Belém

Etymology

The name Belém is the Portuguese word for Bethlehem, the town where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born. The city had a few other names before becoming Belém. Notice also that Brazil has a city called Natal, which means Christmas. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Pub Crawl Belem – Bar in Belem, Brazil. [facebook]

V8 Lounge Grill – ar, Steakhouse, Restaurant, Choperia and everything you can imagine in one place. A new concept that Bethlehem needed. We wait for you. [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Badoo.com – Badoo is a third website for online dating in Brazil that you can try if you have found no luck at the sites above. To have any success on this site, you need to send out A LOT of messages as their filtering system for fake profiles is definitely not the strongest. [visa hunter]

BrazilCupid.com – BrazilCupid is a member of the prominent Cupid Media network that owns 30+ dating sites around the world. It is my favorite site in Brazil and just happens to be where I met my wife (who is a native of Brazil). [visa hunter]

ParPerfeito.com.br – I have had a decent amount of experience with ParPerfeito (“perfect partner” in Portuguese). I like the site but not as much as BrazilCupid. It is still a good second choice though. You might have seen their banners inside Metro stations if you have ever been to Rio De Janeiro. [visa hunter]

Romantico Brazil – Our site is for single heterosexual adults over eighteen years of age, who are looking for the partner of their dreams. [romantico brazil]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Belem Free Walking Tour – The first free walking tour from the Brazilian Amazon! El primer free walking tour de la Amazonia Brasileña! O primeiro free walking tour da Amazônia! [facebook]

Brazil Booker – Belem is the capital of the State of Pará, and is located on the southern branch of the Amazon River. It is the main point of entry to the Amazon region as well as an important commercial and economic center. During the 19th century rubber boom, the city served as the main port of the region and the famous “Ver-o-Peso” market, designed and built in England, as well the Catholic Churches and the “Peace Theater” are reminders of that era. [brazil booker]

Free Walking Belém – First initiative in Belem. An affordable option to get to know the city and surrounding regions. Take your sneakers out of the drawer and come walk with us !!!! [facebook]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Algodoal Island – 6 hours of driving, or about 180 kilometres away from Belem, the fishing village of Algodoal is the region’s favourite beach and island getaway. It’s an absolute treasure. There are no vehicles on the island; and even though electricity has been introduced, the paths aren’t lit up at night, so the character of the islands can be better preserved. [triphobo]

Basilica De Nossa Senhora De Nazare – The Cirio de Nazare is Brazil’s most beautiful catholic event, and it’s been happening here, associated to this city, and more recently this church, for over 200 years. The church was built in 1852 on the site where an image of the Lady of Nazareth was found. You can still see the image inside the church, today. During the festival, the image is taken in a 2-million strong procession from Bethlehem Cathedral to the Basilica Sanctuary.

Catedral Metropolitana De Belem – This 18th century church was completed in 1771 on the site of an earlier church. From the outside, it is a masterpiece of mixed art, combining elements of Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Classical influences. The towers follow the model of Bologna churches. Inside, the church is lavishly decorated. It has a classic organ, richly adorned wall panels, large paintings of saints on the sides, and beautiful frescoes on the ceiling. [triphobo]

Corvette Museum Solimoes – The Corvette Solimoes is a ship museum, built by the Dutch in 1954, and delivered to Brazilians in 1955. On your morning guided tour, a sailor will take you through the cozy, almost cramped ship, and give you an idea of what life is like aboard a military vessel. You’ll be taken through the deck, the engine room, the crew quarters, and the bridge. [triphobo]

Espaco Cultural Casa Das Onze Janelas – Built in the 18th century as the residence of a sugar mill owner, the house was converted into a hospital that operated until 1870. Afterwards, the military made some use of the house. It is now a contemporary art space, with its own permanent exhibit of about 2300 works. These include paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, artistic buildings and video. [triphobo]

