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Recife, the capital of Pernambuco, is one of the largest and most important cities on the northeastern coast of Brazil. This lively capital, originally founded by Dutch colonizers, is brimming with a vibrant culture, an interesting old town (which includes the oldest synagogue in the Americas) and some nice beaches.

Info Recife


Recife is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 3,743,854 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the sixth largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper was 1,555,039 in 2012.

The former capital of the 17th century Dutch Brazil, Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of the Captaincy of Pernambuco, known for its large scale production of sugar cane. The city is located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. Its name is an allusion to the stone reefs that are present by the city's shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city centre characterise its geography and led to the city being called the "Brazilian Venice". As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil.

The Metropolitan Region of Recifeis the main industrial zone of the State of Pernambuco; major products are those derived from cane (sugar and ethanol), ships, oil platforms, electronics, and others. With fiscal incentives by the government, many industrial companies were started in the 1970s and 1980s. Recife has a tradition of being the most important commercial hub of the North/Northeastern region of Brazil, with more than 52,500 business enterprises in Recife plus 32,500 in the Metro Area, totaling more than 85,000.

A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil's second largest medical hub (second only to São Paulo) modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighbouring States.

Recife stands out as a major tourist attraction of the Northeast, both for its beaches and for its historic sites, dating back to both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of the region. The beach of Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of the city, has been repeatedly awarded the title of best beach in Brazil and has drawn many tourists. The Historic Centre of Olinda, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) north of the city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, and both cities' Brazilian Carnival are among the world's most famous.

The city is an education hub, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife for their studies. Recife and Natal are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the islands of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site.

The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Recife hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

POPULATION :• Municipality 1,555,039 
• Metro 3,743,854
FOUNDED : Founded March 12, 1537
Incorporated (as village) 1709
Incorporated (as city) 1823
LANGUAGE :  Portuguese
RELIGION :Catholic Church 54.32 %
Protestant 24.99 %
No religion 14.59 %
Spiritist 3.56 %
Other Christian religiosities 1.59 %
Other 0.67 %
AREA :• Municipality 218 km2 (84.17 sq mi)
• Metro 2,768 km2 (1,068.7 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  10 m (33 ft)
COORDINATES : 8°3′S 34°54′W
SEX RATIO : Male: 46.2%
 Female: 53.8%
ETHNIC :Pardo (Multiracial) people (49.1%), White people (41.4%), Black people (8.3%), Asian people (1%), Amerindian people (0.2%)
POSTAL CODE : 50000-000
WEBSITE :  Recife


Recife, the capital of Pernambuco, is one of the largest and most important cities on the northeastern coast of Brazil. This lively capital, originally founded by Dutch colonizers, is brimming with a vibrant culture, an interesting old town (which includes the oldest synagogue in the Americas) and some nice beaches.

The celebrations, holidays and other events are numerous during the whole year. Thus the New Year begins at the beach, Praia de Boa Viagem and in Old Recife. The carnival of Recife and Olinda (which has its historic town centre considered world heritage site by UNESCO in 1982) begins many weeks ahead in December with innumerable balls and parades.

In the city, the carnival festivities begin in December, as locals begin preparing for the official Carnival, which starts the week before Ash Wednesday. The pre-Carnival parties usually consist of percussion groups practicing in local clubs, city streets and squares, and even Carnival balls. There is a variety of rhythms from different cultures. Carnival officially starts with the Galo da Madrugada, a party in Downtown Recife attracting many people from several States of Brazil, and other parts of the world.

Recife has many quality 3, 4 and 5-Star International Hotels as well Pousadas(traditional Bed & breakfast) and Apart-Hotels totaling more than 11,500 bedrooms and this number increase to over 30,000 in the metropolitan area of Recife.

Mercado de São José (Market of Saint Joseph) is an old, iron construction with a popular market nearby. In the Fort Cinco Pontes (Fort of Five Points) is the state museum, (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco). At the rectangular Pátio de São Pedro are the Cathedral São Pedro (Cathedral of Saint Peter) dating from the year 1782 and restored colonial houses, with numerous restaurants, bistros and bars. In the Bairro Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony Neighborhood), at the meeting place of the rivers Capibaribe and Beberibe, is the Praça da República (Square of the Republic) with the Teatro Santa Isabel (Theatre of Saint Isabel), with its neoclassic front - well worth seeing, the Law Courts, and the Palácio da Justiça (Palace of the Justice). Casa da Cultura (House of Culture) is an old prison that has been converted into a cultural space and shopping centre.

Built between 1835 and 1855, the Malakoff Tower, a monument constructed in Tunisian style, which used to be an observatory and now is a cultural centre and a place for popular gatherings. It is located at Arsenal da Marinha Square. It has been registered as a Historical Patrimony and was named after a similar monument on Crimean peninsula, used as a defence centre for Sebastopol.

Recife has a zoo called Dois Irmãos Park, 387 hectares of Atlantic Forest reserve and 14 hectares of botanical gardens. There are also 800 wild animals, the Natural Science Museum and various ecological trails. The metropolitan area has also a giant water park 20 km (12 mi) North of Recife, called Veneza water park which has nearly one million sq/ft of area, ten millions litres of water and lots of water slides for the youngsters.

Among Recife's main tourist attractions are:

  • Churches, historical monuments, public markets including 17th and 18th century constructions from Portuguese and Dutch colonisers;
  • Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art;
  • Ricardo Brennand Institute: cultural institute with museum, pinacotec and library;
  • Recife Antigo (Old Recife) buildings;
  • Boa Viagem beach (the inside city's most important beach) and many beautiful beaches in the metropolitan and state area;
  • Casa da Cultura: souvenir shops in an Historic prison building;
  • The Carnival at locations such as downtown and Recife Antigo;
  • Olinda's historic town centre, considered a world heritage site by UNESCO
  • News and Historic Cinemas, Theatres and Art galleries.


Recife is on the Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Capibaribe, Beberibe and Jordão Rivers, close to the easternmost point of the Americas. The climate is tropical, with two main seasons: dry (September–March) and rainy (April–August). Average annual temperature is 26°C (78.8°F), with limited variation. The city, which is only two meters above sea level (some parts are below), is distributed across rivers, canals and islands. Due to the prevalence of waterways in its geography, Recife is known as Veneza Brasileira (Brazilian Venice). Its 1.5 million inhabitants (3.5 million in the Grande Recife) are called recifenses. Services are the base of the economy. Despite the high incidence of poverty, the municipal Human Development Index (HDI) in 2000 (0.810) was above Brazil's national average (0.800). Recife is famous for its beaches, history, Carnaval, arts and cuisine.

