Porto Alegre is the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil. With 4.2 million people in its metropolitan area, it is the 4th largest city of the country. The city is not known for its tourist attractions, although it is a frequently used entry point to the Serras Gaúchas region, a major domestic tourism destination.
Porto Alegre is the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul and the biggest urban agglomeration of Southern Brazil. Situated geographically and culturally midway between São Paulo and Buenos Aires, Porto Alegre developed its distinct flavor of Portuguese heritage under the influence of other European immigrants and a variety of other ethnic groups. It is one of the richest cities in the country, the state capital with the highest life quality and literacy rate (97%), and the book capital of Brazil.
Gaúchos, as natives of Rio Grande do Sul state are known, are very proud of their land and culture. In 1835 a revolution which declared Rio Grande do Sul independent from Brazil broke out, the most significant national conflict of the Brazilian Empire (1822-1889), named the Farroupilha Revolution or Farrapos War. This war wreaked havoc across the entire state during 10 bloody years, killing nearly 20% of Gaúchos and ultimately leading to a peace treaty where the República Riograndense once again became part of Brazil. Another major Brazilian revolution also began in Rio Grande do Sul. The Federalist Revolution of 1893 defended the decentralization of powers and greater autonomy for the states, and only finished in 1895, after spreading to two other states. It was also in Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre) where the 1930 Revolution which overthrew the president Washington Luis began, and so was from Rio Grande do Sul the most important Brazilian communist revolutionary of all times: Luis Carlos Prestes, who led the nation-wide communist upheaval in 1935. For such reasons, among many others, Gaúchos are particularly proud of their mother state, many considering themselves different from other Brazilians.
Porto Alegre is now a service-centered city in between the industrial part of the state (north-east) and the rural part (south). It is also called the "Mercosul Capital".
Rio Grande do Sul has come to be the champion in armed civil population. There is a culture of gun glorification in Porto Alegre, fruited in a past rural mentality.
ClimateDue to its low altitude and southern location, Porto Alegre has a very variable humid subtropical climate, but has well-defined seasons. Summer is generally hot and humid and winter is milder. During summer, it is common for the humidity to get high, giving a feeling of muffling. In winter, sometimes it is possible to have frost.
Maximum temperatures can range from an average of 32º C (89.6º F) in the summer months to 15º C (59º F) in the winter months, while minimum temperatures are between an average of 23º C (73.4º F) in the summer and 10º C (50º F) in the winter, although it is not uncommon for some years where there may be days in the winter with temperatures up to 30º C (86º F). This phenomenon is locally called "veranico" (Indian summer).
Rainfall is regular and well distributed throughout the year. There is no dry season and the least rainy months are from March to May, while the wettest months are from July to September. Porto Alegre has an average rainfall of 1300 millimeters (51.18 inches) per year. It rains an average of 100 days a year, ranging from 7 days in April to 9 days in August and September. The city receives an average of 2200 hours of sunshine per year. Unlike the cities located in the Serra Gaúchas region, where there is the highest altitude, in Porto Alegre rarely snows. The last times this phenomenon occurred was in 1984, 1994, 2000 and 2006.
Salgado Filho International AirportPorto Alegre's international airport facility is modern (built in 2001) and has a shopping-like structure, with restaurants, shops and even movie theaters. Flights come from and go to cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Foz do Iguaçu, Montevideo, Córdoba, Rosario, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Panama City and Lisbon. It's served by all major Brazilian airlines (Azul, LATAM, Gol/Varig, regional ones (Trip) and international airlines TAP Portugal, Copa Airlines, Avianca, and Aerolineas Argentinas.
There is a train station (known as trensurb by locals) and bus stops near the airport. However, it is recommended to take a cab ("taxi" for locals) in order to leave the airport, because the nearby trensurb station is not exactly close to the airport facility and available buses don't take you downtown. Cab rides can be a little pricey, so you can opt to take a bus to a place near your destination and get a cab from there.
A commuter train service, locally known as Trensurb, serve only the metropolitan area, with one line connecting Downtown to some metropolitan cities (Canoas, Esteio, Sapucaia do Sul, São Leopoldo and Novo Hamburgo). The fare is R$ 3,30 and there's a station near Rodoviária (Central Bus Station) and the airport. It is more or less safe to walk during day time from Rodoviária or the airport to the stations. An automated people-mover (Aeromóvel) connects the first floor of the terminal to the local train station.
