Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

RecifeBrazil

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

Top Hotels in Recife

Bugan Recife Hotel by Atlantica
Bugan Recife Hotel by Atlantica
4 out of 5
Av Eng Domingos Ferreira 4661, Recife, PE
The price is $52 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25

Located in Boa Viagem, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Boa Viagem Square and Boa Viagem Beach. Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem Church and Recife Shopping ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (530 reviews)

"Clean, comfortable rooms, nice shower facilities. Loved the gym and steam room and the pool and sun lounge facilities. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was superb and cheap too. Overall I had a wonderful stay at the hotel and would definitely recommend it. One of the issues I ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 29, 2020

Bugan Recife Hotel by Atlantica
Porto de Galinhas Resort e Spa
Porto de Galinhas Resort e Spa
4 out of 5
Rodovia PE 09 - Km 06, Ipojuca, PE
The price is $104 per night from Feb 11 to Feb 12

Nestled on the beach, this Ipojuca hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Merepe Beach and Cupe Beach. Muro Alto Beach and Porto de Galinhas Natural Pools are also within ...

4.2/5Excellent! (257 reviews)
Very good hotel

"Very good hotel, with renewed facilities and the service very attentive."…"

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2020

Porto de Galinhas Resort e Spa
Vivá Porto de Galinhas Resort
Vivá Porto de Galinhas Resort
4 out of 5
Avenida Beira Mar, S/n Lote B, Gleba 2, Praia do Cupe, Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, PE
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $135 per night from Feb 10 to Feb 11

Nestled on the beach, this Ipojuca resort is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Cupe Beach and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Muro Alto Beach. Merepe Beach is 1.9 mi (3 km) away.

4.4/5Wonderful! (470 reviews)

"This place was pretty cool. We are from the US, and do not speak Portuguese. We felt comfortable the entire time, and enjoyed every moment. The pool was terrific, there were a few staff members who spoke enough English to help us get by. We stayed in one of the rooms that has a hot tub on the balcony, ..."…"

Reviewed on Jan 6, 2021

Vivá Porto de Galinhas Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Recife

Grand Beach Flat
Grand Beach Flat
2.5 out of 5
Rua Capitão Ribelinho 720, Boa Viagem, Recife, PE
The price is $23 per night from Jan 22 to Jan 23

Located in Pina, this apartment building is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Third Garden of Boa Viagem and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Boa Viagem Beach. Shopping Rio Mar and Pina ...

3.8/5Good! (13 reviews)
Bom custo e benefício.

"Quase tudo ok. Na hora de ligar o ar condicionado...veio muita poeira. Demora no atendimento na recepção"…"

Reviewed on Jul 24, 2020

Grand Beach Flat
Macuco Residence
Macuco Residence
3 out of 5
Loteamento Merepe II, Lote 02, Quadra F1, Ipojuca, PE
The price is $64 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2

Situated near the beach, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Merepe Beach and Cupe Beach. Porto de Galinhas Natural Pools and Maracaipe Beach ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (10 reviews)

"Very good value. Fabrizio and the other staff were very helpful."…"

Reviewed on Dec 31, 2020

Macuco Residence
Porto de Galinhas - Flat Muro Alto Condomínio Clube
Porto de Galinhas - Flat Muro Alto Condomínio Clube
Ipojuca, Northeast Region

Situated in Ipojuca, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Merepe Beach and Cupe Beach. Muro Alto Beach and Porto de Galinhas Natural Pools are also ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (7 reviews)
Ótima hospedagem.

"Excelente semana no Condomínio. Lugar tranquilo e bem cuidado. A anfitriã é muito atenciosa. O flat é charmoso e aconchegante."…"

Reviewed on Jan 14, 2021

Porto de Galinhas - Flat Muro Alto Condomínio Clube
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Recife

Top things to do in Recife

Reviews of Recife

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
17
5 - Excellent 44.73684210526316%
4 - Good
12
4 - Good 31.57894736842105%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 21.05263157894737%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 2.6315789473684212%

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.

Cities near Recife