Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre, a city of 1.5 million people, is the capital of Brazil's southernmost Rio Grande do Sul state. A key player in the Mercosul, its close proximity to Uruguay and Argentina make it an important commercial, financial, and transportation hub.
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Porto Alegre Skyline

While its noted for its progressive politics and people, it has also taken great pains to preserve its neoclassical architecture. The local arts scene is strong and vibrant, and Porto Alegre might almost be said to be a region apart from Brazil, due both to its geography, and history.
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Geographically, its interesting to note that it is located on the banks of Lagoa dos Patos, an enormous freshwater lake that is formed by the junction of three rivers.

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Activities and Attractions
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The city is centered around the Praca 15 de Novembro, where vendors in the Mercado Publico hawk all kinds of produce, meats, and seafood. The nearby Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul, a fabulous showcase of local artists, is located in a stately neoclassical building. To the south, head to the Praca de Matriz, and its elegant Catedral Metropolitana. Also worth checking out are the Teatro Sao Pedro and the Biblioteca Publico.

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Some very enjoyable activities can be found as well, just outside of the city. Head to nearby Gramado for a Brazilian take on a Swiss village. Or, enjoy the delicious wine in Bento Goncalves. Back in Belo, one of the best science museums in Brazil, the Museu de Ciencias e Tecnologia is not to be missed, and covers a wide range of topics. If you're interested in bus or boat tours of the city, check out Cisne Branco or Linha Turismo.

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Cisne Branco
Av Presidente Joao Goulart 551
Tel: 3324 5222
www.barcocisnebranco.com.br

Linha Turismo
Travessa do Carmo 84
Tel: 3212 3464
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Accommodation
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Hotel Palacio
Featuring fabulous prices and clean, well-lit rooms, a room without a bathroom can be had here for R$30. A single with bathroom will go for R$40.
Rua Vigario Jose Inacio 644
Tel: 3225 2467

Hotel Lancaster
While the rooms are small, they are clean and comfortable. A single goes for R$75, while a double will cost you R$120.
Travessa Eng Acelino de Carvalho 67
Tel: 3224 4737
www.hotel-lancaster-poa.com.br

Sheraton Porto Alegre
The nicest hotel in the city, located a bit to the east of downtown, in the tony Moinhos de Vento neighborhood.
Rua Olavo Barreto Viana 18
Tel: 2121 6000
www.sheraton-poa.com.br

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Where to Eat
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Your best bets for food are along Rua Fernando Gomes, and on the second floor of the Mercado Publico.

Sabor Natural
A truly unique establishment, this spot features an all-you-can-eat vegetarian, organic lunch buffet. The soups and salads are fabulous.
Rua Siquiera Campos 890
Tel: 3028 0539

Churrascaria Roda de Carreta
This great lunch and dinner spot serves of food in the gaucho tradition, and features a filling buffet with seventeen different kinds of meat!
Av Ipiranga 5300
Tel: 3336 0817

Atelier das Massas
A modern and creative take on traditional Italian cuisine, you will also be charmed by the restaurants decor, featuring original artwork and interesting photographs.
Rua Riachuelo 1482
Tel: 3225 8888

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Getting There
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Mercado Publico

Porto Alegre is conveniently located an hour from Sao Paulo and an hour and a half from Rio de Janeiro. The airport is a quick fifteen minute taxi ride from downtown, or you can take the metro.

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The bus terminal services a wide variety of domestic destinations, as well as an overnight seven hour bus ride to Chui on the Uruguayan border. If you're looking to get to an international capital, direct buses are available to Montevideo, 12 hours away, or Buenos Aires, 18 hours away.

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Cool things to do in Porto Alegre

Itapuã State ParkPublic Market in Porto Alegre
Festa da Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes Parna Lagoa do Peixe

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