Things to Do in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Porto-Alegrenses sip their favorite tea in local parks, dine at outdoor cafes and bike along Lake Guaíba. See our recommendations on what to do when visiting Porto Alegre, Rio Grand do Sul, Brazil.

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Visit an Artisanal Cachaça Distillery
Visit an Artisanal Cachaça Distillery

Visit an Artisanal Cachaça Distillery

The ingredient that gives a caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, its kick, is cachaca, and you can get a closer look at how the alcoholic beverage is made at Flor do Vale a small distillery nestled in a bucolic valley just outside Canela in Rio Grande do Sul. From sugar cane milling to fermentation, explore the distillation process, then sample the final product in tastings or in the restaurant where cachaça makes its way into some of the dishes. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Go for Italian Cuisine

Go for Italian Cuisine

The people of Rio Grande do Sul are proud of their Italian heritage and there are plenty of places to indulge in Italy’s greatest export, its food. At Cantina di Capo in Gramado, order family style and enjoy the cozy, family-friendly feel of the place. The chef is likely to stop by your table to say hello. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Travel the Romantic Route

Travel the Romantic Route

The collection of highways between Porto Alegre and the scenic towns of Gramado and Canela is called the Romantic Route because of the lush landscapes that unfurl along the way and the bountiful blue hydrangea bushes decorating the 2-lane thoroughfares. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Tap Into Your Adventureous Side

Tap Into Your Adventureous Side

Rio Grande do Sul’s highland, known as the Serra Gaúcha, is home to vast national parks featuring craggy canyons, tree-covered mountains and surprising waterfalls. Cambará do Sul is a great starting point for adventure with off-road tours and treks. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Eat Like an Early Italian Settler

Eat Like an Early Italian Settler

Start your meal at Galeteria O Casarão in Cambará do Sul with a shot of cachaça, because what meal doesn’t taste great with cachaça? The rustic eatery serves early Italian immigrant staples from the region like grilled chicken, trout and fried polenta cakes topped with grilled mozzarella. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

See Cambara do Sul by 4x4

See Cambara do Sul by 4x4

The best way to take in the parks and canyons of Cambará do Sul is by 4x4 and with a guide. The roads turn dusty and rugged on the way to the region’s stunning natural landmarks where there is little infrastructure, especially at Parque Nacional da Serra Geral. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Visit Parque Nacional da Serra Geral

Visit Parque Nacional da Serra Geral

After a jostling ride past flat pastures punctuated by the occasional clump of cows and undulating mountains in the distance, stop to explore unkempt grassy trails that lead right to the precipice of one of Brazil’s most impressive canyons, Fortaleza. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Peer into Fortaleza Canyon

Peer into Fortaleza Canyon

It’s surprising how verdant Fortaleza Canyon is, vastly different from typical rocky, earth-gouged canyons. You can sit right at its edge and marvel at its nearly 3,000-foot depths or ascend its highest point at nearby Monte Negro Peak for more panoramic views. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Admire the Native Trees

Admire the Native Trees

Nothing could look any different from a Christmas pine tree than this region’s araucaria tree, but they are both in the pine tree family. The araucaria’s treetops spread out like an ornamental fan with spindly fringe. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Sleep in a Rustic Pousada

Sleep in a Rustic Pousada

A pousada is Brazil’s answer to the bed-and-breakfast and they line Romantic Route as you might expect. But the Parador Casa da Montanha is unique in its mix of roughing it and cozy hospitality. Sleep in on a well-cushioned and quilted bed in a thermal tent (minus shower) with unparalleled views of the Serra Gaúcha. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Experience the Spirit of Gramado

Experience the Spirit of Gramado

São Pedro Church sits at the epicenter of Gramado at the intersection of Avenida Borges Medeiros and Avenida das Hortênsias. During the holidays, Gramado’s busiest season, tourists stop in to say a prayer and see its Nativity scene. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Stroll Along Avenida Borges Medeiros in Gramado

Stroll Along Avenida Borges Medeiros in Gramado

Gramado is the third most popular destination in Brazil, an attraction for Brazilians looking to experience cooler temperatures and sip Gramado’s famous hot chocolate. At Christmas, Avenida Borges Medeiros is a glow with holiday lights and displays. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Try the Fondue

Try the Fondue

Brazilians travel to Gramado for the fondue as much as the hot chocolate. Restaurants like St. Hubertus serve bubbling pots of cheese with bread and potatoes for dipping, along with slivers of meat for table grilling and dunking in a selection of sauces. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Stay in the Heart of Gramado

Stay in the Heart of Gramado

After a day of nearby shopping and sightseeing, a doorman welcomes you back to Hotel Serra Azul, where you can enjoy the roaring fire in the fireplace room or simply retire to your spacious apartment-sized suite with balcony in this traditional, yet cozy hotel. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Go to Café Colonial

