Not sure what to do in Ouro Preto? Check out 17 must-see tourist attractions and discover the main sights of the Minas Gerais destination

THE Historic Center of Ouro Preto is among the list of the most important architectural ensembles of the Brazil. The destination mixes historic architecture, art, religion, beautiful natural landscapes and typical foods, being one of the most visited in the country.

See what to do in Ouro Preto and explore this destination rich in history, fun and flavors.

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Things to do in Ouro Preto

Church of Our Lady of Pilar

Photo: Pedro Vilela/MTur

It was one of the most important churches at the time when the city was known as Vila Rica. In addition, it is also one of the most imposing attractions in Black gold: their altars are completely covered in gold. In addition, another richness that the church carries are the details and works that present different phases of the Minas Gerais baroque.

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi

Photo: Williamnunes06 / Wikimedia Commons

One of the most beautiful churches in the city and a true masterpiece by Aleijadinho, the Igreja São Francisco de Assis presents rococo elements inserted in baroque art. Certainly, its ceiling is charming with a beautiful painting that reproduces the sky, a work that Mestre Ataíde took ten years to complete.

Church of Our Lady of Conception

Photo: Iphan

One of the oldest churches in the city, it is very important as it guards the tomb of Aleijadinho and his father, Antônio Francisco Lisboa. The church is undergoing a long process of restoration and remains closed to visitors who, for the time being, can observe its beautiful facade. There is also the Aleijadinho Museum, which is also temporarily closed.

Church of Santa Efigênia dos Homens Pretos

Photo: Iphan

They say it was built by the freed slave Chico Rei and his tribe. The church is at one of the highest points in the city and, despite not being as rich in detail as others, its interior and history are beautiful. In fact, it is one of the few churches that features images of black saints.

Our Lady of Carmo Church

Photo: Vitor Santo / Wikimedia Commons

The author is Manuel Francisco Lisboa, Aleijadinho's father – some say that the project was finished by Aleijadinho himself, but the information is not certain. One of the most beautiful constructions in the city, its exterior is full of beautiful details and baroque angels. Its altar mainly features a beautiful painting by Mestre Ataíde.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

what to do in black gold

Photo: Pedro Vilela/MTur

Unlike the others, its construction has oval shapes. As incredible as it may seem, one of the most beautiful churches in Ouro Preto has an unknown author, no one knows who designed it. It has six beautiful altars that are undoubtedly worth a visit.

Museum of Inconfidence

Photo: Ricardo André Frantz /Wikimedia Commons

A must visit for anyone who wants to better understand the development of the city until the period of the inconfidência, the museum works in the same place that housed the old Casa de Câmara and the Jail. The building, certainly one of the most remarkable in the city, has several rooms with impeccable exhibitions of furniture, sacred art collections and objects that belonged to Tiradentes. It is also there that the tombs of the inconfidentes are located.

Aleijadinho Museum

Photo: Disclosure

A space dedicated to the great master of baroque art in Brazil. Founded in 1968 by the then parish priest Francisco Barroso Filho, the museum underwent complete revitalization and museological and museographic modernization in 2007. Antônio Dias, where the Museum's rooms are located, Igreja de São Francisco de Assis, considered one of the masterpieces of Brazilian Baroque, in addition to being one of Aleijadinho's greatest achievements; and Nossa Senhora das Mercês e Perdões Church, which is currently undergoing renovations. The ticket is valid for visiting the Aleijadinho Museum, Nossa Senhora da Conceição do Antônio Dias Church, Nossa Senhora das Mercês and São Francisco.

Photo: Cecioka / Wikimedia Commons

The museum is a space of great historical importance and presents memories of the gold cycle in Brazil, recounting the entire course of the coins that have circulated in the country. In addition, it is one of the few places that still preserves a slave quarters in its basement with an exhibition of items from the slavery era.

Tiradentes Square

Photo: Pedro Vilela/MTur

It is here that important tourist attractions are concentrated, such as the Inconfidência Museum. In the center of the square is a monument in honor of Tiradentes. In its proximity are also charming restaurants, bars, shops and workshops in the city. There is also the Tourist Information Center, which provides maps and guides the visitor to discover the main attractions of the city. It is possible to hire one of the many guides that circulate around the square to accompany the tours.

Opera House (Municipal Theater)

 

The Opera House is the oldest in Latin America – it has been in operation since 1770 – and it still has an intense agenda. You can visit the place and also check out one of the pieces on display.

Passage Mines

Photo: Markos90 / Wikimedia Commons

Largest gold mine open to visitors in the world, the Passage Mines it is located between Ouro Preto and the municipality of Mariana and takes the visitor to its underground galleries, halls and columns aboard a trolley, an old cart used by miners. The descent route, with its 315 meters in length, is very reminiscent of some old movies. The scenery is impressive and there are some aquifers that occupied the tunnels. Divers often explore the depths of these waters there.

Chico Rei Mine

Minas Gerais

Photo: Plazak / Wikimedia Commons

THE Chico Rei Mine presents the opportunity to discover a little more about the legend that involves the famous slave who bought his own manumission and freed other slaves. At certain points bending is necessary, the walls are damp and the uneven floor requires caution.

Maria Fumaça tour

what to do in black gold

Photo: Pedro Vilela/MTur

How about taking an enchanting journey back in time aboard a locomotive that connects the cities of Ouro Preto and Mariana? Maria Fumaça, the result of the revitalization of an old railroad built in 1883, is one of the attractions in Ouro Preto and runs along incredible paths that can be admired through the window. Be aware that trains depart at specific times in the cities. To learn more about this tour, Click here.

Largo Coimbra Craft Fair

what to do in black gold

Photo: Pedro Vilela/MTur

Popularly known as “A Feirinha de Pedra Sabão”, the Largo do Coimbra Exhibitors Association has been meeting since 1995 in front of the church of São Francisco de Assis, to sell and exhibit their works. The fair currently has more than 50 stalls to best serve tourists from all over Brazil and the world. In this space, jewelry is sold, such as necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets, embroidered shirts and caps, precious stones and decorative pieces in soapstone. A great space to buy gifts and keep memories of Ouro Preto.

waterfalls

Minas Gerais black gold

Photo: Pedro Vilela/MTur

Ouro Preto concentrates a lot of our country's history, but what many people don't know is that the city also has many natural beauties, such as the Waterfall of the SwallowsPrazeres Waterfall and the Bride's Veil Waterfall, among others. The waters, despite being cold, provide crystal clear baths to tourists.

viewpoints

Photo: Adelano Lázaro / WIkimedia Commons

There are several viewpoints scattered throughout the city, they are one of the attractions in Ouro Preto. Look for viewpoints such as Morro São Sebastião, UFOP, Casa dos Inconfidentes or Igreja S. Francisco de Paula, which offers visitors an exclusive view of the Pilar neighborhood and Tiradentes Square, in addition to some other points such as Rua Direita, that are viewed from a higher angle. Definitely the best places to take a great photo.

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