Recife: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Municipality  —
The Municipality of Recife
From upper left: Coconut palms in Boa Viagem Neighborhood; Boa Viagem Beach; Old Recife Neighborhood; Recife Metro; Frevo dancers during the carnival.


Nickname(s): Veneza Brasileira (Brazilian Venice), Capital of the Northeast and Mauricéia/Mauritzstad (after the Dutch colonization)
Motto: Latin: "Ut Luceat Omnibus"'
"That it may shine on all" (Matthew 5:15)
Recife is located in Brazil
Location in Brazil
Coordinates: 8°3′S 34°54′W / 8.05°S 34.9°W / -8.05; -34.9
Country  Brazil
Region Northeast
State  Pernambuco
Founded March 12, 1537
Incorporated (as village) 1709
Incorporated (as city) 1823
 - Mayor João da Costa Bezerra Filho (PT)
 - Municipality 218 km2 (84.17 sq mi)
 - Metro 2,768 km2 (1,068.7 sq mi)
Elevation 10 m (33 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Municipality 1,561,659 (9th)
 Density 7,163.3/km2 (18,537.9/sq mi)
 Metro 3,768,902
 - Metro Density 1,361.1/km2 (3,527/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
Postal Code 50000-000
Area code(s) +55 81
HDI (2000) 0.797 – medium
Website Recife, Pernambuco

Recife (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁeˈsifi]  ( listen)) is the 5th [1] largest Metropolitan area in Brazil with 3,768,902 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 4th largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper was 1,561,659[2] in 2009. Recife is located where the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Recife means "reef" in Portuguese, in allusion to the coral reefs that are present by the city's shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city center characterize its geography and gives it the moniker of the "Brazilian Venice."

The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the main industrial zone of the State of Pernambuco; most relevant products are those derived from cane (sugar and ethanol), electronics, food, and others; thanks to the fiscal incentives of government, many industrial enterprises were started in the 1970s and 1980s. Recife has a tradition of being the most important commercial center of the North/Northeastern region of Brazil with more than 52,500 business enterprises in Recife itself plus 32,500 in the Metro Area which will total more than 85,000.[3]

A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil's second largest medical center, (second only to São Paulo);[4] modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighboring States.[5][6] Like all other cities in the Northeast, Recife is developing its tourist sector. The beach of Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the city, has been repeatedly awarded the title of best beach in Brazil and has drawn many tourists.[7] Recife's infrastructure is among the most developed in Brazil for travellers and business people, though there is wide room for improvement.[8]

The city is also a renowned educational center, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife to attain their education.

Recife is served by the Gilberto Freyre/Guararapes International Airport which connects Recife to several Brazilian destinations as well as major international cities in Europe, the United States and South America. Also, together with Natal these are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the paradise islands of Fernando de Noronha, World Heritage Site since 2001.[9]



Sunset in Jaqueira.

Due to the city's proximity to the equator, Recife weather is generally warm. Recife has a number of islands, rivers, waterways and bridges that crisscross the city. Recife is located amidst tropical forests which are distinguished by high rainfall levels resulting in poor soil quality as the rainfall washes away the nutrients. There is an absence of extreme temperatures and a cool breeze due to the trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean.[10]


Recife has a tropical forest. Rainforests are characterized by high rainfall, with definitions setting minimum normal annual rainfall between 2,000 millimetres (79 in) and 1,700 millimetres (67 in). The soil can be poor because high rainfall tends to leach out soluble nutrients. There are several common characteristics of tropical rainforest trees. The city of Recife is formed by three islands (Recife, Santo Antônio, and Boa Vista).[11] Between the islands are the rivers Beberibe and Capibaribe.[12]


Aurora Street and the main Capibaribe River




  • Araça and Olho d'agua

Large water supplier (Dams)

  • Prata do Meio and Apipucos


Recife has a year-round tropical climate, with warm to hot temperatures and high relative humidity throughout the year. However, these conditions are relieved by a near absence of extreme temperatures and pleasant trade winds blowing from the ocean. The city straddles between a tropical wet and dry climate and a tropical monsoon climate. January is the warmest month, with mean temperatures ranging from 30 °C (86 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F), with sun; July experiences the coolest temperatures, with mean temperatures ranging from 27 °C (81 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F), with rain.

Climate data for Recife
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37
Average high °C (°F) 31
Daily mean °C (°F) 28
Average low °C (°F) 25
Record low °C (°F) 20
Precipitation cm (inches) 6
Source: Weatherbase[13]


Santo Antônio Church.
"Campo das Princesas" Pernambuco Government Palace.
Recife in the morning.