Tourist information centers

  • Recife AntigoRua da Guia+55 81 3232-2942. daily 9AM to 9PM.
  • Mercado de San JoséRua da Guia. Mon to Sat 7AM to 7PM.
  • Praca de Boa ViagemRua da Guia,   +55 81 3182-8297. daily 8AM to 8PM.
  • Airport,   +55 81 3322-4353. 24 hours a day.
  • Rodoviária,   +55 81 3452-1704. daily 7AM to 7PM=.
  • Patió de São Pedro,   +55 81 3452-1704.


Recife began as a collection of fishing shacks, inns and warehouses on the delta between the Capibaribe and Beberibe Rivers in the captaincy of Pernambuco, sometime between 1535 and 1537 in the earliest days of Portuguese colonisation of Terra de Santa Cruz, later called Brazil, on the northeast coast of South America. It was a settlement of colonial fishermen and way station for Portuguese sailors. The first documented reference to the settlement with its "arrecife dos navios" (reef of the ships) was in the royal Charter Act of March 12, 1537, establishing Olinda, 6 km to the north, as a village, with its port where the Beberibe River meets the sea. Olinda (and Igarassu before it) had been settled in 1536 by captain GeneralDuarte Coelho, a Portuguese nobleman, proprietor and administrator of the captaincy of Pernambuco.

The city is named for the long reef recife running parallel to the shoreline which encloses its harbour. The reef is not as sometimes stated, a coral reef, but a consolidated ancient beach, now as firm and hard as stone.

In 1541, Coelho returned from Portugal with the machinery for an engenho (sugarmill), and with it, his brother-in-law established the first mill named Nossa Senhora da Ajuda (Our Lady of Help), in the floodplain of the Beberibe River at Recife. At that time the banks of the Capibaribe River were covered by sugarcane.

Recife was capital of the 17th century Dutch Brazil.

The Mascate War of 1710-1711 pitted merchants of Recife against those of nearby Olinda.


Recife has a tropical climate (As in Köppen climate classification), with warm to hot temperatures and high relative humidity throughout the year. However, these conditions are relieved by pleasant trade winds blowing in from the ocean. Under the Köppen climate classification, the city features a tropical monsoon climate. January and February are the warmest months, with mean temperatures ranging from 30 °C (86 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F), with sun; July is the cloudiest month, experiences the coolest temperatures, with mean temperatures ranging from 27 °C (81 °F) to 21 °C (70 °F), and is the wettest month, receiving an average of 388 mm (15.3 in) of rain. The driest and sunniest month is November, when maximum temperatures hover around 30 °C (86 °F) and an average of 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain is recorded.

Climate data for Recife

Record high °C (°F)33.1
Average high °C (°F)30.2
Daily mean °C (°F)26.5
Average low °C (°F)22.4
Record low °C (°F)16.8
Source: Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (INMET)


Due to the city's proximity to the equator, Recife weather is generally warm. Recife has a number of islands, rivers, waterways and bridges that crisscross the city. Recife is located amidst tropical forests which are distinguished by high rainfall levels resulting in poor soil quality as the rainfall washes away the nutrients. There is an absence of extreme temperatures and a cool breeze due to the trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean.


According to 2013 IBGE statistics, the GDP was at R$46,445,339,000. And the GDP per capita was at R$29,037.

Recife is one of Brazil's prime business centres, largely because it has one International Airport and two International ports. One is located in the town itself, and the other, the port of Suape, is located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) away. Just south of Recife is the region's main industrial area, where the following industries can be found: brewing and canning, shipbuilding, automotive, electronics, tube manufacturing, chocolate manufacturing, textiles, etc.

Recife has shared in the prosperity of Northeastern Brazil that resulted from development promoted after 1960 by Sudene (Superintendência para o Desenvolvimento do Nordeste), a federal organisation. Although its retail and wholesale trade have grown in response to the region's increases in population and wealth, the market area and the walkways of the city's bridges are crowded with vendors selling small items.

Information technology industry

Recife has an area dedicated to information technology called "Porto Digital" (Digital Port) with more than 90 companies and 3,000 High Tech Jobs. It was founded in July 2000 and has since attracted major investments. Generating some R$10 billion (Brazilian Reais) a year, it produces technology that is exported to United States, India, Japan, China, among other countries. Software manufacturing is the main activity in the Porto Digital. The Porto Digital cluster comprises small and medium companies, but multinationals like Accenture,Motorola, Samsung, Dell and Sun Microsystems are also installed in Porto Digital.IBM and Microsoft transferred their regional headquarters to Recife.

Porto Digital's startups can count on a ready pool of talent, courtesy of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America. The school began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (SUNW) Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Professors at the school also teamed up to launch Centro de Estudos e Sistemas Avançados do Recife (C.E.S.A.R), a business incubator that has played a vital role in the birth of some 30 companies.

Logistics hub

Due to its ports, airport, and geographic location in the northeastern region of Brazil, Recife is considered one of the biggest logistics hubs in Brazil. Logistic and Communications Economic sector employees 4% of the people in Recife, 12,3% in Jaboatão dos Guararapes and over 9% in the Metropolitan Area. These numbers could increase by the end of 2010 with the conclusion of the Transnordestina (main NE Trainline with a 1,800/1,118 km/mi extension, which will cross 3 and connect 7 States (34 municipalities in Pernambuco alone) products with Suape port (PE) and Pecem Port (CE)) with costs that are estimated to be around 4.5 R$.

Recife has historically benefited from its central location in the Northeast region. In a 200-mile (320 km) radius from Recife, it is possible to find four state capitals, two international and three regional airports, five international ports, 12 million people, 51% of the research centres of Northeast and 35% of the region's GDP. Similarly, in a 500-mile (800 km) radius there are seven state capitals, five international and five regional airports, nine international ports and two fluvial ports.

Shopping centers

Shopping Center Recife was inaugurated in 1980 and it was surpassed by Riomar Mall, which gross leasable area is 101.000, against 91.200 of Shopping Recife Mall.

Other shopping centres include:

  • Shopping Center Tacaruna. The first centre for purchases in the North/West zone of the Recife Metropolitan Region was inaugurated on April 29, 1997, with the intention of improving the economies the cities of Recife, Olinda, and Paulista.
  • Shopping Paço da Alfândega
  • Plaza Shopping Casa Forte was inaugurated in November 1998.
  • Shopping RioMar was inaugurated in 2012.


