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World Cup 2014 City Guide: Belo Horizonte

World Cup 2014 City Guide: Belo Horizonte

Getty takes a snapshot of Belo Horizonte as the city prepares to host World Cup 2014

Population: 2,375,151
South east
Stadium: Mineirao
Big Clubs: Cruzeiro & Atletico-MG

Welcome to Belo Horizonte for World Cup 2014

The city that translates into English as 'Beautiful Horizon' is known for its beauty with the whole area surrounded by mountains.

In Three Words

Art, history and pao de queijo

Local History

Found by Portuguese explorers in 1701, a big part of Belo Horizonte's early history was gold rush expeditions with the Curral d'el Rey farm bringing a lot of wealth to the area.

It wasn't long until the city encountered a sudden population growth with immigrants from the Sao Francisco river area settling near Curral d'el Rey.

With Brazil gaining its independence in 1889, it was decided the city would be named capital of the state of Minas Gerais in 1893. Since then, the muncipality has grown bigger and stronger with Belo Horizonte fast becoming one of South America's centres of commerce.

Where To Party

To eat - Xapuri (below): The restaurant may not be in the centre of town but it's built a superb reputation for serving authentic 'Mineiro' food at affordable prices. The majority of ingredients are sourced from the local area with staff creating a warm atmosphere for its guests.

To drink - Bar do Lopes: If you're looking to soak up the local atmosphere in Belo Horizonte, Bar do Lopes is certainly the place to go. With its friendly bar staff serving the finest Brazilian beers along with an assortment of bar snacks, Bar do Lopes is the place to drink if you're in the city during the World Cup.

To dance - Dduck Club: The club is one of Belo Horizonte's premier night spots located in the city's famous Savassi neighbourhood. The Dduck club is famed for it's electronic and dance music and also hosts a popular karaoke night on Thursdays.

Famous Players

The city of Belo Horizonte is known for being the birthplace of two of the stars of Brazil's famous World Cup success in 1970. Tostao and Piazzi both originate from the area along with the unsung hero of the nation's trophy victory in 2002, Gilberto Silva.

Famous Attractions

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi (right): The church is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state of Minas Gerais due to its unusual modern style. Opened in 1959, the church is the first listed modern architectural monument in Brazil.

Vale Verde Ecological Park and the Vale Verde Cachacas:
The Vale Verde Ecological Park is a natural sanctuary that is filled with beautiful waterfalls, lakes, orchids and exotic birds, 19 miles from Belo Horizonte centre. There are plenty of activities in the park; whether it's mountain trekking, boating, riding a golf buggy or playing sport.

Mercado Central: If you're a fan of shopping, you can head to Mercado Central, a lively market that bustles with more than 400 shops, restaurants and bars. The lively market sells a wide range of good including local cheeses, sweets, handicrafts and herbs.

Did You Know?

Belo Horizonte is famous for being the bar capital of Brazil. There are over 12,000 bars and clubs in the city, more per capita than anywhere else in the country.

Famous Citizen

Dilma Rousseff is the current president of Brazil and is a native of Belo Horizonte. The 65-year-old has been in office since January 2011 and is the first female president of the South American nation.