I purposely planned a 4 day trip to Belo Horizonte with the intention of putting aside one day to visit the beautiful former mining town of Ouro Preto in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. I had heard great things about this former colonial town and it did not disappoint.
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I took a bus from Centro Belo Horizonte to Praca Tancrdo Neves bus station in Ouro Preto and it took approximately 2 hours with a few stops along the way.
Across the street from the bus station was small quaint roadside restaurant serving inexpensive snacks and drinks. I had a chance to relax and watch an ongoing World Cup match.
Nearby was the Church San Francisco de Paula which was desolate and looked deserted.
Also nearby was a cemetery which made the neighborhood around the bus station quite depressing.
As I made my way down the windy hill towards Praca Tiradentes, there were street vendors and interesting street art along the way.
The two lane divided highway was quite narrow, so buses and automobiles have to slow down quite a bit. The best method was definitely by motorcycle.
The second major landmark I encountered was the Igreja Nossa Senhora das Mercês e Misericórdia with breathtaking sweeping views of Ouro Preto.
More street vendors hawking their wares were strategically located near the church.
As I walked further down towards Praca Tiradentes, I passed by another church and a beautiful white and blue building.
Nearby was the Museu de Ciência e Técnica da Escola de Minas, the Museum of Science and Technology of the School of Mining.
I had finally reached the town square of Praca Tiradentes where the most popular attraction was the Museu da Inconfidência which is a history museum.
In Praca Tiradentes, there were a lot of precious gem stores which is quite common in the mining town of Minas Gerias.
There are also a lot of side streets where you can find souvenir shops.
Local street artists can also be found drawing caricatures selling their artwork.
One of the coolest things I saw while walking around the colorful streets of Ouro Preto was this chess set.
There was also a cool art installation space displaying the works of Helcio Queiroz called “Exposicao Construcoes Fotograficas”.
There is no shortage of things to eat in Ouro Preto and there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and dessert shops to choose from.
There’s also inexpensive street food available such as popcorn, acai popsicles, and corn on the cob.
I had a delicious feijoada lunch at Maria Bonila Restaurante and Padaria which was a kilo restaurant where you pay by the weight.
For dessert, I went to Mega Acai and had acai with chopped strawberries.
After lunch, I headed to the local artesanal market called “Feira de Artesanato” where you can buy Artes em Pedra Sabao, Prata, Camisetas, Pedras Preciosas e Semi-precciosas, Vendidas pelos proprios artesaos de Ouro Preto e Distritos.
Basically, you can buy precious and semi-precious gemstones, local handicraft goods, and souvenirs.
Nearby the artesanal market was the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi where I had multiple breathtaking sweeping views of Ouro Preto.