RecifeBrazil

Image for Tamandare which includes tropical scenes, a beach and general coastal views

Visit Recife

Admire the fading grander of a historic old town and then explore sweeping beaches in the capital of Brazil’s Pernambuco state.

Recife, located on Brazil’s northeast coast, is a bustling port city famous for its beaches, colonial architecture and nightlife. It’s also the host of one of the most popular carnival celebrations outside of Rio de Janeiro. Often called the Venice of Brazil, Recife spreads across peninsulas and islands intersected by canals and rivers. It takes its name from the Portuguese word for reef, a reference to the reefs that shelter the city’s shoreline.

Start your visit in Old Recife (Recife Antigo), the Dutch-built historic center that sits on its own island. Marco Zero, in Praça Rio Branco, marks the spot where Portuguese settlers founded the city in 1537. Admire pastel-colored landmarks while strolling along Rua do Bom Jesus. One example is the Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue, believed to be the oldest synagogue in the Americas. Mingle in the bars and restaurants set around Praça Artur Oscar.

Cross the bridge to Sant Antonio island, another Dutch-influenced district. Here, the Capela Dourada, Concatedral of St. Peter of Clerics and Palácio da Justiça are all worth visiting. Browse exhibitions on the city’s long history at City of Recife Museum, housed in the 17th-century Fort of Five Points. Attend a classical music concert at Teatro de Santa Isabel. Stop for a drink in one of the bars at Pátio de São Pedro.

Recife has many fine beaches to enjoy in the year-round sunshine. Pina Beach is closest to the city and merges with Boa Viagem Beach, a 4-mile (7-kilometer) long coastal neighborhood. The latter has hotels, nightlife, restaurants and water sports centers. Go shopping at Recife Shopping Center and Guararapes Shopping. Further south are Piedade Beach and Candeias Beach.

Rent a car or catch shuttle buses to visit beach towns outside of the city. Just a 90-minute drive south is the glorious Porto de Galinhas. Travel north and discover the colonial-era treasures of nearby Olinda.

Reach Recife by flying to Recife International Airport. Get around the city center on foot and use public buses to reach the urban beaches. Come between February and March when the city explodes into color during the Recife Carnival.

Where to stay in Recife

Baia dos Porcos, Fernando de Noronha, PE, Brazil

Boa Viagem

4/5Very Good!(50 area reviews)

If you're spending time in Boa Viagem, you might enjoy attractions like Boa Viagem Beach and Boa Viagem Square. You might also enjoy the neighborhood's pristine beaches before hopping on the metro at Airport Station to see more of the city.

Boa Viagem
Mangue Town, Pina, Recife, PE, Brazil.

Pina

4/5Very Good!(11 area reviews)

Pina is noteworthy for its beaches, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Pina Beach and Shopping Rio Mar.

Pina
Sun

Boa Vista

3/5(1 area review)

Travelers like the theaters in Boa Vista, and Aurora Street is a top attraction you might want to visit.

Boa Vista
Olinda Historical Center, Olinda, Brazil

Olinda Historical Center

5/5Exceptional!(5 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the beaches and restaurants in Olinda Historical Center. You might want to make time for a stop at Alto da Se Park or Mauricio de Nassau House.

Olinda Historical Center
Stairs of the Trade Association of the State of Pernambuco. 
#recife #pernambuco #brazil #stairs

Santo Amaro

You'll enjoy the museums and shopping in Santo Amaro. You might want to make time for a stop at Shopping Tacaruna or Aurora Street.

Santo Amaro
Porto de Galinhas

Centro

4/5Very Good!(1 area review)

If you're spending some time in Centro, Porto de Galinhas Natural Pools and Maracaipe Beach are top sights worth seeing.

Centro

Top Hotels in Recife

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ibis Recife Aeroporto
ibis Recife Aeroporto
2.5 out of 5
Av. Marechal Mascarenhas de Moraes 5313, Recife, Pernambuco
$43
per night
Feb 7 - Feb 8

Located in Boa Viagem, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Boa Viagem Square and Boa Viagem Beach. Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem Church and Dona Lindu Park are ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (396 reviews)

"Its a very good hotel for a long layover, close to the airport"…"

Reviewed on Dec 23, 2019

ibis Recife Aeroporto
Bristol Recife Hotel & Convention
Bristol Recife Hotel & Convention
4 out of 5
Rua Maria Carolina, 661, Recife, PE
$52
per night
Feb 7 - Feb 8

Located in Boa Viagem, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Recife Shopping Center and Boa Viagem Beach. Boa Viagem Square and Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem Church ...

4.2/5Excellent! (476 reviews)

"Overall this was a good place to stay at. Be aware that while some of the staff speaks English, not all of them do and those that do don't speak it very well. They were all very friendly though. Do not expect many english speakers anywhere in the city, including the airport. The hotel was extremely ..."…"

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2019

Bristol Recife Hotel & Convention
Pousada Caravelas de Pinzon Loc Day
Pousada Caravelas de Pinzon Loc Day
2.5 out of 5
Av. Beira Mar, 165, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, PE
$22
per night
Feb 1 - Feb 2

Situated in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, this beach pousada is within 1 mi (2 km) of Enseada dos Corais and Gaibu Beach. Pedra do Xareu Beach and Itapuama Beach ...

