Porto Alegre, largest city and capital of Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, likes to see itself as slightly different from the rest of the Brazilian metropolises. In 1835 the Gaúchos (a kind of Brazilian cowboys, as citizens from the state are nicknamed) declared their independence from the rest of the country here and fought the bloody Ragamuffin War against imperial forces. Obviously that war has long been history, but the sense that this is not your average Brazilian state remains.
Sat on the banks of the enormous freshwater lagoon of Rio Guaiba and at the confluence of five rivers, the city's distinct history is not just present in the mindset of the population. You will frequently find yourself reminded of it by monuments like the Monumento ao Laçador, or traditional Gaúcho barbecues and Gaúcho cultural centers.
But even if you are not really interested in that heritage, you will not have to search long for things to do here. The historical center features some lovely architectural highlights like the Catedral Metropolitana, the Mercado Central (in neoclassical style - at once a landmark, a great place to eat and a good spot for souvenirs), bustling squares, the Palácio Piratini and Town Hall. Go shopping in the Rua dos Andradas or the flea market at Brique da Redenção, get a few drinks in in the atmospheric Cidade Baixa or more trendy Moinhos de Vento. Basically, Porto Alegre is an almost perfect weekend trip destination. [Review by travelindicator]
- Porto Alegre is a city in Brazil's region of Rio Grande do Sul. It has a population of 1,509,939, is situated at an altitude of 62ft and the best airport to fly into is POA (Salgado Filho, Porto Alegre)
- The main spoken language here is Portuguese, and the average English skill is low
- Note: Porto Alegre is a good point of entry for trips to Brazil as it is well internationally connected (by air)
- The currency used in Brazil is the Brazilian real (BRL)
Porto Alegre Weather
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More Porto Alegre travel resources
We will be honest. Without this guide from imagensviagens we might have struggled to give you a proper breakdown of what this city has to offer. Of course there are the Porto Alegre Wikitravel and Porto Alegre Lonelyplanet but those did not help us too much. Though we do want to highlight Lonelyplanet's remark on crime increasingly being an issue in the city, this is something you may want to look out for. Other than that, Planetware does its thing with a list of attractions, while a short travel blog can be found here.
Porto Alegre Attractions (Foursquare)
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