The series World Cup’s Host Cities is at the Southern corner of Brazil. Bárbara Nóbrega, is our guest writer and highlights some of the coolest places to hang out in Porto Alegre.
Porto Alegre it’s the capital of “gaúcho” people. The city’s name means “happy harbour”. Therefore, as the name claims, you should expect to have a great time here, at the Southern corner of Brazil.
If you’re coming to Porto Alegre at this time of the year, you should know that, in exception to that vision of Brazilian’s hot weather, here we have winter, not as bad as you’re used to in Europe, but the temperature is always changing. It can vary from 2°C to 5°C at the start of the day and suddenly increase to 20°C.
Our weather forecast is totally crazy. Be prepared to have low temperatures, and suddenly, high temperatures. So bring different kind of clothes.
Porto Alegre’s sunset is one of the best I’ve ever seen in Brazil. The best place to appreciate it is at the Usina do Gasômetro, an old gas works power plant, that nowadays is a traditional cultural center of the city.
Once you get there, take a detailed look at the view of the Guaíba, a huge river embracing the whole town, where you can see the sunset. After having a great time at the Usina do Gasômetro, you can walk to the Fifa Fan Fest, that is happening while the World Cup is on.
The city has a great cultural life. You can visit the Centro Histórico, and get to know the city’s Public Market, a building with strong neoclassical influence, declared a Historical and Cultural heritage of the city. You should also go to the Santander Cultural Museum, where you can check the exhibition “O Tamanho do Mundo”, by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, who is one of the most required artists of the country internationally (a tip: they have guides who speaks English).
You must visit “Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana”, an antique hotel named after one of the greatest Brazilian poet. And finally, take a stroll around the “Praça da Matriz”, which has wonderful architectural constructions such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the São Pedro Theatre.
Porto Alegre is well-known for its tree-lined streets and a lot of parks. The most frequented parks are: “Parque Farroupilha” (Redenção), “Parque Moinhos de Vento” (Parcão) and “Parque Marinha do Brasil”. On Sundays at “Parque Farroupilha” happens the “Brique da Redenção”, a street market where you can buy art and appreciate the regional culture, plus you will probably see Brazilian indigenous people or local musicians playing instruments and turning the market into a lively and fun place.
In any of those parks you will get used to the typical and traditional Gaúcho’s drink, the “Chimarrão”. A lot of people will be drinking it while walking around. This is made of the Erva-Mate (Mate) which has a bitter flavour and that during the winter it’s prepared with hot water.
To enjoy the bohemian side of the city, don’t miss the opportunity to get lost, I mean, in a poetic way, at the Cidade Baixa‘s neighbourhood. Walk through “Rua Lima e Silva” and “Rua da República”, and continue to “Rua José do Patrocínio” and “Rua João Alfredo”. Anywhere between the sidewalks and corners, in front of the bars, clubs and restaurants, this is for sure the place where everyone meets.
Porto Alegre is a big city and therefore has a lot of different people. In my opinion it is impossible to mention everything that is magic about this city. Enjoy the big smile in people’s faces and I sincerely hope you have a great time at the South of Brazil.