Recife

Travel Guide
Tamandare featuring a beach, general coastal views and tropical scenes

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

Grand Mercure Recife Boa Viagem
Grand Mercure Recife Boa Viagem
4 out of 5
Avenida Boa Viagem, 4070, Recife, PE, 51021-000
The price is £52 per night from 4 Jun to 5 Jun
Stay at this 4-star beach hotel in Recife. Enjoy free WiFi, a beach locale and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their reviews. ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (900 reviews)
Standard hotel, nothing special.
"Standard hotel a block back from the beach. All clean generally with decent room. Breakfast area had to cope with a large number of guests so it was more like a canteen. Seemed to be popular with local families. A taxi ride away from old Recife and the sights."

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2022

Grand Mercure Recife Boa Viagem
Porto de Galinhas Resort & SPA - All Inclusive
Porto de Galinhas Resort & SPA - All Inclusive
4.5 out of 5
Rodovia PE 09 - Km 06, Ipojuca, PE, 55590-000
The price is £302 per night from 14 Jun to 15 Jun
Stay at this 4.5-star beach resort in Ipojuca. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a beach locale. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in their ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (517 reviews)
Very nice stay in Porto de Galinhas
"Amazing place… the resort has a good structure with a fair price. Pool is awesome and the room was very good. Should have more vegetarian options. Even “regular vegetarian” dishes had meat (vegetable soup, etc). I’ve booked a kind size bed room and got a double queen bedroom. For this price we were ..."

Reviewed on 2 Dec 2021

Porto de Galinhas Resort & SPA - All Inclusive
Enotel Porto de Galinhas
Enotel Porto de Galinhas
4 out of 5
Rodovia PE-09, s/n, Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, PE, 55590-000
Stay at this 4-star beach resort in Ipojuca. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and 15 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the family amenities ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (154 reviews)
"It is a large hotel with many fun and dinining options to choose from. My kids loved it."

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2022

Enotel Porto de Galinhas
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.
Pousada Marie Claire Flats
Pousada Marie Claire Flats
2.5 out of 5
Loteamento Merepe III, S/N, Lote 4-A, Quadra 3-A, Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, Pernambuco, 55590-000
The price is £50 per night from 31 May to 1 Jun
Stay at this aparthotel in Ipojuca. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their reviews. ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (104 reviews)
Very happy to stay here
"Very nice , clean and tidy. Good breakfast"

Reviewed on 5 Mar 2020

Pousada Marie Claire Flats
Palm Beach Village by AFT
Palm Beach Village by AFT
Rodovia PE-009 km 01, Gleba B2C, Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, Pernambuco, 55590-000
Stay at this apartment in Ipojuca. Popular attractions Cupe Beach and Muro Alto Beach are located nearby. Discover genuine guest reviews for Palm Beach Village ...
Palm Beach Village by AFT
Porto de Galinhas - Flat Muro Alto Condomínio Clube
Porto de Galinhas - Flat Muro Alto Condomínio Clube
Ipojuca, PE
Stay at this apartment in Ipojuca. Enjoy private pools, WiFi and a fitness centre. Popular attractions Cupe Beach and Merepe Beach are located nearby. Discover ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (8 reviews)
Flat em Muro alto
"Condomínio bem estruturado próximo a praia e comércio. Achamos o flat im pouco pequeno para o nosso grupo, mas para poucos dias atendeu bem. Um agradecimento especial para a Andreza proprietária que nos forneceu adequadamente todas as informações e sempre se colocou a disposição. Dentro do Condomínio ..."

Reviewed on 7 Mar 2022

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.

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