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#WorldCup Cheat Sheet: Belo Horizonte City Guide

Vera H-C Chan
Senior Editor, Special Projects
June 6, 2014
belo horizonte architecture
belo horizonte architecture

Oscar Niemeyer architecture in Belo Horizonte (Photo: AP Images)

(With contributions by Yahoo Brazil editors Cassiano Gobbet, Fernando Vives, and Tainah Fernandes)

Yahoo Travel continues its daily guides to all the World Cup host cities. Even if you’re not a fan of the beautiful game, you may discover your next South American escape. Keep checking back for more.

Belo Horizonte (“Beautiful Horizon”)

Stadium: Estadio Minierao, 57,483 capacity. (Same site as the Brazilian Football Museum)

(Photo: Clube Athletico Mineiro/Flickr)

Games: June 14 (Colombia vs. Greece), June 17 (Belgium vs. Algeria), June 21 (Argentina vs. Iran), June 24 (Costa Rica vs. England), June 28 (final 16), July 8 (semifinal)

Known for: Its surrounding mountains, architecture, and museums. The Conjunto Arquitetônico e Urbanístico da Pampulha (Pampulha Architectural and Urban Complex) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also home to thrash-metal band Sepultura.

Lowdown: Brazil’s third-largest city, known as Beagá among locals, gets skipped over by the tourist hordes. The capital city of Minas Gerais.

The Mangabeiras lookout. (Photo: Fabio Silva/Flickr)

belo horizonte soccer
belo horizonte soccer

View: Mirante das Mangabeiras or Lookout Mangabeiras between Pope Square and Mangabeiras Park has been cleaned up as of late. (1-129 Rua do Mirante),

Sleep: Reviews have mentioned a need for a touch-up at Ouro Minas Palace Hotel, but nevertheless it’s the area’s only five-star hotel. (Av. Cristiano Machado, 4001) The decor of Mercure Belo Horizonte Vila Da Serra may not excite, but its affordability and friendliness do. (Al Da Serra, 405, Nova Lima). The 118-square-foot apartments may be a tight squeeze in Ibis budget Belo Horizonte Afonso Pena, but the price is friendly, the hotel new (2013), and location near Savassi ideal. (Rua Rio Grande do Norte, 784, Funcionarios)

Bottles of cachaca (Photo: Claudio Brisighello/Flickr)

belo horizonte
belo horizonte

Eats: Belo Horizonte leads the country in having the most bars per capita: Gorging on cachaca (booze made from sugarcane) should mellow you out. For more substantial nibbles, visit the more than 400 purveyors touting everything from preserved meats to artisan cheese are packed into the 85-year-old Mercado Central. (Avenida Augusto De Lima, 744)

belo horizonte
belo horizonte

The “hippie fair” at Mercado Central (Photo: Triptobrazil.net)

What to buy: On Sundays at Mercado Central, you can haunt the so-called Hippie Fair on Sundays. Alas, Feira Hippie refers to handicrafts, and not dissolute long-haired peace lovers.

Best pickup line: “Would you share a cachaça [fermented sugar cane drink] with me?”

How to avoid a fight: “So, Coelho’s No. 1, yes?”

Brumadinho region (Photo: Getty Images)

belo horizonte
belo horizonte

When the football gets to be too much: Balloon over nearby Brumadinho.

Keep coming back every day for Yahoo Travel’s series on the #WorldCup, with guides to the host cities, advice on safety, and great tips and insider information you won’t find anywhere else. You can also check out all our World Cup coverage here.