Nicknamed the “Venice of Brazil” because of its numerous waterways and bridges, Recife is the capital of the Pernambuco state and one of the largest and most important cities on Brazil’s northeastern coast. Situated amid tropical forests with many islands and rivers, Recife is a popular tourist destination because of its scenery, historic old town, beaches and vibrant culture.
Recife was a Dutch colony during the early 17th century, and nowhere is this more evident than the city’s historic district where many colonial buildings still remain. Some of the most significant structures include the oldest synagogue in the Americas and one of Brazil’s most beautiful baroque churches, the Franciscan Convent of Saint Anthony. Saint Peter Square is also noted for its history and picturesque setting of colorful buildings, shops and restaurants.
Beyond the historic zone, Recife is home to museums, art galleries, public parks, a zoo, botanical garden and one of the largest concentration of theaters in Brazil. The city’s main market, the Sao José Market, is a popular place to find traditional handicrafts, medicinal herbs and locally produced food.
Recife’s beaches are considered some of the best in Brazil. Lined with hotels, restaurants and bars, Boa Viagem is the most popular beach with its pristine white sands, clear water and coral reef.
Recife boasts a wide selection of restaurants and there are also plentiful nightlife venues from beach bars to classy nightclubs. Like many other Brazilian cities, Recife hosts a lively Carnival festival with parades, costumes, music and dancing.