Live and eat like a local, and get off the tourist track with our Belo Horizonte hit list from the host of SBS travel show, This is Brazil!.
By
Fernanda de Paula

12 May 2014 - 1:53 PM  UPDATED 13 May 2014 - 5:01 PM

1. Immerse yourself in art

Inhotim is Brazil's largest and most impressive collection of contemporary art. A mining magnate financed the institution and it’s quickly becoming known as the number one place to visit in the country, so don’t miss this wonderland spread over 110 hectares and featuring hundreds of works from world-renowned artists.

 

2. Grab a market bargain

Every Sunday the Avenue Afonso Pena, one of the main streets in Belo Horizonte, closes to make space for arguably the biggest and best art and craft market in the country. Nicknamed the Hippie Market, the fair holds 2,500 thousand stalls and receives over 60 thousand visitors every week. Divided into 16 sections, it’s also a great place to buy shoes, bags, clothes and accessories.

 

3. Chow down before a match

Feijão Tropeiro is a classic local dish made of beans, cassava flour, pork, eggs and couve (a type of Chinese broccoli) and is an iconic recipe of Minas Gerais. It’s served at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirão stadium instead of the meat pies and hot dogs Australian stadiums are infamous for. Do as the locals do: head to a game and try this mouth-watering dish.

 

4. Enjoy avant-garde architecture

The Pampulha Architectural Complex was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1940s as part of the expansion and modernisation of the city. Buildings such as the art museum and the iconic church of Saint Francis of Assisi with its stunning Portinari panel make it for a charming visit.

 

5. Sip the local liquor

Brazil’s own spirit liquor is called cachaça and the state of Minas Gerais is renowned for producing some of the country’s finest. A trip to Vale Verde cachaça distillery in the metropolitan area will give you an insight into the world of the ‘marvada’ cachaça - the naughty drink. It’s worth remembering that the motto of the city is: “the beach is too far, let’s go to the bar”.

 

6. Where to eat

Bar da Lora - This is a bar inside the central market that sells icy cold beer and great local food (Central Market, Loja 115).

 

This is Brazil! airs Fridays at 7.30pm on SBS ONE.