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Recife Pernambuco

Sightseeing Tours in Recife - PE


Instituto Ricardo Brennand
This is a well known attraction in Recife, and was even chosen as the best museum in Latin America by Trip Advisor.
You can find a big ‘medieval’ castle, an art gallery that includes several of Frans Post’s works, as well as paintings and prints by other artists, tapestries, sculptures, furniture, and a huge collection of knives, swords, daggers, and armor.
Hours: Free entrance on the last Tuesday of every month.
Information: (81) 2121-0352 & 2121.0365.
Address: Alameda Antônio Brennand, s/n – São João – Várzea.

Recife’s Botanical Gardens
It’s great to visit Recife’s Botanical Gardens, specially for nature lovers and those traveling with children. There are several thematic gardens such as Palm Trees, Medicinal Plants, Tropical Plants, and the Sensory garden, as well as a garden for bromeliads, one for cacti, another for orchids, and several paths.
Hours: From 9 am to 3:30 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday. Free entrance.
Information: on the official site or their fanpage
Address: BR 232, km 7,5 – Curado.

Paço do Frevo
Inaugurated in 2014, Paço do Frevo is a cultural and research center dedicated to the Pernambucan beat of the same name, paço do frevo; it’s also a very special museum that you can enjoy with all your senses. There’s music by all the great artists, banners, excerpts from famous songs on the windows, and frevo classes for visitors. It’s a charming place, and the best part is it’s free on Tuesdays.
Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm; Thursdays from 9 am to 9 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 7 pm.
Tickets: R$ 6 and R$ 3 (for students). Free entry on Tuesdays.
Information: official site
Address: Praça do Arsenal, 91, Bairro do Recife

Cais do Sertão
Dedicated to portraying the life and culture of the Northeastern Sertão (wilderness) as the homeland and inspiration for the great Luiz Gonzaga, the museum uses the life of this famous Pernambucano man as a driving force, while mixing it with the traditional and the modern culture of the region. The Cais do Sertão was installed inside the old warehouses at Recife’s Port, utilizing several technological resources to facilitate interaction and fun as visitors experience this very Brazilian reality.
Hours: from 11 am to 5 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday. Free entry on Thursdays.
Information: museum's Facebook page
Address: Av. Alfredo Lisboa, s/n, depois do Centro de Artesanato – Bairro do Recife.

Guided visit at the Palácio do Campo das Princesas
A guided visit through the beautiful Palácio which serves as the government house for Pernambuco will give you the chance to not only see the building and learn about its history, but to also walk around and see the beautiful baobab in the Praça da República. And it won’t be out of your way because Old Recife is only one bridge away. Nearby, you will also find the Santa Isabel Theater and the Palace of Justice.
Hours: from 9 to 11 am, and from 2 to 4 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 10 am to 12 pm on Sundays.
You must first sign up via email
Information: (81) 3181.2281, 3181.2260, 3181.2156.
Address: Praça da República – Santo Antônio.

Guided tours with Olha!Recife
Guided tours promoted by City Hall on Saturdays and Sundays. There are different routes you can choose from: walking, bus, bicycle, and even on a catamaran. The routes vary with themes such as ‘churches’, ‘poetry circuit’, ‘Capibaribe and its bridges’, ‘night walk’, ‘French Recife’, ‘Afro circuit’, ‘formation and transformation of Recife’, and many more.
To participate, you must sign up online beforehand. Check the schedule on their site or their fanpage. On the day of your tour, you must bring one kilo of non-perishable food that will go to charities (and for the bike trips, you can rent a bicycle from one of Itaú’s stations).

Guided visit at the Teatro de Santa Isabel
On Sundays, this theater built in 1850 opens its doors for guided visits which last about one hour. On the guided tour, you can learn more about the architecture and history of this important theater. The group of visitors is organized at the Theater’s lobby at 2, 3 & 4pm, but it’s recommended you check the schedules on their site, as they can sometimes change to accommodate live shows. You can combine this with a visit to the Palácio!
Hours: 2, 3 & 4 pm on Sundays.
Information: (81) 3355.3323
Address: Praça da República – Santo Antônio.

