Brazil // The South //

Arrival and information

There’s hardly an airport in southern Brazil that doesn’t serve Porto Alegre, and there are international services to Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago, too. The airport (t 51/3358-2048) is linked by metrô to the Mercado Público, in the city centre just 6km away, or take the #L.05 bus, which links the airport with Praça Parobe (next to the Mercado Público). Taxis into the city cost about R$25.

Buses from throughout Brazil and neighbouring countries stop at Porto Alegre’s rodoviária (t 51/3210-0101), which is within walking distance of the centre; however, because the rodoviária is virtually ringed by a mesh of highways and overpasses, it’s far less confusing, and safer, to use the metrô from here. Porto Alegre used to be a major rail hub but only suburban passenger routes still run, otherwise services are limited to hauling freight. Trains depart from the ferroviária, just outside the city centre in the direction of the airport, also accessible by metrô.

The metrô (daily 5am–11.20pm; R$70) has its city-centre terminal at the Mercado Público, but as the system is very limited in extent it’s only really of use when you arrive in and leave Porto Alegre.

The city’s tourist office (t 0800/517-686) has very helpful branches at the airport (daily 7am–midnight), at the rodoviária (7am–10pm), the Centro Cultural Usina do Gasômetro (daily Tues–Sun 10am–6pm) and at the Mercado Público (Mon–Sat 9am–6pm). For up-to-date listings, consult the events listings in the newspaper Zero Hora.