Practical information

1) French researchers going to Brazil

1.1) Porto Alegre

1.1.1) Accommodation

Try to avoid hotels downtown. This area can be unsafe at night. Otherwise, most other regions are totally safe. Try to ensure there is public transportation to PUCRS and UFRGS close to the hotel.

  • Coral Tower Express – Traditional hotel, simple but clean, located in residential area, close to Praia de Belas mall. Bus to UFRGS and PUCRS (375 or 3751 – Agronomia) -> “In 2011 the hotel was being renovated and it was dirty and noisy. I would recommend to avoid this hotel” — Carlos.
  • Coral Tower Trade Center – Traditional hotel, excellent location near to business district. Bus to UFRGS (T8) and PUCRS. Booking through booking.com it is cheaper 😉
  • Garibaldi appart hotel – Appart hotel, excellent location in residential area close to Zaffari supermarket. You should book months in advance. Bus to UFRGS and PUCRS (D43 – Universitaria and 343 – Campus Ipiranga).

1.1.2) Getting around

Public transportation in Porto Alegre works well. However, you must know in advance the number and direction of the bus line(s) you need to catch to arrive at destination. The best way to do this is to ask a local, since there is not much information available on the web neither at the bus stops. Two useful websites are EPTC and PoA bus. Most of the time, if you’re not sure about where to get down, you can ask somebody. Most young people can communicate in English, specially on the buses going to the University. Brazilians are always very open and will be glad to help you. Remember to waive at the bus, otherwise it won’t stop for you.

Once you hop on a bus, you should pay a fare to the “cobrador” and pass the barrier. You should not stay in the front of the bus as this part is reserved for people with special needs. You can pay the fee in cash or using a special TRI prepaid card, which can be obtained downtown.

Another frequent transportation is orange cabs. All the cabs in Porto Alegre are orange and they are all official. You can stop any cab in the middle of the street and there is no risk. If you want to call a cab, use one of the several cab services, like Radio Taxi Cidade (+55 51 3223 1122). The fees are quite cheap, there might be an extra charge on Sundays and late at night (called “bandeira 2”).

1.1.3) Tourism and useful information

1.2) São Carlos

1.2.1) Accommodation

  • San Ciro Apart Hotel – Excellent apart hotel, spacious rooms, good wifi, delicious breakfast, close to city center and commodities. Quite cheap for what it offers, in 2014 165 BRL for single occupation of double room. Book by emailing reception.
  • Hotel Anacã
  • Indaiá Residence

All of them are well localized, near the University of São Paulo (USP) and with restaurants, markets and other commerce around.

1.2.2) Getting around

To go to USP you can walk. To go to UFSCar you should take a taxi (around 25 BRL in 2014) or you can take bus line 64 in front of main bus station. Read Porto Alegre bus instructions to know how buses work in Brazil. Costs less than 3 BRL and drops you close to Departamento de Computação at UFSCar

1.2.3) Tourism and useful information

We recommend visiting the “Parque ecológico” near UFSCar, they have a quite impressive zoo of south american animals and it’s free. Walkable from UFSCar campus, closes quite early (16:30)

Some nice restaurants we recommend are Cachaçaria Água Doce, Restaurante Kalil, Sushi Ya San, Seo Gera.

2) Brazilian researchers going to France

2.1) Marseille

2.2) Grenoble

2.2.1) Accommodation

In a CAMELEON mission, you should chose and book the accommodation (hotel/appart hotel/hostel) that better suits your needs and preferences. Once you arrive in Grenoble, you will receive the equivalent to all your perdiems (daily allowance) corresponding to your stay. Remember that the perdiems are of 107€ per day, so for instance if you stay 10 days, you will receive 1070€ that should cover your hotel stay, food and public transportation in the city. We suggest that you book a hotel for which the overnight stay does not cost more than 80€. There are very reasonable options in Grenoble, for instance :

  • Resid’Hotel Central Gare – Apart hotel with excellent location downtown, just across the street from the train and bus stations, and from tramway B to campus.
  • Citadines City Centre – Apart hotel located close to the city center, Parc Mistral and tramway C to campus.
  • Adagio Berthelot – New apart hotel located in south Grenoble, across the street from tramway station Mounier. Excellent comfort at low rates. Campus reachable by tramway A then B.
  • Ibis centre – Traditional hotel, excellent comfort, daily room service, excellent location in the heart of Grenoble, close to tramway B to campus.

Most of the apart hotels do not offer breakfast, or do charge a fee for breakfast, and offer weekly room service. If you have stayed at one of these hotels, please share your experience with other project members 🙂

2.2.2) Getting around

The easiest way to move around is taking the tramway. There are four lines, A, B, C and D. Lines B and C cross the campus, lines A and B run downtown. If you are staying downtown, you can take tramway B in the direction “Gières plaine des sports” and get off at “Bibliothèques Universitaires”, and you will be in front of LIG-GETALP.

Before boarding on the tramway, you MUST buy a ticket from one of the machines at the stations. The machines take coins and credit cards but not bank notes. If you are staying a few days in Grenoble, it is recommended to buy a 10 or 30-trip ticket, which is a bit cheaper than buying individual tickets. There are also weekly, monthly and yearly cards that allow you to use the tram and bus network an unlimited number of times for a fixed amount of money.

Before getting on the tram, you MUST stamp your ticket in one of the small blue machines beside the station (not the big ones from which you buy tickets). Insert your ticket, wait for the machine to spit it back and check whether it printed the date and time on the back. From then, you have 1h to use all transportation means in the network (you don’t have to pay another ticket, for instance, to change between tramway lines or to take a bus after the tram). Ticket control is random and very frequent, specially at the beginning of the month, but including late night and during weekends.

In order to move around downtown, the best is to walk. Grenoble’s city centre is quite compact, so all main tourist attractions, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, etc can be reached by foot. Finding your way through the middle-age labyrinthic streets might be a challenge, though, but getting lost is part of the fun! You must not be afraid of walking on the street after night falls (particularly in the winter, when night falls around 16:30-17:00) – Grenoble is a fairly safe city, much safer than comparable cities in Brazil, and the city centre is one of the most lively areas full of bars and restaurants at night. Every Thursday evening, you will see many (drunk) students out.

Grenoble is also famous for being the flattest city in Europe and having 300km of cycling paths. Therefore, if you want to try you can rent a yellow bike at MetroVelostores on the campus or in the basement of the rail station. There are cycling paths from downtown to the campus and to almost every place in town, you can get a mapat the Office de Tourisme.

2.2.3) Tourism and useful information

Check Grenoble wikitravel page

Some recommended restaurants:

  • La ferme à dédé (traditional French, countryside food)
  • Le casse-croûte à dédé (fast-food version of the previous)
  • La fondue (best place to have the famous cheese dish. Get ready to eat a lot!)
  • Jardin d’Asie (good oriental food)
  • Le Liban Vert (has restaurant and fast food versions, both at Place Notre Dame)
  • Flam’s (the only “rodízio” in the city, serves flamkueche, a pizza-like Alsacian dish)
  • Le Village (traditional French food)
  • Cadet Rousselle (best crêpe in town)

Cultural outings (in French)

Practicalities and etc:

2.3) Paris