After friends saw my pics from the museum I was asked a few similar questions so I thought I’d try to collect them here:
- What’s the story behind the Inhotim?
- How do I get there?
- Can I get there if I don’t speak Portuguese?
- Was it worth the trip?
- What if I can’t walk around all day?
- Do they have food there or should I take stuff with me?
1 The background – I’m not sure and need to re-read the official story because I heard variations of it when I was traveling. But the About Page on their site has the story. Basically a wealthy businessman had a ton of land and made it into an art park.
2 How to get there. Well, you basically need to get to Belo Horizonte and then take a bus from the downtown bus terminal. Or you could rent a car and drive from BH. My recommendation is to get to Brazil and then take a cheap flight from São Paulo or Rio to Belo Horizonte (BH) and stay there for a few days and use one full day at the Inhotim.
The tricky part is taking the bus from BH to the museum/park. You need to get to the bus station the day before or early in the morning of the day you want to get there and buy a round-trip ticket to/from the park. The bus leaves early, it takes about an hour/hour and a half to get there. Then you can walk around the park all day and catch your bus back to BH in the early evening (5:30pm). The sun was going down early for me because it was “winter” so it’s not like I could have stayed until 7:30 anyway- I wouldn’t be able to see anything.
3. Yes you can get there if you don’t speak Portuguese, but it REALLY helps when you go to buy your bus ticket. I’ve been taking classes for a while and it was still hard for me to understand what the ticket counter people were telling me, but everyone there was super nice so it worked out. Just be patient.
To elaborate about my “difficulties”- the bus I wanted to take was sold out, and the staff was trying to explain to me to just wait, they’d open up and add a 2nd 8:15 bus because a bunch of people wanted to go at the same time and they’d let me know, and then I could buy the ticket. But at first all I heard was “sold out” and my brain froze- but I got it.
4. Was it worth it? Hell yeah it was worth it. One of the coolest parks and set of art galleries I’ve seen.
5. If you can’t walk around all day it may not be for you. OR- you could pay a little extra to ride on the intra-park golf carts that roll around and pick people up to take them from building to building. But you’ll still need to be able to walk around. It was warm when I was there and it was winter. Just keep that in mind.
6. I took some water for the bus ride, but no, you don’t need to take anything. In fact, I don’t think you’re supposed to take food in to the park- but that’s okay, they have a bunch of restaurants in the park. They have quite a few “snack bars” and at least two sit down restaurants and a few cafes. I was able to keep myself fed and refreshed (yes, I ate a bunch of coxinhas and drank a lot of guarana).