With Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo as its neighbours, it is all too easy to overlook the landlocked state of Minas Gerais, of which Belo Horizonte is the capital. Responsible for producing nearly half of all the coffee grown in Brazil today, Minas Gerais is one of Brazil’s richest and most influential states.
Belo Horizonte, is a vibrant and modern city with a good selection of bars and restaurants, especially in the Savassi and Funcionários districts. Rua da Bahia, in the city centre, is another good place to enjoy an evening out.
Belo, as it is often called, is the third-biggest conurbation in the Brazilian south east and with a metropolitan population of 5.6 million is Brazil’s third largest city. Laid out in a grid system, the centre of Belo is fairly easy to get around on foot or by public transport. A “planned” city, the area known as Pampulha is often credited with being the early blueprint for the Brazilian capital, Brasília.
Pampulha is also home to the Mineirão, one of Brazil’s largest football stadiums which has being totally refurbished to host games during the 2014 World Cup. Belo hosted group games during the 1950 World Cup, most famously England’s 1-0 defeat to the US that effectively knocked them out of the cup. In 1950 the games were played in the 30,000 seater, Estadio Sete de Setembro.
The Mineirão is scheduled to host six matches during the World Cup including a semi-final on 8 July.
Mineirão – Schedule:
Saturday, 14 June, 13.00 (Colombia x Greece)
Tuesday, 17 June, 13.00 (Belgium x Algeria)
Saturday, 21 June, 13.00 (Argentina x Iran)
Tuesday, 24 June, 13.00 (Costa Rica x England)
Saturday, 28 June, 13.00 (round of 16)
Tuesday, 8 July, 17.00 (semi-final)