteeing pleasant surprises and the promise of diversion for anybody who wants to enjoy the nightlife of BH, a city with a bohemian tradition.
On the circuit of the Arrudas, in the neighbourhood Barro Preto, are the urban warehouses, currently the most talked about of the night-clubs. On Raja Gabaglia Avenue, aside from the chalets where you can enjoy an aged Mineiro cachaca "sugar-cane spirit" to the sound of Sertaneja (country music), there are restaurants with typical Mineiro food, closed bars, and night-clubs. Rua Major Lopes, in the neighbourhood of Sao Pedro, has become the hot spot. In six blocks there is a concentration of bars with ice-cold beer, pubs, cafes, restaurants and dance clubs. Another circuit which has surfaced is in Anchieta with video-bars, beer houses, and restaurants which offer a menu from barbecue to Japanese to seafood.
Another interesting area is in the vicinity of Marilia de Dirceu square, in Lourdes, with more casual bars, meeting places for before the samba and pagode haunts, beer houses and Minerio food bar-restaurants. The shopping malls also have areas of entertainment and leisure.

The city

The city is in the midst of the celebration of its centennial. With more than 2.1 million inhabitants, it was considered to be the city with the best quality of life in Latin America by the Population Crisis Committee of the United Nations and the 45th among the 100 best in the world.

Located in the Southeast of Brazil, in a geographically strategic point of the country and of the Americas, it is surrounded by the mountains of the Serrado Curral which serves as a natural frame for the city as well as a historical reference. The city is known for its year round mild climate with an average temperature of 21 C. The winter is dry and the summer rainy.

Beyond the natural advantages and the facility of access by plane and train, the capital of Minas is known for the beauty of its architecture, for its strong vocation for commerce and services and for its rich artistic and cultural production.

At 100 years, BH is a mixture of tradition and modernity. Elected to be the new capital of Minas Gerais, taking over for Ouro Preto, it was the first planned city in the country. Today, it is vital city, attracting much investment. Recognised as a centre of medical, biotechnological and information excellence, Belo Horizonte has hosted important national and international events.

Those who visit BH, must visit the architectural complex of Pampulha; the Liberdade area; Mangabeiras park; the museums and churches; the shopping centres; the little bars and restaurants which make the nightlife of BH one of the most animated in the country.

history

At the beginning of the 18th century the city was initially settled by the São Paulo explorer João Leite da Silva Ortiz, whose farm, Curral del Rey, became the core of the first hamlet. On December 17th of 1893, the fertile undulating landscape was chosen among five potential areas as the site for a new town. Finally after numerous political crisis, the governor of Minas Gerais, Augusto de Lima, initiated a project to build the political, cultural and economic centre of the state.With architects and engineers arriving from Rio de Janeiro, it took 4 years for the countries first planned city to be constructed.

Restaurants

Taste the typical dishes of the region: "Feijao Tropeiro and Tutu a Mineira".

FRENCH
@@ Taste Vin xxx $$ - R. Curitiba, 2105 (Lourdes), tel. 3292-5423; cc: V, 19h3O/24h. Closed sun.
Friendly ambience where the souffles are a must: Smoked Surubim Gruyere Cheese, Shrimps with cheese and mushrooms. Good wine list.

ITALIAN
@ Splendido XXX $$ - R. Levindo Lopes, 251 (Savassi), tel. 3227-6446; cc: Ae, D, 12h/15h, 19h/1h; sun. 12h/17h.
Elegant ambience and creative Mediterranean cuisine.

@@ Vecchio Sogno XXX $$$ - R. Martin de Carvalho, 75/ R. Dias Adorno (Sto. Agostinho), tel. 3292-525 ; cc: all, 12h/24h; sat. 18h/24h.
Located in an attractive nice colonial building, chef Ivo Farias offers a modern balanced menu. Loin of lamb with risotto and garlic sauce, seabass, ossobuco with risotto a milanesa; linguini with vongole sauce.

@ Dona Derna XX $$ - R. Tomé de Sousa, 1380 (Funcionarios), tel. 32236954; cc: D, Mc, V, 11h/24h;

@ Sapore d'Italia X $$ - R. Mestre Luis, 64 (São Pedro), tel. 3227-4585 ; cc: all, 19:30h/01h; closed Sun, reserve.

PORTUGUESE
Portugalia XX $$$ - R. Donato da Fonseca, 174 (Cidade Jardim), tel. 3296-5329; cc: all, 20h/24h; sat. 12h/1h, sun. 12h/17h.
Simple setting with good food, thanks to the old family cod fish recipes.