Go to Café Colonial

Eating is a big part of the experience of visiting Gramado and its sister city, Canela, and there is no better place to eat big than at Bela Vista Café Colonial, where plate after plate of grilled meats, fried cheeses, polenta and desserts are deposited at your table until you say, “uncle.” 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

See a Roadside Attraction Operated by Steam

See a Roadside Attraction Operated by Steam

Mundo a Vapor, the World of Steam, in Canela, replicates a still-steaming 1895 train wreck in Montparnasse, France, at its entrance, and powers windmills, clocks and a paper-making machine by steam inside. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Snap a Photo of Stone Cathedral

Snap a Photo of Stone Cathedral

This iconic landmark in Canela is pretty picturesque from all angles and mimics the Gothic style of cathedrals in Europe. After taking a photo outside Stone Cathedral step inside to take a photo with a wax figure of Pope Francis. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Walk Alongside a Waterfall

Walk Alongside a Waterfall

The frothy waterfall at Parque Estadual do Caracol is another popular natural landmark in Rio Grande do Sul. Take in the powerful cascade from an observation deck, 88-foot-tall observatory or follow the 800 steps down to its base for a closer look. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Eat Churrasco

Eat Churrasco

Eating grilled meat, known as churrasco and served at churrascurrias, is a local pastime in Rio Grande do Sul, so why not join in? The Garfo & Bombacha Churrascurria provides a festive atmosphere for consuming must-try meats: Picanha, a beef cut from the top of the cow’s backside, and coracao de galinha, chicken heart. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Explore German Immigrant Life

Explore German Immigrant Life

The people of Gramado and Canela are as proud of their German ancestry as their Italian ancestry and it is on display at Castelinho Caracol, the 1913 home of the Franzen family, featuring period furniture, clothes and a kitchen serving homemade apple strudel. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Visit a Winery

Visit a Winery

Besides cuisine, Italian immigrants brought their love of wine to Brazil and it is growing on the vine in Gramado and Canela. A descendant of an Italian winemaker carries on the tradition at Ravanello in Gramado, while an Italian family has taken over Jolimont, a winery started by a French family in Canela. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Marvel at Miniatures

Marvel at Miniatures

Mini Mundo in Gramado is a major attraction for kids and adults alike in Brazil. In this mini-world, buildings like the Neuschwanstein Castle in Austria, the model for the castle in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” are 24 times smaller than in real life. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

See Traditional Folk Dances

See Traditional Folk Dances

A good gaucho churrasco always ends in music and dance. Skirt spinning and fire-wielding performances are guaranteed to delight after a belt-busting meal at Garfo & Bombacha Churrascaria in Canela. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Photos

Visit an Artisanal Cachaça Distillery

Visit an Artisanal Cachaça Distillery

The ingredient that gives a caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, its kick, is cachaca, and you can get a closer look at how the alcoholic beverage is made at Flor do Vale a small distillery nestled in a bucolic valley just outside Canela in Rio Grande do Sul. From sugar cane milling to fermentation, explore the distillation process, then sample the final product in tastings or in the restaurant where cachaça makes its way into some of the dishes. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Go for Italian Cuisine

Go for Italian Cuisine

The people of Rio Grande do Sul are proud of their Italian heritage and there are plenty of places to indulge in Italy’s greatest export, its food. At Cantina di Capo in Gramado, order family style and enjoy the cozy, family-friendly feel of the place. The chef is likely to stop by your table to say hello. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Travel the Romantic Route

Travel the Romantic Route

The collection of highways between Porto Alegre and the scenic towns of Gramado and Canela is called the Romantic Route because of the lush landscapes that unfurl along the way and the bountiful blue hydrangea bushes decorating the 2-lane thoroughfares. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Tap Into Your Adventureous Side

Tap Into Your Adventureous Side

Rio Grande do Sul’s highland, known as the Serra Gaúcha, is home to vast national parks featuring craggy canyons, tree-covered mountains and surprising waterfalls. Cambará do Sul is a great starting point for adventure with off-road tours and treks. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Eat Like an Early Italian Settler

Eat Like an Early Italian Settler

Start your meal at Galeteria O Casarão in Cambará do Sul with a shot of cachaça, because what meal doesn’t taste great with cachaça? The rustic eatery serves early Italian immigrant staples from the region like grilled chicken, trout and fried polenta cakes topped with grilled mozzarella. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

See Cambara do Sul by 4x4

See Cambara do Sul by 4x4

The best way to take in the parks and canyons of Cambará do Sul is by 4x4 and with a guide. The roads turn dusty and rugged on the way to the region’s stunning natural landmarks where there is little infrastructure, especially at Parque Nacional da Serra Geral. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Visit Parque Nacional da Serra Geral

Visit Parque Nacional da Serra Geral

After a jostling ride past flat pastures punctuated by the occasional clump of cows and undulating mountains in the distance, stop to explore unkempt grassy trails that lead right to the precipice of one of Brazil’s most impressive canyons, Fortaleza. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Peer into Fortaleza Canyon

