We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.

Hilaire Belloc


When I first thought about my trip to Brazil, I considered the southernmost state (Rio Grande do Sul) as my final stop since there are direct flights from Porto Alegre to Lima in Peru. After Brazil, I want to continue my trip in Peru. Even though there is winter currently (Southern Hemisphere!), I am running around with shirt and shorts most of the days. Even though the south is known to be cold, it seems to be warmer this year.

After visiting the Iguazu Waterfalls, Florianópolis, the big cities São Paulo and Rio, the former and current capitals Salvador and Brasília as well as the Pantanal, I finally went into a region with a huge German influence. Porto Alegre is rather a big city in which you wouldn’t recognize too much German influence. Nevertheless, when I curiously checked the stops of the Metro, I had to laugh about the name of its final stop: Novo Hamburgo. 😀


Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre is a quite big, and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish it from the directly connecting surrounding towns. Even though Porto Alegre seems to be at the water, there is not really a beach or coastline. If you want to go to nice beaches, you need to leave Porto Alegre. This is why Florianópolis is and stays my favorite town of Brazil.


Historic Center

Public Market & Praça Quince de Novembro

My first stop after the airport and hostel was the Public Market. This is where most buses stop, so I started my walk at the Public Market. This market seems to attract also locals, so it’s most likely less rip-off than the market in São Paulo. Next to the market is a huge square with some little restaurants and opportunities to sit. This market seemed to be rather busy, not made for people to sit and have a conversation.


Customs Square

I liked the Customs Square most. Around the square, there are the Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul, the Rio Grande do Sul Museum of Art as well as the Avenida Sepúlveda. This area looked a lot more chilled, more people sat in groups having some coffee and conversation. It is also more green than the Public Market area.


Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana

While walking around and looking for a good but cheap restaurant for lunch, I passed the Casa de Cultura. I assume that there are events, I didn’t recognize anything special apart from many people taking lunch. 🙂

Basilica Nossa Senhora das Dores

I walked until the basilica which is quite big. Unfortunately, it was closed and I couldn’t watch the interior. Nevertheless, it was funny to have the big church and almost next to it many military buildings.


Catedral Metropolitana de Porto Alegre

After lunch, I went to visit the Cathedral and just arrived on time for the re-opening (after lunch). I didn’t need much time in the cathedral and went to the building right next to it which looked important.


Palácio Piratini

This building was the Palácio Piratini, the seat of government of the state Rio Grande do Sul. I first had no clue about the building and entered out of curiosity. One girl at the “reception” spoke some English and showed me around since it is possible to visit a little part of the building for free.



During my trip to Buenos Aires, I met a couple from Rio as well as a family of Porto Alegre. They all invited me to visit them. In Rio, I have been invited to the Colonial as well as the rooftop restaurant of a hotel in Copacabana. In Porto Alegre, I have been invited as well. However, when I arrived, my friend was in hospital. She invited me to visit her in the hospital. It was great seeing her, nevertheless, spending a few hours in the hospital was a weird feeling.


Novo Hamburgo

Even though Novo Hamburgo is an individual town, it’s close enough to Porto Alegre to put it below Porto Alegre. I took the metro (less than 1€) from the Public Market in Porto Alegre to Novo Hamburgo. The whole trip from first to last stop took one hour. Honestly, I didn’t check whether Novo Hamburgo is worth to be visited, I just went because of its name.

When I arrived, I went into the shopping center for some coffee and learned that the employment rate is very high, there are many companies, a lot of industry, and many big apartment buildings. Apart from that, there is nothing special. I just went to the church since it was very close to the Metro station.

Honestly, the best part of this trip was the way back to Porto Alegre. This time I caught a modern train with clean windows and I enjoyed the different views on the right side (in driving direction).



I liked walking around in Gramado. However, the main attraction of Gramado seem to be the many restaurants as well as some parks and the nature around. It seems as if Gramado is also a popular shopping destination for the surrounding villages. I read that there is even a “snow park”. Well, I visited during winter but it was far beyond being cold, not even chilly.