Coming from the North (Florianópolis, Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro), one may reach Porto Alegre by two ways. BR-116 is shorter, but much more dangerous. This road is used to reach other destinations in Rio Grande do Sul, such as Caxias do Sul, Gramado and Canela. BR-116 also connects all major metropolitan cities and traffic jams are frequent during rush hours in weekdays. One way to escape traffic jams during peak hours is BR-448, which links Porto Alegre to Sapucaia do Sul in the metropolitan area. The other way to get to Porto Alegre from the North is using BR-101 to Osório and then BR-290. The first connects Curitiba, Florianópolis and Osório, and is being upgraded to highway standards; the latter crosses Rio Grande do Sul from Osório to Uruguaiana, through Porto Alegre. The section between Osório and Porto Alegre is called free-way by locals, and is a very well-maintained 6-lane toll-road.
Also, in neighbouring Canoas, BR-386 begins, connecting the metropolitan area with other major cities in the countryside, such as Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Maria and Passo Fundo. It has 4 lanes up to Tabaí and it is in decent conditions.
From the South, coming from cities such as Pelotas, Rio Grande, and Chuí, one would use BR-116.
From the East, Porto Alegre is reachable by BR-290 from Uruguaiana and Argentina. Using this road, it's possible to reach southern cities such as Bagé and Santana do Livramento. This section of BR-290 shares a stretch with BR-116, from Guaíba's Bridge up to Eldorado do Sul interchange.
Some of these roads are dangerous due to their poor signalling/conditions and lots of trucks. Most of them are toll-roads and have electronic speed traps. Schedule your travels by car during the day; it is simply safer. Another important point is that the Guaíba Bridge, in the BR-290, which crosses Lake Guaíba, is a movable bridge that may have its transit interrupted for lifting its movable span to give passage to large ships. It is important to be aware of the lift schedules so as not to be taken by surprise. They are available on the CCR Via Sul website (in Portuguese), the company responsible for the bridge.
- Rodoviária de Porto Alegre (in Portuguese). Information on interstate lines and schedules.
Besides its decent port facilities for cargo, a commuter catamaran service connects downtown and Barra Shopping Sul to Guaíba, a neighbour city situated on the other side of Guaíba Lake. The crossing takes 20 minutes and costs R$ 7,35 each way. Checking the schedule beforehand is recommended.
The city is roughly a semi-circle that expanded outward in a concentric manner, beginning from the historical city center, right next to the promontory and the harbor. Avenues going from the center to the outer areas of the semi-circle are the radiais (radials) and are crossed by avenues named perimetrais (perimeters). Hence, to go to and from downtown one will use mostly the former, whereas to go from one neighborhood to another, one uses the latter.
There is a map with all the buses online:
Also all stops are listed here:
Together with Google Maps this can give you a clue.
It is very hard to find bus stops with indication of lines' destinations or timetables. Hence, when in doubt, the easiest way is to ask the locals which bus will get you to you destination. Porto Alegre's buses are, in most cases, clean, safe and fast, specially when the line uses the bus corridor, a reserved lane with special stops in main avenues, effectively avoiding traffic jams. In order to use the bus, you must be at a bus stop and signal or wave your hand to the arriving bus you want to ride (they will not stop unless waved upon!).
The fare must be paid to the cobrador before crossing the turnstile located inside the bus. Fares may be paid either in cash or using a smartcard system named TRI. TRI-users get discounts in consecutive trips - a 50 percent discount is granted to the second trip within half an hour. Fares are listed below:
|infant||free||must pass under or over the turnstile|
|student||R$ 2,02||must use a special TRI card|
|adult||R$ 4,05||second trip is R$ 2,02 (with TRI)|
|resident senior (60 yr+)||free||must use a special TRI card|
|senior (65 yr+)||free||any document proving age is enough|
The Lotação is an alternative transportation system, with fewer lines, served by vans with up to 20 people in capacity, where one can hop on and off at any point (i.e. outside designated stops) of the trip. The fare is R$6.00 for everyone. The vans are easily recognized by their "red and blue" colour. If you're not sure if a lotação goes to the destination you want to go, just wave your hand, wait until it stops and from the street ask the driver if it goes to your destination (for instance to go to Iguatemi Mall just say Iguatemi?), don't go in just to ask otherwise the driver might ask you to pay the fare since the counter is measured on the stairs near the door.
