One of the striking features of tourism in Minas Gerais is the expressive culture, artistic and architectural heritage of its Baroque cities, the diversity of crafts, religiosity and rich gastronomy.
For you to experience the best samples of each of these expressions, this experience runs through three cities and many museums, plazas, churches, markets, craft houses, among many other cultural attractions. Grab your bag, take a camera and enjoy every detail of your trip!
Belo Horizonte is a synthesis of Minas Gerais, where old traditions meet a culturally active environment, with expression in urban daily life, in theatrical production, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, and more.
Start this experience with the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit. It's a beautiful plaza and full of life for you to walk under the treetops. But that's not all. The site is home to no less than the famous Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, Casa Fiat de Cultura, Centro de Arte Popular de Cemig, the Espaço do Conhecimento UFMG and other museums. Great to experience, in depth, the culture of Minas Gerais and Brazil.
Another place worth visiting is the Belo Horizonte Cultural Center, that has a beautiful sample of Portuguese gothic style architectural. This space has exhibitions, seminars and other cultural activities.
From there, go to the Mercado Central. If there is one thing that comes to mind when any Brazilian talks about Minas Gerais, this thing is food. If you go to Minas Gerais, you have to eat! Take advantage of the market to experience all of its smells and flavors, the delicious cachaça (the base ingredient of the caipirinha), the canasta cheese (you will only find it there!), the famous sweets and still find a number of typical products. The market is also place of conversation, mostly in its bars with their groceries and snacks. It preserves the ancient traditions and the cultural memory of Minas Gerais. Take the opportunity to fill your back with souvenirs!
After properly fed, proceed to Pampulha. The site houses the lake, the small church of São Francisco, the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, and Casa do Baile, with projects signed by great names in architecture, painting, sculpture and landscaping. There, people hike, ride a bike and visit the amusement park. It's a perfect way to the end the afternoon.
Are you on your way from the BR-383? When you see the sign for Lagoa Dourada, stop! You need to try one of the best rocamboles (a wrapped cake with different flavor fillings) that you will eat in your life. The main avenue of the city has many bakeries: just go in and ask for one, that they will wrap it just in time! After this delicacy, follow with your trip.
São João Del Rei has the title of Cultural City of Brazil because of the importance of its cultural heritage, of its houses (some houses belong to very important people), of the cultural effervescence of the city (especially the two bicentenary orchestras ), of Lira (that feeds the religious tradition of São João with its sacred Baroque music), of the religious rituals, and even the old communication system only through church bells (the city is also known as City of Bells). Since this is a cultural experience, we couldn't help but include São João Del Rei.
Upon arriving in the city, take a city tour in the historical center. There are several places to visit, such as the Museu Ferroviário, São Francisco de Assis Church, John Sommers tin shop and factory and Rota dos Santeiros. Visit the Tancredo Neves Memorial, that tells the life trajectory of a Brazilian politician who played an important role in the democratization of the country, but died before taking office as President. Another place worth visiting is the Catedral Basílica Nossa Senhora do Pilar. It's a typically Baroque construction and richly ornamented. The Cathedral is the only church in the city with altars in gold wire. The Cathedral also has an image of São Miguel decorated by diamonds and emeralds and an image of Nossa Senhora do Pilar made with more than 200 kg of gold.
Tiradentes’ baroque style is not as exquisite as Ouro Preto and São João Del Rey, but it is undoubtedly the most charming city of the historical cities of Minas Gerais. In a panoramic city tour, you can travel around churches, museums and visit Largo das Forras -the main plaza in Tiradentes ,to rest and to observe the daily life of the residents, since the plaza is a meeting point. There you can also find a lot of restaurants, guesthouses, and shops to buy crafts and special information for tourists. Another postcard of the city is the São José Fountain: a simple site, but full of beauty and importance. For those who like the subject, the city has an Automobile Museum. After, in the village Bichinho you can see and buy local handicrafts.
To close your cultural tour of Minas Gerais in style, how about a night drive around town in a jardineira? [jardineira = a big car to transport people, with parallel benches in different levels]. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 pm (it is necessary to confirm), the Espetáculo Luz e Som happens in the Igreja Matriz. The Espetáculo Luz e Som (Light and Sound spectacle) is a kind of script narrated for 16 minutes that tells the story of the Matriz, of some Saints that are exposed there and curiosities. Instructive, beautiful and exciting!