The Porto Alegre Metro system has 17 metro stations that serve 42 km (26 miles) of rails. Unlike other metro systems in Brazil, this one is heavily used and it is great for traveling short distances within the city. This metro system is also good for traveling to nearby metropolitan areas such as Canoas and Novo Hamburgo. The metro system is a great alternative to driving to several destinations on the BR-116 highway.
The bus system in Porto Alegre is operated by state and private companies. Private companies operate both large autobuses and smaller mini-buses, where only seated passengers are allowed and air conditioning is provided. Riding in the mini-buses is more expensive but really worth every penny during hot, humid afternoons.
From downtown you can catch any bus to any destination around the Porto Alegre metropolitan area. From downtown you can catch buses that are part of the circular lines (all lines that start with "C") that ride on exclusive bus lanes in order to arrive to destinations faster. From the different neighborhoods in Porto Alegre you can grab 1 of the transversal lines (all lines that start with "T") to get to other neighborhoods faster by avoiding the downtown area all together.
Driving Around Porto Alegre
If you want to drive around Porto Alegre, it is best that you get an international driver's license at the country from which you are departing. Car rental agencies and local authorities prefer the international driver's license over any foreign driver's license.
The 2 main highways of Porto Alegre are the BR-290 (running from east to west) and the BR-116 (running from north to south). If you're planning to visit Argentina, you can follow the BR-290. If you're planning to visit Uruguay, you can use the BR-116.