Getting there & away
Long-distance buses leave from Ouro Prêto’s main bus station (3559 3225; Rua Padre Rolim 661) at the northwest end of town. During peak periods, buy your tickets a day in advance. Destinations include Belo Horizonte (Pássaro Verde, R$17, two hours, 10 daily from 6am to 8pm); Rio de Janeiro (Útil, R$57, 6½ hours, daily at 10pm); São Paulo (Vale do Ouro, R$88, 10 hours, 7:30am daily, plus night bus with varying schedule); São João del Rei (Vale do Ouro, R$40, 3½ hours, daily at 7:30am); Santa Bárbara (Pássaro Verde, R$18, three hours, 7:25am and 1:45pm daily); Brasilia (Pássaro Verde, R$100, 11 hours, 7:30pm daily).
To get to Mariana or Minas de Passagem, catch a local Transcotta bus (R$2.20, at least twice hourly) from the local bus stop just northeast of Praça Tiradentes.
A newly-renovated historic tourist train runs on weekends between Ouro Prêto and Mariana (one hour, R$18/30 one-way/round trip), leaving Ouro Prêto’s train station (3551 7705; Praça Cesário Alvim 102) at 11am and 4pm Friday to Sunday, returning at 9am and 2pm from Mariana. The 18km journey is pretty but slow, snaking along a river gorge the whole way.