Ouro Preto – Brazil Travel Guide, Tour Tips and Accommodation

South America

Large and colorful old mansions, high up on hills, sculptural churches, the exponent of the national baroque and hundreds (yes, hundreds) of works by Aleijadinho – and hundreds of other works attributed to the artist – make up Ouro Preto, in a first View.

And how to discover all this? On the sole. It's as simple as that – but without forgetting the most comfortable shoes for the task. Navigating so many cobblestone streets above is essential to completing an exploratory tour of the city, and the best thing is to get lost in its detailed streets and buildings, enjoying equally valuable regional meals to reinvigorate your spirits to continue the walk.

Ouro Preto has many attractions, festivals and other details that make tourists fall in love with the old Vila Rica. Check out some of these points of common interest for travelers from all over the world below.

Our Lady of Pilar Parish Church

Photo of the Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora do Pilar, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of the Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora do Pilar, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Adorned extensively in gold in every corner, the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Pilar offers, above all, a clear example of how much the Baroque influenced local art, in its golden years.

See the photo gallery of the Nossa Senhora do Pilar Church – Ouro Preto

Saint Francis of Assisi Church

Photo of the Church of São Francisco de Assis, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of the Church of São Francisco de Assis, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Exponent of Ouro Preto, and one of the most recreated postcards in tourist photographs, the São Francisco de Assis Church was designed by Aleijadinho, with a painting made by master Ataíde to cover the nave – the work of which took 10 years to complete . It is one of the most visited spots in the city.

See the photo gallery of the Church of São Francisco de Assis – Ouro Preto

Our Lady of Conception Parish Church

Underneath the floor are the graves of Manuel Francisco Lisboa and his son Antônio, more famous under the nickname Aleijadinho, the city's most famous artist. This church, however, was conceived and designed by the father – it is also worth a visit to visit the Aleijadinho Museum.

See the photo gallery of the Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora da Conceição – Ouro Preto

Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Photo of Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

This is one of the last churches designed by Aleijadinho's father, Manuel Francisco Lisboa. Built in rococo style, inside it displays a beautiful panel of Portuguese tiles – the place also features works by Aleijadinho and Master Ataíde, who is responsible for the painting on the church's ceiling.

See the photo gallery of the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church – Ouro Preto

Bom Jesus de Matosinhos Church

Notorious for exhibiting some famous works by Master Ataíde, such as the Crucifixion and the Holy Supper, as well as others that were blindly credited to Aleijadinho.

Santa Efigenia Church

Its interior has recently undergone renovation, maintaining the freshness and details of the images of black saints that adorn the place, which is worth a visit as it was produced by Aleijadinho's master, Francisco Xavier Brito.

See the photo gallery of the Santa Efigênia dos Pretos Church – Ouro Preto

Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks Church

Church whose architectural origins remain a tasty mystery among curious locals. Inside, black saints are remembered and honored on several altars.

Church of São Francisco de Paula

Speaking of the slopes that set the tone for walks in Ouro Preto, dare to arrive at the Church of São Francisco de Paula. Really: it's worth it for the panoramic view of the city, beautiful and colorful meters below.

Museum of Sacred Art

Going down the stairs of the Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Pilar church you will reach the Museum of Sacred Art, with a collection of objects and images from up to three centuries ago, with some works credited to Aleijadinho and an impressive wooden mausoleum made for D. João V , king of Portugal who died in the mid-18th century.

Aleijadinho Museum

Located in the sacristy of the Matriz NS da Conceição church, the museum brings together some of Aleijadinho's works, such as the image of São Francisco de Paula and the Four Lions of Essa, among various objects.

Oratory Museum

Oratories for all tastes, ages, social classes and eras – in a temporal journey that begins in the 17th century and ends in the last century.

Museum of Reductions

Here, everything is in miniature, but with great fun. There are 27 miniaturized replicas of important national landmarks, such as Palácio da Alvorada and Farol da Barra, among others.

Museum of Inconfidência

Photo of the Inconfidência Museum, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of the Inconfidência Museum, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

One of the most visited points – and, without a doubt, one of the most recommended to visit –, the Museu da Inconfidência restructures and retells the history of the city and, consequently, tells curious eyes and ears, an excerpt from the history of Brazil distributed in its 16 rooms, with many curious items, such as the book that contains the declaration of Tiradentes' conviction, among other peculiarities.

See the photo gallery of the Inconfidência Museum – Ouro Preto

Museum of Science and Technique

The Museum of Science and Technique, which was once known as the Palace of Governors, has famous items, such as the skull from the first human record on our continent, and a space dedicated to mining.

Municipal theater

Photo of the Municipal Theater, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of the Municipal Theater, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Notorious for carrying the burden of being the oldest in the country, still in operation. Its boxes have hosted famous personalities from the colonial period, such as emperors D. Pedro I and D. Pedro II.

See the photo gallery of the Municipal Theater of Ouro Preto

Gold mines

Photo of the Chico Rei Gold Mine, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of the Chico Rei Gold Mine, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Several mines and underground corridors are a hit with tourists, in what was once the rage of past centuries in the region. It is possible to get into historical contact with how the activity was carried out and other curiosities, including the routine of slaves in the mining profession.

See the photo gallery of the Chico Rei Gold Mine – Ouro Preto

Maria-Fumaça to Mariana

Photo by Maria Fumaça, in Ouro Preto, MG – Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

Photo of Maria Fumaça, in Ouro Preto, MG
Photo Credit: © Ricardo Junior Fotografias.com.br

The tour is quick – about an hour – and the route is impressive. The landscape swells as the smoke arrives in Mariana, the first town and city in Minas Gerais. Prepare the camera for moments worthy of tourist bucolicism like few others.

See the photo gallery of Central Maria Fumaça – Ouro Preto

House of Tales

The place has already served as a shelter to transform gold into golden bars and, ironically, it has housed local criminals, serving their days in prison. Today, it houses the history of the city, whether with furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, or with books and documents dating back many years.