The affluent Brazilian city of Porto Alegre is known for its charming mix of cultures and modern infrastructure. Straddling the banks of Lagoa dos Patos, the largest lagoon in Brazil, Porto Alegre is one of the country’s major transportation hubs. Its port is among the biggest in the nation. Strong academic facilities, forward-thinking leaders and a stable economic climate have helped shape its reputation as a center for the arts, culture and global business.
Begin your stay in the city by acquainting yourself with its many neighborhoods. Hop aboard the Linha Turismo scenic bus to see the city from the open-air top deck. The trip takes about 80 minutes and meanders past all the major sites in Porto Alegre. Snap a photo of the Santuáriu Mãe de Deus, a church known for its modern architecture. Learn about the original people of Porto Alegre as you pass the Monumento aos Açorianos.
Visit the city’s prominent cultural institutions to discover the creative works from locals. Explore the Fundação Iberê Camargo, the city’s key contemporary art gallery. Spend a half-day at MARGS (Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul), the local museum of art, before heading to the banks of the Rio Guaía in time for sunset. Here you’ll find the Usina do Gasômetro, a converted 1920s power plant that hosts theater and art events. Mingle with locals gathered on the grass outside to watch the sun go down.
Be aware that the city struggles with multiple types of crime. Take appropriate cautions, such as using the Lotação network of public vans or the Linha Turismo sightseeing buses as primary modes of transportation.
Plan for mild winter or hot, humid summer weather. Travel by bus, plane or boat to the nearby city of Guaiba and then rent a car or take the bus to Porto Alegre. You can also reach the city by flying into Salgado Filho International Airport, located about 5 miles (8 kilometers) northeast of downtown.