Estacao Das Docas – What used to be three run down warehouses were converted into the city’s most popular hangout in 2000. The docks bring together food, performance art, fashion and events over 32 thousand square meters. Over six thousand people visit the place every day. There are six restaurants, a tavern, exhibitions on the ports history and urban archaeology, and an art house movie theatre. Most nights, there are concerts or some other live music. [triphobo]

Forte Do Presepio – Belem was founded with the construction of this fort, the ruins of which now recall an imposing, stolid but beautiful stronghold. It was built to protect Portuguese colonial interests from other colonial forces that might sail up river. Used in conflict several times, the fort was rebuilt a number of times with additional artillery, which you can still see arranged around the site. Today, from atop the fort’s stone walls, you’ll find a spots from which to enjoy great views of the river and the town. [triphobo]

Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi – Established in 1866 with the intent of being a research institution, an increasingly rich and diverse collection of botanical and zoological specimens led to this place becoming a museum. It has about 4.5 million specimens, covering the sciences of botany, zoology, archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, palaeontology, and the mineral sciences. The ethnographic collection, formed mostly of donations over the years, has about 15000 items covering 119 Amazonian tribes, and is greatly treasured. [triphobo]

Para Religious Art Museum – In the entire Amazonian region, this is the only museum of its kind. Housed inside an old Jesuit building, The Church and St. Alexander College, this collection of about 400 items, relics, sacred paintings, sculptures, and silverware is now an indispensable part of Belem’s cultural heritage. The themes follow the relationships between the Church, Para’s past religious orders and the iconography of saints. Also check out the wooden image of San Francisco de Borja, which has a secret. [triphobo]

Parque Da Residencia – This park complex in the heart of the city is an excellent weekend retreat, at least for a few hours. It’s where the younger crowds come out for a date. There are a number of eclectic attractions. [triphobo]

Parque Mangal Das Garcas – This beautiful ecological park runs along the Guama River, covering an area of 40,000 square metres. Rich in local Brazilian flora and fauna, the park is intuitively and cleverly laid out – shady plank boardwalks that course their way through tranquil ponds.[triphobo]

Praca Da Republica – Despite many attempts to tame the wilderness that once existed here, nothing truly succeeded until the name of the Largo da Campina was changed to Praca da Republica, and it was decided that a monument to the republic would be erected here. [triphobo]

Sao Jose Liberto And Museu Gemas Do Para – The St. Joseph Liberto was first a convent (1749), but afterwards adopted many other roles – ammunitions magazine, barracks, hospital and prison. In 2002, though, it was reopened as a gem museum. You’ll find here today the Polo Jeweller and Artisan House and the Para Gems Museum. The museum has about 4000 pieces, exhibited over 5 rooms, which also explore the history and tradition of jewellery in the Amazonian Para. It also organises events and exhibitions. [triphobo]

Teatro Da Paz – Opened in 1874, in a time that is now known as the ‘Golden Age of Rubber’ in Brazil, the theatre is now regarded to be one of the greatest examples of Italian style neo-classical architecture. Since then, it has been home to many magnificent theatrical and operatic productions, and continues to be one today. [triphobo]

Ver-o-peso – The market gets its name from the old Casa do Haver-o-peso (Have-the-Weight House) that was located here; it was where goods coming into the area where taxed by weight. [triphobo]

Festivals

Festivals

Belém Opera Festival – Belém receives, between August 9 and September 15, the fourth edition of the Festival Opera Theater of Peace. During this period, operas, concerts, lectures and book launch to bring the city’s cultural dynamism that transforms the urban revitalization project into something alive. It is a clever shows occupation reclamation project designed by the architectural heritage architect Paulo Chaves, now the head of the Executive Secretariat of Culture of Pará The redevelopment work has transformed the city’s port area and the former residence of the governors in complex cultural and tourism and restored buildings of the historic center, giving them cultural functions. [brazil travel buddy]

Carnival in Belém – ne of the biggest carnivals in Brazil takes place in Belem do Para. As in Bahia axé predominates in Belém, but the pace that has been gaining a lot of space in recent years throughout the carnival is tecnobrega, names like Banda Calypso are becoming the cultural heritage of Pará Its high points are the parade of samba schools as well as the participating groups afros of Bahia. In the past there was a contest ranches, and one of them, I can not pester Rancho that later became a samba school, one of Brazil’s oldest active. The party is very lively and brings together people from all over the world. [brazil travel buddy]

