Nice beaches, dynamic shopping and lively culture all make Fortaleza one of Brazil’s popular tourist destinations. The capital of the Ceará state on the country’s northeastern coast, Fortaleza is Brazil’s fifth largest city, well-known for its forró music.
Featuring a mix of colonial and modern day architecture, Fortaleza offers plenty to see and do from museums, theaters and cultural centers to shopping malls and public parks. Praça do Ferreira is the city’s main square where restaurants, shops and a movie theater are all located. Praça José de Alencar is another popular square where street performers can be observed.
Fortaleza’s 16 miles of urban beaches are one of the reasons many tourists flock to the city. The most popular beach is Praia do Futuro, but other favorites are Iracema, Mucuripe and Meireles. Not only are the beaches great for swimming, sunbathing, fishing and surfing competitions, but they also offer hotels, restaurants and markets. Fortaleza also serves as the jumping-off point for many visitors to truly spectacular beaches, rolling dunes and idyllic fishing villages along the Ceará coast.
The shopping experience in Fortaleza is another of its main attractions. Because the city is home to a large textile industry, clothing is cheap here. Local handicrafts and fresh seafood and produce can be found among the city’s markets while the Iguatemi Mall offers a little of everything.
Food in Fortaleza is diverse from international restaurants to local eateries with traditional servings of rice, beans and cheese as well as fresh crab every Thursday. Although there are plentiful bars and nightclubs of every genre in Fortaleza, it is customary for hotspots to be designated their own night of the week. While Fortaleza’s Carnival is not as exuberant as other major Brazil cities, it does feature festive parades, music and dancing.