Guided tours with Olha!Recife
Guided tours promoted by City Hall on Saturdays and Sundays. There are different routes you can choose from: walking, bus, bicycle, and even on a catamaran. The routes vary with themes such as ‘churches’, ‘poetry circuit’, ‘Capibaribe and its bridges’, ‘night walk’, ‘French Recife’, ‘Afro circuit’, ‘formation and transformation of Recife’, and many more.
To participate, you must sign up online beforehand. Check the schedule on their site or their fanpage. On the day of your tour, you must bring one kilo of non-perishable food that will go to charities (and for the bike trips, you can rent a bicycle from one of Itaú’s stations).

Old Recife with Heart (Recife Antigo de Coração)
Every Sunday the Recife neighborhood is packed with people of all ages visiting the Feirinha do Bom Jesus (a market with handicrafts and some food), cafés, the Livraria Cultura bookshop, maracatu rehearsals, and other events like gastronomic markets and dance festivals. The last Sunday of every month, more events for kids as well as musical and sporting events are added to the schedule; City Hall has named this Old Recife with Heart. It’s worth checking it out, specially for those traveling as a family.

Walking around Old Recife
Walking around the old Recife neighborhood, where the city was born, will take you at least a few hours. Taking photos with the ‘Recife’ sign at the Marco Zero, admiring Brennand’s sculptures on the other side, walking along the cobblestone streets, looking at the old buildings and visiting the terrace at the Paço Alfândega which overlooks the Capibaribe River…these are all fun, free things to do in the city! Also visit the Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue, the Cais do Sertão Museum, the Paço do Frevo, the Embassy of Giant Dolls (Embaixada dos Bonecos Gigantes) and the Caixa Cultural Center.
Address: All downtown and at Marco Zero, the Praça Barão do Rio Branco, Av. Alfredo Lisboa.

Caixa Cultural
Recife's Caixa Cultural Center has free and diverse exhibitions. Located in front of Marco Zero, it’s worth taking the time to see what’ son.
Information: fanpage.

Concerts by Recife’s Symphonic Orchestra
If you’re lucky enough to be here during the dates when Recife’s Symphonic Orchestra is having free shows, you should check out the beautiful concerts of classical and music and, to top it off, see the amazing Teatro de Santa Isabel. The free shows are on a monthly basis, starting at 8 pm. The tickets are distributed starting one hour earlier in the theater.
Information: click here or here or call (81) 3355.3323.

Historic Churches
Recife has many historic churches, so for those who are interested, it’s very interesting to visit them as you walk around, specially downtown. One of the most beautiful churches is Madre de Deus, which is very easy to find in the Recife Neighborhood, next to Paço Alfândega, and has beautiful rosewood furniture and golden twisted columns.
Other beautiful churches located nearby in the San Antônio neighborhood are the São Pedro dos Clérigos Cathedral, built in the Baroque style (in the Pátio de São Pedro); the Basilica and Convent Nossa Senhora do Carmo, also Baroque (in the Praça do Carmo); and the Golden Chapel, which is a part of the Convent and Church of Santo Antônio complex and is located on the Rua do Imperador Dom Pedro II, near the Praça da República.

Boa Vista Market
If you love public markets, you will love this one. The city’s metropolitan region has more than 20 markets spread around different neighborhoods, and they all tell the story of our history and culture. The São José market, the Boa Vista, the Madalena, the Encruzilhada and the Casa Amarela are a few examples.
The Boa Vista market is small, more traditional, and has several bars, restaurants, and bodegas, making it a great place to have a regional lunch. On weekends, make sure you arrive earlier (around 11 am) to find a table.
Address: R. da Santa Cruz, 144 – Boa Vista.

