Tiradentes is one of the smallest yet best preserved colonial towns in the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. It has a population of about 6000 and boasts some fine examples of 300-year old buildings, like the impressive gold-filled Matriz church. It is also well-known amongst food lovers for its food festival in August and its many good regional and modern restaurants.
There are about 10 buses a day from (and to) São João del Rei (8 on weekends). The bus station (Rodoviária) is located near the São Francisco de Paula church at Praça Silva Jardim. Tel: (32) 3355-1100. There are no ticket booths, pay onboard.
On weekends, the maria-fumaça (steam train) leaves the neighbouring city of São João del Rei twice a day (10:00 and 15:00). The 35-minute trip is a nice way to get into town in full "vintage" style.
Cars are allowed to circulate, but given the compact size of the old town, slowly walking around is by far the best way to see and feel the place. The irregular ancient pavement may not be quite friendly to those with locomotion disabilities, though.
Buildings from times long gone and the cobblestone streets give Tiradentes a very special feeling. Its main attractions include:
- Church of Saint Anthony (Igreja de Santo Antônio/Igreja Matriz) (at the end of Rua da Câmara). Beautiful church constructed in 1732 with the richest gold foil interior of any church in Brazil. No photography allowed inside.
- Rosário dos Pretos.
- São Francisco de Paula. The nicest views of Tiradentes, from a hilltop.
- Casa da Cultura.
- Padre Toledo.
- Yves Alves Cultural Center.
- Chafariz. A fountain dating back to the 1700s.
- Old Town Council Hall (Casa da Câmara).
- Stone Bridge.
- Small Carriage tours leave the Largo das Forras square and the train station to visit the main attractions in the old town. The 1-hour ride costs R$ 15 and carries up to 4 persons.
- Trekking in the nearby mountains of Serra de São José.
- Cultural and gastronomic festival in August
There are many sweets and crafts shops around town. Most of the crafts are actually made by people living at the Bichinho district, separated from town by a narrow, 7-km-long dust road. Go there if you want to get cheaper prices buy from the artists directly, but be prepared to gold-dig a little bit.
- Dona Xepa, Rua Ministro Gabriel Passos, 26, ☏ . A - Centro.
- Santa Fé, Av. Governador Israel Pinheiro, 72, ☏ . Espaço Libertas Cultural.
- Tempero da Ângela, ☏ . Rua Deputado José Bonifácio Filho, 64 - Bichinho.
- Donatello Trattoria, Rua Frederico Ozanan, 320, ☏ . Centro Histórico.
- Calabouço, Rua da Cadeia, 38, ☏ . Centro.
- Ora-pró-Nóbis, Rua do Chafariz, 37, ☏ .
- Sabor Rural, ☏ . Estrada da Caixa D`água, Km 04 (4 km from Estação de Trem).
- Pau de Angu, ☏ . Estrada p/ Bichinho.
- Porta do Céu, Rua Frei Veloso, 1, ☏ . 002 - Pacu - Estrada Real.
- Pasta & cia, Rua Frederico Ozanan, 327, ☏ . Home-made pasta, nice for when you want to take a break from those all-Brazilian dishes.
- Viradas do Largo, Rua do Moinho, 11, ☏ . Also known as restaurante da Beth (Beth's restaurant) this place is slightly off the tourist trail but well worth a visit for fine examples of typical mineiro regional food such as the tropeiro beans. The dishes are expensive for local standards (R$ 50-55 for two) but well prepared and well-served: a plate for two may well fill up three people.
- Atrás da Matriz, Rua Santíssima Trindade, 201, ☏ .
- Tragaluz, Rua Direita, 52, ☏ . Centro Histórico.
- Trattoria Via Destra, Rua Direita, 45, ☏ . Centro.
There are several bars in and around the Largo das Forras square.
- Confidências mineiras - Ateliê de cachaça, Rua Ministro Gabriel Passos, 26, ☏ . Centro.
- Sabor Rural, ☏ . Estrada da Caixa d'Água, Km 04 (4 km from Estação do Trem).
Bottles of fine Brazilian cachaça can be bought in many shops scattered around town.
There are several choices of pousadas in Tiradentes, ranging from simple, basic pensions to nice comfortable inns housed in historic buildings. Many hotels can also be found outside the old town and in nearby rural areas.
The city is a very popular weekend and holiday destination, so it's advisable to book in advance during those peak periods. New Year, Carnaval and Holy Week are particularly busy. Check the calendar of Brazilian holidays for precise dates. The food festival in August is also considered high season.
Many people choose to sleep at nearby São João del Rei, a larger and less touristy city.
- Pousada da Íris, Rua Joaquim Ramalho, 37, ☏ . Cuiabá.
- Pousada São José da Serra, Rua dos Inconfidentes, 247, ☏ . Centro.
- Pouso da Rita, ☏ . Rua Maria Augusta do Nascimento, 123 - Cuiabá.
- Pouso Mariazinha, Rua Joaquim Ramalho, 417, ☏ . Cuiabá.
- Pousada Coração Inconfidente, Rua dos Inconfidentes, 120, ☏ . Centro.
- Pousada do Ó, Rua do Chafariz, 25, ☏ . Centro.
- Pousada Quatro Corações, Rua Joaquim Ramalho, 190, ☏ . Cuiabá.
- Pousada Brisa da Serra, Rua Santíssima Trindade, 520, ☏ . Santíssima Trindade.
- Pousada Dom Quixote, Rua Francisco Pereira de Moraes, 69 - Canjica, ☏ .
- Pousada Pequena Tiradentes, Av. Governador Israel Pinheiro, 670, ☏ . Estação.
- Pousada Villa Paolucci, R. Francisco Cândido Barbosa, n 300, ☏ . Final da Rua do Chafariz.
- Pousada Xica da Silva, Av. Governador Israel Pinheiro, 400, ☏ . Estação.
- Solar da Ponte, ☏ . Praça das Mercês, s/nº - Centro Histórico.
There are buses to/from São Joao del Rei nearly every 40 minutes, departing from the bus station.