The area around Recife was one of the first in Brazil to be settled by the Portuguese Crown. In 1537, John III of Portugal divided Brazil into Hereditary Captaincies (Capitanias Hereditárias, in Portuguese); the Portuguese realized that they had no human or financial resources to invest in such a large and distant colony, and decided to assign this task to private entrepreneurs, called Donatários (this system had already been successful in the settlement of the Portuguese colonies in Africa).

Because of several problems (the most obvious being the lack of support from the Portuguese metropolis), most Captaincies failed. One of the few to prosper was the Captaincy of Pernambuco, which was assigned to Duarte Coelho Pereira (the man who founded Olinda (which has its historic town center considered a world heritage site by Unesco and became famous for expressing his enchantment with the beauty of the place, giving the name to the city).

Pernambuco prospered from the sugarcane industry (beet sugar was not industrially produced in Europe until the beginning of the 19th century). At the time, in Europe, sugarcane plantations could be grown only in Andalusia and the Algarve; in the 1420s, sugarcane was carried to the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores; the sugar from Brazil was very much appreciated in Europe. Duarte Coelho found in Pernambuco plenty of fertile land and an excellent climate for the cultivation of cane; all he needed was labor to work the crops and to keep the "engenhos" (rustic wooden machinery) moving.

At first, the Portuguese tried to use the indigenous peoples of Brazil, but since Portugal was the country with the strongest black slave market because of their previous expeditions to Africa, using black slaves would not only be easier to handle, but it would be cheaper as well; from the 16th to the 19th century, Pernambuco received many slaves, making it one of the Brazilian States where black culture has the most visible traces (in dance, music, culinary, etc).

This mixture of Portuguese, (native) Indians and black slaves would be enough to make Recife one of the most culturally diverse cities in Brazil. The Dutch added to the mix. From 1580 to 1640, the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal were unified under the rule of the former. Spain was engaged in a war against the Netherlands, and determined that the Dutch, who were the main distributors of Brazilian sugar in Europe, would be prohibited from coming to Brazil.

The Dutch decided to invade several sugar producing cities in Brazil, including Salvador and Natal. From 1630 to 1654, they took control of Recife and Olinda, making Recife the new capital of Dutch Brazil, the city of Mauritsstad. During this period, Mauritsstad became one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. The first Jewish community and the first synagogue in the Americas was founded in the city.[14]

The inhabitants fought on their own to expel the Dutch, being helped by the involvement of the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War. This was known as the Insurreição Pernambucana (Pernambucan Insurrection). Most of the Jews fled to Amsterdam; others fled to North America, starting the first Jewish community of New Amsterdam (now known as New York City).

During the 18th century, riots spread throughout the city, in which the rich farmers of Olinda and the traders from Recife clashed. Recife had a clear advantage in relation to Olinda: Olinda has no harbour, while Recife's Harbor is one of the largest on the Atlantic Ocean. Recife's victory asserted the supremacy of its bourgeoisie over the decadent sugar aristocrats of Olinda. This was a decisive factor for Recife's growth. Recife is now a large city whereas Olinda is a small historical town. Recife is an historical city, distinguished by the opulence of its colonial buildings, with its colonization rooted in different nations; Portugal, the Netherlands, France, England.


According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 3,737,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Recife. The population density was 6,422 inhabitants per square kilometre (16,630 /sq mi) (in the urban area). The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following percentage: 1,976,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (52.88%), 1,454,000 White people (38.90%), 280,000 Black people (7.49%), 16,000 Amerindian people (0.43%), 7,000 Asian people (0.20%).[15]

The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the 5th most populous of Brazil, after São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, and the 1st in the Northeast region. The city is the 9th most populous of the country with 1,561,659 inhabitants, and third largest city in the Northeast region,according with IBGE 2009. The most populous neighborhoods of Recife in 2008 were Boa Viagem (100,388), Casa Amarela (69,134), and Várzea (64,512).[16]

Population Increase of Recife
Year Inhabitants
1630[17] 7,000
1654[17] 8,000
1709[17] 12,000
1790[17] 15,000
1810[17] 25,000
1838[17] 60,000
1872 126,671
1890 111,000
1900 113,106
Year Inhabitants
1920 238,843
1940 348,424
1950 524,682
1960 788,336
1970 1,060,701
1980 1,203,899
1990 1,288,607
2000 1,422,905
2006 [18] 1,515,052


Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church, Patroness Saint of Recife.