Walking around is a reasonable idea only inside a given neighborhood or downtown, as opposed to from one neighborhood to another, as they are usually too far apart. Walking during the night in most parts of the city is outright dangerous. During the day, it is recommended to pay attention to your belongings at all times, due to activity of pickpockets and other thieves. Avoid parks at night. Porto Alegre is a dangerous city at global levels. Pedestrian crossings, most of the time, are completely ignored by the vast majority of drivers; never rely on them without looking or making sure the driver will stop. It is also not recommended to cross the street outside the proper crossing areas in traffic jams: motorbike riders usually split between stopped cars, causing a great risk to pedestrians.
- Monumento aos Açorianos (Monument to the Azoreans) - It is a 17 m high monument in the memory of the people from the island of Azores, who were the first to settle in Porto Alegre.
- Santuário Mãe de Deus, Rua do Santuário 400, Bairro Cascata (accessible from Av. Oscar Pereira): A beautiful church almost unknown by most porto-alegrenses. It is placed in a great location, with nice views of Porto Alegre and nearby cities landscapes. Built in 1992, it has a modern architecture and engineering, designed to support the strong winds of the location. It is somewhat difficult to get to this place, for there are no buses near and a cab ride from downtown would be pricey. However, if you rent a car in Porto Alegre, it's worth trying.
- Usina do Gasômetro: is an old powerplant built in 1928 which was refurnished and now hosts movie theaters and art expositions. During the sunset, lots of people get together in front of the Usina to watch the sun diving into Rio Guaíba (Guaiba river).
Museums & art
phone: +55 51 3247-8000address: Av. Padre Cacique, 2000Contemporary art museum in an award-winning building by Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza.
phone: +55 51 3227-2311address: Praça da Alfândega, DowntownThe local Museum of Art. There's a permanent collection and an area that is often receiving new exhibitions. There's also a bistro and a store that sells art books and souvenirs.
phone: +55 51 3320-3597 (in portuguese)address: Av. Ipiranga 6681, Building #40
- Parque Moinhos de Vento (Moinhos de Vento Park) - Known by locals as Parcão, this is a pleasant park with a neat lake and jogging runways.
- Parque Farroupilha (Farroupilha Park) - Known by locals as Redenção (Redemption), where is found the Araujo Viana Auditorium, which has hosted several political acts and music concerts. Also on Sundays, an antique fair happens in a side street and is called by locals as Brique da Redenção.
- Parque Marinha do Brasil (Brazilian Navy Park) - Known simply as Marinha, a linear park with a skateboarding rink, several sports and public fitness amenities, and also several modern art sculptures from Mercosur artists. Good for a bit of nature during the day. Popular on weekend late afternoons.
- Parque Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho - Known by locals as Parque da Harmonia (Harmony Park), home of the yearly Acampamento Farroupilha (Farroupilha Camp), a three week long regionalist event to celebrate the Farroupilha revolution and display the gaúcho culture. It is usually empty however. Some people visit the site on weekends and also have lunch at the famous churrascaria Galpão Crioulo there.
- Parque Germânia (Germânia Park) - situated near Iguatemi Shopping at the core of the affluent East zone (Zona Leste), differs from others by having little tree cover and by closing at night. It does have some sports amenities though. Popular with locals on weekend afternoons. The park is named as a dedication to German immigrants.
- Watch the sunset: Porto Alegre has a beautiful sunset over its main river, Guaíba. Best enjoyed on the western side at places like Gasômetro and Ipanema. This event lasts about five minutes only. If you go up to level 5 of Gasômetro building, you can have a broader view of the sunset. During the winter (around July), it is recommended to take additional clothes, because the wind can be very strong.
phone: +55 51 3224-5222Mauá Avenue, 1050, (in portuguese).