The city can be roughly divided in four major areas:

  • The Centro (Center) is composed of the neighborhoods of Recife Antigo (Old Recife), Santo Antônio, São José, Santo Amaro and Boa Vista, which are scattered through a couple of islands and part of the mainland. They are connected to each other by a series of bridges over the Capibaribe River. The Centro contains most of the historic and government buildings in the city. The port, located in Recife Antigo, was once the most active in all of the Americas.
  • Zona Sul (South Zone) is the most modern and touristic part of the city, as it was built around the beautiful natural reef beaches that gave the city its name (recife is Portuguese for reef). This area has a great many hotels, restaurants, and bars, as well as the airport and the largest shopping mall. Its most important neighborhood is Boa Viagem, set along the beautiful Boa Viagem beach. Because of the beach and the skyline Boa Viagem is also called theCopacabana of the North East.
  • Zona Oeste (West Zone) is by far the greenest part of the city. It contains remnants of the Atlantic Forest that once covered most of the Brazilian eastern coast. It contains two famous museums (Instituto Ricardo Brennand and Museu-Oficina Francisco Brennand), as well as the Federal University of Pernambuco, and the Recife Military school (2nd best school around all Brazil).
  • Zona Norte (North Zone) is mostly a residential area. Throughout the centuries, the neighborhoods along the Capibaribe River were home to the local aristocracy. It contains the city's best schools and hospitals, and is also famous for its parks and bars.

The term Grande Recife is used to describe the Metropolitan Region of Recife, the fifth largest urban agglomeration in Brazil (after São Paulo, Rio de Janeio Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre) and the single largest in the Northeast. Grande Recife offers superb touristic attractions both in Recife proper and outside the city limits. Do not miss Olinda or Porto de Galinhas. The first is famous for its natural setting, colonial architecture and carnaval, while the second has been consistently voted the best beach in Brazil. Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Itamaracá Island and Igarassu are known for their beautiful beaches and important historical monuments.

Prices in Recife



Milk1 liter$1.01
Tomatoes1 kg$2.50
Cheese0.5 kg$4.20
Apples1 kg$2.20
Oranges1 kg$0.80
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$1.25
Bottle of Wine1 bottle$9.00
Coca-Cola2 liters$
Bread1 piece$
Water1.5 l$1.05



Dinner (Low-range)for 2$12.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2$23.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2$
Mac Meal or similar1 meal$6.90
Water0.33 l$0.75
Cappuccino1 cup$1.80
Beer (Imported)0.33 l$2.80
Beer (domestic)0.5 l$1.60
Coca-Cola0.33 l$1.40
Coctail drink1 drink$8.00



Cinema2 tickets$0.37
Gym1 month$34.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut$
Theatar2 tickets$
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.$0.36
Pack of Marlboro1 pack$2.40



Antibiotics1 pack$
Tampons32 pieces$
Deodorant50 ml.$
Shampoo400 ml.$
Toilet paper4 rolls$
Toothpaste1 tube$



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)$
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)$
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1$
Leather shoes1$



Gasoline1 liter$1.15
Taxi1 km$0.75
Local Transport1 ticket$0.90

Tourist (Backpacker)  

39 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

107 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Recife's modern Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport (REC) is efficient, user-friendly and close to the city. There are direct scheduled flights to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,Brasília, Campinas, Caruaru,Belo Horizonte, Salvador,Fernando de Noronha,Fortaleza, Maceió, Natal,João Pessoa, Aracaju,Petrolina, Campina Grande, Juazeiro do Norte, as well as to Buenos Aires, Frankfurt (Condor), Madrid (Iberia), Miami (American Airlines), Lisbon (TAP), Madrid, Oporto and Paris. There are also regular charter flights from other European cities, such as Milan, Helsinki and Amsterdam.

Domestic airlines operating regular scheduled flights to Recife: Azul, Avianca Brasil , GOL, Noar, Pantanal, TAM, TRIP, VARIG and WebJet.

From the airport

  • MetroRec Subway has an Aeroporto stop on its southern line which will take you directly downtown.
  • Bus 033 (Aeroporto) goes every 20 minutes to Boa Viagem (15 min) and to the city center (Av. Dantas Barreto, 30 min). You can also take the Aeroporto opcional which is a little bit faster. Stop in front of the airport building.
  • Bus 161 (Brigadeiro Ivo Borges) and Bus 163 (Cajueiro Seco) also go to the city center. Stop on the other side of the street opposite the airport building.
  • Taxis from the airport to Boa Viagem cost about R$10, to the city center R$20 to 25 and to Olinda R$ 40 (2011), airport taxis are more expensive.

Transportation - Get In

By car

  • BR-101, also known as the Translitoranean, connects to the north with Natal and João Pessoa, and to the south with Maceió, Aracaju, and Salvador, as well as Vitória and Rio de Janeiro further down the coast.
  • BR-232 runs east-west across most of Pernambuco, connecting Recife withGravatá, Caruaru and a number of other destinations.
  • BR-408 connects Recife with Tracunhaém and with Campina Grande,Paraíba.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

Terminal Integrado de Passageiros (TIP), Rod BR 232 - Coqueiral,  +55 81 3452-1999. Recife's long-distance bus terminal is way out in the suburbs. TIP is connected to the city by the MetroRec subway at the Rodoviária station on the Centro 1 line, around 15 minutes from downtown. Bus companies have booths at the Central MetroRec station in town, so at least you do not have to trek out just to buy advance bus tickets.

Direct buses to all Northeast and many other capital cities:

  • To Fortaleza by Guanabara, R$ 120-250, 12 hours.
  • To Natal by Progresso, R$ 42-60, 4,5 hours.
  • Hourly to João Pessoa

Transportation - Get In

By boat

You can arrive in cruise ships at the Port of Recife . Cruises may come from other Brazilian states, from other countries in South America and the Caribbean, or from Europe. Transatlantic cruise liners include Holland America Line ms Rotterdam , Holland America Line ms Prisendam , Oceania Cruises Insignia, SeaDream Yacht Club, Royal Caribbean International Splendour of the Sea, P&O Cruises Artemis, Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth II, among others. Cruises from Recife to the Fernando de Noronha archipelago are also available.

Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

Buses are the most useful form of mass transportation. The Sistema Estrutural Integrado (Integrated Structural System) [www], known as SEI, has 119 bus lines which are integrated with the subway system at 13 points throughout the metropolitan area.

Transportation - Get Around

By Taxi

Taxi is the best bet. Look for registered taxi companies which charge standard rates. Ask for a car with air conditioning (especially in the summer).