São José Market
For those looking for more than satisfying their gluttony, you can find many typical souvenirs at the São José market. Inaugurated in 1875, it was the first pre-fabricated iron building in the country, with the same neoclassical structure of XIX century European markets. This beautiful historic heritage site offers art made in clay, wood, straw, as well as herbs, honey, grains, fish, and anything else you may need.
Address: Praça Dom Vital, s/n – São José.

Casa da Cultura
Recife’s Cultural House is an old jail which was transformed into an artisanal cultural center in 1975, with stalls where the old cells were. It’s worth visiting just for its history, but the local artisanal handicrafts are also worth looking at.
Address: Rua Floriano Peixoto, s/n – Santo Antônio.

Boa Viagem Beach
Boa Viagem beach is the city’s main urban beach, and one of the best-known sites in the city. The coast is charming and there are many hostels and hotels there.
If you don’t want to spend any money, it’s best to leave your hotel with a full belly and just enjoy the sand and the breeze. Sadly, it’s not recommended you swim because of the infamous sharks which tend to visit this part of the ocean. Another great option (and shark-free!) is running or biking along the coastline; there are about 8 km of tracks along the ocean.

Dona Lindu Park
Inaugurated in 2011 as an architectural project by Oscar Niemeyer, the park has a peculiar shape: two cylinders make up the Teatro Luiz Mendoça and the Janete Costa Gallery. Beside a few sculptures, the park has a sporting venue, a skate park, a jogging track, and a playground.
Information: click here.
Address: Avenida Boa Viagem, na altura do número 6.000.

Praça de Casa Forte 
Few tourist go further than downtown and the southern part of the city, but the northern part has many attractions, charming streets, great bars and restaurants, museums and cinemas. For those who don’t want to spend any money, it’s worth visiting neighborhoods like Casa Forte and the little plaza of the same name, designed by the famed landscapist, Brule Marx, in 1934. Around it, you will find a bookshop, cafés, hamburgers, ice cream parlors, and on weekends, some street food.
Address: Av. 17 de Agosto, s/n.

Poço da Panela
This neighborhood is almost an urban sanctuary, with its old houses and peaceful streets. It’s mainly middle and upper class and a lot of people who live there today inherited their homes from their aristocratic families who wanted to benefit from the Capibaribe baths, which were said to be good for your health.
A fan of The Beatles left a graffiti on one of the houses inspired by their film ‘Yellow Submarine’, and also left a sign with ‘Abbey Road’ written on it to honor the band. It’s worth going just for the photo!
Address: Rua Monsenhor Lôbo.

Jaqueira park
In the neighborhood with the same name, the Parque da Jaqueira is the main park in Recife’s north zone; it’s located in a charming residential area with lots of trees, next to the river. There are jogging and skating tracks, playgrounds for kids, a chapel and some basic workout equipment.
Address: between Rua do Futuro and Av. Rui Barbosa.

Brennand Workshop
Also located in the Várzea neighborhood, you can see several of this artist’s works, which are spread out around the city; you can see paintings on the sides of buildings and that giant sculpture visible from Marco Zero.
Hours: Entry R$ 15 (adult) and R$ 8 (students).
Address: Propriedade Santos Cosme e Damião, s/n, Várzea.

Poetry Circuit
“It would be a good challenge to one day read the first suggestion Google gives you about them,” reader Rodolfo Nícolas says of researching poets. Good tip! You can find the locations of different statues and more about the poets here.

The Aloísio Magalhães Modern Art Museum was installed inside an old house from the XIX century and has several important works of modern and contemporary Brazilian art.
Information on their fanpage, their site or by phone on (81) 3355-6870.
Address: Rua da Aurora, 265, Boa Vista.

Recife Museum
Not only does the Museum hold interesting exhibitions, it’s located at the Forte das Cinco Pontas, which is interesting in itself. Currently, they’re showing “Doc(e) Recife”, which explores the culture of sugar brought here by the Portuguese colonization of the country and its influence on gastronomy, behavior, architecture, and the city’s urban planning.
Information on their fanpage or by phone on (81) 3355-3106.

