Belo Horizonte; the capital city of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is known for being the first planned city in the country and for its breathtaking view of the nearby mountains. It is one of the largest cities in Brazil and is home to several significant cultural landmarks, world-renowned contemporary art collections, museums, parks, numerous international events, delicious food, friendly people and so much more. The city also houses several natural, green areas and was given the title of “Garden City’. Those visiting Belo Horizonte will come to realize that the city is simply crazy about football and is the home of three popular professional football teams; América, Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro. The city consists of a small Muslim population of Syrian-Lebanese ancestry as well as reverts. Therefore, Muslim visitors will find it quite difficult to locate Halal-friendly facilities, including mosques and Halal restaurants in Belo Horizonte.
Belo Horizonte has several museums that are quite worth a visit; most of which can be found in the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit. Buildings that were once home to the state government’s administrative offices have been turned into and are used as unique spaces for art, culture, and entertainment. Another must-visit is the Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Inhotim, which is located just 60 kilometres away from Belo Horizonte. It is a popular attraction as it is one of the largest open air contemporary art museums in the world. It is home to numerous popular art pieces by internationally renowned artists as well as 100 acres of gardens and more. This unique museum is frequented by locals as well as foreigners and should be on every visitor’s itinerary.
The ideal attraction to visit with the family is the Fundacao Zoo-Botanica De Belo Horizonte. The zoo consists of animals that have been brought in from all around the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe and the United Stated. Visitors will also come across a variety of native species as well as numerous reptiles. This zoo is known for being home to one of the greatest collections of birds. It also houses a butterfly garden and beautiful area full of plants and trees, ideal for those looking to get in a bit of relaxation and perfect for visitors thinking of having a picnic. Belo Horizonte has a number of parks and other natural areas that are also perfect for family-friendly activities.
A must-visit on Sundays is Afonso Pena Avenue, which hosts the biggest open air market in Latin America. This fair is known as Feira Hippie or the Market of Arts and Handicrafts. Visitors will be able to find a wide selection of items ranging from clothes to jewelry to shoes, here. Belo Horizonte is also home to several shopping malls perfect for those looking for more popular brands and international stores. Those visiting Mercado Central, which is a popular indoor market, will be able to sample some delicious local food and will also be able to find an array of unique items to take back home.
The closest major airport to Belo Horizonte is Belo Horizonte/Pampulha-Carlos Drummond de Andrade Airport, which is located approximately 8 kilometres from the center of Belo Horizonte and only has domestic flights. The nearest international airport to Belo Horizonte is Tancredo Neves/Confins International Airport, which is located approximately 39 kilometres from Belo Horizonte. Both airports are quite easily accessible by public transport.
There are no known Halal restaurants in Belo Horizonte. Muslim visitors will have to dine on vegetarian dishes from local non-Halal restaurants after ensuring that the dishes do not consist of any non-Halal items. Because Belo Horizonte has a small Muslim population, Muslim tourists may be able to obtain more information on the availability of Halal food in the area, at the local mosque. Muslim visitors must also be aware that most restaurants in Belo Horizonte also serve alcohol.
The Mosque of Belo Horizonte serves the city’s Muslim community as well as Muslim tourists. There are also a couple of community centres, such as the Muslim Beneficent Society of Belo Horizonte where tourists can obtain more Muslim-friendly information. Muslim tourists are advised to pray in their hotel room before setting out on any excursion, if possible.