Founded: 1890

Population: 2 million

Telephone dial code: 031

Airports: Confins and Pampulha (Domestic)

Belo Horizonte was Brazil's first planned city and it's tree lined boulevards combine European elegance with Latin charm. Belo Horizonte is the home of Brazil's old money and establishment families.

The central area is laid out as two intersecting grids so you'll find it easy to get around. There is a metro system but is doesn't cover the central area of town as it's small enough to walk around.

The main highlights of Belo Horizonte include Lourdes Church, The Mineiro museum and "comida mineira" the famed culinary style of the state of Minas Gerais. Try the restaurant at the top of Othon Hotel. Belo Horizonte is also a great Rio escape if you can't take the size of São Paulo. You'll find the people of Belo Horizonte more sophisticated and sincere than in most Brazilian cities. The fact Belo Horizonte is just a nice place with great people more than makes up for it not having a world famous attraction.