The only way to fully experience a town is to experience its culture. Belo Horizonte, although unknown to most tourists and though overshadowed by other famous cities in Brazil like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, still has a lot of interesting and exciting customs that you should experience.
There are only a few towns in Brazil that were actually planned. Belo Horizonte is among the few but the city is considered as the best example of urban planning and town architecture in Brazil. The city’s town plan was inspired by that of Washington D.C.’s town plan. When it came to the city’s architecture though, the work of Oscar Niemeyer in the Pampulha neighborhood is the best example. In this center, there are various landmarks and famous attractions that you can see. This is where you can see the earlier works of the famous Brazilian modern architect. One of this is the church of Saint Francis de Assisi, which was not consecrated by the Catholic Church until 1959 due to its unconventional structure and the painting inside that depicted Saint Francis as the savior of sinners. Another great structure in the neighborhood is the Mineirao Stadium. This is considered as the biggest soccer stadium in the entire world.
There are also other great architectural structures outside of Pampulha. The Municipal Park of Belo Horizonte also houses a lot of these. The Palace of the Arts and Mineralogy and Historical Museums are some of the landmarks that you should see.
Belo Horizonte is birthplace to a lot of famous bands and musicians. Sepultura, 14 Bis, Pato Fu, Jota Quest, and Skank are some of these. Uakti, a band that got its name from a myth of the Tukano Indians, is another famous band from Belo Horizonte. Uakti utilizes indigenous materials like wood and uses this to make music.
There was also a musical movement that started in Belo Horizonte in the 1960s. This was known as Clube da Esquina. Their great influence is still reflected in today’s music and is evident in Minas Gerais culture.
Food and Drink
Comida a quilt, which literally means food by the kilo, is like a self-service restaurant that is common in Brazil and in Belo Horizonte. You can find one of these almost anywhere. The best place that is considered to get snacks and drinks though is in one of the bars in Savassi and in the Municipal Park. Cachaça, the most famous drink in the state of Minas Gerais, can also be found in Belo and is considered as one of the locals’ and even tourists’ favorite. This is a type of alcoholic drink that is produced from fermented sugarcane.
Though Belo Horizonte doesn’t have grandiose festivals such as the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, it also has a festival of its own that is really distinctive of Belo. This is the Comida di Buteco. It’s a yearly event that picks the bar that creates the best appetizer and serves the best beer and service as the winner of the festival. It is participated by bars in the city.