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Porto Alegre is the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil.
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Points of Interest in Porto Alegre
Linha Turismo is a tourist bus line that rides through 11 neighbourhoods and shows the main attractions of the city (parks, trees, statues, hospitals, churches, etc), with audio guides in three languages. The trip is 28km long and lasts for about 1h20min, and the arrival is at the same departure address. From Tuesdays to Sundays (holidays included), at 9am, 10:30am, 1:30pm, 3pm and 4:30m (winter) or 10:30am, 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm and 6pm (summer). The tickets cost 5 reais for the lower floor and 7 reais for the superior one (which has no ceiling). Travessa do Carmo Street 84, phones (51) 3213-3464 and (51) 3212-1628:
- Monumento aos Açorianos (Açorianos monument) - It is a 17m high monument in the memory of the people from the island of Azores, who were the first to settle in Porto Alegre.
- Santuário Mãe de Deus, Rua do Santuário 400, Bairro Cascata (accessible from Av. Oscar Pereira): A beautiful church almost unknown by most porto-alegrenses. It is placed in an great location, with nice views of Porto Alegre and nearby cities landscapes. Built in 1992, it has a modern architecture and engineering, designed to support the strong winds of the location. It is somewhat difficult to get to this place, for there are no buses near and a cab ride from downtown would be pricey. However, if you rent a car in Porto Alegre, it's worth trying.
- Usina do Gasômetro: is a old powerplant built in 1928 which was refurnished recently and now hosts movie theaters and art expositions. During the sunset, lots of people get together in front of the Usina to watch the sun diving into Rio Guaíba (Guaiba river).
Museums & Art
- Fundação Iberê Camargo, Av. Padre Cacique, 2000, ☎ +55 51 3247-8000, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue-Sun noon-7PM; Thurs until 9PM. Free. Contemporary art museum in a award-winning building by Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza.
- MARGS, ☎ (51) 3227-2311, fax: (51) 3221-2646, e-mail: email@example.com. Praça da Alfândega, Downtown, , ), (in portuguese): The local Museum of Art. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 7pm. There's a permanent collection and an area that is often receiving new exhibitions. There's also a bistro and a store that sells art books and souvenirs. Admission is free.
- Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia da PUC. Av. Ipiranga 6681, Building #40, phone (51) 3320.3597 (in portuguese): It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9am to 5pm. Admission is 10 reais (7 reais for children under 12, seniors, university students and professors).
- Parque Moinhos de Vento (Moinhos de Vento Park) - Known by locals as Parcão, this is a pleasant park with a neat lake and jogging runways.
- Parque Farroupilha (Farroupilha Park) - Known by locals as Redenção, where is located the Araujo Viana Auditorium, which has hosted several political acts and music concerts. Also on Sundays, a antique-fair happens in a side street and is called by locals as Brique da Redenção.
About Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul and the biggest urban agglomeration of Southern Brazil. Situated geographically and culturally midway between São Paulo and Buenos Aires, Porto Alegre developed its distinct flavor of Portuguese heritage under the influence of other European immigrants and a variety of other ethnic groups. It is one of the richest cities in the country, the state capital with the highest life quality and literacy rate (97%), and the book capital of Brazil.
Gaúchos, as natives of Rio Grande do Sul state are known, are very proud of their land and culture. In 1835 a revolution which declared Rio Grande do Sul independent from Brazil broke out, the most significant national conflict of the Brazilian Empire (1822-1889), named the Farroupilha Revolution or Farrapos War. This war wreaked havoc across the entire state during 10 bloody years, killing nearly 20% of Gaúchos and ultimately leading to a peace treaty where the República Riograndense once again became part of Brazil. Another major Brazilian revolution also began in Rio Grande do Sul. The Federalist Revolution of 1893 defended the decentralization of powers and greater autonomy for the states, and only finished in 1895, after spreading to two other states. It was also in Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre) where the 1930 Revolution which overthrew the president Washington Luis began, and so was from Rio Grande do Sul the most important Brazilian communist revolutionary of all times: Luis Carlos Prestes, who led the nation-wide communist upheaval in 1935. For such reasons, among many others, Gaúchos are particularly proud of their mother state, many considering themselves different from other Brazilians.