- Catamaran to Guaiba: commuter ferry service connecting downtown and Barra Shopping Sul to the neighbour city Guaiba. Nice panoramic views of the city, best at sunrise and sunset. You can even bring a bike aboard and spend some time exploring Guaiba's walkway, whose views are even prettier than Porto Alegre's Ipanema beach walkway. You can also walk around, as the walkway has several restaurants alongside. Checking the schedule beforehand is recommended. (in portuguese)
- Feira do Livro (Book Fair) - Every October, hundreds of publishing editors sell books on Praça da Alfândega. It's possible to find rare books and cheap prices.
address: Acampamento Farroupilha, Parque da HarmoniaA gaúcho festival held every year in September. Gaúchos (South American cowboys) come from all over Rio Grande do Sul and build a temporary complex of old-fashioned wooden buildings to commemorate a failed revolution from the 1800s and celebrate the state's traditional culture. Come to experience the food, music, dancing, and culture of the southern Brazilian countryside. If you're in the area at the time, this is definitely not to be missed.
UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) is the largest public university in the state. UFRGS has its own entrance exam (Vestibular), held between December and January and is one of the ways of admission to the university along with ENEM (the national admission exam). The UFRGS Vestibular is the most competitive in Rio Grande do Sul and one of the most competitive exams in Brazil. PUCRS (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul) is private and also an important learning centre. Both have exchange programmes with foreign universities and institutions in many countries of the world.
phone: +55 51 3333-1873The market, built in 1869 and later renovated, has more than 100 stalls selling local produce, products and spices, as well as several restaurants.
- Brique da Redenção: A large flea market near Parque da Redenção with lots of authentic gaúcho art, crafts, furniture and hand-made stuff. It happens every Sunday, from 9AM to 6PM.
- Barra Shopping Sul: It has an 8-room movie theater inside, and many good restaurants with an incredible view of Lake Guaiba. Av. Diário de Notícias, 300. You can get more info here: (in Portuguese)
- Shopping Iguatemi: in the north side of the city, Av João Wallig 1800, it's the biggest Shopping Mall of Porto Alegre. You can get more info on their website (in Portuguese)
- Shopping Praia de Belas: Next to the Marinha do Brasil Park, it's a very good mall
- Shopping Total: Built in the place of an old beer factory, it has a supermarket and a lot of stores. It has very good restaurants outside in the parking lot.
- Shopping Moinhos de Vento: Has a Sheraton hotel inside of it.
- Bourbon Shopping Country: One of the biggest shopping malls in town. Av Tulio de Rose, 100. It has a large variety of stores and restaurants.
- Bourbon Shopping Ipiranga: Av. Ipiranga, one of the most important avenues of Porto Alegre.
- Bourbon Shopping Wallig: The largest mall in Latin America and the newest mall in Porto Alegre
- Shopping Paseo Zona Sul: A small open air mall at the heart of the beautiful sourthern neighbourhoods. Somewhat popular with locals for dining.
Churrascaria Giovanazaddress: Venâncio AiresAn inexpensive churrascaria in the Cidade Baixa. You can eat as much meat (and side dishes) as you like for less than R$ 15 (US$ 7.50)
Lancheria do Parquephone: +55 51 3311-8321address: Avenida Osvaldo Aranha, 1086Has possibly the best cheap eats in Porto Alegre. Lunch is a very good buffet where the offerings are always fresh and tasty. The menu offers incredible fresh juices and vitaminas and they are big. Sandwiches include the traditional Bauru: steak or chicken with egg, cheese, lettuce and tomato on a special bun (meal size). X~s with excellent ingredients. Platessteaks mostly. A great chicken soap. Risotto. Everything is good, much better than most lancherias. Despite what your Brazilian friends might say, the staff does appreciate a ten percent tip, even though they rarely receive it. For the great service you will receive they will certainly deserve it!
Reçaka Barphone: +55 51 3072-3249address: José do Patrocínio, 531 (lunch time) or 495 (dinner time)Steaks, fillets, fries, salads and whatever you ask them to prepare.
Tudo Pelo Socialphone: +55 51 3226-4405address: Rua João Alfredo 448, Cidade BaixaServes simple dishes, such as beef and fries, but the quality is awesome and the prices are unbelievable. Buffet self-service on lunch hour. Expect lines during lunch and dinner time.
