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Info Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Founded in 1769 by Manuel Sepúlveda, its population of 1,509,939 inhabitants (2010) makes it the tenth most populous city in the country and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area, with 4,405,760 inhabitants (2010). The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian state.
Porto Alegre was founded in 1769 by Manuel Jorge Gomes de Sepúlveda, who used the pseudonym José Marcelino de Figueiredo to hide his identity; but the official date is 1772 with the act signed by immigrants from the Azores,Portugal. The vast majority of the population is of European descent.
The city lies on the eastern bank of the Guaíba River (also referred to as a lake), where five rivers converge to form the Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks), a giant freshwater lagoon navigable by even the largest of ships. This five-river junction has become an important alluvial port as well as a chief industrial and commercial center of Brazil.
In recent years, Porto Alegre hosted the World Social Forum, an initiative of several non-government organizations. The city became famous for being the first city that implementedparticipatory budgeting. The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches was held in Porto Alegre in 2006. Since 2000, Porto Alegre also hosts one of the world's largest free software events, called FISL.
The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, having previously been a venue for the 1950 FIFA World Cup.
|POPULATION :||• City 1,509,939 |
• Metro 4,405,769
|FOUNDED :||26 March 1772|
|TIME ZONE :|| Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
Summer (DST) UTC-2 (UTC-2)
|RELIGION :||Catholic 73.15% |
No religion 8.16%
Jehovah's Witnesses 0.45%
|AREA :||• City 496.827 km2 (191.826 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||10 m (30 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||30°01′59″S 51°13′48″W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.4%|
• Female: 53.6%
|ETHNIC :||White people (79.2%), Black people (10.2%), Pardo (Multiracial) people (10%), Asian people (0.3%), Amerindian people (0.2%).|
|AREA CODE :||51|
|POSTAL CODE :||90000-000|
|DIALING CODE :||+55 51|
|WEBSITE :||Porto Alegre|
The area includes attractions such as the Piratini Palace, the seat of the state Government, Porto Alegre Botanical Garden, Moinhos de Vento Park the Public Market and Farroupilha Park
Porto Alegre is well known in Brazil for its diverse nightlife. The city's clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants provide entertainment for a wide range of tastes and budgets, going from the cheap, traditional beer-'n-bite in a corner bar to all-night raves, and nightclubs. In the "SoHo" area of Porto Alegre, there is a block full of bars, restaurants and clubs.
Bars, some with live music, are spread out along, and just off, alongside the Parque Farroupilha and near the Federal University. Throughout the year, Porto Alegre's numerous Centros de Tradição Gaúcha organize traditional meals, music and dance performances.
The official date of the foundation of the city of Porto Alegre is 26 March 1772 by Manuel Sepúlveda, when Freguesia de São Francisco do Porto dos Casais was created and changed a year later to Nossa Senhora da Madre de Deus de Porto Alegre. However, the village started in 1752, when 60 Azorean couples were brought over by the Treaty of Madrid in order to set up Missions at the Northeast Region of Rio Grande do Sul that was handed over to the Portuguese Crown in exchange for the Sacramento Colonylocated on the margin of the Plata River. Land demarcation took a long time and the Azoreans settled permanently at Porto de Viamão, which was the first name by which Porto Alegre went by.
On 24 July 1773, Porto Alegre became the capital city of the province, when the administration of Manuel Sepúlveda, who used the fictitious name or pseudonym José Marcelino de Figueiredo, to hide their identity, officially started. In 1824, immigrants from all over the world started arriving, especially German, Italian,Spanish, Polish, Jewish, and Lebanese. This mosaic of diversity in appearance, ethnic origin, religions and languages is what makes Porto Alegre, nowadays with nearly 1.5 million inhabitants, a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. The city is an example of diversity and plurality.
The capital city of Rio Grande do Sul is also the capital city of the Pampas region, the name given to the region of fauna and flora typical of the vast plains that dominate the landscape of the South of Brazil, part of Argentina and Uruguay. This is where the Gaúcho comes from, the historical figure of a brave warrior that fought legendary battles and wars in the quest to conquer the borders of the Kingdoms of Portugal and Spain in the 16th century.
There were many wars, but it was the nineteenth century that marked its people, after they fought a long war for their independence from the Portuguese Empire. The Farrapos War started with the confrontation in Porto Alegre, near the Azenha bridge on 20 September 1835. Albeit terminated, this conflict etched in the pages of history the myth of the gaucho that is until our days praised in songs and celebrated in annual pageants and honored as names of streets and parks.