Currently, Porto Alegre is a service centered city in between the industrial part of the state (north-east) and the rural part (south). It is also called the "Mercosul Capital".
- Watch the sunset: Porto Alegre has a beautiful sunset over its main river, Guaíba. Best enjoyed on the western side at places like Gasômetro and Ipanema. Beware that this event lasts about five minutes only. If you go up to level 5 of Gasômetro building, you can have a broader view of the sunset. During the winter (around July), it is recommended to take additional clothes, because the wind can be very strong.
- Cisne Branco Boat, ☎ (51) 3224-5222. Mauá Avenue, 1050, (in portuguese).
- Feira do Livro (Book Fair) - Every october, hundreds of publishing editors sell books on Praça da Alfândega. It's possible to find rare books and cheap prices.
- Churrascaria Giovanaz, Venâncio Aires. An inexpensive churrascaria in the Cidade Baixa. You can eat as much meat (and side dishes) as you like for less than R$ 15 (US$ 7.50)
- Lancheria do Parque, Avenida Osvaldo Aranha, 1086 (Bairro Bom Fim, across from the Parque Redençao), ☎ 3311 8321. 6AM-midnight. Has possibly the best cheap eats in Porto Alegre. Lunch is a very good buffet where the offerings are always fresh and tasty. The menu offers incredible fresh juices and vitaminas and they are big. Sandwiches include the traditional Bauru: steak or chicken with egg, cheese, lettuce and tomato on a special bun (meal size). X~s with excellent ingredients. Plates--steaks mostly. A great chicken soap. Risotto. Everything is good, much better than most lancherias. Despite what your Brazilian friends might say, the staff does appreciate a ten percent tip, even though they rarely receive it. For the great service you will receive they will certainly deserve it! Buffet from R$ 6, juices from R$ 2.
- Reçaka Bar, José do Patrocínio, 531 (lunch time) or 495 (dinner time) (Cidade Baixa), ☎ 3072 3249 or 3225 7085. Steaks, fillets, fries, salads and whatever you ask them to prepare.
- Tudo Pelo Social, Rua João Alfredo 448, Cidade Baixa, ☎ 51 3226-4405. Serves simple dishes, such as beef and fries, but the quality is awesome and the prices are unbelievable. Buffet self-service on lunch hour. Expect lines during lunch and dinner time.
- X Speed, Cidade Baixa, Av. Lima e Silva. Typical sandwich of Porto Alegre; it's a cheap option..
- Bar do Beto, Rua Sarmento Leite, Cidade Baixa. Delicious options including typical Italian plates such as Fillet à parmeggiana (bovine meat covered with tomato sauce, cheese and ham). You can also ask for snacks or sandwiches.
- Na Brasa, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 389, ☎ 51 3225-2205. Floresta. Typical gaúcho barbecue, serves all kinds of meat - cow, chicken, pork, sheep and wild boar. Has also a good-quality salad buffet and wines. Prices are around R$ 35 per person.
- Steinhaus, Rua Coronel Paulino Teixeira 415, Rio Branco. 51 33308661. German restaurant.
Porto Alegre's nightlife is basically divided onto two neighborhoods: Cidade Baixa and Moinhos de Vento. Although, several pubs and clubs are located throughout the city.
Cidade Baixa is an old neighborhood, filled with historical buildings and oldfashioned mansions. Most of the popular and cheap bars are located in Lima e Silva Street; they are the traditional xis (cheeseburgers) places, such as Speed and Cavanhas. In República Street, pubs and bars are fancier and more expensive too. Inside the old mansions of João Alfredo Street, several dance clubs party every night. The places are perfect to dance Brazilian popular music (called MPB) and samba.
- Bar Opinião, Rua José do Patrocínio, 834. Since 1983, the Bar Opinião is a reference in the port-alegrense nightlife. With its newly extended physical space, the house can receive up to 2,300 people. The bar has had major improvements and offers a more comfortable structure now. In its menu, different drinks and tidbits.