X Speedaddress: Cidade Baixa, Av. Lima e SilvaTypical sandwich of Porto Alegre; it's a cheap option..
- Bar do Beto, Rua Sarmento Leite, Cidade Baixa. Delicious options including typical Italian plates such as Fillet à parmeggiana (bovine meat covered with tomato sauce, cheese and ham). You can also ask for snacks or sandwiches.
Veganistaphone: +55 51 3557-7710address: Rua Paulino Teixeira, 415Vegan buffet.
Agridocephone: +55 51 3392 7746address: Rua Sarmento Leite 1024Café with a strong antique, slightly quirky atmosphere and almost Alice-in-Wonderland decorations, with old chairs and curtains, dishes and suitcases adorning some of the walls, upside-down lamps on the ceiling of one room and old-fashioned keys on the menu. Tea, quiches, sandwiches, desserts, and other food, including good vegan options.
phone: +55 51 3226-8194address: Otávio Francisco Caruso da Rocha, s/n - Parque Maurício Sirotsky SobrinhoExcellent gaucho barbecue, served using the traditional gaucho way with skewers. You can taste more than 20 different meat cuts such as: rump steak, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, lamb, pork ribs and French rack. Offers live music and dance shows all nights from 8:20PM and also during lunch time on weekends.
phone: +55 51 3225-2205address: Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 389 - FlorestaTypical gaúcho barbecue, serves all kinds of meat - cow, chicken, pork, sheep and wild boar. Has also a good-quality salad buffet and wines. Prices are around R$35 per person.
- Steinhaus, Rua Coronel Paulino Teixeira 415, Rio Branco. 51 33308661. German restaurant.
Porto Alegre's nightlife is basically divided onto two neighborhoods: Cidade Baixa and Moinhos de Vento. Although, several pubs and clubs are located throughout the city.
Cidade BaixaCidade Baixa is an old neighborhood, filled with historical buildings and oldfashioned mansions. Most of the popular and cheap bars are located in Lima e Silva Street; they are the traditional xis (cheeseburgers) places, such as Speed and Cavanhas. In República Street, pubs and bars are fancier and more expensive too. Inside the old mansions of João Alfredo Street, several dance clubs party every night. The places are perfect to dance Brazilian popular music (called MPB) and samba.
Bar Opiniãoaddress: Rua José do Patrocínio, 834Since 1983, the Bar Opinião is a reference in the port-alegrense nightlife. With its newly extended physical space, the house can receive up to 2,300 people. The bar has had major improvements and offers a more comfortable structure now. In its menu, different drinks and tidbits.
Moinhos de VentoMoinhos de Vento is one of the richest neighborhoods in town. Its bars and clubs are more likely to be fashionable. Expect bars to be pricey. Along Padre Chagas Street you can find typical Irish pubs and cafes.
ElsewhereOther options are:
address: Rua Vieira de Castro, 32Typical Irish pub, 1 km from Cidade Baixa area. Opens from Tuesdays to Sundays at 6PM (on Saturdays at 7PM).
Bar do BetoVenâncio Aires Avenue, 876. Opens every day from 5PM to 3AM. The beer is always really cold, there is a good variety of dishes and snacks and the food is aways delicious. It's a good place to flirt too.
Manaraaddress: Av. Goethe, 200The place has different environments and gathers a varied public. On the first floor, a bar and a dancefloor. A stage for shows is also available. On the mezzanine, some tables and chairs to make the attendance feel comfortable. The Sundays are specially agitated. The band Maria Bonita puts the public to dance to the sound of 'forró' music. Offers private parking lot.
- República de Madras, Shopping Total, Av. Cristóvão Colombo, 545. Inspired on the Indian culture, specially on the old city of Madras, the club has four floors and an outside terrace. On Thursdays, some of the top DJs in town usually play there. Friday and Saturday, the club offers pop music and pagode.
- John Bull Pub, Shopping Total, Av. Cristóvão Colombo, 545. The place has a stage for shows where usually rock and roll cover bands performe.
- Dissonante, website. The bar encourages the alternative rock porto-alegrense, offering an excellent space for the exposition of independent bands of the most varied styles - from instrumental rock to punk rock. Basically almost everything that involves a distorted guitar.