The Patroness Saint of Recife[19] is Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nossa Senhora do Carmo), dating back one hundred years ago (1909). Every July 16, her day, she is remembered by the Catholics in Recife, in her church.

Religion Percentage Number
Catholic 68.02% 976,807
Protestant 23.78% 358,564
No religion 5.1% 87,910
Spiritist 1.53% 30,782

Source: IBGE 2000.[20]


Modern Recife.
Aerial view.

According to 2007 IBGE statistics, the GDP was estimated at R$ 20.7 billion (Brazilian Reais), not counting agricultural activities. Manufacturing represented 17.4% and the sector of the commerce and service 82.53%. In 2006, IBGE estimates indicate that the GDP just of the city had grown to R$ 18.3 billion.

Recife is one of Brazil's prime business centers, largely because it has one International Airport and two International ports. One is located in the town itself, and the other, the port of Suape, is located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) away. Just south of Recife is the region's main industrial area, where the following industries can be found: brewing and canning, automotive electronics, tube manufacturing, chocolate manufacturing, textiles, etc.[21]

Recife has shared in the prosperity of Northeastern Brazil that resulted from development promoted after 1960 by Sudene (Superintendência para o Desenvolvimento do Nordeste), a federal organization. Although its retail and wholesale trade have grown in response to the region's increases in population and wealth, the market area and the walkways of the city's bridges are crowded with vendors selling small items.

The GDP for the city was R$ 20,718,107,000 (2007), and the per capita income for the city was R$ 13,510 which is the highest for the Northeastern Capitals of Brazil.[22]

Information technology industry

Digital Port on the far end.

Recife has an area dedicated to information technology called "Porto Digital" (Digital Port) with more than 90 companies and 3,000 High Tech Jobs. It was founded in July 2000 and has since attracted major investments. Generating some R$10 billion (Brazilian Reais) a year,[23] it produces technology that is exported to Japan, China, among other countries. Software manufacturing is the main activity in the Porto Digital. The Porto Digital cluster comprises small and median companies, but multinationals like Motorola, Samsung, Dell and Sun Microsystems are also installed in Porto Digital. IBM and Microsoft transferred their regional headquarters to Recife. Major developments in the local cluster include web-based solutions as well as solutions in outsourcing, biometry, information security, IT infrastructure, mobility/wi-fi, distance education, and games. After six years of activity, Porto Digital has been expanded with new installations around Recife, other Brazilian states, and even foreign countries.

Porto Digital's startups can count on a ready pool of talent, courtesy of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America.[24] The school began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (SUNW) Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Professors at the school also teamed up to launch Centro de Estudos e Sistemas Avançados do Recife (C.E.S.A.R), a business incubator that has played a vital role in the birth of some 30 companies.[24]

Medical pool

The Metropolitan Region of Recife has the 2nd largest medical pool in Brazil, after São Paulo. Together they make up 417 hospitals and clinics with 72,000 employees in the Metro Area and more than 120,000 in the State of Pernambuco. The medical pool offers a total of 8,990 beds and, according to the Union of the Hospitals of Pernambuco, recorded in the year 2000 an invoicing of R$220 million (Brazilian Reals). It is thanks to the pool that Pernambuco has access to more computed tomography devices than more developed countries such as Canada or France.[25]

A large portion of the modern hospitals included in the pool are located between the neighbourhoods of Derby and of the Ilha do Leite. The Hospital Real Português de Beneficência Portuguesa em Pernambuco, or "Hospital Português" (Portuguese Hospital) for short, is one of the most renowned hospitals in the country. Many people from neighbouring states go to Recife for treatment, as it has the largest and best medical facilities in the North-Northeast of Brazil.[26] Recife has three universities for medicine, 2 public, Federal University of Pernambuco and University of Pernambuco; and 1 private, Escola Pernambucana de Medicina FBV/IMIP (Medical School of Pernambuco).

Princesa Isabel Bridge.

Logistics Center

Due to its ports, airport, and geographic location in the northeastern region of Brazil, Recife is considered one of the biggest logistics centers in Brazil. Logistic and Communications Economic sector employees 4%[27] of the people in Recife, 12,3% in Jaboatão dos Guararapes and over 9% in the Metropolitan Area. These numbers could increase by the end of 2010 with the conclusion of the Transnordestina (main NE Trainline with a 1,800/1,118 km/mi extension, which will cross 3 and connect 7 States (34 municipalities in Pernambuco alone) products with Suape port (PE) and Pecem Port (CE)) with costs that are estimated to be around 4.5 BR$.[28]

Recife has historically benefited from its central location in the Northeast region. In a 200-mile (322 km) radius from Recife, it is possible to find four state capitals, two internationals and three regional airports, five international ports, 12 million people, 51% of the research centres of Northeast and 35% of the region's GDP. Similarly, in a 500-mile (805 km) radius there are seven state capitals, five international and five regional airports, nine international ports and two fluvial ports, almost 30 million people and 90% of the northeast region GDP.

