About Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, in the southeast of Brazil. The city was conceived and planned in the late 19th century as a replacement for the old colonial capital, Ouro Preto. It is one of the first planned cities in Brazil.

The city is the largest municipality in the state, with just over 2.5 million inhabitants in the central area, and it offers a dynamic cultural life.

The capital of Minas Gerais is a city that lies between tradition and modernity offering residents and visitors the complete package. Its lush greenery and pleasant climate make for the perfect setting for those intent on discovering the charms of this metropolis. Its geographical position and infrastructure also contribute to making the city a centre for business tourism.

Belo Horizonte also hosts the most diverse internationally recognized cultural and artistic festivals, such as the Festival de Teatro (Theater Festival) and Fórum de Dança (Dance Forum). Another highlight is its craftwork. The richness and originality of these works can be seen in the various fairs located around the city.

The proximity of Ouro Preto and Congonhas, also cultural heritage sites, the landscape of Serra do Curral and the hospitality of Belo Horizonte`s residents make this charming capital of Minas Gerais the ideal place to visit and live. These are some of the reasons why Belo Horizonte was chosen as one of the Host Cities for the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. That included ten football matches at the Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto, the Mineirao, one of the best and most traditional arenas in Brazil and the scenario of major clashes in world football.

Belo Horizonte has a great location within Brazil. It is close to the large urban centers and provides easy access to all regions of the country. Tancredo Neves International Airport (also known as Confins Airport) is considered one of the main hubs of the Brazilian air network.

  • Capital of Minas Gerais State – a historical, cultural and political hub
  • Foundation: 12.12.1897
  • Population: 2.4 million
  • Area: 330.95 km²
  • 8 shopping malls
  • BH Digital: 50 hotspots for public use
  • Cradle of architecture designed by Oscar Niemeyer and reference in modernist architecture and in the Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Eclectic, Neoclassical, and Neo-baroque styles.
  • Known as the Garden City due to the large number of parks, squares and gardens. 

Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil) is pleased to announce that the Pampulha Modern Ensemble became a World Cultural Heritage site in July 2016 at the 40th session of the Committee in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Pampulha Modern Ensemble was the centre of a visionary garden city project created in 1940 in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. It´s conformed by a landscape situation that aggregates four articulated buildings around the water mirror of an artificial urban lake and its shore scenically finished, as an integrated result of the creative genius of the main Brazilian names in Arts, Landscaping, and Architecture of the 20th century – the buildings were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in collaboration with innovative artists.

Concerning its buildings, the Ensemble includes the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Casino (now the Pampulha Art Museum), the Casa do Baile (now Center of Reference in Urbanism, Architecture and Design of Belo Horizonte) and the Yacht Golf Club (today Yacht Tennis Club), constructed between 1942 and 1943. The original project featured a hotel, which was never built, but whose position also highlights its relationship with the others and with the Juscelino Kubitschek residence (currently the Kubitschek house) constructed in 1943.

In addition to the buildings, the Ensemble reveals a beautiful landscape through gardens especially designed with the constructions along the shore in a way they are all connected. The Modern Ensemble is designed so as to generate a “total work of art”, integrating the works of art to the buildings and the buildings to the landscape, since they have all been designed simultaneously and integrated to one another. By its shape, implementation and landscape treatment, the big water mirror and the shore of the “Lagoa da Pampulha” (Pampulha´s Lake) work as articulators of the buildings, reinforcing visual relations that are established between them.

The Ensemble comprises bold forms that exploit the plastic potential of concrete, while fusing architecture, landscape design, sculpture and painting into a harmonious whole. It reflects the influence of local traditions, the Brazilian climate and natural surroundings on the principles of modern architecture.

The Pampulha Modern Ensemble is inserted in the Pampulha´s region, which is also an administrative district of the city, and occupies 47.13 kilometers in the northeast of the city. The center of the Pampulha is occupied by an artificial lake. The region is considered a Touristic, Cultural and Leisure Complex. It´s a center for tourists and local people with a lot of parks, a Zoological Park and Botanical Garden, a gastronomic circuit and a sporting circuit, covering the city´s main sorting facilities, “Mineirão” (Local Stadium), Mineirinho and local clubs.

Pampulha Church and Mineirão Stadium - Source: FlickrPampulha Church and Mineirão Stadium – Source: FlickrPampulha: Pampulha’s architecture, dating back to the 1940s, is among the most famous works of Brazilian modernist architect, Oscar Niemeyer, now internationally recognized as the greatest Brazilian architect of all time. The architecture of Pampulha also includes the Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Pampulha Art Museum), the Casa do Baile (Ball Room) and the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of São Francisco de Assis), with their unorthodox forms, Portinari murals, landscape design by Roberto Burle Marx and sculptures by Alfredo Ceschiatti. The buildings, located on the waterfront of Lagoa da Pampulha (Pampulha´s Lake), have become famous all over the world. Furthermore, the region of Pampulha has established itself as a development centre for sports in the city with The Mineirão stadium and the Mineirinho multi-sport gymnasium also located in this area.