When the Farrapos War ended, the city continued to develop and underwent strong urban restructuring during the last decades of the 18th century, driven by the accelerated growth of port-related activities and shipyards. Its development continued over time and the city kept abreast with cultural, political and social events that were taking place within Brazil. Porto Alegre is the birthplace of great writers, intellectuals, artists, politicians, and episodes that marked the history of Brazil.
The city became known worldwide in 1963 through hosting the World University Games. In 1985, the people of Porto Alegre joined the movement for free elections and one of the largest demonstrations took place in the city.
Porto Alegre is located in the subtropical zone and thus features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in Köppen climate classification). Average precipitation is high and regular throughout the year. Summer temperatures often rise above 32 °C (90 °F) and high levels of humidity make the season very muggy.Subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters. Significant amounts of precipitation occur in all seasons in most areas. Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms and an occasional tropical storm.
The city experiences the most prominent difference among seasons and between temperature extremes among all Brazilian capitals. One reason for that is the highest latitude, which also contributes for the occurrence of 14 hours of daylight in December and 10 hours in June. The population is occasionally dangerously exposed to extremely high UV radiation.
The winter is mild, windy, rainy and quite changeable, which is also a feature of this time of the year. Usual winter temperatures range from 10 °C (50 °F) to 19 °C (66 °F). In the coldest days of the year the temperature may fall slightly below zero, like in 2012, when it recorded −3 °C (27 °F) (according to AccuWeather; unofficial). Snow is very rare, sometimes confused with sleet.
Climate data for Porto Alegre
|Record high °C (°F)||39.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||24.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||20.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||10.1|
The city of Porto Alegre is located at the northern end of the large coastal lagoon,Lagoa dos Patos in southeastern Brazil. The city lies on the east bank of the mouth of the Rio Guaiba, the estuary of which forms the enormous freshwater lagoon, Lagoa dos Patos. It additionally serves as the state capital of Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.
Porto Alegre has a long coastline on the Guaíba Lake, and its topography is punctuated by 40 hills. In the lake, a vast body of water, a maze of islands facing the city creates an archipelago where a unique ecosystem gives shelter to abundant wildlife. The city area concentrates 28% of the native flora of Rio Grande do Sul, with 9,288 species. Among these, there are many trees which are the vestiges of the Atlantic Forest. Fauna are also diversified, specially in the islands and hills. The Portoalegrense environs include many parks, squares and wooded streets.
Located at the junction of five rivers, it has become an important alluvial port as well as one of the chief industrial and commercial centers in Brazil. Products of the rich agricultural and pastoral hinterland, such as soybeans, leather, canned beef, and rice, are exported from Porto Alegre to destinations as far away as Africa and Japan.
According to SENAES (National Office of Solidarity Economy), it is considered a solidarity economy, the ensemble of economic activities with the following characteristics: cooperation, self-management, economic feasibility and solidarity. In 2005, the office identified 14,954 solidary enterprises in Brazil, among which 85 are located in Porto Alegre.
Among the main business located in Porto Alegre are Gerdau, Petroleo Ipiranga,Zaffari and RBS. Since 2000, General Motors (GM) is operating in Gravataí, located in the Metropolitan Region. Also in this Region but in Triunfo, there is a Petrochemical Pool, and in Eldorado do Sul Dell Computers has established a plant. In the health sector, the three hospitals: Hospital Moinhos de Vento, which is a private, JCAH-accredited hospital, Santa Casa de Misericordia Hospital and Clinicas Hospital, public, are considered among the best in Latin America. The latter are university-affiliated, referral hospitals for the South of Brazil. Commerce is a very important economic activity, with many malls (like Praia de Belas Shopping, Shopping Iguatemi and the smaller though posh Shopping Moinhos). The Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre, directed to the production of shoes (around Novo Hamburgo) and to petrochemical industries, as well as services.
In the city is located the Electronics Technology Center (CEITEC), focused on the development and production of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), today announced the opening of Latin America's first IC design center. To create state-of-the-art semiconductor products for high-volume markets that will be consumed in Latin America as well as exported to global markets. CEITEC S.A will accelerate the growth of Latin America's electronics industry by leveraging Brazil's regional influence, leadership and economic strength. The company will add 60 engineers to its ranks who will design RFID, digital media and wireless communication chips for its fabrication facility now ramping up for production. The total investment by the Brazilian government is almost US$210 million. The company is implementing a fab-lite strategy with the ability to manufacture analog/digital chips at its facility in Porto Alegre. The in-house design center with more than 100 engineers.
