The capital of the Rio Grande do Sul state in south Brazil, Porto Alegre is a vibrant and bustling city that lives and breathes Brazilian culture, and is a brilliant place to start exploring this great nation.
Salgado Filho International Airport (POA)
The Salgado Filho International Airport (POA) services the Porto Alegre area in the south of Brazil. This is an airport that has the capacity to see over 10 million passengers a year, and as such the facilities here are pretty good. There are lots of ATMs, a couple of banks, currency exchange services, spas, access to an internet café, a medical centre, a post office, telephones, as well as a whole host of duty-free and regular retail shops. Added to that, passengers will find a plethora of eateries that range from fast-food to sit-down dining stations.
Airlines that fly to Porto Alegre
There are quite a few international and domestic airlines that fly to Porto Alegre, these are Aerolineas Argentinas, Avianca, Azul, BQB, Copa Airlines, GOL, NHT, Taca Airlines, TAM, TAP and Trip.
If you’re flying from outside the South American continent, you will find that flying to Porto Alegre can involve one or two international stopovers before you reach your destination.
Getting into Porto Alegre
Getting to and from the airport is most easily done by taxi, the drivers are advertised as bilingual and there are fixed prices into the city even if they are a little pricey in comparison to mass transit. You will find white cabs and red cabs outside the terminals, though the white cabs are considered to be the better choice as they have the better reputation. Expect a journey into town to cost 25-30BRL ($9-10)
By public transport
There are a couple of bus lines operated by Conorte that run into the city, these are B09 and B091, but perhaps the easiest way to get to downtown via public transport is on the Aeromovel which connects Terminal 1 of POA Airport to Trensurb’s train station, where you can transfer onto a train that will take you to downtown.
You can also hire a car within the airport, there are several reputable companies servicing POA, or if you want to book in advance of your trip, use our handy car hire search tool.
What can you do in Porto Alegre?
Established in 1769 by a man called Manuel Sepúlveda, Porto Alegre has since grown to be one of the largest cities in Brazil. This is a city whose inhabitants enjoy a wonderful cultural and foodie scene, which is offered up with aplomb to guests of their town.
Start your city tour at the Monumento a Castelo Branco in the pretty Parque Moinhos de Vento, where this uncompromising piece of art serves as a stark reminder of the military dictator, Castelo Branco, who once ruled Brazil. Then stroll down to where the old windmills, primarily used in the 19th century, once stood. See the replica of the original model that has been transformed into a children’s library.
Then wander into the Old City, where you can see the town’s historic Portuguese past and see the Praça da Matriz, as well as the important buildings that radiate from that square, such as the Piratiny Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the House of Justice.
If you like the outdoors, it’s worth going to Lake Guaíba and watching the sun set over the water, or see the city by hopping on a boat that cruises around the lake, a fantastic way to get a grip on your surrounds.
When should you go?
Porto Alegre has a subtropical climate, so though the temperatures tend to be mild, this is a fairly rainy part of the world and it is advised you pack a waterproof. Expect the hotter months of November through to March to stay above 28°C, and the colder seasons of May to August to average around 20°C.
What do you need to know?
Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)
Visa: Most foreigners travelling to Brazil will need to apply for a visa before entering the country. You must apply to your nearest consulate to obtain a visa. More information can be found on the government website which outlines which foreign nationals are exempt from having to apply in advance of travel.
Please note all information is current as of January 2016.
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