Convention Centres

The city at night.
Panoramic view.

According to the International Congress and Convention Associations (ICCA) Recife is ranked 6th in terms of Brazilian cities with the most International events. Many events taking place during the year include:

  • O Virtuosi, Festival International de Musica de Pernambuco (International Music Festival);
  • O Mimo, Mostra International de Musica em Olinda (International Music Show in Olinda);
  • A feira da Musica Brasil/Porto Musical (Brasil Music Port);
  • A Fispal Recife, Feira Internacional da Alimentacao (International Food Festival);
  • A Aficons, Feira Internacional de Materiais, equipamentos e servicos da construção (International Construction Workshop);
  • Many Music Shows, Professional and Scientific Meetings, etc;
  • Recife and Olinda Carnival, the biggest all-access street party in the world.

And because of its geographic location, tourism and city infrastructurem Recife's Convention Centres are of a high standard:

  • Centro de Convenções de Pernambuco (Pernambuco Convention Centre)

The 3rd largest convention centre in Brazil with 2 large theatres with 2,800 seats, 4 Auditory rooms with 1,600 seats, 17 business meetings rooms, VIP rooms, large cultural multi-purpose lobby, more than 1,800 parking spots, in a total area of 75,000 square metres. It's considered one of the most developed in South America and fit for any kind of event.

  • Centro de Convenções da UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco Convention Centre)

Modern theatre with 1,931 seats and 2,071 square metres of exposition area located in the University Campus.

  • Many Hotels Conventions Rooms throughout the metro area.

Tourism and Recreation

Resort in Muro Alto beach RMR.
Nassau Bridge
The city at night.
Golden chapel

The celebrations, holidays and other events are numerous during the whole year. Thus the New Year begins at the beach, Praia de Boa Viagem and in Old Recife. The carnival of Recife and Olinda (which has its historic town center considered world heritage site by UNESCO in 1982)[29] begins many weeks ahead in December with innumerable balls and parades. In the city, the carnival festivities begin in December, as locals begin preparing for the official Carnival, which starts the week before Ash Wednesday. The pre-Carnival parties usually consist of percussion groups practicing in local clubs, city streets and squares, and even Carnival balls. There is a variety of rhythms from different cultures. Carnival officially starts with the Galo da Madrugada, a party in Downtown Recife attracting many people from several States of Brazil, and other parts of the world. Recife has many quality 3, 4 and 5-Star International Hotels as well Pousadas (traditional Bed & breakfast) and Apart-Hotels totaling more than 11,500 bedrooms and this number increase to over 30,000[30] Metropolitan Area. The majority of which have proven experience in receiving both national and international tourists, while the top facilities have sporting complexes, mini golf courses, spas, panoramic pools, etc.

Mercado de São José (Market of Saint Joseph) is an old, iron construction with a very popular market nearby. In the Fort Cinco Pontes (Fort of Five Points) is the state museum, (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco). At the rectangular Pátio de São Pedro are the Cathedral São Pedro (Cathedral of Saint Peter) dating from the year 1782 and restored colonial houses, with numerous restaurants, bistros and bars. In the Bairro Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony Neighborhood), at the meeting place of the rivers Capibaribe and Beberibe, is the Praça da República (Square of the Republic) with the Teatro Santa Isabel (Theatre of Saint Isabel), with its neoclassic front - well worth seeing, the Law Courts, and the Palácio da Justiça (Palace of the Justice). Casa da Cultura (House of Culture) is an old prison that has been converted into a cultural space and shopping centre.

Built between 1835 and 1855, the Malakoff Tower, a monument constructed in Tunisian style, which used to be an observatory and now is a cultural centre and a place for popular gatherings. It is located at Arsenal da Marinha Square. It has been registered as a Historical Patrimony and was named after a similar monument on Crimean peninsula, used as a defence center for Sebastopol.

Nature has a special place in Dois Irmãos Park, 387 hectares of Atlantic Forest reserve and 14 hectares of botanical gardens. There are also 800 wild animals, the Natural Science Museum and various ecological trails.[31] The metropolitan area has also a giant water park 20 km (12 mi) North of Recife, called Veneza water park which has nearly one million sq/ft of area, ten millions litres of water and lots of water slides for the youngsters.

