Itinerary around Belo Horizonte – What to do in 2 days in the city

Updated

By Alyssa Prado

Check out this itinerary around Belo Horizonte and discover what to do in two days in the city!

Until recently, when someone told me about Belo Horizonte, all I thought about was cheese bread and dulce de leche. Even though I had a travel blog, I wasn't able to mention an famous attraction in the city.

I think my lack of interest in the region comes from history classes at school. For years I heard about the churches of Minas Gerais, and I confess that visiting this type of attraction is one of the programs that most I hate when I'm touristing. I concluded, wrongly, that this trip was not for me.

Fortunately, this year I was able to discover how wrong I was.

I had the opportunity to visit the capital of Minas Gerais in the company of two bloggers that I adore, Débora do World Focus and Matheus d'The Traveler's Chest, and I was surprised by a city that goes far beyond religious landmarks. The only one of my preconceptions that was correct is that the food is delicious (I miss you, real cheese bread!!!!!).

I was very lucky to have a private guide (kiss, Dé!) who has lived in the region all his life, and who introduced me to the best tourist spots. As I know that not everyone will have this facility, I put together an itinerary around Belo Horizonte for those who are visiting the city for the first time.

I tried to fit all the attractions into just two days, but to enjoy them in peace, I believe that the ideal would be at least three. If you have even more time, you can explore nearby places, such as the Inhotim Institute. There is already a post with several tips for getting to know this incredible open-air museum.

Itinerary through Belo Horizonte – 2 days

Day 1 – Municipal Park, Central Market and Praça da Liberdade

For the first day, the suggestion is to visit the city center, a neighborhood that houses many of the capital's tourist attractions.

Start by spending the morning at Américo Renné Giannett Municipal Park, a green oasis in the middle of Avenida Afonso Pena. With 180 thousand square meters, the space resembles the famous French gardens, and has a tennis court, children's playground, skating rink, artificial lagoons with boats and even a theater with capacity for more than 500 people.

Check out this itinerary around Belo Horizonte and discover what to do in the city on a weekend!
Hanging out in the municipal park, lol.

I found it to be a very pleasant walk, especially on sunny days. Débora and I spent a lot of time sitting on stools eating dulce de leche (I couldn't resist, LOL) and taking photos, and I didn't feel unsafe at any point. I saw a lot of comments online saying that the place was abandoned by the city hall, but that was not my impression.

Around lunch time, take a 15-minute walk to the Central Market. With more than 400 stores, you can find some of the specialties the state is known for, such as cheeses, cachaça and dulce de leche. There are also several restaurants and bars, where you can try the famous onion liver with gillo, eat a snack or just drink a cold beer.

As we wanted to save money, we ate pastries at a store close to one of the exits. The price was very attractive, less than R$3 each, and two of them were enough to replace a more elaborate meal.

Check out this itinerary around Belo Horizonte and discover what to do in two days in the city!
What was most interesting about the Central Market: dulce de leche!

After eating, walk for about 20 minutes and go to the Liberty Square. It is in this region that the cultural circuit, a cluster of museums and knowledge spaces, such as the state public library and the Academia Mineira de Letras. You can check out all 15 locations that are part of this attraction on the official website.

I visited the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center and the UFMG Knowledge Space. The latter has an exhibition about human life and its trajectory, an astronomical terrace and a planetarium whose technology was produced in Germany and projects 360º films. If you want to visit the CCBB, I recommend finding out in advance what is being exhibited during your trip, to see if it interests you.

For those who like history, other interesting points on the circuit are the Mineiro Museum and the Museum of Mines and Metals.

To end the first day of your itinerary in Belo Horizonte, there's nothing better than enjoying one of the region's typical bars. We went to Factory Beer, where the drink was super cold and the portions were very well served.

Day 2 – Pampulha and Mangabeiras

The city's main postcard, the architectural complex of Pampulha It was elected a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2016. It is the ideal tour for both those who want to enjoy the day to relax and enjoy nature, as well as for those who enjoy cultural programs.

Along the lake there are several places to cycle, walk and even have a picnic. Those who want to maintain their physical activities during their trip can take the opportunity to go for a run or cycle. There are also other attractions around it, such as the famous Church of San Francisco and the Museum of Modern Art, which operates where one of the largest casinos in Brazil previously stood.

I went in Kubitschek House and I loved the experience! On the Coisos on the Go blog there is a complete post with several photos and interesting facts about Casa Kubitschek in Pampulha!

Check out this itinerary around Belo Horizonte and discover what to do in two days in the city
Bloggers modeling and the church in the background. I couldn't resist including this photo hahahaha

The complete loop around the lagoon is around 18km, so it's not an easy trip to do on foot. My suggestion is to either choose some specific spots nearby, or rent a car during your stay in the city. With Rentcars I was able to find daily rates for around R$90 reais in Belo Horizonte, and it is even possible to pay in installments by card!

As it is an extensive tour (many people suggest reserving more than one day to visit just Pampulha), the ideal is to start early in the morning and explore until the early afternoon, before moving on to the next part of the itinerary.

Just over half an hour away by car, They are Mangabeiras Municipal Park, on the slope of Serra do Curral. With trails, courts, playground, kiosks and other attractions, it is another incredible tour for those who love nature. As it closes early, at four in the afternoon, you can take advantage of the proximity to the Peanut Street, and see the phenomenon that makes the car, even in neutral, branch while on a small slope.

To end the day, visit one of the city's most famous neighborhoods and go to Savassi Square, where several bars are concentrated, perfect for a happy hour.

More time on the Belo Horizonte itinerary?

If you can fit more time into your itinerary, I suggest visiting Pampulha and Parque das Mangabeiras on different days. In this case, after exploring the best corners of the lagoon, the Fleming Avenue It's a cool option to end the night.

You can also take a day trip to Brumadinho and visit the famous Instituto Inhotim, an open-air modern art museum. There's already a blog post talking about it and with lots of tips for your visit, from how to get there to better exhibitions.

Check out this itinerary around Belo Horizonte and discover what to do on your first visit to the city!
Inhotim Institute.

And you, do you already know Belo Horizonte? Do you think there’s anything missing for those visiting the city for the first time? Tell me in the comments!

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Check out this itinerary for Belo Horizonte and discover what to do in 2 or more days in the city!

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