REGIONAL
@ Xapuri X $$ - R. Mandacaru, 260 (Braúnas/ Pampulha), 14 km, tel. 3496-6198; cc: all, 12h/24h. Closed Mon.
Rustic setting like an old farm house. The open kitchen provides the diners with fresh and tasty food. Pumpkin stuffed with chicken and dried meat and other great choices are made in an old fashion oven.

@ Aurora XX $$$ - R. Expedicionario Mario Alves 421(Sào Luis), tel. 3498-7567; cc: D, Mc, V, 17h/24h. Closed Mon and Tue
Nice house in residential area near Pampulha Lake. Open air tables and eating room with view to the garden.

@ A Favorita XX $$ - R. Sta Cataraina 1235 (Lourdes), tel. 33275-2352; cc: Ae, D, Mc 12h/15h and 19h/1h.
Well frequented, especially around happy hour when the run for the best tables on the verandah begin.

general info

TELEPHONE AREA CODE
031

CLIMATE
The climate of Minas Gerais is characterized by two distinct seasons: the wet season (October to February)and the dry season (March to April). The rainy season is quite warm, but cooler than the heat of Rio, and has daily downpours,which luckily rarely last for long. The dry season , on the other hand, is cooler and from July to September it can actually get a little cold.

CLOTHING
Obviously the dress code in Belo Horizonte is a little less casual than that of the beach towns such as Rio and, as it is quite an important business centre, suit and ties are often necessary during working hours. For the historical cities near Belo Horizonte, the atmosphere is more relaxed and formal dressing is certainly not necessary. During the dry season it is recommended that you have a cardigan or jacket at hand for the cool evenings.

ELECTRICITY
The electric current in Belo Horizonte is 110 or 120 volts.

AIRPORT
There are two airports. Most flights arrive at the International airport, Confins, (also known as Aeroporto Tancredo Neves, which is 40 kms from the city. The other airport, Aeroporto da Pampulha, is much closer and is where the Rio and Sao Paulo shuttle flights arrive - better option for business passengers. There is a regular bus service that runs between the bus station (rodoviaria) and the airport, leaving every 30 minutes between 4.45am and 10.30 pm. There is also an executive bus that costs a little more, but it is more comfortable and is air-condtioned. It leaves form the executive terminal every 45 minutes between 5.15am and 9.45pm. Taxis are also available. For more details refer to Transfer.

BUSINESS HOURS
Most offices and stores are open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Stores are also open on Saturday from 10am to 1pm, while most of the large shopping centers open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 10pm. Belo Horizonte has a number of 24-hour convenience stores, many of which are located at, or close to, main gas stations. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm.

TAXIS
Belo Horizonte has an extensive fleet of taxis which can be hailed in the streets, as well as a series of special taxis operated by licensed companies, which can be found at the airport, hotels or booked by phone. From the international airport and the main shopping centers, most of the special taxis work on a rate fixed by area, which is paid in advance.

MEDICAL
Brazil has a number of internationally respected hospitals, clinics and doctors but treatment is expensive so visitors are strongly advised to take out medical insurance before travelling to Brazil. In Belo Horizonte, private clinics are recommended if you have to go into hospital for treatment (ask locally about the best available clinics), but in case of an emergency or accident, the emergency services in of the public hospitals are adequate.

how to get there

The Tancredo Neves Airport, is situated about 45 km away and is the airport that most foreign travellers because it handles all major connections. The journey to the city takes you through the typical flat lands of the region, characteristicized by its red soil.

We recommend a regular transfer with Driver / Guide, since you will be able to find out many useful details about Belo Horizonte and the area during the 40 min. ride. A taxi would probably cost about the same.

Specially trained guides will receive clients with a name board and, on the way to the hotel, they will give all the necessary information about arrangements for the client´s stay in Minas Gerais.

For those who opt not to make use of this important service, other transport is available:

Bus: A Bus line takes you downtown. You have two options: Either the regular Bus which is cheap (about USD 2,00), but only leaves about every 1 1/2 hours, and then you´ll need another 1 1/2 hours to arrive at the city centre. The other option is the executive bus, about USD 10,00, which leaves after every flight arrival. It takes you along Christiano Machado (Hotel Ouro Minas), to the Rodoviaria (Bus-Terminal), and to Praca Sete directly in the heart of the city. Tip: Getting off at Praca Sete, lots of taxis can take you to your final destination.

Pampulha Airport is a small airport only 9 kilometres from the city centre. It is more often used by businessmen since it is mainly used for shuttle flights from Sao Paulo and Rio. This shuttle service, however, is not included in the air pass and special air fares apply, so most of the foreigners arrive at the other airport.

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