Among Recife's main tourist attractions are:

  • Churches , historical monuments, public markets including 17th and 18th century constructions from Portuguese and Dutch colonisers;
  • Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art;
  • Ricardo Brennand Institute: cultural institute with museum, pinacotec and library;
  • Recife Antigo (Old Recife) buildings;
  • Boa Viagem beach (the inside city's most important beach) and many beautiful beaches in the metropolitan and state area;
  • Casa da Cultura: souvenir shops in an Historic prison building;
  • The Carnival at locations such as downtown and Recife Antigo;
  • Olinda's historic town centre, considered a world heritage site by UNESCO;[29]
  • Shopping, Convention Centres;
  • News and Historic Cinemas, Theatres and Art galleries.

Shopping centres

Shopping Paço da Alfândega.

Shopping Center Recife, the first Shopping Center in the North/Northeastern region, was inaugurated in 1980 through the initiatives of two large groups of entrepreneurs: Ancar and Ecisa. After twenty-three years and three expansion projects, Shopping Center Recife has been transformed into one of the largest in Latin America, and the first "mega-mall" in Northeastern Brazil.[32] With a total area of nearly two million square feet, 70% of which is mall-space, the shopping centre has 465 stores, 10 movie theatres, 8 restaurants, 4 food service courts with 57 fast food mini-restaurants, and 5,000 parking spaces available. 90,000 customers per day pass through its doors, while 32,400,000 consumers per year use the facilities.[33]

Shopping Center Tacaruna. The first great centre for purchases in the North/West zone of the Recife Metropolitan Region was inaugurated on April 29, 1997, with the intention of improving the economies the cities of Recife, Olinda, and Paulista. The JCPM Group created Shopping Center Tacaruna, a mix of stores, services, and relaxation. There are 187 national and international commercial businesses, three anchor stores, a food court, and 8 movie theatres. These numbers will grow since Tacaruna is currently undergoing an expansion project.[34]

Shopping Paço da Alfândega. The new centre for shopping is divided into four levels: services, fashion, dining, and panoramic restaurants. Next to the building is Livraria Cultura (cultural bookshop), the largest bookstore in Brazil, with 26,000 square feet. It also features the Convention and Business Centre for the Recife wharf area with two parking areas (800 spaces), a garden, observatory, open air exhibition space, an area for fashion shows, a mini-convention centre, bookstore, auditorium (300 seats), and 4 meeting rooms. Rather uniquely, the business hours are from midday until midnight.[35]

Plaza Shopping Casa Forte was inaugurated in November 1998. Fashion and charm mark the style here, conquering the people of the city. It receives 12 thousand people daily, coming principally from the neighborhoods of Casa Forte, Espinheiro, Graças, Aflitos and Poço da Panela. The Plaza has a structure composed of more than 140 stores, kiosks, a food court, and area for relaxation, and has recently undergone an expansion to include a bigger food court, more shops and a movie theatre.[36]

Boa Viagem Beach.
Itamaracá Beach RMR.


Recife Beaches

  • Boa Viagem, Pina and Brasilia Teimosa

Jaboatão Beaches

  • Piedade, Candeias and Barra de Jangada

Olinda Beaches

  • Rio Doce and Casa Caiada

South Beaches

  • Gaibu, Calhetas, Itapuama, Pedra Xaréu, Cabo, Enseada dos Corais (Cabo de Santo Agostinho RMR) 30/50 km S
  • Porto De Galinhas, Muro Alto, Maracaipe, Serrambi, Toquinho, Gamboa (Ipojuca RMR) 50/75 km S
  • Barra de Sirinhaém, Carneiros, Barreiros, Tamandaré, San José da Coroa Grande (in other cities) 75/110 km S
  • Maragogi (Alagoas state) (130 km (81 mi) S

North Beaches

  • Pau Amarelo, Janga and Maria Farinha' ( with one of the largest water park in Brazil - Veneza water park (Paulista RMR) 18/29 km N
  • Itamaracá, Gavéa, Jaguaribe (Itamaracá RMR) 30/45 km N
  • Catuama, Carne de Vaca, Ponta de Pedras (anothers cities) 45/80 km N
  • Fernando de Noronha 545 km NE - 1 flight hour[37]

Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (65 km (40 mi) to the south). The most popular nearby tourist destination, with high-end hotels and restaurants competing with more accessible options that lie within the budget of any traveller.