Its rural hinterland yields a variety of agricultural and pastoral products, including meat and hides, wool, rice, beans, cashews, avocados, wheat, grapes, and tobacco. From the forests comes lumber. The city's industries are chiefly concerned with processing these products and include meat-packing, lard refining, leather tanning, shipbuilding, and the manufacturing of textiles, metallurgic goods, electrical and communications equipment, plastics, pharmaceuticals, perfume, beer, and chemicals. There are also steel mills, an oil terminal, and a petrochemical complex. Power comes from coal mined at nearby São Jerônimo and from a hydroelectric plant at Salto. The city has many business and financial institutions and is also an educational centre.
The GDP for the city was R$30,116,002,000 (2006). The per capita income for the city was R$20,900 (2006).
Neighborhoods of Porto Alegre are geographical divisions of the city. There is no devolution of administrative powers to neighborhoods, although there are several neighborhoods associations devoted to improve their own standards of living. Porto Alegre has nowadays 81 official distinguished neighborhoods.
The area code for Porto Alegre is 51.
Prices in Porto Alegre
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.40|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$9.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$12.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$32.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$4.50|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.85|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$5.50|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.44|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$2.35|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$1.10|
43 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
117 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Porto Alegre's International Airport is Salgado Filho (POA), located 4.3 miles (7km) from downtown. Flights come from and go to cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Curitiba,Florianópolis, Foz do Iguaçu, Montevideo,Córdoba, Rosario, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Panama City and Lisbon. It's served by all major Brazilian airlines (Azul, TAM, Gol/Varig, Webjet,Oceanair ), regional ones ( NHT and Trip) and international airlines TAP Portugal, Copa Airlines, Avianca,Pluna and Aerolineas Argentinas.
There is a train station (known as trensurbby locals) and bus stops near the airport. However, it is recommended to take a cab ("taxi" for locals) in order to leave the airport, because the nearby trensurbstation is not exactly close to the airport facility and available buses don't take you downtown. Cab rides can be a little pricey, so you can opt to take a bus to a place near your destination and get a cab from there.
The airport facility is modern (built in 2001) and has a shopping-like structure, with restaurants, shops and even movie theaters.
Trains serve only the metropolitan area. Locals call it trensurb and services are limited, with only one line connecting Downtown to some metropolitan cities (Canoas, Esteio, Sapucaia do Sul and São Leopoldo). The fare is R$1,85 and there's a station near Rodoviaria (central bus station) and the airport. It is more or less safe to walk during day time from Rodoviaria or the airport to the stations. An automated people mover connects the first floor of the terminal to the local train station.
The long distance bus station is located downtown and is served by state, national and international lines. Daily services connects Porto Alegre with several cities inside the country and also Argentina,Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay. It is also connected to a trensurb station and several municipal bus lines.
- Rodoviária de Porto Alegre (in Portuguese). Information on interstate lines and schedules.
Coming from the North (Florianópolis, Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro), one may reach Porto Alegre by two ways. BR-116 is shorter, but much more dangerous. This road is used to reach other destinations in Rio Grande do Sul, such as Caxias do Sul, Gramado and Canela. BR-116 also connects all major metropolitan cities and traffic jams are frequent during rush hours in weekdays. The other way to get to Porto Alegre from the North is using BR-101 to Osório and then BR-290. The first connects Curitiba, Florianópolis and Osório, and is being upgraded to highway standards; the latter crosses Rio Grande do Sul from Osório to Uruguaiana, through Porto Alegre. The section between Osório and Porto Alegre is called free-way by locals, and is a very well-maintained 6-lane toll-road.
Also, in neighbouring Canoas, BR-386 begins, connecting the metropolitan area with other major cities in the countryside, such as Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Maria and Passo Fundo. It has 4 lanes up to Tabaí and it is in decent conditions.
From the South, coming from cities such as Pelotas, Rio Grande, and Chuí, one would use BR-116.
From the East, Porto Alegre is reachable by BR-290 from Uruguaiana and Argentina. Using this road, it's possible to reach southern cities such as Bagé and Santana do Livramento. This section of BR-290 shares a stretch with BR-116, from Guaíba's Bridge up to Eldorado do Sul interchange.
Be advised that some of these roads are dangerous due to their poor signaling/conditions and lots of trucks. Most of them are toll-roads and have electronic speed traps. Schedule your travels by car during the day; it is simply safer.
Besides its decent port facilities for cargo, a ferry service connects downtown and Barra Shopping Sul to Guaiba, a neighbour city situated across the Guaiba Estuary, known as Rio Guaiba. The crossing takes 20 minutes and costs R$ 7.35 each way. Checking the schedule beforehand is recommended.
