Last Updated on June 19, 2023
With a population of 2.5 million, Belo Horizonte is the sixth-largest city in Brazil. The city anchors itself in a wide plateau encircling the Curral Del Rey, a hilly ridge that gives the view of a beautiful horizon for which the city was named after.
It plays a vital role in preserving culture in Brazil and hosts several museums such as the Palace of the Arts and the Mineiro Museum. The city also cherishes Brazillian culture incorporated in music and has its very own music conservatory.
Belo Horizonte with its proud tourist attractions and diverse cultural destinations started from humble beginnings.
The metropolis was originally a small village founded by Joao Leite De Silva Ortiz, a man who originally came from San Paulo.
The region was known for its abundant gold deposits, and he explored Belo Horizonte for a gold rush expedition. His wealth grew and allowed him to set up a farm which invited people to move and make a living on Belo Horizonte in its early years.
With the passing of time, the city grew with various developments that happened to the state of Brazil. In 1906 Belo Horizonte experienced considerable industrial expansion which allowed it to develop successfully.
Going toward the present, it became the fast becoming center of commerce in South America as we know today.
So, what are the best things to do in Belo Horizonte, Brazil?
1. Museum of Arts and Crafts
Build as a tribute to Brazilian workers, this museum is one of its kind in all of Brazil. It was opened to the public in 2005 stores over 2,000 pieces from 18th to 20th century which makes up most of its core collections.
The collections were donated by Angela Guiterrez, founder of the Flavio Guitierrez Cultural Insitute. The museum fills two pavilions housed within Central Station and Oeste de Minas Station, both which are historical stations in Belo Horizonte.
Creation of the museum has brought the revitalization of Station Square which hosts some of the city’s most iconic events.
2. Inhotim Institute
Otherwise known as Insitituto de Arte Contemporanea Inhotim, the Inhotim institute is the largest open-air contemporary art museum in the world. Wandering around this museum will surely take your breath away.
It features 23 galleries or modern art made by the world’s most famous artists and marvelous sculptures renowned for the mastery and complexity of their design and craftsmanship.
As you look around the exhibits, a guide will give you useful information which will make you appreciate the displays on the art museum even more.
3. Museum of Mines and Metal
If you are crazy about mining and metallurgy, you shouldn’t forget visiting the Museum of Mines and Metal in Belo Horizonte. Minas Gerais, the state where Belo Horizonte is located, has thrived since time immemorial through mining and metallurgy.
This is why both these practices are highly commemorated within this neoclassical palace designed museum. The museum features 18 rooms and 44 attractions which holds various exhibits of minerals.
Your experience in getting familiar with Minas Gerais mining and metallurgy starts with displays of diamond mines, gold mines, iron mines, zinc mines, and other types of mines via an interactive map.
If you’ve had enough looking at the various displays you can engage in various activities that the museum has to offer such as a hands-on periodic table, Vale Quanto Pesa Exhibit Quiz, etc.
4. Minas Museum of Natural Sciences
The best vacation is one where you witness the precious smiles of your kids. A visit to Minas Museum of Natural Sciences will surely be an experience of a lifetime for you and your children. The museum is open throughout the week from 9 am to 5 pm.
This museum provides interesting information on the history of Brazil’s flora and fauna in the past. It has the largest collection of mammal fossils in South America such as the giant ground sloth, toxodon, etc.
Dinosaur replicas are also on display here and your kids will surely enjoy the exhibition which makes them understand the extinction of these proud creatures. You will never be a stranger as you walk around the museum, The staff are known to be friendly and accommodating towards the guests.
5. Parque Serra do Curral
After days or weeks of enjoying the activities brought upon by the urban life within the city, one would want to experience the gifts that mother nature has bestowed upon Belo Horizonte.
Parque Serra Do Curral is a tourist attraction that symbolizes the city’s concern toward the environment. It is a green location that will allow you to breathe fresh air and see the flora or fauna of Belo Horizonte in action.
This place also provides a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding area which makes it great for photoshoots or as a setting for a film.
This place is great for short walks and if you’re up to the challenge you can try crossing the Sierra Trail. If you manage to withstand the difficulty of steep walking and climbing, a wonderful sightseeing spot will reward all of your efforts. By the way, don’t forget to bring your lunch, foods are prohibited to be sold here.
6. The International Theater Festival Of Belo Horizonte
This only occurs every two years, and if you find yourself in Belo Horizonte during its celebration, you’re in luck. The international theater festival is a grand event which showcase workshops, exhibitions, debates, movies, dance, music, and theatrical or street performances.
International artist hail from different states renowned for talented artists such as Argentina, Belgium, Columbia, South Korea, Spain, Italy, France, Nepal, Peru and Switzerland.
With each International Festival, expect to see meticulously planned production and masterful execution of routines. If you love to see superb theatrical performance every two years, then start saving money for overseas travel and go to Belo Horizonte.
7. Belo Horizonte City Tour in Pampulha
One of the easiest ways to enjoy the city is to take the city tour around Lake Pampulha. Why? Because most of the city’s famous landmarks are close or around the lake. This means that if you are afraid to ask the locals which places are the places to visit, the tour will summarize give you an idea on which places should you go next.
The tour is ideal for families, couples, or even people who are travelling alone. As a plus, availing the tour includes free pick and drop off on the hotel where you are checking in.
The tour will expose you to the uniqueness of Brazilian architecture found within the city. Feel the vibe of the city as you enjoy the tour which fuses history, culture, and nature of Belo Horizonte.
8. Serra do Cipo National Park
Serra do Cipo is a largely protected area which hosts diverse flaura and fauna located northeast of Belo Horizonte. The lush vegetation and efforts of the authorities to preserve nature has allowed wolves, ocelots, hummingbirds; and plants such as cacti and orchids to dwell sustainably on the area.
The trails lead to various waterfalls such as Farofa and Andorinhas. Reaching the towering gorge of Bandeirinhas Canyon will expose you to its cascades and natural pools. There are various recreational activities that you can do here.
If you are feeling adventurous then joining the trekking tour is a must. If you are in for sightseeing, get those cameras ready for the national park has wonderful scenery that will be excellent for an Instagram post.
9. Mirante do Mangabeiras
If you want to get the best bird’s eye view of the city and know how big the city is, then visiting Mirante do Mangabeiras is an experience you shouldn’t miss. This is a lookout point in the city where most tourist gather and chat among themselves.
Visiting here during the afternoon just before the sunset starts is the best experience that anyone could have. The beautiful landscape of Belo Horizonte, masks the disappearance of the sun as it slowly fades from view as evening arrives.
Take a quick rest here before going back to the hotel while grabbing some snacks and drinks.
10. Americo Renne Gianetti Municipal Park
Another great place for recreation activities-Americo Rene Gianetti Municipal Park is great for picnics, boating, and Ferris wheel rides.
The winding paths within will introduce you to the park’s unque ecosystem. As you stroll along the paths, wide range of trees, and bird species will constantly meet your eyes.
Set up a picnic lunch on the parks prime spots near Lagoa de Barcos, one of the park’s the largest lagoons. If you out on a vacation on Belo Horizonte for a wedding proposal, then a walk with your beloved on Ilha dos Amores will surely get the yes that you’ve always wanted to hear.
Reading only will get you nowhere. Grab your bags and luggage and set off to Belo Horizonte now!