Diplomatic Missions

Recife has a large number of Diplomatic missions[38], listed below by alphabetical order:

1 - General Consulate, 2 - Consulate, 3 - Honorary Consulate, 4 - Embassy, 5 - Honorary consulate & commercial office, 6 - Olinda


Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum. There are also international schools, such as the American School of Recife and the ABA Maple Bear Canadian School.

Educational institutions

Recife is the most important educational centre of the state.

Recife is home to several higher education institutions (83), notably several public-owned universities:


Recife is one of the most cultural sites in Brazil, and is the home of several artists, musicians and writers. It is also home to the frevo, a regional dance and music, typical in carnival, and Mangue Beat, a type of Brazilian rock with mixture of Maracatu, Ciranda, Rap and other musical styles. During carnival, downtown Recife holds one of the most authentic and democratic celebrations: every year more than one and a half million people open the festivities of the Brazilian Carnival at Galo da Madrugada. Recife and Olinda combined[39] have 25 museums, 38 art galleries, 2 Orchestra houses, 15 theatres, 1 opera house and more than 40 movie theatres.


The Museum of Pernambuco State (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco) Housed in a 19th century mansion in Recife, capital of Pernambuco state, the "Museu do Estado de Pernambuco (MEPE)" dates back to 1929. From Masters who portrayed the Colonial period, as well as the Dutch invasion (1630) to 20th and 21st century, the museum comprises over 12 thousand art pieces. Periodically the museum hosts the "Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Pernambuco" when emerging artists are selected to represent the new run of local professionals who will help to maintain and shape the new profile of the local art scenery.

Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue Kahal Zur Israel, the historic Recife synagogue in Recife Antigo, is the oldest in the Americas, dating back to the 17th Century. Reopened recently, Kahal is an important part of Pernambuco's historic patrimony. It was founded by Jews who were once expelled from Portugal and settled in the Netherlands. Some of those Jews emigrated to "New Holland" when the Dutch invaded the Northeastern portion of Brazilian lands occupied by the Portuguese. When the Portuguese, helped by Portuguese-Brazilians, reconquered the land, Recife Portuguese-Brazilian Jews moved further north with the Dutch, and founded "New Amsterdam" on Manhattan Island. Thus, the first New York City synagogue was created in lower Manhattan by the founders of the first synagogue in the New World in Recife. It later moved to the Upper West Side, where it is still called "The Portuguese and Spanish Synagogue."

Francisco Brennand Ceramic Shop Francisco Brennand, one of the most important names in contemporary sculptures in Brazil, displays his ceramic works in enormous open sheds, between monuments and gardens. It is set in an old brick factory that belonged to the sculptor's family.

Museum of the Northeastern Man This broad collection portrays Pernambuco's culture through three main themes: the sugar-cane production cycle, the Northeastern man's life-style and the folkloric and religious manifestations.

Gilberto Freyre Foundation This farmhouse, from the 18th century, was Gilberto Freyre's old residence. Artworks, arts and crafts, book collections and objects that belonged to the Pernambucan writer and sociologist are displayed here.

Ricardo Brennand Institute.

Ricardo Brennand Institute Set up in a reproduction of a medieval-style castle, there is a collection of pieces from the Dutch domination period in Recife, as well as daggers and armor from medieval Europe.

Recife City Museum Located in a room in Cinco Pontas Fort (the five-pointed Fort), it houses pictures, reproductions of old paintings and objects that encapsulate Recife since the period of Dutch rule.

Recife Cinema Festival

Also known as Recife Audiovisual Festival or Cine-PE, Recife Cinema Festival is a competitive film and audiovisual festival that is held in Recife. It is dedicated to the Brazilian and state production of feature & short films; as well as videos and documentaries. It was founded in 1997 by the Alfredo & Sandra Bertini, who have been the directors since then. Between 1997 and 2008, 1806 films [40] (through either competitive applications or National & International invitations) of all types and genres for a public of over 250,000 people have been a part of it.

The main trophy awarded by the organization to either a specialised or independent judge is that of Calunga (which is a puppet used by maracatu dancers), for the varied film categories represented. Also, another important trophy is the Gilberto Freyre, presented for the feature film that best expresses the appreciation of Brazilian identity through the concept of racial diversity, that characterizes the Brazilian ethnic formation and culture. Other prizes are given by independent private partners, usually monetary, and distributed through the diverse categories.