  • Coopetáxi,  +55 81 3224-8441
  • Disk Táxi,  +55 81 3224-5410
  • Ligue Táxi, +55 81 3228-6830
  • RádioTáxi Recife,  +55 81 3222-6580
  • Recife Táxi,  +55 81 3424-3020
  • TeleTáxi,  +55 81 2121-4242

Transportation - Get Around

By subway

MetroRec , Recife's subway system, is the third largest in Brazil, although it still covers only limited areas of the city. 13 of the 28 stations have connections to the SEI metro bus system and, depending on your destination, it may be possible to purchase a single combination subway/bus ticket. MetroRec has three basic lines:

  • Two Central lines run together from downtown to the west, where they split after Coqueiral station and go to Jaboatão dos Guararapes and Camaragibe respectively. It does provide a useful link between the city center and the TIP Bus Station in the outskirts, at the penultimate stop on the Camaragibe (Centro 1) line.
  • A new South line provides direct access to the airport and Shopping Center Recife on its way to Cajueiro Seco.







  • Casa de CulturaRue Floriano Peixoto, Santo Antonio (opposite the old Central Train Station (now Train Museum)). mon to Sat 9AM to 7PM, Sun 9AM to 2PM. Once the city prison, it is now a warren of small shops (one in each cell) selling regional arts and crafts.
  • Domingo na RuaRua Bom Jesus. Sun 2 to 10PM. Sunday market
  • Mercado de São José (São José Market), 1871 project of architect J. Louis Liethier and engineer Louis Léger Vauthier. Iron structure was inspired in the Grenelle Market in Paris, France. Historically, the market played an important role as a meeting place for street magicians, musicians, acrobats and the like. You can still find traditional handicrafts, regional food, medicinal herbs and Cordel Literature.
  • Paço AlfândegaRua de Alfandega 35, Recife Antigo. Mon to Sat 10AM to 10PM, Sun noon-8PM. A visit to Paço Alfândega is highly recommended. Paço Alfândega (Customs' Palace in Portuguese) is a comfortable, modern shopping mall set in the renovated structure of a colonial customs house building from the early 1700s, during which Recife was the largest port in the Americas. There is a permanent historic exhibition on the history of Recife and the customs building. The mall also houses one of Recife's main nightclubs and some good restaurants. You can have a good view of the Capibaribe River and its bridges from the main terrace. Next door, you can visit the wonderful Livraria Cultura bookstore.
  • Plaza Casa ForteRua Dr. João Santos Filho, 255 - Casa Forte,  +55 81 3265-8100. Mon-Sat 10AM-10PM, Sun 12-8PM. Western-style shopping mall.
  • Shopping Boa VistaRua do Giriquiti, 48 - Boa Vista,  +55 81 3423-5666. Mon-Sat 9AM-9PM, Sun 11AM-7PM.
  • Shopping Center GuararapesAv. Barreto de Menezes, 800 - Piedade,  +55 81 2122-2211. Mon-Sat 9AM-10PM, Sun 12-8PM.
  • Shopping Center RecifeR. Pe. Carapuceiro, 777 - Boa Viagem,  +55 81 3464-6000. Mon-Sat 10AM-10PM, Sun 12-9PM. Among the largest shopping malls in Brazil.
  • Shopping Center TacarunaAv. Gov. Agamenon Magalhães 153 - Santo Amaro,  +55 81 3412-6000. Mon-Sat 9AM-10PM, Sun 12-8PM.


Local specialties

Pernambuco has a multicultural gastronomy with African and indigenous influences, among others. The national dish Feijoada (a stew of beans, pork and beef, served with rice and Farofa) is not very popular in Recife. On the other hand some ingredients which are widely used in Recife are hardly found in the South of Brazil, as manioc flour (which is the main ingredient of tapioca), cuscuz (corn flour). pumpkin, jerked beef, goat or lamb. Seafood is exotic and delicious. The regional food has some peculiarities like Carne de Sol and buchada, a dish prepared with the stomach of billy goat.

  • Recife is the birthplace of two traditional and delicious cakes Bolo de Roloand Bolo Sousa Leão.
  • Do try the snacks on offer from beach vendors---little chicken and beef kebabs, oysters, prawns, and grilled cheese. Just be aware that some of the vendors may have been carrying them around for hours--if it doesn't look fresh, it probably isn't.
  • A must try is Caldinho: a soup served all over the place (restaurants, dedicated carts and people with flasks selling it on the beach). Comes in a variety of flavors from black bean to shrimp. The person selling it will say "completa" when you order it. This simply means "complete", and if you say yes at this point you get a few added extras, such as a small boiled egg put into the cup of hot soup.


Recife is the gastronomic capital of the Northeast. There are more high-quality restaurants here than in any other city in Brazil north of Rio de Janeiro.


  • Chica PitangaRua Petrolina, 19 - Boa Viagem,  +55 91 3465-2224. Mon-Fri 11:30AM-3:30PM and 6-10PM, Sat 11:30AM-4PM and 6-10PM, Sun 11:30AM-4PM. Per-kilo restaurant with regional foods.
  • Creperia Anjo Solto (Galeria Joana D'Arc, shop 14). Wed-Thu 7PM-4AM, Fri-Sat 9PM-4AM, Sun 7PM-1AM. Crepes both savory and sweet, plus drinks. Note the very late hours.
  • Papaya VerdeRua Padre Bernardino Pessoa, 287 - Boa Viagem,  +55 81 3325-2242. Daily 11:30AM-3PM. Self-service Middle Eastern food.


  • BargaçoAvenida Boa Viagem, 670, Boa Viagem,  +55 81 3465-1847. Sun to Thu noon to midnight, Fri to Sat noon to 1AM. Bargaço is considered the best fish and seafood restaurant in Recife. A typical speciality of the restaurant is the moqueca, pieces of fish or shrimp stewed with vegetables and coconut milk.
  • Buraco da OtíliaRua da Aurora, 1231,  +55 81 3231-1528. A traditional restaurant. Specialty is galinha a cabidela (chicken boiled in its own blood) which is a very common dish in Recife.
  • Carne-de-Sol do CunhaRua Rigueira Costa, 80 - Rosarinho (Zona Norte),  +55 81 3241-6512. A local favorite. It offers traditional Pernambucan food, such as buchada, as well as other regional dishes. Large portions for the price.
  • ParraxaxáRua Baltazar Pereira, 32 - Boa Viagem,  +55 81 3463-7874. This Northeast-themed restaurant offers all the traditional regional cuisine. The staff are dressed as either police or outlaws. With its festive decor, the restaurant is a fun way to enjoy a meal.Famous for it´s "Pernambuco Breakfast" (Café da manhã pernambucano). Some young people go there for breakfast after a night out.
  • Pomodoro CaféRua Capitão Rebelinho, 418 - Pina,  +55 81 3326-6602. Italian cuisine.
  • PorcãoAvenida Engenheiro Domingos Ferreira, 4215, Boa Viagem+55 81 3465-3999. Sun, Tue to Thu noon to 0:30am; Fri to Sat: noon until the last client leaves, Mon closed. Porcão is referred to as the best churrasco restaurant in Recife. It has branches in Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and Miami and offers pick up service from major hotels in Recife
  • Quina do FuturoRua Xavier Marques, 134 - Aflitos (at the corner with Rua do Futuro),  +55 81 3241-9589. Japanese cuisine.
  • Recanto do PicuíPraca do Derby, 253,  +55 81 3423-5188. The specialty of Recanto do Picuí is jerked beef, Recife style.
  • Tio PepeRua Almirante Tamandaré 170 - Boa Viagem,  +55 81 3341-7153. Tue-Sat 11:30AM-11:30PM, Sun 11:30AM-4PM.


