World Cup 2014 City Guide: Porto Alegre takes a look at the lively southern city as the South American nation prepare to host World Cup 2014
Population: 1,413,904
Stadium: Estadio Beira-Rio
Big Clubs: Internacional

Welcome to Porto Alegre for World Cup 2014

Despite not being discovered until the late 18th century, Porto Alegre has grown to become one of the top cultural, economical and political centres of Brazil.

In Three Words

Cold, beer & chimarrao

Local History

Porto Alegre's southern location meant Portuguese travellers only settled in the area in 1750, despite inhabiting other areas of Brazil since the beginning of the 16th century. A colony formed in the soon-to-be city made up of Portuguese, African slaves, French, English, Germans, Spaniards and Italians.

Due to the area being a late discovery, the city escaped the worst excesses of Portuguese colonisation, namely the slave trade, and benefited hugely from independence in 1822. Construction of port facilities helped the city grow throughout the 19th century and by the time the 21st century came around, the population had grown to over 1.5 million people, making it the biggest muncipal in the south of Brazil.

Where To Party

To eat & drink - Padre Chagas (below): Instead of picking out a particular place to eat and drink in Porto Alegre, it's probably best to direct any potential visitors to Padre Chagas, a stretch of bars and restaurants which really encapsulates the diversity in cuisine the local area has to offer.

To dance - Cidade Baixa: Similar to our suggestions for where to eat and drink, our night life guide involves directing visitors to an area of the city. Cidade Baixa is the premier spot for clubs and bars in Porto Alegre and certainly the best place to go to soak up the famous Brazilian party atmosphere.

Famous Players

Porto Alegre is home to several players who will be hopeful of selection for the 2014 World Cup. Brazilian icon Ronaldinho emerges from the area and will be keen to make the final 23 as he nears the end of his career. Manchester United's Anderson and Shakhtar Donetsk's Luiz Adriano also originate from the southern city.

Famous Attractions

Farroupilha Park (right): Designed and founded in 1935 by French architect Alfred Agache, the Farroupilha Park is one of the biggest urban parks in Brazil. The park consists of an auditorium for concerts, famous markets selling food, art, souvenirs and antiques, while also being home to a boating lake.

Musuem of Natural Sciences: The Museum of Natural Sciences has over 10,000 zoological, mineralogical and archaeological exhibits, all in which should be considered natural treasures of the Rio Grande do Sul region.

Market Hall:  Porto Alegre is home to one of the best market halls in Brazil. Found between Rua da Praia and Avenida Maua, the public hall houses food stalls, imported goods, local teas and craft products from the Gaucho country, all at reasonable prices.

Did You Know?

Porto Alegre hosts the annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography event on the last Sunday of every April, an exhibition which aims to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography.

Famous Citizen

One of the most famous faces in Brazilian culture to emerge from Porto Alegre is Luis Fernando Verissimo, one of the nation's most famous writers. Along with having over 60 titles published, Verissimo has also taken on the role of cartoonist, playwright and musician during his illustrious 50-year career in the media.