The event usually takes place at the end of April/May, in the Convention Center of Recife (CECON). It also includes seminares, workshops, meetings, musicals, and art exhibitions, which bring many Cinema professionals and/or lovers making themfestival to one of the most important events in the Brazilian film market.

  • Recife Cinema History

Recife and consequently Pernambuco has a tradition in the Brazilian film making history. In the pioneer times of the Brazilian cinema emerged the Regional movements. One of those, was designated Ciclo de Recife[41] ( Recife cycle), between 1922-1931. Despite adverse conditions, during this cycle was realized in Recife 13 feature films (usually about drama & Romance) and 7 realistic films (usually ordered by authorities to show their public works). Despite pervasive influence of U.S. and European cinemas in the silent film times, the Recife cycle was one of the most important, regional and produtive of them. One of the most important movie was Aitaré da Praia, which is recognized for pioneering the rise of regional themes (1925). Anothers large successful films was Retribuição (1923) and A Filha do Advogado (1926). Another important phase of the Pernambuco/Recife film history was in the 1970s with a movement called Super 8, often used for home videos and documentaries realized by students, curious and aspirant film makers, due to the utilization of 8 mm film, proportionated by the new technology released by Kodak.

  • Recife Film Theaters

Multiplex Recife, Multiplex Tacaruna, Multiplex Boa Vista, Cine Rosa e Silva, CineBox Guararapes, Cinema do Parque, Multiplex Casa Forte, Cinema da Fundação, Cinema Apolo, Cinema Arcoíris and UCI Kinoplex.


Typical Brazilian churrasco. From left fraldinha (meat cut), Picanha, chicken heart, sausages, bread with garlic sauce, sliced picanha with garlic and chicken legs.

Recife cuisine is the cuisine of its region, Pernambuco and the Northeast, and the culinary influences of the area can be traced to a dynamic assortment of cultures: the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Moors, Africans and Indigenous.[42] Many dishes come with a delicious coconut sauce, palm oil (dendê) and feature corn, manioc roots, yam, fresh seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster cooked with exotic sauces) and native fruits. Grilled meats are also big here, especially goat and beef dishes.

The typical regional main dishes include caldeirada (seafood stew with octopus cooked with various spices and coconut milk, may be served with white beans or farofa), feijoada Pernambucana (made with brown beans instead of black), sarapatel, buchada (goat stew), dobradinha (bean stew), roast goat, mão de vaca (cow's foot stew), Rabada (ox tail stew with manioc flour), cozido Pernambucano (beef stew), chambaril, galinha de cabidela (chicken in blood sauce), peixada Pernambucana (fish stew), macaxeira com charque (cassava with beef jerky), quiabada (okras with beef), feijão com arroz (rice and beans), guaiamuns (giant crabs) and one of the most traditional dish, is Carne-de-sol (Sun-dried beef), which consists of beef dried in the sun and usually served with green beans. For dessert, it has bolo de rolo (cake roll), cake Souza Leão, cartola (top hat cake) which consists of fried long bananas with cheese topped with cinnamon and sugar. The diversity continues for the breakfast as one person can find cuscus of sweet corn or manioc, yams and cassava with charque (corned beef or beef jerky), sweet potato, goiabada,fried long banana , mugunzá, regional fruits, bread, tapioca, rice pudding, porridge, yogurt, queijo coalho, corn bread, hominy and pamonha. This meal is often accompanied by coffee with/or milk and juices from regional fruits such as from cashew, pineapple, mangoes, acerola, guava, passion fruit, umbu, hog plum, pitanga, jackfruit, orange, avocado and the regional most famous caldo-de-cana and água-de-coco juices.

According with Abrasel (Brazilian Association of Bars & Restaurants) Recife has over than 1.7 thousands bars and restaurants which served regional (partially listed above), Brazilian (such as moqueca, bobó de camarão, açaí)and International dishes from all over the world; which has made it the first gastronomic pole of the Northeast[43] and the third one in the whole country after São Paulo and Rio.

Festa Junina (Saint John Festival)

Maracatu dancers.

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese for whom St John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently from what happens on the European Midsummer Day. The festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of St Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets. Typical foods and beverages are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costumes-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and St John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.