Transportation - Get Around
The city is roughly a semi-circle that expanded outward in a concentric manner, beginning from the historical city center, right next to the promontory and the harbor. Avenues going from the center to the outer areas of the semi-circle are the radiais (radials) and are crossed by avenues named perimetrais (perimeters). Hence, to go to and from downtown one will use mostly the former, whereas to go from one neighborhood to another, one uses the latter.
To understand the bus system, one must consider the above description. All lines are identified as "(prefix)-number name/neighborhood". Currently, almost all lines are radial, that is, they connect an outer neighborhood to the various downtown terminals. Those lines have no prefix. It is quite common to switch buses at downtown but, considering there is a myriad of lines there, it can be challenging to find the right terminal to hop on the next bus. Transversal lines (prefix "T" - T1, T2, ..., T11), connect different neighborhood without going through the downtown area, effectively eliminating the need of changing buses for the most common trips. Circular lines (prefix "C" - C1, C2, C3), as the name indicates, run in a circular manner, usually connecting parts of the downtown area to the nearest neighborhoods.
There is a map with all the buses online: http://lproweb.procempa.com.br/pmpa/prefpoa/eptc/usu_doc/mapa_linhas.pdf
Also all stops are listed here: http://www.eptc.com.br/EPTC_Itinerarios/linha.asp
Together with google maps this can give you a clue.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to find bus stops with indication of lines' destinations or timetables. Hence, when in doubt, the easiest way is to ask the locals which bus will get you to you destination. Porto Alegre's buses are, in most cases, clean, safe and fast, specially when the line uses the bus corridor, a reserved lane with special stops in main avenues, effectively avoiding traffic jams. In order to use the bus, you must be at a bus stop and signal or wave your hand to the arriving bus you want to ride (they will not stop unless waved upon!).
The fare must be paid to the cobrador before crossing the turnstile located inside the bus. Fares may be paid either in cash or using a smartcard system named TRI. TRI-users get discounts in consecutive trips - currently, a fifty percent discount is granted to the second trip within half an hour. Current fares are listed below:
|infant||free||must pass under or over the turnstile|
|student||R$ 1,40||must use a special TRI card|
|adult||R$ 2,85||second trip is R$ 1,35 (with TRI)|
|resident senior (60y-)||free||must use a special TRI card|
|senior (65y-)||free||any document proving age is enough|
The Lotação is an alternative transportation system, with fewer lines, served by vans with up to 20 people in capacity, where one can hop on and off at any point (i.e. outside designated stops) of the trip. The fare is R$4.25 for everyone. The vans are easily recognized by their "red and blue" colour. If you're not sure if a lotação goes to the destination you want to go, just wave your hand, wait until it stops and FROM THE STREET ask the driver if it goes to your destination (for instance to go to Iguatemi Mall just say Iguatemi?), don't go in just to ask otherwise the driver might ask you to pay the fare since the counter is measured on the stairs near the door.
There are plenty of taxis. They can be pricey, if compared to other towns, but they are also an easier, safer and more dependable option than buses in some cases. To ride a cab, one can walk to the nearest "taxi stop" (usually in crowded areas or points of interest), wave for an empty passing cab or call a tele-táxi service. Tele-táxi may charge extra for this service. The price of the fare is determined by a machine calledtaxímetro, usually in front of the passenger seat. There is always a minimum price, which is shown when the machine is reset for the trip, which is, as 2011, R$3,50. Next to the value, there is a "flag" indicator that shows the level of price being paid, always according to the service. Usually there is a table inside of the cab explaining each level of service. It is recommended to check if the correct level is being charged at the beginning of the trip, in order to avoid problems when you reach your destination.
Walking around is a reasonable idea only inside a given neighborhood or downtown, as opposed to from one neighborhood to another, as they are usually too far apart. Walking during the night in most parts of the city is outright dangerous. During the day, it is recommended to pay attention to your belongings at all times, due to activity of pickpockets and other thieves. Avoid parks at night. Porto Alegre is a dangerous city at global levels. Be advised that pedestrian crossings, most of the time, are completely ignored by the vast majority of drivers; never rely on them without looking or making sure the driver will stop. It is also not recommended to cross the street outside the proper crossing areas in traffic jams: motorbike riders usually split between stopped cars, causing a great risk to pedestrians.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Central Market (Mercado Público Central) (Between the Julio de Castilhos and Borges de Medeiros avenues), , e-mail: [email protected]. Mon-Fri 7:30AM-7:30PM, Sat 7:30AM-6:30PM. The market, built in 1869 and recently renovated, has more than 100 stalls selling local produce, products and spices, as well as several restaurants. Free.