Orla da Praia de Boa Viagem
Caixa Cultural
Instituto Ricardo Brennand
Capela Dourada
Mercado Boa Vista
Paço do Frevo
Palácio das Princesas
Poço da Panela
Recife Antigo

- Boa Viagem Beach, the most famous urban beach of Recife, Pernambuco.
- Calhetas Beach, surrounded by incredible rocks and coconut trees.
- Porto de Galinhas Beach, famous for its natural pools with clear and warm water.
- Maracaípe Beach, known as a great surf spot and for the meeting of the river with the sea where it is possible to see seahorses.
- Itamaracá Island and Coroa do Avião Islet, well known for watersport hotspots and for the trail of mangroves.
- Tamandaré and Carneiros Beach, with paradisiacal landscapes.

Praia de Calhetas. Fonte:
Ilha de Itamaracá e Ilhota Coroa do Avião. Fonte:
Praia do Pina. Fonte:
Praia de Boa Viagem. Fonte:
Praia dos Carneiros. Fonte:
Praia de Porto de Galinhas. Foto: Omar Junior

- Arrumadinho, typical dish from the Brazilian Northeast, based on cassava or jerky beef.
- Cassava with beef and curdled cheese, a very regional combination from Recife.
- Cuscuz made of corn, sometimes mixed with milk, eggs or butter.
- Tapioca. The best one can be found at Alto da Sé, in Olinda.
- Roll-cake, symbol of Pernambuco, can’t be missing on your desert.

Cuscuz de milho. Fonte:
Macaxeira com carne de sol e queijo coalho. Fonte:
Tapioca. Fonte:
Arrumadinho. Fonte:
Bolo de Rolo. Fonte:

- Feirinha de Boa Viagem: Nice little street market where you'll find handcraft products and regional food. Next to Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem Church, with a 300 hundred year old tradition.
- Rua da Moeda, popular for its variety of bars where the bohemia meets.
- Marco Zero do Recife. Square one of Pernambuco. It is also the heart of the historic center of Recife. From here you can see the Pina Bay mixing with the Atlantic sea.
- Street market of Bom Jesus street. This market brings together exhibitors of the rich handicraft scene of Pernambuco.
- Paço do Frevo, where you can learn about the history of the Frevo dance and often also witness the dance being lived and danced in its joyful way.
- Cais do Sertão, this interactive exhibition will leave any visitor enchanted with the wilderness of the brazilian inland.
- Rua da Aurora, along the banks of Capibaribe River, is pictorial with all its colorful colonial buildings from the XIX century.
- Castles of the Ricardo Brennand Institute, housed in an architectural complex in medieval style and surrounded by a large green park. In 2014, it has received the title of best museum of Brazil and 17th in the world according to TripAdvisor, due to its incredible collection of historic and artistic objects covering the period from the late Middle Ages to the twenty-first century.
- Oficina Brennand, a beautiful and mystical scenery created by the plastic artist Francisco Brennand. The exhibition houses over 2000 ceramic sculptures.
- Alto da Sé, an obligatory stop for anyone who climbs the historic hills of Olinda.

Instituto Ricardo Brennand. Fonte:
Alto da Sé. Fonte:
Oficina Brennand. Fonte:
Praça do Marco Zero, no Recife Antigo. Fonte:
Museu Cais do Sertão. Fonte:


- Alphaiate Steakhouse (by the sea)
Address: Rua Arthur Muniz, 82 - Boa Viagem
Phone: 081 3465-7588
Facebook page

- Guaiamum Gigante (by the sea)
Address: Rua Arthur Muniz, 82 - Boa Viagem
Phone: 081 9704-7472

- Underground Pub
Address: Av. Boa Viagem, 618 - Boa Viagem
Phone: 081 3204-7743

- Biruta Bar (by the sea)
Address: Rua Brazonópolis, 148 - Brasília Teimosa
Phone: 081 3326-5151

- Bar Central
Address: Rua Mamede Simões 144, lojas 6, 7, 8 e 9 - Recife Antigo
Phone: 081 3222-7622

