Inhotim – Open Air Museum of Contemporary Art and Botanical Gardens

This weekend was very good, we had the house full of people. Having the flat so crowded was great, I missed having the house turned into a mess, just like in London! It was my Aunt’s birthday on Saturday, so her three daughters came all the way from Portugal to visit her. This was the perfect excuse for me to do some touristic stuff, which I’ve been avoiding until now.

I went to see a bunch of things in BH that I didn’t know, I saw the ‘Praça da Liberdade’, the museum of Minas Gerais and the Hippie Market. None of them was very good, but they’re part of that list of ‘must do’s’ that every city has.

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Praça da liberdade

The Hippie Market was particularly terrible, the stalls were too close to each other making it impossible to walk around without running over smelly merchants. And on top of that, the prices were ridiculously high – they must think they’re selling accessories of high-quality design!!

Anyway, on Saturday we went to Inhotim. And that was GREAT!! Inhotim is a huge open air museum of contemporary art, just outside of Belo Horizonte. It is basically a gigantic garden with many pavilions spread all around, each one with an exhibition inside. It’s famous for having cool buildings and gardens, all very creative and with a weird architecture. 

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There was one that looked like a huge Disco Ball, which inside had an incredible effect with the mirrors (photos not allowed obviously). Another good one was completely empty, it only had a weird noise, which could make you sleep, that turned out to be the sound  of the core of the Earth.

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All buildings were created by well-known architects, some of them are incredible. And there’s also the famous botanical gardens, which were designed by a famous landscape architect in Brazil, Brule Marx. 

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BH does not have loads of things to visit, but it definitely has very good places a quick drive away. One of them is this museum, Inhotim, which is by far the coolest thing I’ve seen since I’m in Brazil. But it’s way too big to see it all at once, I’ll have to go back!

Even though there’s not much to visit in the city, that is offset by the amount of bars one can find here. There are way too many botecos! Here people say “não temos mar, mas temos bar”, which is a funny Brazilian way of saying that it’s okay to not have a beach close by, as long as there are bars! (of course not everyone agrees!!!)

Anyway, going for a few drinks is a daily thing in BH, everyone does it and there’s millions of different places to try. The best thing to do is to stick with 1 or 2 botecos and become friends with the staff. Brazilian waiters are extremely nice, especially when they see you’re an usual client. 

Even though Belo Horizonte is a huge city, the culture is the same as in those little small countryside towns, where everyone knows everyone. So people go to the bakery where they know the lady, or to the supermarket where they know the guy, and of course, to the boteco where they’re friends with the waiter. It’s as simple as that, and it’s nice ’cause it makes you feel at home!