  • AssucarRua da Alfândega, 35 - Recife Antigo (Paço Alfândega Shopping Mall, 4th floor),  +55 81 3419-7582. Gorgeous views of the Capibaribe River. The menu is filled with classic and contemporary northeastern cuisine.
  • LeitePraça Joaquim Nabuco, 147, Santo Antônio,  +55 81 3224-7977. Sun - Fri: 11:30AM-4PM. Open since 1882, it is Recife's most traditional Portuguese restaurant. The restaurant was named after its founder, Armando Manoel Leite da França, a Portuguese immigrant, who established a small kiosk in 1882. Leite has a large menu ranging from decadent entrees to delicious deserts. The restaurant mainly serves Portuguese dishes. Try the giant shrimp grilled on butter or a regional dessert called carola, banana topped with cheese and baked with sugar and cinnamon.
  • MingusRua Atlantico 102 - Boa Viagem. This modern restaurant offers patrons a variety of dishes and regional wines. Mingus delights its diners with fine cuisine along with relaxing jazz harmonies.
  • Ponte NovaRua Bruno Veloso, 528 - Boa Viagem,  +55 81 3327-7226. Ponte Nova serves contemporary, French-influenced, regional cuisine. Adding to its reputation as one of the best restaurants in town, Chef Joca Pontes was voted 2007's best chef by Veja Magazine. This restaurant will surely impress those who dine here.

Beach food

Fancy sitting around all day on the beach under a beach umbrella? Well, you can! The chairs and the guy that moves the umbrella are free. All they ask in return is that you buy your food and drink from them.

They all carry a menu and the food arrives quickly and freshly made on the beach. Try the seafood. The fish is usually caught locally and earlier that same day.

Apart from your own vendor, there will be a variety of vendors walking up and down the beach, selling a variety of things. Learning the language for these items is useful but unnecessary as the vendor will take the time to show you what he/she has on offer.

  • Prawns (Camarao) - Be careful of the prawns-- smell them before purchase. A free sample is available with the word prova. They might have been walked up and down the beach for hours in the hot sun. A quick sniff is enough to tell you if they are fresh or not. If you decide to eat them, here is a quick tip: hold the tail of the prawn, tear off and discard the head and leg sections, hold the very tip of the tail, pop the rest in your mouth and bite off the tip leaving it in your fingers. Yes, you can eat the shell; peel it if you wish, but you will not see the locals doing this.
  • Oysters (Ostra) - Vendors will be carrying a bucket full of ice and live oysters. They are prepared for you one at a time. Served with a squeeze of lime, salt and cumin powder.
  • Crab - They do not come prepared, so unless you know which bits to eat and which bits to discard, steer clear!
  • Grilled cheese (Queijo de Coalho) - No warnings here--just go ahead and enjoy. It's a real treat.
  • Kebabs (Espetinhos) - Grilled chicken or beef. Cooked fresh right in front of you.
  • Ice-cream - The prices are a lot more expensive than just off the beach. But you don't have to get out of your chair. In that heat, you will appreciate that.
  • Caldinho - you will notice guys walking up and down the beach with flasks. These are full of different flavors of a soup called caldinho. Try prawn one with hot pepper sauce.
  • Ovos de codorna - Small boiled quail eggs ready to peel salt and eat.
  • Nuts - A variety of nuts is available, cashew being the most obvious because it is grown right there in northeastern Brazil. Also, peanuts in 2 varieties: roasted or boiled.

Sights & Landmarks


  • Convento Franciscano de Santo Antônio (Franciscan Convent of Saint Anthony)Rua Imperador Pedro II, Santo Antônio, (Centro). Mon to Fri 8 to 11:30AM, 2 to 5PM, Sat 8 to 11:30AM. One of the city's biggest attractions, a convent containing the ostentatious Capela Dourada (Golden Chapel), which certainly lives up to its name. Built in 1588, it is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Brazil. Altar with gold-covered engravings, beautiful paintings on the ceiling and impressive amount of Portuguese-style tiled panels. This is one of the main sights in Recife. The interior of Jacaranda and ceder wood is completely covered with gold. You will find similar churches full of splendour only in Salvador da Bahia or Ouro Preto.

The convent also houses the Museu Franciscano de Arte Sagrada(Franciscan Museum of Sacred Art). R$2.

  • Madre de Deus (Mother of God), Rua Madre de Deus, Recife Antigo (Centro) (next-door to the Paço Alfândega Shopping Mall),  +55 81 3224-5587. Tue-Fri 8AM-noon and 2PM-5PM, Sat-Sun 9AM-noon
  • Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Carmel Basilica and Convent), Avenida Dantas Barreto - Santo Antônio (Centro). Mon-Fri 7AM-7PM, Sat 7AM-noon, Sun 8AM-noon and 6PM-9PM. Built between 1710-1767, where the Boa Vista Palace built by the Dutch governor of Northeastern Brazil once stood. A religious art collection can also be visited. Baroque in style; altar with gold engravings and crowns of gold and precious stones. One of the rooms is covered with Portuguese tiles.
  • Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao dos Militares (Our Lady of the Conception of the Military), Rua Nova, 309, Santo Antônio (Centro),  +55 81 3224-3106. Built in 1726. The 1781 ceiling paintings depict the Guararapes Battle against the Dutch. Leaders from the Praieira Revolution and the Paraguay War are buried in the church. The church also houses the Museu de Arte Sacra Padre Roberto Barbalho (Father Roberto Barbalho Museum of Sacred Art).
  • Nossa Senhora do PilarPraça Monsenhor João Castilho Barbosa, (Centro),  +55 31 3551-4736. Constructed in 1680.
  • Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos (Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black Men), Rua Estreita do Rosário, Santo Antônio (Centro). Mon-Fri 9AM-1:30PM and 2:30PM-6PM, Sat 8AM-noon. Erected by African-Brazilian slaves in the 17th century. Main wooden altar engraved in gold; lateral altars display images from the 18th century.
  • Santa Cruz (Holy Cross), Pátio de Santa Cruz, Boa Vista (Centro). Built between 1725 and 1732. Parts of the movie Lisbela e o Prisioneiro (2003) were shot in the square in front of the church.
  • Santíssimo Sacramento - Matriz de Santo Antônio (Holy Sacrament - Saint Anthony Mother Church), Praça da Independência - Santo Antônio (Centro). Daily 7AM-noon and 2PM-6PM. Built between 1753 and 1790, the church is in manueline/baroque style. Interior decorated with enormous crystal chandelier and images of Saint Anthony and Saint Sebastian.
  • São Pedro dos Clérigos (Saint Peter of Clerics Cathedral), Pátio de São José - Centro. Built between 1728 and 1782, the cathedral is in the charming Saint Peter Square, surrounded by colorful colonial buildings. It is a replica of the Santa Maria Maggiore Sanctuary in Rome. Rosewood altar; pulpit engraved in gold; wooden ceiling sculpted with images of Saint Peter, the twelve apostles and the evangelists. Blend of baroque art, 16th century mannerism, as well as rococo and neoclassic elements.