- Burburinho bar
Address: Rua Tomazina, 106 - Recife Antigo
Phone: (81) 3224-5854 / 3033-1778

- Sushi Digital bar
Address: Rua da Moeda, 122 - Recife Antigo
Phone: 081 3224-3860
Facebook page

- Casa da Moeda bar
Address: Rua da Moeda, 150 - Recife Antigo
Phone: 081 3224-7095
Facebook page

- Lisbela e o Prisioneiro Bar
*Great on Tuesday’s nights
Address: Largo de Santa Cruz, 438 - Boa Vista
Phone: 081 3423-7648
Facebook page

- Mercado da Boa Vista (Saturday for lunch)
Address: Rua da Santa Cruz - Boa Vista.
Facebook page



- Gato Beer
Address: Av. Domingos Ferreira, 1537 - Boa Viagem
Phone: 081 3040-5290
Facebook page

- Gentleman Loser Pub
Address: Rua Capitão Rebelinho, 527 - Boa Viagem
Phone: 081 3125-4533

- UK Pub
Address: Rua Francisco da Cunha, 165 - Boa Viagem
Phone: 081 3465-1088
Facebook page

- Haus Lajetop & Beergarden
Address: Av. Herculano Bandeira, 513 - Pina (Galeria Joana D’arc)
Phone: 081 3039-6304
Facebook page

- Estelita Bar
Address: Av. Saturniano de Brito, 385 - São José
Phone: 081 3127-4143
Facebook page

- Downtown Pub
Address: Rua Vigário Tenório, 105 - Recife Antigo
Phone: 081 3424-5731
Facebook page

- Sala de Reboco (forró dance)
Address: Rua Gregório Júnior, 264 - Cordeiro
Phone: 081 3228-7052
Facebook page

- Terça Negra (Afro-Brazilian presentations)
Address: Pátio de São Pedro - Bairro de Santo Antônio
Facebook page

- Texas Café Bar
Address: Rua do Rosário da Boa Vista, 163 - Boa Vista (Ed. Texas)
Phone: 081 3031-9274             
Facebook page

- Pub Crawl Recife
Phone: 081 99580-9535                                             
Facebook page



- Galeria Joana D'Arc
Address: Av. Herculano Bandeira, 513 - Pina
Phone: 081 9162-3742
Facebook page

- San Sebastian club
Address: Rua Dez de Julho, 13 - Imbiribeira
Phone: 081 3031-8797

- Sétima Arte
Address: Rua Capitão Lima, 195 - Santo Amaro
Phone: 081 9153-5868
Facebook page

- Metrópole club
Address: Rua das Ninfas, 125 - Boa Vista
Phone: 081 3423-0123
Facebook page

- Conchitas Bar
Address: Av. Manoel Bandeira, 654 - Boa Vista
Phone: 081 8777-6838

- Santo Bar
Address: Rua das Ninfas, 84 - Soledade
Phone: 081 3040-8545

- Thermas Boa Vista
Address: Rua Monoel Pereira, 53 - Santo Amaro
Phone: 081 3423-3404
Facebook page


- Feirinha de Boa Viagem: This street Market in Boa Viagem, considered the oldest typical street market in Brazil, where you can find many different kinds of crafts and regional foods.
- Mercado de São José, opened in 1875, is the oldest prefabricated building made of iron in Brazil and was inspired by the Grenelle market in Paris.
- Casa da Cultura, which served as a detention facility in the nineteenth century, now houses handcraft shops and art galleries. It is also used as space for cultural performances.
- Pernambuco Crafts Centre, the cultural wealth of Pernambuco is present in pieces made from wood, crochet, clay, straw, paper mache and else more.
- Shopping Center Recife and Rio Mar Shopping, which are among the largest and most modern shopping centers in the Northeast.
- Shopping Paço Alfândega, a shopping mall located in a building which already served as a port, a convent, and as the headquarter of the Department of customs. Today it is used as a commercial and cultural enterprise. A successful example for the fusion of colonial and neomodern architecture.

