Much of the history and culture of Rio Grande do Sul can be seen in downtown Porto Alegre. The Rua da Praia is a good choice to begin the tour. In its center, the Praça da Alfândega (Customs Square), there are museums and cultural centers, such as the Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana, installed in the old hotel where for many years the poet lived.

Still downtown, some other well preserved historical buildings are the Palácio Piratini, the Solar dos Câmara , the Theatro São Pedro , the Usina do Gasômetro.

There are pleasant parks, ideal to relax, like Moinho de Ventos, the Farroupilha and the Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho, known as Parque Harmonia , with barbecue grills in the open and a typical “creole” shed.

The south area of the city keeps a friendly rural aspect. Some small farms are home to ecological reserves or raising horses, mainly the Creole kind. Samples of the true gaucho culture not far from the Centro (Downtown).