Other Historic Buildings

  • Benfica Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Benfica), Rua Benfica, 157, Madalena (Zona Norte),  +55 81 3227-0657. Mon-Fri, 9AM-noon and 2PM-5PM. The center specializes in the "Armorial" Movement and also holds a significant portion of the pieces from the old Fine Arts School.
  • Joaquim Nabuco HouseRua da Imperatriz, 147 - Santo Antônio (Centro). House were 19th century politician, abolitionist and author Joaquim Nabuco was born.
  • Joaquim Nabuco Palace (Assembléia Legislativa do Estado de Pernambuco), Rua da União, 439 - Boa Vista (Centro),  +55 81 3217-2211. Seat of the Pernambuco State Legislature, built in 1874. A historical documents collection can be visited in the annex building.
  • Justice Palace (Palácio da Justiça), Praça da República - Santo Antônio (Centro),  +55 81 3419-3311. Seat of the Pernambuco State Judiciary, built in 1930.
  • Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue (Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel), Rua do Bom Jesus - Recife Antigo. Built in and used by some of the thousands of Sephardic Jews who immigrated here during the brief period Dutch domination between 1630 and 1657. The oldest synagogue in the Americas.
  • Malakoff Tower Cultural Obseratory (Torre Malakoff), Rua do Observatório, Recife Antigo (Centro),  +55 81 3424-8704. Tue-Fri 10AM-8PM, Sat 2PM-8PM, Sun 2PM-7PM. Built in 1853. Beautiful tower in the port front. Functions as an astronomic observatory and arts and science center.
  • Parque Theater (Teatro do Parque), Rua do Hospício, 81 - Boa Vista (Centro),  +55 81 3423-6044. Constructed in 1915, Parque Theater is one of the three oldest, historic theaters in Recife. Modern and traditional plays from Spanish and Portuguese playwrights of the 17th-21st centuries are performed at the theater. Next door is the Cineteatro do Parque, Recife's oldest cinemas. Because Recife's municipal government, tickets are subsidized and cost only pennies!
  • Pernambucan School (Ginásio Pernambucano), Rua da Aurora, 703, Boa Vista, (Centro) (next door to the State Assembly and Manuel Bandeira's House). Built in the second quarter of the 19th century, it is one of Brazil's oldest secondary schools. The school's Louis Jacques Brunet Natural History Museum was one of the first in Latin America. Father Carapuceiro, Barbosa Lima Sobrinho, Epitácio Pessoa and Ariano Suassuna were either teachers or students here. The school was visited by Emperor Dom Pedro II.
  • Portuguese Reading Room (Gabinete Português de Leitura), Rua do Imperador, 290 - Santo Antônio (Centro),  +55 81 3224-2593. Mon-Fri 8AM-noon and 1PM-5PM. Built in 1850.
  • Princesses' Field Palace (Palácio do Campo das Princesas), Praça da República - Santo Antônio (Centro),  +55 81 3425-2124. The state governor's Palace, built in 1841. The name of the building derives from the fact that the daughters of Emperor Dom Pedro II used to play in the palace's gardens.
  • Santa Isabel Theater (Teatro Santa Isabel), Praça da República - Santo Antônio (Centro). One of Brazil's finest theaters. Built in 1850.


  • Parque 13 de Maio (May 13th Park), Praça Dr.Adolfo Cirne - Boa Vista. The largest green area in central Recife, with playground equipment, a petting zoo, and illuminated fountains. 24-hour security. Free.
  • Parque Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Park), Praça Farias Neves, no number - Dois Irmãos,  +55 81 3183-5539, e-mail: . Tue-Sun 8AM-4PM. A zoo and botanical garden park, with 387 hectares of Atlantic Forest and 14 hectares of botanical gardens. The zoo has around 800 types of animals. The grounds also hold the Natural Science Museum and a number of ecological trails.R$2.
  • Parque da Jaqueira (Jaqueira Park), Av. Rui Barbosa - Jaqueira. This park is popular for jogging. It also has bicycle trails, plus live music on Sundays.Free.

Museums & Galleries

Museums (Historic Interest)