- Brique da Redenção: A large flea market near Parque da Redenção with lots of authentic gaúcho art, crafts, furniture and hand-made stuff. It happens every Sunday, from 9AM to 6PM.
- Barra Shopping Sul: It has an 8-room cinemark cinema theater inside, and many good restaurants with an incredible view to the Guaiba Lake. Located in "Av. Diário de Notícias, 300". You can get more info on their [www] (in Portuguese)
- Shopping Iguatemi: Located in the north side of the city, Av João Wallig 1800, it's the biggest Shopping Mall of Porto Alegre. You can get more info on their [www] (in Portuguese)
- Shopping Praia de Belas: Next to the Marinha do Brasil Park, it's a very good mall
- Shopping Total: Built in the place of the old beer factory, it has a supermarket a lot of stores. It has very good restaurants outside in the parking lot.
- Shopping Moinhos de Vento: Has a Sheraton hotel inside it.
- Bourbon Shopping Country: One of the biggest Shopping Malls in town, located in Av Tulio de Rose, 100. It has a large variety of stores and restaurants.
- Bourbon Shopping Ipiranga: Is located at Av. Ipiranga, one of the most important avenues of Porto Alegre.
- Bourbon Shopping Wallig: Is the largest mall in Latin America and the newest mall in Porto Alegre
- Shopping Paseo Zona Sul: A small open air mall at the heart of the beautiful sourthern neighbourhoods. Somewhat popular with locals for dining.
- Churrascaria Giovanaz, Venâncio Aires. An inexpensive churrascaria in the Cidade Baixa. You can eat as much meat (and side dishes) as you like for less than R$ 15 (US$ 7.50)
- Lancheria do Parque, Avenida Osvaldo Aranha, 1086 (Bairro Bom Fim, across from the Parque Redençao), . 6AM-midnight. Has possibly the best cheap eats in Porto Alegre. Lunch is a very good buffet where the offerings are always fresh and tasty. The menu offers incredible fresh juices and vitaminas and they are big. Sandwiches include the traditional Bauru: steak or chicken with egg, cheese, lettuce and tomato on a special bun (meal size). X~s with excellent ingredients. Plates--steaks mostly. A great chicken soap. Risotto. Everything is good, much better than most lancherias. Despite what your Brazilian friends might say, the staff does appreciate a ten percent tip, even though they rarely receive it. For the great service you will receive they will certainly deserve it! Buffet from R$ 6, juices from R$ 2.
- Reçaka Bar, José do Patrocínio, 531 (lunch time) or 495 (dinner time)(Cidade Baixa), . Steaks, fillets, fries, salads and whatever you ask them to prepare.
- Tudo Pelo Social, Rua João Alfredo 448, Cidade Baixa, . Serves simple dishes, such as beef and fries, but the quality is awesome and the prices are unbelievable. Buffet self-service on lunch hour. Expect lines during lunch and dinner time
- X Speed, Cidade Baixa, Av. Lima e Silva. Typical sandwich of Porto Alegre; it's a cheap option.
- Bar do Beto, Rua Sarmento Leite, Cidade Baixa. Delicious options including typical Italian plates such as Fillet à parmeggiana (bovine meat covered with tomato sauce, cheese and ham). You can also ask for snacks or sandwiches.
- Churrascaria Galpão Crioulo, Otávio Francisco Caruso da Rocha, s/n - Parque Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho, . Excellent gaucho barbecue, served using the traditional gaucho way with skewers. You can taste more than 20 different meat cuts such as: rump steak, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, lamb, pork ribs and French rack. Offers live music and dance shows all nights from 8:20 PM and also during lunch time on weekends.Prices around R$ 65,00 (U$ 27,00) per person.
- Na Brasa, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 389 - Floresta, . Typical gaúcho barbecue, serves all kinds of meat - cow, chicken, pork, sheep and wild boar. Has also a good-quality salad buffet and wines. Prices are around R$ 35 per person.
- Steinhaus, Rua Coronel Paulino Teixeira 415, Rio Branco. 51 33308661. German restaurant.
Sights & Landmarks
Linha Turismo is a tourist bus line that rides through 11 neighbourhoods and shows the main attractions of the city (parks, trees, statues, hospitals, churches, etc.), with audio guides in three languages. The trip is 28km long and lasts for about 1h20min, and the arrival is at the same departure address. From Tuesdays to Sundays (holidays included), at 9AM, 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3PM and 4:30m (winter) or 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3PM, 4:30PM and 6PM (summer). The tickets cost 5 reais for the lower floor and 7 reais for the superior one (which has no ceiling). Travessa do Carmo Street 84, phones +55 51 3213-3464 and +55 51 3212-1628:
- Monumento aos Açorianos (Açorianos monument) - It is a 17m high monument in the memory of the people from the island of Azores, who were the first to settle in Porto Alegre.
