Official language: Portuguese
Time zone: UTC -3
Currency: Brazilian real (BRL)
The Centro Cultural Judaico de Pernambuco (the Jewish Cultural Center) operates in the exact location of the first Jewish synagogue ever built in the Americas, dating back to 1640.
The craft market on Praça do Arsenal da Marinha brings the city to life on Sunday afternoons. You can buy here pieces of local craftwork from more than a hundred artisans representing the Recife region.
Frevo, a type of dance combining European and African traditions, was born in Recife. It requires a lot of physical strength and acrobatic skills.
Beautiful beaches and excellent diving sites, a “Rio-style” carnival, and mouth-watering seafood – these are what brings tourists to Recife.
It’s a port city on the northeastern coast of Brazil, in the state of Pernambuco. It was founded in 1537 by the Portuguese. The district of Antigo is home to the most magnificent restored buildings from the 17th Century. It is also here that you’ll find the Malakoff Tower – one of the first observatories in South America, built in 1855. It’s worth reaching the top for the stunning view over the area. You may also want to visit the Casa de Cultura de Pernambuco (the Pernambuco House of Culture) – the former city prison opened in 1867. Today, instead of inmates, each cell houses… a gift shop with local souvenirs.
In the evening, go to the Pátio de São Pedro square. You can enjoy your meal, admiring the 18th-century São Pedro dos Clérigos (the Co-Cathedral of St. Peter of Clerics) or the Casa do Carnaval (the Carnival House) and its gallery of the Pernambuco Carnival posters.
Boa Viagem is one of the most popular beaches in Recife. It’s long and sandy, and hot weather makes it perfect for sunbathing throughout the year. But if you’re more into active holidays, head to Maria Farinha Beach or Porto de Galinhas – both are perfect for scuba diving.
Winter is the best party time. The local Carnival parades are just as exciting as those in Rio de Janeiro. The main fiesta takes place on February 14. It is called Galo da Madrugada – The Early Morning Rooster. The parade usually starts at 9.30 a.m., and around 6 p.m. it reaches the old town where the night party is being held.
The best Portuguese dishes in Brazil are served in Leite restaurant, run since 1882. The menu includes traditionally cooked meat and seafood. Brazilians are fans of skewered and grilled food, and they do know how to prepare it – find out yourself at Pobre Juan on Avenida Republica do Libano. Chiwake Restaurant offers all the tastes of Latin America; it specializes in Peruvian cuisine. And for the best dessert in Recife, stop by San Paolo Gelato Gourmet where you can have ice creams in every flavor imaginable.