Bar do Nitophone: +55 3333-6221address: Lucas de Oliveira, 105The owner plays every night old songs from Brazilian Popular Music (MPB). Every 29th day of the month you could enjoy the excellent and traditional nhoque.
- Logom Brewpub,website Rua Bento Figueiredo, 72 is Porto Alegre's first artisinal brew pub. Expect much stronger and more flavorful beers than the standard Pilsner. Popular with many technology workers and beer aficionados alike. Barrio Bom Fim, but close to Moinhos de Vento.
phone: +55 51 3377-8876address: Rua Luiz Afonso, 276Eco Hostel Porto Alegre offers excellent services and accommodations. The hostel is located in Cidade Baixa, near to bars, restaurants, and all major tourist attractions. Hostel offers swimming pool, wifi internet, games room, garden and bicycle rental. Breakfast included.
phone: +55 51 3084-5050address: Rua Lima e Silva, 912(in portuguese)
Hotel Ritzphone: +55 51 3225-0693address: Rua Des. André da Rocha 225Quite a few students, and some others, living here permanently. Clean bedrooms. Internet, Wifi. Free use of kitchen. English and Spanish spoken.
phone: +55 51 3061-3076address: Rua Andrade Neves 123Cep. 90010-210. Very basic rooms but probably one of the cheapest options right in the middle of town.
phone: +55 51 3025-4000Alberto Bins Avenue, 618,
phone: +55 51 3027-5199Fernando Machado St., 347.
- Ibis Hotel Aeroporto, Av das Industrias 1342, 700 meters away from the Salgado Filho Airport, it's a 2 minute, 5 reais taxi ride. 145 reais per night.
phone: +55 51 3018-3636address: Rua Sarmento Leite, 865
phone: +55 51 3023-9503address: Av. Loreiro da Silva, 1840
phone: +55 51 3287-4411address: Rua Riachuelo, 1070
For national calls, press 0+ operator code + area code (DDD) + telephone number
-For national cover calls, press 90+ operator code + area code (DDD) + telephone number
-For international calls, press 00 + operator code + country code + city code + telephone number
To make phone calls, the Integration Phone Station is also available (Avenida Borges de Medeiros 332 – Centro) from Monday to Friday, 8AM til 8PM, and Saturday, 9AM til 6PM.
The cellphone companies that serve Rio Grande do Sul are: Vivo, Claro, TIM and Brasil Telecom (OI). Recharging cards for these carriers can be found in a variety of places like supermarkets and pharmacies.
Brasil Telecom (Oi) frees up public phones throughout the city. They operate through special cards that can be acquired at the company’s store or in newsstands.
At any time:
- avoid poor areas, which present some risk of violence due to socioeconomic contrasts (see a map here)
- watch out for pickpockets within the Historic Centre, particularly on rua dos Andradas (also known as rua da Praia) and near the bus station — watch your backpack, pockets and wristwatch
After sunset, you should stay away from:
- very dangerous hard drug dealing spots, which include (as of October 2013):
- the inside and the surroundings of Farroupilha park (also known as Redenção park, the largest drug dealing spot of the city)
- (Historic Centre) near the UFRGS Centro university campus (right next to Farroupilha park), particularly along rua Sarmento Leite and under Imperatriz Leopoldina viaduct and its tight poorly-lit foot passages
- (Historic Centre) a crackland at rua Marechal Floriano Peixoto between Salgado Filho and rua Riachuelo
- (Historic Centre) Praça Conde de Porto Alegre, which sits right between the former crackland and Farroupilha park, and perhaps also the nearby parks Praça Raul Pilla and Praça Argentina
- (Historic Centre) Conceição tunnel and under Conceição viaduct
- the surroundings of the Police Palace (Palácio da Polícia) police station, at avenida Ipiranga and avenida João Pessoa
- the southern unlit half of Marinha park
- Harmonia park (officially called Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho park): surveilled but there may be some spillover from Marinha park
Because not many Brazilians report crime to authorities, it is recommended that you check this live, informal, self-reported crime map. Please note that poor areas seem empty (thus, safer) due to fewer Internet users.