Peer into Fortaleza Canyon

It’s surprising how verdant Fortaleza Canyon is, vastly different from typical rocky, earth-gouged canyons. You can sit right at its edge and marvel at its nearly 3,000-foot depths or ascend its highest point at nearby Monte Negro Peak for more panoramic views. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Admire the Native Trees

Admire the Native Trees

Nothing could look any different from a Christmas pine tree than this region’s araucaria tree, but they are both in the pine tree family. The araucaria’s treetops spread out like an ornamental fan with spindly fringe. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Sleep in a Rustic Pousada

Sleep in a Rustic Pousada

A pousada is Brazil’s answer to the bed-and-breakfast and they line Romantic Route as you might expect. But the Parador Casa da Montanha is unique in its mix of roughing it and cozy hospitality. Sleep in on a well-cushioned and quilted bed in a thermal tent (minus shower) with unparalleled views of the Serra Gaúcha. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Experience the Spirit of Gramado

Experience the Spirit of Gramado

São Pedro Church sits at the epicenter of Gramado at the intersection of Avenida Borges Medeiros and Avenida das Hortênsias. During the holidays, Gramado’s busiest season, tourists stop in to say a prayer and see its Nativity scene. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Stroll Along Avenida Borges Medeiros in Gramado

Stroll Along Avenida Borges Medeiros in Gramado

Gramado is the third most popular destination in Brazil, an attraction for Brazilians looking to experience cooler temperatures and sip Gramado’s famous hot chocolate. At Christmas, Avenida Borges Medeiros is a glow with holiday lights and displays. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Try the Fondue

Try the Fondue

Brazilians travel to Gramado for the fondue as much as the hot chocolate. Restaurants like St. Hubertus serve bubbling pots of cheese with bread and potatoes for dipping, along with slivers of meat for table grilling and dunking in a selection of sauces. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Stay in the Heart of Gramado

Stay in the Heart of Gramado

After a day of nearby shopping and sightseeing, a doorman welcomes you back to Hotel Serra Azul, where you can enjoy the roaring fire in the fireplace room or simply retire to your spacious apartment-sized suite with balcony in this traditional, yet cozy hotel. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Go to Café Colonial

Go to Café Colonial

Eating is a big part of the experience of visiting Gramado and its sister city, Canela, and there is no better place to eat big than at Bela Vista Café Colonial, where plate after plate of grilled meats, fried cheeses, polenta and desserts are deposited at your table until you say, “uncle.” 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

See a Roadside Attraction Operated by Steam

See a Roadside Attraction Operated by Steam

Mundo a Vapor, the World of Steam, in Canela, replicates a still-steaming 1895 train wreck in Montparnasse, France, at its entrance, and powers windmills, clocks and a paper-making machine by steam inside. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Snap a Photo of Stone Cathedral

Snap a Photo of Stone Cathedral

This iconic landmark in Canela is pretty picturesque from all angles and mimics the Gothic style of cathedrals in Europe. After taking a photo outside Stone Cathedral step inside to take a photo with a wax figure of Pope Francis. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Walk Alongside a Waterfall

Walk Alongside a Waterfall

The frothy waterfall at Parque Estadual do Caracol is another popular natural landmark in Rio Grande do Sul. Take in the powerful cascade from an observation deck, 88-foot-tall observatory or follow the 800 steps down to its base for a closer look. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Eat Churrasco

Eat Churrasco

Eating grilled meat, known as churrasco and served at churrascurrias, is a local pastime in Rio Grande do Sul, so why not join in? The Garfo & Bombacha Churrascurria provides a festive atmosphere for consuming must-try meats: Picanha, a beef cut from the top of the cow’s backside, and coracao de galinha, chicken heart. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Explore German Immigrant Life

Explore German Immigrant Life

The people of Gramado and Canela are as proud of their German ancestry as their Italian ancestry and it is on display at Castelinho Caracol, the 1913 home of the Franzen family, featuring period furniture, clothes and a kitchen serving homemade apple strudel. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Visit a Winery

Visit a Winery

Besides cuisine, Italian immigrants brought their love of wine to Brazil and it is growing on the vine in Gramado and Canela. A descendant of an Italian winemaker carries on the tradition at Ravanello in Gramado, while an Italian family has taken over Jolimont, a winery started by a French family in Canela. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

Marvel at Miniatures

Marvel at Miniatures

Mini Mundo in Gramado is a major attraction for kids and adults alike in Brazil. In this mini-world, buildings like the Neuschwanstein Castle in Austria, the model for the castle in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” are 24 times smaller than in real life. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

See Traditional Folk Dances

See Traditional Folk Dances

A good gaucho churrasco always ends in music and dance. Skirt spinning and fire-wielding performances are guaranteed to delight after a belt-busting meal at Garfo & Bombacha Churrascaria in Canela. 960 1280

Andre Maceira - Photo Courtesy of Embratur  

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