  • Abolition Museum(Museu da Abolição), Rua Benfica, 1150 - Madalena (Zona Norte),  +55 81 3228-3248. Museum that covers the period of slavery and the abolitionist movement in XIX century Brazil. Former plantation house. Former residence of Counsellor Joao Alfredo, leader of Brazil's abolitionist movement in the 19th century.
  • Casa Manuel Bandeira/Espaço PasárgadaRua da União, 26 - Boa Vista (Centro) (next door to Joaquim Nabuco Palace and Pernambucan School),  +55 81 3231-3994. Mon-Fri 8AM-6PM. House were the acclaimed poet Manuel Bandeira spent his childhood.
  • Casa-Museu Gilberto FreyreRua Jorge Tasso Neto - Apipucos (Zona Norte),  +55 81 3441-1733. Mon-Fri 9AM-4:30PM. Beautiful house where once lived Brazil's greatest sociologist, Gilberto Freyre.
  • Military Museum Brum Fortress (Museu Militar Forte do Brum), Praça da Comunidade Luso-Brasileira - Recife Antigo (Centro),  +55 81 3224-7559.
  • Museum of the Archeological, Historic and Geographic Insitute of Pernambuco (Museu do Instituto Arqueológico, Histórico e Geográfico de Pernambuco), Rua do Hospício , 130 - Boa Vista (Centro),  +55 81 3222-4952. Mon-Fri 1PM-5PM, Sat 8AM-noon.
  • Museum of Archeology of the Catholic University of Pernambuco(Museu de Arqueologia da Universidade Católica de Pernambuco), Rua do Príncipe, 526, Bl G, 1° Andar - Boa vista (Centro),  +55 81 3216-4192. Archeological museum focused on indigenous artifacts. Located at the Catholic University of Pernambuco.
  • Museum of Natural History Louis Jacques Viget (Museu de História Natural Louis Jacques Brunet), Rua da Aurora - Boa Vista (Centro),  +55 81 3303-5315. Created in 1861, it is one of the first natural history museums in Latin America. Located at Ginásio Pernambucano. Collection spans archeology, botany, geology and zoology.
  • Museum of the Northeastern Man (Museu do Homem do Nordeste), Avenida 17 de Agosto, 2187, Casa Forte (Zona Norte) (take the),  +55 81 3441-5500. Tue to Fri 8:30AM to 5PM, Sat, Sun 1 to 5PM, closed Jan1, Carnaval, Mar6, Good Friday, Jun24, Dec25. Part of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco. This fantastic museum depicts the various folk arts, traditions, and history of Northeast Brazil. The displays are divided among three sections, focusing on sugar, folk arts, and anthropology. It's located in the suburbs, but well worth the ride out.
  • Recife City Museum (Museu da Cidade do Recife), Forte das Cinco Pontas - São José (Centro),  +55 81 3224-8492. Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM, Sat-Sun 1PM-5PM. Located inside the 17th-century Cinco Pontas Fortress.
  • Ricardo Brennand InstituteAlameda Antônio Brennand - Várzea (Zona Oeste),  +55 81 2121-0352. Tue-Sun 1PM-5PM. Holds a very impressive collection of Brazilian and European historical artifacts from the 15th to 19th centuries. Special attention given to the period of Dutch occupation in Recife and Northeastern Brazil.
  • Train Museum (Museu do Trêm), Praça Visconde de Mauá - São José (Centro) (in the central station, Estação Central),  +55 81 3224-4620. Mon-Thu 1PM-6PM, Fri 8AM-noon. The Train Museum is in the old Central Train Station, which now also serves as the central station for MetroREC, Recife's subway system.
  • Value Museum (Museu de Valores), Rua da Aurora, 1259 - Santo Amaro (Centro),  0800-992-345. Mon-Fri 9AM-4PM. Museum of by the local representation of the Central Bank of Brazil. Holds more than 7,000 historic coins from Brazil and abroad, historic maps and artifacts found during excavations at Fort Orange, in nearby Itamaracá Island.

Museums (Art & Folklore)

  • Casa do CarnavalPátio de São Pedro, 52 - São José (Centro),  +55 81 3224-1103. Mon-Fri 9AM-5:30PM.
  • MAMAM at the Courtyard (MAMAM no Pátio), Pátio de São Pedro, 17 - São José (Centro),  +55 81 3232-2844. Unit of the Aloísio Magalhães Modern Art Museum (MAMAM) at the São Pedro Courtyard. Experimental space for visual arts and critical reflection concerning contemporary development in these arts. Short term exhibitions, performance art, workshops, debates.
  • Museu de Arte PopularPátio de São Pedro, 11 - São José (Centro).
  • Museu de Arte Sacra Padre Roberto BarbalhoRua Nova, 309 - Santo Antônio (Centro),  +55 81 3224-3106. Located at Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao dos Militares Church, the museum contains religious artifacts.
  • Museu Franciscano de Arte SacraRua Imperador Pedro II - Santo Antônio (Centro) (at Santo Antônio de São Francisco Convent).
  • Museu Murillo La GrecaRua Leonardo Bezerra Cavalcanti, 366 - Parnamirim (Zona Norte),  +55 81 3232-4276. Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM. More than 1,400 drawings and 160 paintings by paintor Murillo La Greca.
  • Museu-Oficina Francisco BrennandPropriedade Santos Cosme e Damião - Cordeiro (Zona Oeste) (near Avenida Caxangá and Rua Gastão Vidigal). Great ceramic art in a bucolic area of the city surrounded by forest.
  • Parque das Escultura (take a canoe ride from Praça do Marco Zero, in Recife Antigo (Centro). Alternatively, drive through Brasília Teimosa (Zona Sul)). A sculpture park on the reefs of the port of Recife. Contains more than 90 sculptures by Francisco Brennand, including a 30 meter high tower.
  • Pernambuco Image and Sound Museum (Museu da Imagem e do Som de Pernambuco - MISPE), Rua da Aurora - Boa Vista,  +55 81 3231-2716. Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat-Sun 1PM-5PM. Holds more than 6,000 pieces, including movies, records, photographs, postcards and the like. Uses modern audivisual techniques to document Pernambuco's culture.

Things to do

  • Maracatu Rehearsals (ensaios de maracatu). Some of the most traditional maracatu groups include: Leão Coroado (since 1863), Estrela Brilhante do Recife (since 1909), Porto Rico (since 1916), Cambinda Estrela do Recife (since 1935), and Elefante, among others.
  • Catamaran Rides in the Capibaribe River (Catamaran Tours, Cais das Cinco Pontas), Avenida Sul, São José (Centro),  +55 81 3424-2845, +55 81 9973-4077. 4PM and 8PM daily. Tour lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes.RS30.
  • Scuba diving. Recife is known as Brazil's shipwreck capital: more than 100 ships have sunk in the coast around the city, 15 of which are accessible to tourists. Together with the natural coral reefs, they make the coast of Recife a great spot for scuba diving.
  • Volleyball and footvolley at Boa Viagem beach. The latter was first developed into a sport in the sands of Recife, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s.
  • Panorama flight (NVO Táxi Aéreo, Aeroclube de Pernambuco),  +55 81 3325-0191. R$150 to 300.


Recife is the third largest theater production center in Brazil, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The most traditional theater is Teatro Santa Isabel, while the most modern is the one at Convention Center of the Federal University of Pernambuco.

