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Porto Alegre (literally: Happy Harbor) is the capital of the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul. The city was founded by immigrants from the Azores in 1742. In the nineteenth century many German and Italian immigrants settled in the city. This variety in population is recognized in architecture. Obviously there are many Portuguese influences, but you also see Spanish and other European architectural styles. The Brazilians also say that the most beautiful women of the country live in Porto Alegre. Judge for yourself...
The city itself has almost one and a half million inhabitants, but over four million people live in the entire urban area of Porto Alegre.
Porto Alegre is located in the south of Brazil, where the Guaíba River discharges into Brazils' largest lagoon, Lagoa dos Patos. This lagoon is 280 kilometers long and is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a sandbank which is on average eight kilometers wide. The city itself lies in the transitional area of subtropical woods and the South American pampas (grassland).
Porto Alegre's harbor plays an important role in the export of local products, including fruit (mainly plums and peaches), rice, cassava, beef, soybeans and wood. There's also a large leather industry, making mainly shoes. The electro technical and IT industries are rising. Furthermore there are steel mills and a large petrochemical complex. Porto Alegre is also an educational center, with among others two universities and other institutes of higher education.
The city airport is situated north of Porto Alegre. The airport is officially called Salgado Filho and is easily reachable by rental car, at least outside rush hour. From the center you follow Avenida Pres. Castelo Branco (the main road from the river) or Avenida Farrapos north. The route to the airport is clearly signposted.
Porto Alegre has good and effective public bus transportation. For the largest part city busses run on free bus lanes. It can be difficult finding out which bus stops where, at what time and what the destination is. Locals are always prepared to help you out. Minivans (recognizable by the red and blue colors) can be stopped anywhere and you can get off at any desired location.
There's also a metro line between the city center and the northern suburbs.
It's not difficult to find your way around in Porto Alegre in a rental car. From the center big highways (Avenidas) run in every direction. Porto Alegre is a busy business city though, with long traffic-jams during morning and evening rush hour. You need to pay to park in the city center, but in the so-called Areas Azul, you can park a short time (10 minutes) for free. It's best to park your rental car on a guarded parking lot or in one of the parking garages in and around Porto Alegre's center.
Porto Alegre has a large supply of accommodation. Because the city is the commercial heart of southern Brazil there are many business hotels, but you can also find midrange and budget hotels. We do recommend booking your hotel room well in advance.
For more information about Porto Alegre we recommend Google and the following sources:
Which insurance should I choose, and what's the deal with the deposit? Read our articles with useful information and tips to ensure you choose the right rental car for you.
The following questions and answers are a selection of the most popular questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.
Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.
To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.
Our rates are all-inclusive. Our reservation department will inform you in advance should additional costs apply. You can always cancel your booking free of charge if you do not agree (this must be done at least 48 hours prior to the start of the car hire period).
In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.
Only rental companies with a high level of customer satisfaction are eligible to be included in our Worry-Free selection. This rate includes excess cover and unlimited kilometres. Your vehicle will be provided and must be returned with a full tank of fuel. With a vehicle from our Worry-Free selection, you can travel with peace of mind and no hidden costs.
You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).
Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).