When most people think of Brazil, they automatically think Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. I spent three nights and four days during the World Cup in Belo Horizonte which is in the beautiful Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. According to Wikipedia, Belo Horizonte is “ranked as the third most populous metropolitan area in Brazil, the nineteenth most populous in the Americas and the forty-second largest in the world.”
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Downtown Belo Horizonte is laid out in a grid system and it’s very much a walking city. It can get kind of confusing at first with diagonal streets, but I got used to it after the first day.
Praca Sete de Setembro is the most famous landmark square in Centro Downtown Belo Horizonte where many cars and people intersect on a daily basis.
Another famous landmark where people congregate is at Praca da Estacao, a public square in downtown Belo Horizonte.
Downtown Belo Horizonte has many green parks such as Praca Rui Barbosa.
Another park is Praca da Liberdade which is tree lined with a beautiful fountain display.
In Praca da Liberdade, Algerian fans took over the square because they were excited about the upcoming World Cup match.
Praca da Liberdade also has many government buildings within walking distance.
As I was walking in downtown Belo Horizonte, I saw a Hyundai sponsored World Cup bus carrying Team Algeria pass by.
I love how there’s statues and landmarks on every major thoroughfare in downtown Belo Horizonte.
There are also many museums in downtown Belo Horizonte to choose from.
Churches and catholic universities are also plentiful in central Belo Horizonte.
There’s also a lot of shopping to be had on the streets of Belo Horizonte.
Artesanal shops with handcrafted items can also be found in Centro Belo Horizonte.
There’s also a large shopping mall in downtown Belo Horizonte called Shopping Cidade for your shopping needs.
Shopers were dressed in the national team’s colors and even a life size World Cup mascot was present.
Plenty of kilo restaurants, trendy restaurants, bars, and café were present in downtown Belo Horizonte.
The best way to get around outside of the downtown Belo Horizonte area and to other neighborhoods in Belo Horizonte is to take the bus.
Alternatively, you can take the light rail at the Belo Horizonte metro station. Yes, believe it or not – there is a metro system in Belo Horizonte, but it’s limited and another line is currently under construction.
I took the metro to Expominas where FIFA Fan Fest was held.