2.5/5 (11 reviews)
Ótima

"Pousada muito boa tudo limpo atendimento muito bom super indico."…"

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2019

Pousada Caravelas de Pinzon Loc Day

Popular things to do in Recife

Muro Alto Beach
Image for Muro Alto Beach

Muro Alto Beach

4.5/5(18 reviews)

Set on Brazil’s glorious northeastern coastline, this beach is the place to idle about on the soft sand and swim in the transparent water.

Boa Viagem Beach
Image for Boa Viagem Beach

Boa Viagem Beach

4/5(27 reviews)

Nothing says vacation like spending a lazy day at Boa Viagem Beach, a popular beach in Recife. Experience the area's theater scene and museums.

Calhetas Beach
Image for Calhetas Beach

Calhetas Beach

3.5/5(4 reviews)

Nothing says vacation like spending a lazy day at Calhetas Beach, a popular beach in Cabo de Santo Agostinho. Discover the area's coral reefs and churches.

Maracaipe Beach
Image for Maracaipe Beach

Maracaipe Beach

4.5/5(11 reviews)

Ride big waves, swim in tidal pools and spot seahorses at this alluring beach in the southern region of Ipojuca.

Cupe Beach
Image for Cupe Beach

Cupe Beach

4/5(10 reviews)

If a restful vacation is part of your travel plans, Cupe Beach might be the perfect place to seek out during your trip to Ipojuca. Wander the clear-water beaches or discover the area's coral reefs.

Merepe Beach
Image for Merepe Beach

Merepe Beach

4/5(2 reviews)

Why not spend a carefree afternoon at Merepe Beach during your travels in Ipojuca? Discover the area's coral reefs and countryside.

Top activities in Recife

Porto de Galinhas Tour
Image for Porto de Galinhas Tour

Porto de Galinhas Tour

$39

Immerse yourself in crystal-clear waters of dazzling blue, dotted with colorful fish and other beautiful marine species, and lounge in the shade of vast coconut groves scattered across the beach.

5-Day Pernambuco Tour from Recife
Image for 5-Day Pernambuco Tour from Recife

5-Day Pernambuco Tour from Recife

$375

Day 1: Transfer from Recife Airport to your Hotel Day 2: Recife to Marco Zero Square/Instituto Ricardo Brennand/Oficina Francisco Brennand In the morning after your breakfast you will take a boat tour in the rivers of Recife.

Transfer Recife Airport x Porto de Galinhas
Image for Transfer Recife Airport x Porto de Galinhas

Transfer Recife Airport x Porto de Galinhas

$9

323/5000 Value of air-conditioned car with driver for up to 4 people. We have Doblo, Siena, SPIN and Sprinter. We took one, two, three up to four people for $ 120.00. Valid Rate 2019 (except Holiday). For events, groups or wedding request a quote. If

Kayak Lesson
Image for Kayak Lesson

Kayak Lesson

$18

Kayak Lesson Let's find and start with a series of stretches and light runs for exercise preparation. head to the sea in the natural pools of the hen harbor. We will take a tour of the conservation area after 15 minutes of instructions and adaptation to use the kayak.

Bike Dunas Porto de Galinhas
Image for Bike Dunas Porto de Galinhas

Bike Dunas Porto de Galinhas

$20

We met in the center of Porto de Galinhas. Let's take a bike ride through the coconut palms of Maracaipe, passing the ruins of the Slave Route (sectoral period route), which is a local paradise.

Departure Transfer from Olinda to Recife Airport
Image for Departure Transfer from Olinda to Recife Airport

Departure Transfer from Olinda to Recife Airport

$9

Your driver will be waiting for you at your hotel in Olinda with a sign which will have your name in it. Enjoy this transfer from your hotel in Olinda to the International Airport of Recife or all hotels on the Harbor of Boa Viagem, Pina and Piedade.

Reviews of Recife

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
17
5 - Excellent 45.945945945945944%
4 - Good
11
4 - Good 29.72972972972973%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 21.62162162162162%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 2.7027027027027026%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 7, 2020

Great vibe, good beach and awesome weather.

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Nov 24, 2019

Recife was not what I expected. Run down streets/lots of pot holes. Filthy city, stagnant water canals full of trash, old dumped furniture and rats!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Aug 6, 2019

Airport FYI - Arrive to your gate early. The flight before mine left 10 minutes early stranding several people who thought they still had time to board. My flight also left 10 minutes early.

3/5 - Okay

Lionel

Jul 24, 2019

Nice beach town. However on certain areas like Boa Viagem are nice. However, the city infrastructure is poor.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jul 19, 2019

It is my favorite city in Brasil and I’ve been to several. Lots of things to do and it’s very clean and modern with an old historic area. The Ricardo Brennand museum is amazing. I recommend it.

4/5 - Good

Ron

Jan 16, 2019

Great cultural and crafts city. It has great food, music and friendly people. It's wise to not flash jewelry or valuables and try to travel in groups, especially after dark. If careful, any visitor should have a memorable experience.