Mercado de São José. Fonte:
Shopping RioMar. Fonte:
Shopping Paço Alfândega. Fonte:
Centro de Artesanato de Pernambuco. Fonte:
Feirinha de Boa Viagem. Fonte:
Casa da Cultura. Fonte:

- Museu do Homem do Nordeste, which shows a collection of more than 15000 pieces about the life and work of the people in the Northeast of Brazil and the heritage of the consolidation of the Northeastern society.
- Pernambuco State Museum, opened in 1929 in the palace of the XIX century, where the son of the Baron of Beberibe lived at the time. It has over 14 000 pieces of different moments of the history of Pernambuco.
- Sinagoga Kahal Zuh Israel, the first synagogue build in the American continent (1636-1654) and still functioning.
- Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, temple founded in 1687 and a wonderful example of Baroque style in Recife.
- Forte das Cinco Pontas (fort with five corners), one of the most representative monuments of colonial architecture in Recife and one of the last buildings the Dutch built around 1630. Nowadays it hosts Museu da Cidade do Recife (Recife City Museum).
- Capela Dourada (The Golden Chapel) exudes charm and luxury with its baroque style of the XVIII century.

Casa Museu Gilberto Freyre. Fonte:
Museu da Cidade do Recife. Fonte:
Museu do Estado de Pernambuco. Fonte:
Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel. Fonte:
Basílica Nossa Senhora do Carmo. Fonte:
Capela Dourada. Fonte:

- Frevo, the fast and frenetic rhythm. A warm up for the carnival of Recife and Olinda.
- Galo da Madrugada, the largest Carnival parade in the world according to Guiness Book. Come find out!
- Maracatu, cultural manifestation of Afro-Folk music from Pernambuco.
- Coco de Roda, a dance gliding over the ancient cobblestone streets to the accelerated sound of the wood shoes steps and musical instruments such as ganzá, surdo, pandeiro and triângulo.
- São João, one of the liveliest and most traditional festivals of the Northeast. Caruaru is the Capital of Forró.
- Manguebeat, a cultural movement which emerged in Recife in the 90's. It mixes regional northeastern rhythms with rock, hip hop, funk and electronic music.
- Giant Carnival Dolls of Olinda: giant and striking figures of the Olinda carnival, spicing the carnival and attracting the crowds.

Passistas de Frevo.
Bloco do Galo da Madrugada. Fonte:
Alfaias de Maracatu. Fonte:
Bonecos de Olinda.
Coco de roda.
São João. Fonte:

- Routes of Recife (jogging or biking): Start at the Piratas da Praia Hostel (at the height of the third garden, in Boa Viagem). Follow the bike lane along Boa Viagem Avenue, take in the direction of Pina. Make a quick stop at the Biruta Bar to drink a refreshing coconut water. Continue to follow the shoreline of Brasília Teimosa until the beginning of the dam. Follow the dam and stop at the Restaurant Casa de Banho. The next stop is at the Sculpture Park Francisco Brennand, which has been built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil. Return by the same route or if you prefer to take pictures, you can also pay for crossing over by boat to Marco Zero.


- Route #OcupeEstelita (by bike, only on Sundays): Start at the Piratas da Praia Hostel (at the height of the third garden, in Boa Viagem). Follow the cycling lane along the Boa Viagem Avenue. Take in the direction of Pina. Make a quick stop at the last kiosk at the beach to drink a refreshing coconut water. Turn left at Antônio de Góis Avenue (use the bike lane). Cross over the bridge, turn right and continue to Cais José Estelita along the riverside. Go up the overpass, but stay safe! Go on until Marco Zero. Go back the same route.

Vista do Bairro do Recife. Fonte:
Vista do Parque das Esculturas e do Bairro do Recife. Fonte:
Cooper no Parque das Esculturas.
Monumentos no Parque das Esculturas.
Vista da Coluna de Cristal.