World Cup Brazil 2014: Tourist attractions in Belo Horizonte you can't miss

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World Cup Brazil 2014: Tourist attractions in Belo Horizonte you can't miss
Belo Horizonte is Brazil's sixth biggest city (Getty Thinkstock)

Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, is a city of many charms. It's surrounded by the mountain range of Serra do Currall, which offers a beautiful and natural view of the city affectionately known as "Beagá". With an estimated two million inhabitants, Belo Horizonte is the sixth most populated city in Brazil. As one of the first planned cities in the country, the capital gathers eclectic examples of architectural design, ranging from neoclassic to more contemporary styles.

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Pampulha Art Museum

As a part of the Pampulha Architectural Complex, this museum holds some of the best examples of contemporary Brazilian art. Beyond that, the site of the museum is a masterpiece in itself. Designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, the building surrounds part of the Pampulha Lagoon. Originally, the building housed the Pampulha Casino, which attracted players from all over Brazil for many years. That was until 1946, when gambling was outlawed and the building was put to better use. The Pampulha Architectural Complex can be visited at Av. Otacílio Negrão Lima, 16585, Pampulha.

Central Market

For anyone who can't go through a city without shopping, the Central Market is a must. You can spend hours in its corridors tasting regional delights, from the typical pork rinds and sweet cheese to guava fruit. In addition to that, the Central Market is an excellent place to have a cold beer watching the crowds walk by. Belo Horizonte is known as the national pub capital, with more than 14 thousand registered establishments. The best of them are located in the Central Market itself, located at Avenida Augusto de Lima, 744, Centro.

Mineirão and Mineirinho

The greatest sporting icons in Belo Horizonte are the Mineirão football stadium, which will host some of the coming World Cup's matches, and the Mineirinho sports centre. If you can, you should attend matches at both. Mineirão, the home stadium of the city's biggest football teams, Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro, was totally rebuilt for the World Cup. Mineirinho, on the ohter hand, is the biggest sports centre in South America and regularly hosts national and international shows, as well as volleyball games. They are located on Av. Antônio Abrahão Caran, 1001 - Pampulha.

Natural History Museum and the UFMG Botanic Gardens

Located in a privileged ecological space, the Natural History Museum and the Botanical Garden of the Federal University of Minas Gerais is an unmissable tourist attraction. The botanical garden holds more than 100 native species of Brazilian fauna and flora. The Natural History Museum has many archaeological findings on display, and visitors can participate in interactive scientific experiments. The museum also features the Presépio do Pipiripau, which represents 45 scenes from the life of Christ recreated by hand. The entrance to the botanic garden sis located at Rua Gustavo da Silveira, 1035, Santa Inês

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