Recife

by Cristina  

Recife was founded by the Dutch and today it boats an interesting old town, vibrant culture and some beaches for the locals and travelers to enjoy. Thanks to its many canals and rivers, Recife is known as the Veneza Brasileira (Brazilian Venice). And the city is also home to colorful Carnival celebrations each year in February/March.

Location

Recife is one of the largest cities in on the northeastern coast of Brazil. It is located on the Atlantic coast, coast to the most eastern point in the Americas.

How to get to

Recife is served by a modern airport, Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport (REC), which receives flights from countries in South America, North America and Europe, as well as domestic flights. A subway line, buses and taxis connect the airport to the city center.

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The city is also connected to the rest of Brazil by buses. There are about 20 bus companies offering bus connections to places such as Sao Paulo and Belem.

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Cruises from other Brazilian cities, Caribbean , Europe and South America make a stop here so that the tourists can enjoy the beauty of the city.

Weather

Recife has a tropical climate, with two main seasons: dry (September to March) and rainy (April to August). The temperatures are warm year round and the humidity is relatively high. June is the wettest month while July is the coolest. The driest month is November. However, you can visit Recife any time of the year.

Temperatures:

Dec – Mar: avg high 31C / avg low 25C
Apr – May: avg high 30C / avg low 23C
Jun – Sep: avg high 28C / avg low 22C
Oct – Nov: avg high 30C / avg low 24C

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Where to stay

Recife has many 3, 4 and 5-star hotels (international chains), but you can also find traditional bed & breakfast, as well as apartments and hostels for your stay. Especially if you want to travel in November or February/March, make sure to book a place to stay ahead of time. During the Carnival the prices literally triple.

What to do

The Carnival festivities begin as early as December but everything sets in motion the week before Ash Wednesday. Carnival starts with a party in Downtown Recife, which attracts party goers from the country, as well as foreign tourists.

Although there aren’t many beaches in Recife, you can find lovely places to soak up the sun. Boa Viagem Beach is one of the best urban beaches, while Brasilia Teimosa Beach is a smaller beach, excellent if you want some privacy. You can play volleyball on the beach or try scuba diving.

If you like checking out old buildings, churches and museums, then you are lucky because Recife has plenty such things for the tourists to enjoy. Franciscan Convent of Saint Anthony is one of the cities biggest attractions and it’s where you’ll fin the Golden Chapel, one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Brazil. Saint Peter of Clerics Cathedral is a replica of Santa Maria Maggiore Sanctuary in Rome and comprises a wooden ceiling depicting St. Peter , the twelve apostles and the evangelists.

An interesting place to check out is Malakoff Tower Cultural Observatory, which functions as an astronomic observatory, as well as an arts and science center.

The best way to explore the old buildings is by taking a walking tour of the old city (you can either join a group or create your own itinerary).

Sao José Market is the place to shop for handicrafts and try the local food. If you prefer the big shopping center, then head to Shopping Center Recife, the largest in the city.

And speaking of food, the national dish is Feijoada (a stew made with beans, pork and beef, served on rice) is not very popular in the city but you can try the seafood, the chicken kebabs and the traditional Bolo de Rolo cake.

Take a day trip to Olinda , one of the best preserved colonial cities in Brazil. The downtown are is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also home to lively and colorful Carnival (but in this city it’s free to attend).

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