Praça das Etnias

When you arrive at the bus terminal, you will walk through the Praça das Etnias, a little place with small houses dedicated to different nations.

Rua Torta

The Rua Torta is special, a curvy road with non-symmetric sides. There might be many flowers during spring, when I visited I didn’t see many.

Avenida Borges de Medeiros

This is the main street or the most touristy street of Gramado. I recommend walking along this road until the Hotel Casa da Montanha. You will pass many houses which remind of southern Bavaria or Austria in their style.


Paróquia São Pedro & Eternal Love Fountain

There is a little church in the center and right next to it is a fountain which is called the eternal love fountain. The fountain is the place where many do their selfie or influencer shots. Since the church is nearby, it’s easy to take a quick look into it.


Rua Coberta & Nicoletti Square

The Rua is a collection of many small restaurants and a few stores within a covered area (there is a roof, it looks like a tunnel). Next to the Rua is the Nicoletti Square which I really liked. Seating areas, many little trees, planted tunnels or wooden roofs. While I was sitting there I thought about having some hot wine (which has to wait until December).


Joaquina Rita Bier Lake

After walking around, I went to the other side with respect to the bus terminal. One little lake with some fountains is nicely located within many trees and little houses. I found a restaurant where I could get some coffee on the terrace and enjoy the view.


Nova Petrópolis

My friend from Porto Alegre has a friend living in Nova Petrópolis. She connected us, so I had a guide in Nova Petrópolis. Honestly, this town is small enough to just walk around, at least for the center you don’t need a car, and there is nothing much beyond the center. Nevertheless, it was cool having some company, especially since she spoke German. She grew up within a German colony close to Nova Petrópolis and moved to this town when she got married. It was interesting listening to her stories about her experience and observations.



Feira de Natal – Praça das Flores

The center of Nova Petrópolis consists of a square which looks very Bavarian. Having a maypole, flowers and appropriate decoration. Next to the square is the Labirinto Verde, a little planted labyrinth. You don’t need a lot of time for photos, but it’s a great place to meet with others. In the mornings of some days, there is even a little market.


Parque Aldeia do Imigrante

Another place to visit in Nova Petrópolis is the Parque do Imigrante. This park is also close to the center, in walking distance. It is dedicated to the first German immigrants settling in the region. The first church, school, teacher’s house and some other buildings were moved to this park to serve as a museum. I liked this park, they even serve German cakes in a little café.


Cidade Zaandam

Not far from the Praça das Flores is the Cidade Zaandam. I would name it “little Holland”. A few buildings in Dutch style with wind turbines. Moreover, the Cidade has some restaurants with great Dutch kitchen. I had a waffle which I would rather relate to Belgium, but it fitted well enough. The Cidade is said to be a great place to meet and go out for dinner.


Centro de Eventos

When I visited Nova Petrópolis, it was the first day of a cultural festival lasting a couple of days. This event as well as any other events of Nova Petrópolis are in the Centro de Eventos. My friend brought me there, and we went through the whole setup once. The first half consists of many stalls selling mainly cheese and sausage/ meat, the second had some photo opportunities, clothes to buy and a bar & music area. I was a little disappointed that the music was in Portuguese.


My friend told me that in the past everyone of Nova Petrópolis had to learn German at school. One mayor decided to abolish this and since then not many people don’t know German anymore. After visiting Gramado and Nova Petrópolis, I feel that Gramado is more touristy with all its restaurants, but Nova Petrópolis represents the typical and traditional objects better.


Bus connections and further destinations

There are bus connections from Porto Alegre to each of the two destinations Gramado and Porto Alegre. However, as those buses are local buses, not all times or companies are available with information online. I checked for some departure times, went to the bus terminal and took the next available bus. For Nova Petrópolis this was even much earlier than expected. It was a bus ride of 2.5 hours each time. There is also a bus connecting Gramado and Nova Petrópolis.

I like the nature around here more than between Brasília and the national park. In Rio Grande do Sul as well as Santa Catarina (Florianópolis) are many more towns which have been founded by Germans or have German traditions. If you want to visit more of them I recommend renting a car.

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