Welcome to Recife, Brazil!
A colorful colonial city, in Brazil’s northern coast, Recife is an integral city full of culture, and a gateway to picturesque stretches of nature. Dubbed as the ‘Brazilian Venice,’ for its vast network of quaint waterways and bridges, the city oozes with old-world charm in a modern and busy metropolis. Recife is a melting pot of cultures and traditions making it a unique destination, and one of the more exciting places to explore in Brazil. Navigate your way through the pristine Recife beaches and busy streets of the city with this worldwide local’s guide.
Start with Some Recife Shopping
Feel the authentic local buzz, and visit Mercado de Sao Jose for a truly stimulating experience, in the heart of Recife. Wander through the tight alleys of this bustling indoor market filled with vendors, selling items like fresh produce and seafood. Check out the stalls selling artisanal items such as sculptures and woven bags created with locally sourced parts. You may want to buy one to take home with you. A barrage of the senses with unusual smells, unique sights, and a clamorous crowd, experiencing this sprawling market is a must, while in Recife.
Worldwide Local Tip: Join the locals and get involved in Recife’s official dance, the frevo. Visit the city during Carnaval, when the streets reach fever pitch filled with vivid colors and a party-like atmosphere. If you can’t make Carnaval, you can still experience the thrill of frevo by visiting the Paco do Frevo museum, where you can see live performances and exhibits of the floats used during Carnaval.
Stop by the Francisco Brennand Institute
The Francisco Brennand Institute is a fascinating cultural complex nestled in the heart of the forest and owned by the Brennand family. A stately complex with touches of medieval architecture and decorations, the grounds are dedicated to showcasing traditional artwork with a modern twist and historically significant artifacts. The institute features ornate museums and even a gorgeous leafy park for you to explore. Enjoy the Recife weather surrounded by greenery that will take you back to the middle ages.
Worldwide Local Tip: A peculiarly named bar, is one of the go-to places for the locals in Recife to sit back and relax with a beverage. The Gentleman Loser Pub is a small hole in the wall bar that can easily be missed; the bar is known for its vast selection of refreshing craft beers and a laid back vibe that the locals enjoy going back to.
Take a Day Trip to Olinda
Technically a neighbor of Recife, Olinda is a gorgeous laid back town only 6 km north of the city. Escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city, and discover a hidden gem just a few minutes from Recife. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its photogenic beauty of pastel-colored houses, cobbled streets, and a thriving art scene, Olinda is a perfect spot for quiet exploration. For such a small town, Olinda packs a huge punch when it comes to quaint architecture and friendly locals.
Worldwide Local Tip: During your visit to Olinda, stop by Oficina do Sabor to get a taste of the traditional, local northeastern Brazilian cuisine. Translating to ‘flavor workshop’, the restaurant stays true to its name by serving up delicious local dishes, like fish and pumpkin soup served inside a hollowed out pumpkin.
Have an Amazing Time in Recife, Brazil!
Blessed with stretches of golden sand beaches, a compelling colonial history, and a unique blend of cultures, Recife is a worldwide local’s playground for adventure. Venture on a journey to a path less traveled, and lose yourself in Recife.