The Heart of the City: Here you can find some of the city’s treasures from the time of its inception, such as the Palácio da Liberdade (Freedom Palace), the headquarters of the previous state government and the main administrative buildings. In 2010, the historical buildings of the state secretariats became part of the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit, considered the largest cultural assembly in Brazil. Already in operation are the Arquivo Público Mineiro (Minas Gerais Public Archive), Biblioteca Pública Estadual Luiz de Bessa (State Public Library), Centro de Arte Popular Cemig (Popular Art Center), Espaço TIM UFMG do Conhecimento (Knowledge Space), Memorial Minas Gerais Vale (Minas Gerais Memorial), Museu das Minas e do Metal (Metal and Mining Museum), Museu Mineiro (Minas Gerais Museum) and Palácio da Liberdade (Freedom Palace). As well as these, there are another five spaces already in the process of development: the Casa Fiat de Cultura (Culture House), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (Cultural Center), Centro de Referência da Economia Criativa SebraeMG (Creative Economics Center of Reference), the Inhotim Escola (School) and the Museu do Automóvel (Automobile Museum).

The Best view of Belo Horizonte: Belo Horizonte must be seen from the top of its nearby mountains. The Mangabeiras Lookout, located beside the Parque das Mangabeiras, provides an unrivalled panoramic view of the city. Nature lovers must see the Parque Serra do Curral (Curral Mountain Range Park) which embraces the city and provides scenery not to be missed. It is also worth checking out the intriguing and mysterious Rua do Amendoim (Peanut Road). To finish the day, why not appreciate the sunset at the Praça do Papa (Pope´s Square).

Gastronomy: Belo Horizonte maintains Minas’ culinary heritage with its simple ingredients used in a creative way. It is also considered as the “National Capital of Botecos (Street bars)”. There are 18.600 bars, restaurants and cafés which offer a vibrant nightlife and the delicious taste of Minas Gerais’, recognized internationally for its originality. Its coffee, cheese bread, craft beers and cachaça (rum) and the local cheeses are some of the products that mark the local gastronomy. The capital city hosts various gastronomic festivals, such as the Comida di Buteco (Bar food), Restaurant Week and Brasil Sabor (Brazil Taste), among others. The Mercado Central (Central Market), located in the heart of the city with 400 shops, brings together what is most expressive of Minas Gerais culture, from the craft cheeses to the best cachaça in Brazil, as well as local craftwork.

Surrounding Areas: The capital is close to important tourist destinations such as the Rota das Grutas de Lund, which is composed of the Museu de Ciências Naturais da PUC (Pontifical University Natural Sciences Museum), the Sumidouro State Park, and the Rei do Mato, Maquiné and Lapinha caves. The historical cities of Mariana, Ouro Preto and Congonhas are home to treasures and riches of baroque production dating back to the Brazilian colonial period. Located just 60 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte is the Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Inhotim Inhotim Center of Contemporary Art) in the municipality of Brumadinho. One of the world’s largest open air contemporary art museums, with 100 acres of gardens and dozens of works by internationally renowned artists, Inhotim captivates visitors with its grandeur and originality. It’s no wonder that the museum has become one of the most sought-after  Brazilian cultural spaces by foreign tourists.

Cultural Effervescence

Belo Horizonte is a city with some of the best cultural offerings in Brazil, It´s a city where culture comes to life. Well known cultural groups such as Corpo, Giramundo and Galpão began in the state capital. A varied artistic and cultural calendar sees many major national and international events.

No fewer than eight museums have opened their doors in Belo Horizonte in recent years. The highest concentration is found in the “Praça da Liberdade” Cultural Circuit, one of the largest integrated culture complexes in Latin America. The buildings that once housed the state government’s administrative offices are now being used as spaces for art, culture, and entertainment.

Another active cultural pole is the Praça da Estação (Railway Station Square), site of the Museu de Artes e Ofícios (Museum of Arts and Crafts), which houses 2,500 pieces and objects that tell the story of pre-industrial work in the country. Then there is the Casa Fiat de Cultura (Fiat House Culture Museum), which organizes and sponsors major international exhibitions, featuring works such as Rodin, Italian art, Caravaggio, and Giorgio De Chirico.

The city has also established itself as the host of a wide range of festivals in different cultural segments. The Festival Internacional de Quadrinhos – FIQ (International Festival of Comics), for instance, is the largest of its kind in Latin America, and the Festival Internacional de Teatro – FIT (International Festival of Theatre) is the third. Then there’s the Festival Mundial de Circo (International Circus Festival) and the Indie, one of the greatest national festivals of independent cinema, plus the Comida di Buteco Food Festival, a competition that brings out the best of the food served by the city’s bars.

Located just 60 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte is the Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Inhotim Inhotim Center of Contemporary Art) in the municipality of Brumadinho. One of the world’s largest open air contemporary art museums, with 100 acres of gardens and dozens of works by internationally renowned artists, Inhotim captivates visitors with its grandeur and originality. It’s no wonder that the museum has become one of the most sought-after  Brazilian cultural spaces by foreign tourists.

Belo Horizonte Municipal Culture Foundation (Fundação Municipal de Cultura – FMC) aims at planning and executing the City´s cultural policies, through programs, projects and other activities that promote cultural development. FMC works for a sustainable city, promoting the social inclusion and life quality to its population.

In various cultural spaces spread through the city, like museums, libraries, reference centers and theaters, FMC promotes many activities. FMC is also responsible for keeping the City Cultural Heritage and for maintaining the whole Public Archives generated by the city.



The city has pleasant temperatures the whole year (max. 28º C from January to March and min. 15º C in June and July). The rainy months are between November and March.