- Santuário Mãe de Deus, Rua do Santuário 400, Bairro Cascata (accessible from Av. Oscar Pereira): A beautiful church almost unknown by most porto-alegrenses. It is placed in an great location, with nice views of Porto Alegre and nearby cities landscapes. Built in 1992, it has a modern architecture and engineering, designed to support the strong winds of the location. It is somewhat difficult to get to this place, for there are no buses near and a cab ride from downtown would be pricey. However, if you rent a car in Porto Alegre, it's worth trying.
- Usina do Gasômetro: is an old powerplant built in 1928 which was refurnished recently and now hosts movie theaters and art expositions. During the sunset, lots of people get together in front of the Usina to watch the sun diving into Rio Guaíba (Guaiba river).
- Parque Moinhos de Vento(Moinhos de Vento Park) - Known by locals as Parcão, this is a pleasant park with a neat lake and jogging runways.
- Parque Farroupilha (Farroupilha Park) - Known by locals as Redenção, where is located the Araujo Viana Auditorium, which has hosted several political acts and music concerts. Also on Sundays, an antique-fair happens in a side street and is called by locals as Brique da Redenção.
- Parque Marinha (Marinha park) - Known simply as Marinha, a linear park with a skateboarding rink, several sports and public fitness amenities, and also several modern art sculptures from Mercosur artists. Good for a bit of nature during the day. Popular on weekend late afternoons.
- Parque Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho - Known by locals as Parque da Harmonia (Harmony Park), home of the yearly Acampamento Farroupilha(Farroupilha Camp), a three week long regionalist event to celebrate the Farroupilha revolution and display the gaúcho culture. It is usually empty however. Some people visit the site on weekends and also have lunch at the famous churrascaria Galpão Crioulo there.
- Parque Germânia (Germania park) - situated near Iguatemi Shopping at the core of the affluent East zone (Zona Leste), differs from others by having little tree cover and by closing at night. It does have some sports amenities though. Popular with locals on weekend afternoons. The park is named as a dedication to German immigrants.
Museums & Galleries
- Fundação Iberê Camargo, Av. Padre Cacique, 2000, , e-mail: [email protected]. Tue-Sun noon-7PM; Thurs until 9PM. Free.Contemporary art museum in an award-winning building by Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza.
- MARGS, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Praça da Alfândega, Downtown, , ), (in portuguese): The local Museum of Art. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10AM to 7PM. There's a permanent collection and an area that is often receiving new exhibitions. There's also a bistro and a store that sells art books and souvenirs. Admission is free.
- Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia da PUC, . (in portuguese)Av. Ipiranga 6681, Building #40: It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9AM to 5PM. Admission is 10 reais (7 reais for children under 12, seniors, university students and professors).
Things to do
- Watch the sunset: Porto Alegre has a beautiful sunset over its main river, Guaíba. Best enjoyed on the western side at places like Gasômetro and Ipanema. Beware that this event lasts about five minutes only. If you go up to level 5 of Gasômetro building, you can have a broader view of the sunset. During the winter (around July), it is recommended to take additional clothes, because the wind can be very strong.
- Cisne Branco Boat, . Mauá Avenue, 1050, (in portuguese).
- Catamaran to Guaiba: commuter ferry service connecting downtown and Barra Shopping Sul to the neighbour city Guaiba. Nice panoramic views of the city, best at sunrise and sunset. You can even bring a bike aboard and spend some time exploring Guaiba's walkway, whose views are even prettier than Porto Alegre's Ipanema beach walkway. You can also walk around, as the walkway has several restaurants alongside. Checking the schedule beforehand is recommended. [www] (in portuguese)
- Feira do Livro (Book Fair) - Every October, hundreds of publishing editors sell books on Praça da Alfândega. It's possible to find rare books and cheap prices.
Festivals and events
A wide range of cultural events are held in Porto Alegre. In addition to the traditional celebrations, a wide variety of activities are organized at Porto Alegre during the different seasons.
- World Social Forum: At several occasions (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005) the World Social Forum has been hosted in Porto Alegre. This event gathered more than 100,000 people from more than 100 countries each year. The main aim of these meetings is to discuss and deal with social issues.
- Porto Verão Alegre: during the summer, for example, the "Porto Verão Alegre" or (Porto Summer Alegre) takes place in this city. This celebration consists of a number of performances and exhibitions. In 2005 about seventy plays could be enjoyed.