Generic strategies to avoid dangerous situations (works in any Brazilian city and abroad):
- when dealing with beggars:
- fake sincerity to prevent startling the beggar (which may well be a drug user): smile condescendingly and say you don't have any money and that you're sorry for that (know the basic Portuguese phrases to handle this swiftly)
- to reduce chances of an assault, start/keep walking and don't get pulled into a dialogue with the beggar
Other general precautions include avoiding empty shady areas if alone, discreetly paying attention to nearby people on the streets and avoiding being ostentatious. Unless you see people doing the same, use expensive electronics very discreetly when surrounded by a crowd (such as in bus stops) and avoid wearing expensive jewelry and clothes. This is particularly important if you visit a poor neighbourhood, which is not encouraged. If you need to do so it is safer to bring a friend, preferably a city resident you trust, and to blend in: wear bland casual clothes, leave valuables at your accommodation (you may bring a basic phone for emergency), avoid speaking English and even Portuguese if your accent is not perfect, walk confidently (know where to go without a map) and avoid obvious indicators such as opening a map in a visible spot. Fortunately, in the South of Brazil many racial types are well mixed — if you look European, Arab, African, Indigenous (native) or Asian (or anything in between) you are unlikely to be identified as a tourist based solely on physical appearance. This is not the case for people with strong Indian (South Asian) features, which are rare anywhere in Brazil. People with a strong East Asian look are rarely seen in poorer neighbourhoods and may draw some attention there. Skin types w:Fitzpatrick_scale II to V are the most common and the distribution is almost uniform; people in the extremes may expect some curious glances.
Porto Alegre has a higher per capita homicide rate than Rio and São Paulo , but most homicides take place in poorer neighbourhoods, so learn where those are beforehand and avoid them. A survey in 2011 revealed that the most dangerous neighbourhoods are Farrapos, Jardim do Salso, Lomba do Pinheiro, Bom Jesus and Mário Quintana. You are unlikely to visit any of them since they lie on the outskirts of the city and offer almost no attractions (the exception is Farrapos, where the Arena do Grêmio soccer stadium is located). In other middle- to upper-class neighbourhoods, specially downtown and nearby, homicides are less common, most crimes involve stealing or robbery of valuable goods such as cars, mobile phones and cash (, and ).
In upper-class neighbourhoods (such as Moinhos de Vento and Bela Vista), these behaviours (opening a map, wearing expensive items and speaking a foreign language) are normally safe and not unusual. Most residential neighbourhoods are reasonably safe, though there are no tourism attractions there.
The voltage is 110 V.
Useful Phone Numbers
Police (Military Brigade):190
Civil Defense: 199
Civil Police: 197
Federal Police: 194
Transport and Circulation Public Business: 118
Telephone Assistance: 102
(To know area codes and international codes of countries)
In the case you need help, go to the Hospital Municipal de Pronto Socorro (HPS). Public, conventional, and private patient services. In the case that you need immediate help, call an ambulance at 192 (SAMU system). Located in Largo Teodora Herzl (corner of Avenida Osvaldo Aranha, Bom Fim neighborhood).
- phone: +55 (51) 3345-6000address: Av. Assis Brasil, 1889
- Parque Nacional dos Aparados da Serra (Monkey Canyons)- 120 miles from Porto Alegre going on BR101 by Praia Grande/SC or RS-020 by Cambará. Thousands of square miles of exuberant nature teeming with life. Miles of escarpments, innumerable waterfalls, rushing streams in an area absolutely undisturbed by human intervention--comprising not only tropical forest zones, but also the coastal, high plateau. And the coast--visible from the canyon’s rim. The unforgettable landscape is the result of immense volcanic eruptions more than 130 million years ago. For travel information, contact the RS Tourist Bureau or planitbrazil.com (US)925-270-4190
- São Miguel das Missões - Near the border with Argentina, has a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site
- Gramado - a German-themed tourist city in the Serra Gaúcha. This is a great city to visit during Christmas (November through early January).
- Caminhos de Pedra in Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul - Visit original houses of Italian immigrants in the region along this road. Many of the homes have been converted into restaurants and stores selling wine, grape juice, other products derived from grapes and arts and crafts from the Serra Gaúcha region.