Moinhos de Vento
Moinhos de Vento is one of the richest neighborhoods in town. Its bars and clubs are more likely to be fashionable. Expect bars to be pricey. Along Padre Chagas Street you can find typical Irish pubs and cafes.
Other options are:
- Shamrock Irish Pub, Rua Vieira de Castro, 32. (in portuguese). Typical Irish pub, 1km from Cidade Baixa area. Opens from Tuesdays to Sundays at 6pm (on Saturdays at 7pm).
- Bar do Beto. Venâncio Aires Avenue, 876 (in portuguese). Opens every day from 5pm to 3am. The beer is always really cold, there is a good variety of dishes and snacks and the food is aways delicious. It's a good place to flirt too.
- Manara, Av. Goethe, 200. The place has different environments and gathers a varied public. On the first floor, a bar and a dancefloor. A stage for shows is also available. On the mezzanine, some tables and chairs to make the attendence feel comfortable. The Sundays are specially agitated. The band Maria Bonita puts the public to dance to the sound of 'forró' music. Offers private parking lot.
- República de Madras, Shopping Total, Av. Cristóvão Colombo, 545. Inspired on the Indian culture, specially on the old city of Madras, the club has four floors and an outside terrace. On Thursdays, some of the top DJs in town usually play there. Friday and Saturday, the club offers pop music and pagode.
- John Bull Pub, Shopping Total, Av. Cristóvão Colombo, 545. The place has a stage for shows where usually rock and roll cover bands performe.
- Dissonante, website. The bar encourages the alternative rock porto-alegrense, offering an excellent space for the exposition of independent bands of the most varied styles - from instrumental rock to punk rock. Basically almost everything that involves a distorted guitar.
- Bar do Nito, ☎ 3333-6221. Lucas de Oliveira, 105. The owner plays every night old songs from Brazilian Popular Music (MPB). Every 29th day of the month you could enjoy the excellent and tradicional nhoque.
- Logom Brewpub,website Rua Bento Figueiredo, 72 is Porto Alegre's first artisinal brew pub. Expect much stronger and more flavorful beers than the standard Pilsner. Popular with many technology workers and beer aficionados alike. Barrio Bom Fim, but close to Moinhos de Vento.
- Central Market (Mercado Público Central) (Between the Julio de Castilhos and Borges de Medeiros avenues), ☎ + 55 51 3333 1873, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Fri 7:30AM-7:30PM, Sat 7:30AM-6:30PM. Free. The market, built in 1869 and recently renovated, has more than 100 stalls selling local produce, typical products and spices, as well as several restaurants.
- Brique da Redenção: A large flea market near Parque da Redenção with lots of authentic gaúcho art, crafts, furniture and hand-made stuff. It happens every Sunday, from 9am to 6pm.
- Barra Shopping Sul: It has an 8-room cinemark cinema theater inside, and many good restaurants with a incredible view to the Guaiba Lake. Located in "Av. Diário de Notícias, 300". You can get more info on their  (in portuguese)
- Shopping Iguatemi: Located in the north side of the city, Av João Wallig 1800, it's the biggest Shopping Mall of Porto Alegre. You can get more info on their  (in portuguese)
- Shopping Praia de Belas: Next to the Marinha do Brasil Park, it's a very good mall
- Shopping Total: Built in the place of the old beer factory, it has a supermarket a lot of stores. It has very good restaurants outside in the parking lot.
- Shopping Moinhos de Vento: Has a Sheraton hotel inside it.
- Bourbon Shopping Country: One of the biggest Shopping Malls in town, located in Av Tulio de Rose, 100. It has a large variety of stores and restaurants.
- Bourbon Shopping Ipiranga: Is located at Av. Ipiranga, one of the most important avenues of Porto Alegre.
- Bourbon Shopping Wallig: Is the largest mall in Latin America and the newest mall in Porto Alegre
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Porto Alegre on Wikivoyage.