- International Free Software Forum: the Fórum Internacional de Software Livre (International Free Software Forum or simply FISL) is an event sponsored by Associação Software Livre (Free Software Association), a Brazilian NGO that, among other objectives, seeks the promotion and adoption of free software.
- Farroupilha Week: this cultural celebration takes place in mid September with parades, food and musical exhibitions. The "Acampamento Farroupilha" takes place in Harmonia Park, where thousands of people set up their tents and eat typical food to commemorate the Farroupilha Revolution.
- Bookfair: Held each November at Alfândega Square. In October Porto Alegre holds the greatest Book Fair in American continent, an event that has been taking place since 1955. Each year about 2,000,000 people attend this fair.
- Worldwide Pinhole Photography: this is an international event created to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography. The event is held each year on the last Sunday in April.
- Mercosur Biennial Exhibition: is held in Porto Alegre every two years between October and December. This is an important art and cultural event that attracts a large number of people as well.
- Carnival: As other Brazilian cities, Porto Alegre holds extensive festivities during the period immediately preceding Lent. Among them, there is an Escola de Samba contest, featuring Academia de Samba Puro, Acadêmicos da Orgia, Bambas da Orgia, Estado Maior da Restinga, Fidalgos e Aristocratas, Império da Zona Norte, Impeadores do Samba, among others.
The Porto Alegre Carnival began in the 18th century with the entrudo, a prank brought over by the Portuguese from the Azores, whereby people threw flour, water, and "limão de cheiro" missiles at each other. At the end of the 19th century, two important Carnival associations were born. Rivalry between the two long dominated the city's Carnival. The corso, a parade of floats down Porto Alegre's streets, was a celebration enjoyed by the more well-to-do of the city's inhabitants.
One of the most important Carnival personalities is King Momo. At the beginning of Carnival, usually in February, he receives the keys to the city from the Mayor of Porto Alegre, symbolically governing the Carnival during the four days of revelry. Vincente Rao was the most popular King Momo.
Porto Alegre's nightlife is basically divided onto two neighborhoods: Cidade Baixa and Moinhos de Vento. Although, several pubs and clubs are located throughout the city.
Cidade Baixa is an old neighborhood, filled with historical buildings and oldfashioned mansions. Most of the popular and cheap bars are located in Lima e Silva Street; they are the traditional xis (cheeseburgers) places, such as Speed and Cavanhas. In República Street, pubs and bars are fancier and more expensive too. Inside the old mansions of João Alfredo Street, several dance clubs party every night. The places are perfect to dance Brazilian popular music (called MPB) and samba.
- Bar Opinião, Rua José do Patrocínio, 834. Since 1983, the Bar Opinião is a reference in the port-alegrense nightlife. With its newly extended physical space, the house can receive up to 2,300 people. The bar has had major improvements and offers a more comfortable structure now. In its menu, different drinks and tidbits.
Moinhos de Vento
Moinhos de Vento is one of the richest neighborhoods in town. Its bars and clubs are more likely to be fashionable. Expect bars to be pricey. Along Padre Chagas Street you can find typical Irish pubs and cafes.
Other options are:
- Shamrock Irish Pub, Rua Vieira de Castro, 32. (in portuguese). Typical Irish pub, 1km from Cidade Baixa area. Opens from Tuesdays to Sundays at 6PM (on Saturdays at 7PM).
- Bar do Beto. Venâncio Aires Avenue, 876 (in portuguese). Opens every day from 5PM to 3AM. The beer is always really cold, there is a good variety of dishes and snacks and the food is aways delicious. It's a good place to flirt too.
- Manara, Av. Goethe, 200. The place has different environments and gathers a varied public. On the first floor, a bar and a dancefloor. A stage for shows is also available. On the mezzanine, some tables and chairs to make the attendance feel comfortable. The Sundays are specially agitated. The band Maria Bonita puts the public to dance to the sound of 'forró' music. Offers private parking lot.
- República de Madras, Shopping Total, Av. Cristóvão Colombo, 545. Inspired on the Indian culture, specially on the old city of Madras, the club has four floors and an outside terrace. On Thursdays, some of the top DJs in town usually play there. Friday and Saturday, the club offers pop music and pagode.
- John Bull Pub, Shopping Total, Av. Cristóvão Colombo, 545. The place has a stage for shows where usually rock and roll cover bands performe.
- Dissonante, website . The bar encourages the alternative rock porto-alegrense, offering an excellent space for the exposition of independent bands of the most varied styles - from instrumental rock to punk rock. Basically almost everything that involves a distorted guitar.
