Located in and the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is Porto Alegre. This is also the state’s largest city and is a commercial hub, as well as a political and economic one. Porto Alegre is the exporter of a wide array of rich agricultural products like soybeans, leather, canned beef, and rice; to destinations like Africa and Japan. This city, located on the Guaiba River, was founded by immigrants from the Azores in 1742. It is home to historic buildings, numerous museums, many festivals, gauchos, churrasco, several parks and gardens, among other things. Porto Alegre has a diverse population, with immigrants from all over the world settling here. There is a small number of Muslims residing in the city, therefore Muslim visitors will find it difficult to locate Halal-friendly facilities like mosques and Halal restaurants in Porto Alegre.
Porto Alegre is said to be a combination of a southern European and a North American city and is not that popular of a tourist destination. However, it definitely should be.
A great way to get to know the city is to visit a few of its many museums and to take a look at historical artefacts, relics, sculptures and more. The local history is quite fascinating and visitors will definitely learn a lot about it by visiting the museums. A visit to the Monumento aos Açorianos is also a must. It is a 17 metre high monument, built in the memory of the first settlers; the people from the island of Azores.
Another way to get to know the city and its people is to pay a visit to Parque Farroupilha ou A Redenção, which is a traditional park located in the heart of Porto Alegre. On weekends it becomes a gathering point and it is the most visited place in town. The park houses several attractions; an amusement park for kids, numerous cultural structures, paths and ponds and a lake on which visitors can take a fun paddle-boat ride. There is also a flea market held at the park on Sundays as well as an organic market held on Saturdays. This beautifully green park is ideal for those looking to have a relaxing day outdoors, with the family.
One favorite activity of the locals and the tourists alike is to watch the sunset over the city’s main lake; the Guaíba Lake. The sunset is absolutely beautiful and enchanting and is something every visitor to Porto Alegre must experience. The area is suitable for riding bikes and for walking and visitors can even take a boat ride on the lake to admire the incredible beauty of the lake and the sky.
The nearest airport to Porto Alegre is Salgado Filho International Airport, which is located approximately 8 kilometres from the city center. This airport is one of the busiest in Brazil, and has domestic and international flights. It is also easily accessible and is served by rail, taxi, and bus.
There are no known Halal restaurants in Porto Alegre. Muslim visitors can however dine on vegetarian or seafood dishes from local non-Halal restaurants after ensuring that the dishes do not consist of any non-Halal items. Muslim visitors must also be aware that most restaurants in Porto Alegre do serve alcohol. Because Porto Alegre 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.
There is one known mosque in Porto Alegre, namely; Centro Islâmico de Porto Alegre. This mosque serves the city’s small Muslim community as well as visitors. All five daily prayers are offered here. Because it is not easy to locate other mosques in the city, Muslim tourists are advised to pray in their hotel room before setting out on any excursion, if possible.