Círio de Nazaré – Cirio de Nazare, Belem is a religious procession held to honor the Virgin de Nazare. The Cirio de Nazare, Belem festival is celebrated during the month of October. It is a two week festival. On the first Saturday of the two week festival a fleet of boats sail in a colorful procession to honor the Virgin de Nazare. The Virgin de Nazare is worshiped as the patroness of sailors in the sea. On the next Saturday people march in a procession from the Cathedral carrying the idol of Virgin to the Basilica de Nazare, Belem. On Sunday a huge fair is organized in the square in front of the Basilica de Nazare. [brazil travel buddy]

Feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil – On October 12, to celebrate three dates, but few remember them all: Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil’s official patron, Children’s Day and the Discovery of America. Our national holiday, however, is due only to the first date, and although the devotion to the Saint dates back to the eighteenth century gone, was only enacted in 1980. There are two sources found on the image, which are in the Archives of the Metropolitan Curia of Aparecida and the Roman Archive of the Society of Jesus in Rome. [brazil travel buddy]

Festival de Cinema – The festival each year gets more media attention and attract even more lovers of cinema. There is competition between the audiovisual productions from all over Brazil. There is still a free screening of various cinematic styles. It happens every year in June. Dedicated primarily to the movies in their national competitive exhibitions, the Festival aims to spread the Brazilian audiovisual in Para state, taking the film where the people are. [brazil travel buddy]

Mother´s Day – In Brazil Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, and is considered a very important date. It is the second most important gifting holiday, on which over half of all gifters purchase a gift. That puts Mother’s Day right behind Christmas in gifting popularity. Weeks before Mother’s Day advertisements on television, newspapers and radio stations enhance products in special offers and promotions for their children buy. It is common to find the shopping malls crowded city on the eve of this date, parents and children running around and looking for gifts to give to their mothers, wives and in-laws. [brazil travel buddy]

Se Rasgum Festival – This musical event takes place in November, known as the Se Rasgum Festival.   The event who won Bethlehem with her musical diversity, brings shows ranging from lo-fi indie rock to reggae, ska, through the tacky, heavy metal, pop and guitar. [brazil travel buddy]

Public Transit

Public Transit

By bicycle – If you for some strange reason find yourself in possesion of a bike while in town, there are a great number of cycle lanes along the main avenues. [wikitravel]

By bus – There is one major long distance coach terminal at Sao Braz. There are many local busses travelling all over the city at often exhilirating and reckless speeds. The number of buses passing Avenida Presidente Vargas is nothing short of astonishing, and you can get virtualy anywhere within Greater Belém from here. The challenge lies in finding the right bus, and also getting onboard, as it will stop anywhere on a stretch of some 2-300 metres, or atempt to pass straight. Do as the locals: Wave and run for it! [wikitravel]

Taxi – If you find yourself out late at night, lost, or stuck in the rain, taxi’s in Belém are relatively inexpensive for short distances. Make sure you only take taxis from cooperatives. If you ask your hotel, hostel, or someone at the bar or restaurant where you find yourself, they’ll be more than happy to direct you to the nearest cooperative or call a cab for you. [wikitravel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Baíca Distribuidora Wella Professionals- Belém/PA – Baica is coming to the beauty and cosmetics market of Belém do Pará as exclusive Distributor of Wella Professionals. [facebook]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Living in Belém- Expat – Make your expat project in Belém successful. If you are looking for an escape, why not turn towards Belém which is one of Northern Brazil’s historical cities. Located in the Amazon estuary, Belém displays the perfect harmony between nature and urbanism. [expat]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Movimento LGBT do Pará – Official fan page of the LGBT Movement of the State of Pará. Here are published the activities, actions, photos and all information related to LGBT Paraenses. [facebook]

Resources

Resources

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