- Bar do Nito, . Lucas de Oliveira, 105. The owner plays every night old songs from Brazilian Popular Music (MPB). Every 29th day of the month you could enjoy the excellent and traditional nhoque.
- Logom Brewpub,website Rua Bento Figueiredo, 72 is Porto Alegre's first artisinal brew pub. Expect much stronger and more flavorful beers than the standard Pilsner. Popular with many technology workers and beer aficionados alike. Barrio Bom Fim, but close to Moinhos de Vento.
Safety in Porto Alegre
At any time:
- avoid poor areas, which present some risk of violence due to socioeconomic contrasts (see a map here)
- watch out for pickpockets within the Historic Centre, particularly on rua dos Andradas (also known as rua da Praia) and near the bus station — watch your backpack, pockets and wristwatch
After sunset, you should stay away from:
- very dangerous hard drug dealing spots, which include (as of October 2013):
- the inside and the surroundings of Farroupilha park (also known as Redenção park, the largest drug dealing spot of the city)
- (Historic Centre) near the UFRGS Centro university campus (right next to Farroupilha park), particularly along rua Sarmento Leite and under Imperatriz Leopoldina viaduct and its tight poorly-lit foot passages
- (Historic Centre) a crackland at rua Marechal Floriano Peixoto between Salgado Filho and rua Riachuelo
- (Historic Centre) Praça Conde de Porto Alegre, which sits right between the former crackland and Farroupilha park, and perhaps also the nearby parks Praça Raul Pilla and Praça Argentina
- (Historic Centre) Conceição tunnel and under Conceição viaduct
- the surroundings of the Police Palace (Palácio da Polícia) police station, at avenida Ipiranga and avenida João Pessoa
- reasonably dangerous drug dealing spots, which include:
- the southern unlit half of Marinha park
- Harmonia park (officially called Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho park): surveilled but there may be some spillover from Marinha park
- the red light district on rua Voluntários da Pátria (from the Historic Centre up to and including rua Almirante Barroso due to pushy prostitutes and some drug dealing
Because not many Brazilians report crime to authorities, it is recommended that you check this live, informal, self-reported crime map. Please note that poor areas seem empty (thus, safer) due to fewer Internet users.
Generic strategies to avoid dangerous situations (works in any Brazilian city and abroad):
- when dealing with beggars:
- fake sincerity to prevent startling the beggar (which may well be a drug user): smile condescendingly and say you don't have any money and that you're sorry for that (know the basic Portuguese phrases to handle this swiftly)
- to reduce chances of an assault, start/keep walking and don't get pulled into a dialogue with the beggar
- when being followed: most stalkers will scatter if you simply keep calm and walk towards/through highly lit and open areas with lots of people
Other generic precautions include avoiding empty shady areas if alone, discreetly paying attention to nearby people on the streets and avoiding being ostentatious. That is, unless you see people doing the same, use expensive electronics unobstrusively when surrounded by many people (such as in bus stops) and avoid wearing expensive jewelry and clothes. This is particularly important if you visit a poor neighbourhood. If you need to do so, it is safer to bring a friend, preferably a city resident you trust, and blend in: wear bland casual clothes, leave valuables at your accommodation (you may bring a basic phone for emergency), avoid English and even Portuguese if your accent is not perfect, walk confidently (know where to go without a map) and avoid obviously tourist behaviour such as opening a map in a visible spot. Fortunately, in the South of Brazil many racial types are well mixed — if you look European, Arab, African, Indigenous (native) or Asian (or anything in between) you are unlikely to be identified as a tourist based solely on physical appearance. This is not the case for people with strong Indian (South Asian) features, which are rare anywhere in Brazil. People with a strong East Asian look are rarely seen in poorer neighbourhoods and may draw some attention there. Skin types II to V are the most common and the distribution is almost uniform; people in the extremes may expect some curious glances.
Porto Alegre has a higher per capita homicide rate than Rio and São Paulo , but most homicides take place in poorer neighbourhoods, so learn them beforehand and avoid them. A recent survey revealed that the most dangerous neighbourhoods are Farrapos, Jardim do Salso, Lomba do Pinheiro, Bom Jesus and Mário Quintana. You are unlikely to visit any of them since they lie on the outskirts of the city and offer almost no attractions. In other middle- to upper-class neighbourhoods, specially downtown and nearby, homicides are less common, most crimes involve stealing or robbery of valuable goods such as cars, mobile phones and cash.
In upper-class neighbourhoods (such as Moinhos de Vento and Bela Vista), these behaviours (opening a map, wearing expensive items and speaking a foreign language) are normally safe and not unusual. Most residential neighbourhoods are reasonably safe, though there are no tourism attractions there.