  • Santa Isabel Theater. Praça da República, Santo Antônio (Centro).
  • Universidade Federal de Pernambuco Theater. UFPE Campus, Cidade Universitária (Zona Oeste).
  • Valdemar de Oliveira Theater,  +55 81 3222-1284. Praça Oswaldo Cruz, 412, Boa Vista (Centro).
  • Teatro Barreto JúniorRua Estudante Jeremias Bastos, 121 (Zona Sul), +55 81 3326-4177. Pina,
  • Teatro ApoloRua do Apolo, 121,  +55 81 3224-1114. Recife Antigo (Centro),
  • Teatro SESC Casa Amarela (Teatro Capiba),  +55 81 3441-8900. Rua Professor José dos Anjos, 1109, Casa Amarela (Zona Norte),
  • Teatro SESC Santo Amaro,  +55 81 3216-1616. Rua Marques do Pombal, Santo Amaro (Centro),
  • Teatro Hermilo Borba FilhoRua do Apolo, 121,  +55 81 3424-5429. Recife Antigo (Centro),
  • Teatro Armazém 14,  +55 81 3424-5613. Rua Alfredo Lisboa, Cais do Porto, Recife Antigo (Centro),

Smaller Theaters:

  • Teatro Clênio Vanderley,  +55 81 3224-2850. Rua Floriano Peixoto São José (Centro), at Casa da Cultura,
  • Teatro da RibaltaRua das Pernambucanas, 65,   +55 81 3231-4884. Graças (Zona Norte),
  • Teatro Joaquim CardozoRua Benfica, 157,   +55 81 3227-0657. Madalena (Centro),
  • Teatro Maurício de NassauRua Vigário Tenório, 135/143,   +55 81 3224-8790. Recife Antigo (Centro)



Soccer teams from Recife participate in the A-Series (First Division) Brazilian Championship, the Brazil Cup, Pernambucan Championship, and the Copa Libertadores da América.

The three most traditional teams are Clube Nautico Capibaribe [www] (home: Aflitos Stadium); Sport Clube do Recife [www] (home: Ilha do Retiro Stadium); and Santa Cruz Futebol Clube [www] (home: Arruda Stadium). Nautico and Sport are currently in the A-Series Brazilian Champsionship. Santa Cruz is in the C-Series.

Recife is home to internationally famous soccer players including Juninho Pernambucano, Rivaldo, Ricardo Rocha and Vavá.

Roller hockey

The city of Recife is home to some of Brazil's top roller hockey teams: Clube Portugues do Recife, Clube Nautico Capibaribe , Sport Clube do Recife and Associacão Amigos do Minho do Recife. Both Clube Portugues and Sport have been national champions.

Festivals and events

  • Recife's Carnaval is one of the country's busiest. Very different from its carioca counterpart, in Recife street shows and parades play contagious rhythms like frevo and maracatu, attracting more than 1.6 million people to celebrate and dance on the streets every year. Apart from frevo and maracatu, two other cultural manifestations that are typical of Pernambucan Carnaval include bumba-meu-boi and caboclinho. Recife's Carnaval is known for being multicultural, as people from different cultures, ages and likes gather around to be part of one of the biggest carnavals of the world.
  • Festival de São João. June. Yearly celebration of nordestino culture, with loads of traditional music and food.



There are many many bars in Recife, most, if not all, serving food as well as drinks. The prices are cheap, ranging from R$2.50 to R$4 for a 600 ml bottle of cerveja, a lager style beer.

At the less classy end of the market, there are some great bars. They don't have great signage to tell you that it's a bar. Basically, if you see some plastic garden furniture in the street, you are looking at a bar. These are usually the most fun places with the loudest people and the best vibe. Be careful of the ice in places like this as it might not be made from bottled water. It also helps to have a good constitution of you are going to eat in these bars.

  • There are huts selling food, beer, and the like about every half kilometer in the center of Boa Viagem beach.
  • Warning: It might not be safe to walk to and from all these nightspots. Ask around, and take a cab to escape muggings.

There are bars of varying quality up and down the streets of Recife. A few good picks include the following:

  • Bar CentralRua Mamede Simões 144 - Boa Vista,  +55 81 3222-7622. Mon-Fri 12-2AM, Sat 8PM-2AM, Sun closed. A lively and fun place more upmarket than most. The bar attracts a diverse crowd, ranging from writers to musician. Bar Central is also queer-friendly and very famous with indie kids.
  • BirutaRua Bem-Te-Vi, 15 - Pina (Zona Sul)+55 81 3326-5151. A lovely bar on the north end of the beach that gets a great sea breeze all evening. Get there early to get a table with a view.
  • Downtown Pub, Rua Vigário Tenório, 105 - Recife Antigo,  +55 81 3424-6317, e-mail: . This British pub-inspired bar puts on live music shows and is self-entitled "House of Rock". If you like "Heavy Metal", watch out, there might be a concert over there.
  • Entre AmigosRua Marquês de Valença, 30 - Boa Viagem+55 81 3312-1000. A bar restaurant with 2 names and 3 seating areas, one of which has air conditioning. Situated in downtown Boa Viagem and a 5 minute walk from the beach. A great place to watch the football or soak up the lively atmosphere of the very busy bar, it has a great buffet for lunch or you can eat à la carte.
  • Guaiamum GiganteRua Dr. José de Góes, Parnamirim,  +55 81 3441-1509. This bar-restaurant seats up to 600 people. Although it may not be too pleasing to the eyes, Guaiamum Gigante serves great portions of delicious seafood for a relatively low price. This is a nice place to go on Sundays!

Dance clubs

  • Depois Dancing BarRua Rio Branco, 66 - Recife Antigo.
  • MetrópoleRua das Ninfas, 125 - Boa Vista,  +55 81 3423-0123. GLS danceclub.
  • OverPointRua da Alfândega, 35 - Recife Antigo+55 81 3305-5777
  • Sala de RebocoRua Gregório Júnior, 264 - Cordeiro,  +55 81 3228-7052. Specializing in forró.

Safety in Recife

Stay Safe

Stay safe

Recife's reputation for safety is not one of the best. Robberies on streets and buses are fairly common. Do not be alarmed — odds are you will have a fabulous time here — but be aware of your surroundings and take the usual big city precautions.

  • While entering or leaving Olinda at dusk or dawn, you have an elevated risk of being ambushed. Taxis are recommended.
  • Beware of the unlicensed guides. Make sure you have the travel itinerary planned out and a price (including meals, fuel, etc.) agreed upon before starting out.
  • Watch out for shark warnings before entering the water at the Boa Viagem beach.
  • If you are carrying notes of 50 or 100 reais, be sure to tell the taxi driver before you get in because he might not have change. Some taxi drivers might not know how to get to where you are going, so make sure that you have the address written down. If you are a woman traveling alone, sit in the back as some drivers may try to take advantage of the situation.
  • Avoid Recife's downtown on Sundays. Streets are deserted all day long and are very unsafe. Consider taking a tour to a neighboring city or beach instead.

Stay healthy


  • Hospital Santa JoanaR. Joaqum Nabuco 200, Gracas+55 81 3421-3666
  • Real Hospital PortuguesAv. Cons. Aguiar 147, Boa Viagem,   +55 81 3416-1800.
  • UnicordisAv. Cons. Aguiar 1980, Boa Viagem,   +55 81 3326-5237.equipped for cardiac emergencies
  • UnicordisAv. Cons. Rosa de Silva 258, Aflitos,   +55 81 3421-1000

Low / 3.0

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Very Low / 1.5

Safety (Walking alone - night)