Galo da Madrugada

The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets. Pernambuco has large Carnival celebrations with more than 3000 shows in the street historic center performed for over than 430 local groups, including the Frevo, typical Pernambuco music. Another famous carnival music style from Pernambuco is Maracatu. The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and democratic carnaval celebrations in Brazil. The largest carnival in Brazil is Galo da Madrugada, which takes place in Downtown Recife on Carnival Saturday. Another famous event is the "Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos." Carnival Recife's joyous Carnival is nationally known, attracting thousands of people every year. The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios "shaking" the Boa Viagem Neighborhood. On Friday, people take to the streets to dance to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat groups. There are still many other entertainment poles spread out around the city, featuring local and national artists. One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one and a half million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group. From Sunday to Monday, there is the Night of the Silent Drums, on the Pátio do Terço, where Maracatus honor slaves that died in prisons.

2008 Carnival.

"Frevo" was born from the confluence of European and Afro-Brazilian cultures,[44] as probably did all the other musical genres consolidated in Brazil. Historians from Pernambuco say that, before the term appeared in Recife's 'Jornal Pequeno', it was already heard and danced in a symbiosis of polkas, 'modinhas', 'dobrados' e 'maxixes' e 'jogos pastoris' (stick and rope formations) along the streets of Pernambuco's capital. The music bands (civilian or military) of the time helped giving the sound the defining character we have come to know as the Frevo, a musical mass defined by the brasses. About the Street-Frevo, conductor Guerra Peixe said once that "it is the only popular genre that does not admit the 'play-by-ear composer'. He was referring to the technical hardship of this kind of music, and stressing the role of conductors who led the 'frevistical' troupes.


International Airport

Guararapes International Airport, also known as Gilberto Freyre International Airport, is the airport serving Recife, has been open in its newest structure since July 2004 and is 52,000 square meters in area. It has the longest runway in the Northeast region, at 3,305 meters. Its extension permits operations with jumbo jets, such as the Boeing 747-400, which can carry 290 passengers and 62 tons of cargo or Airbus A330/340. Guararapes had its capacity expanded from 1.5 million to 5 million passengers a year, which was almost reached in 2008 with more than 4.6 million passengers (there are also plans to increase to 7.2 m). Current domestic destinations include most major cities in Brazil,and the state cities of Fernando de Noronha and Petrolina; there are also international flights to Paris, France, Lisbon, Portugal, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Miami and Atlanta in the United States. The main Airlines operating in Recife Airport include TAM Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos, TAP Portugal, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Livingston Energy Flight, Blue Panorama Airlines, Webjet, TRIP Linhas Aéreas, OceanAir, Flex Linhas Aéreas and Azul Brazilian Airlines. There is a pipeline running underneath carrying kerosene to fuel the airplanes, the safest way to do this because it does away with the need for tank trucks in the maneuvering area.

The shopping and leisure area was also totally remodeled, using the "Aeroshopping" concept, which transforms an airport into a center for business, comfort and high-quality products and services. The commercial spaces will be occupied in stages and the final total will be 142 shops. The parking structure has been ready since December 2002. There are three levels with total capacity for 2080 vehicles, over four times the previous 500 spots. There is space for events and exhibitions on the fourth level. It is located 1 km (0.6 mi) from Boa Viagem beach, 9 km (5.5 mi) from the city center and 19 km (11 mi) from the Suape Port.


Suape port, is located in the city of Ipojuca, inside the metropolitan region. Suape serves ships 365 days a year without any restrictions with regard to tidal schedules. To assist in the docking operation of the ships, the port offers a monitoring system and laser ship docking system that enables effective, secure control and upholds the same technical standards as the most important ports across the globe. The port moves over 8.4 million tons of cargo a year. The liquid granary (petroleum by-products, chemical products, ethanol, vegetable oils, etc.) constitutes more than 80% of the movement. The port can serve ships of up to 170,000 tpb and operational draft of 14.50 m. With 27 km² of backport, the internal and external ports offer the necessary conditions for serving large ships. The access canal has 5,000 m of extension, 300 m in width and 16.5 m in length. More than 95 Companies from almost all Industries are already installed in Suape which includes a Petrobras Refinary, the largest Ship Builder in South American and a large Petrochemical Company as many others.

Tancredo Neves Metro Station.
Air conditioned bus on Caxangá Avenue.

Port of Recife, is located in the city of Recife. Road access to Port of Recife is accomplished, mainly, through the federal highways BR-232 (linking the interior of the state) and BR-101 (linking to other States to the north and the south of the State of Pernambuco). The main producing and consuming centers of the interior of the state and of the rest of the Northeast, are linked to Port by paved highways. Three trunks of the Railways of Companhia Ferroviária do Nordeste (CFN), Northeastern Railway Company, serve the main areas of production in the state, tying the Port of Recife respectively: to the capitals of the states placed to the north of Pernambuco (north log); to the cities of the interior of the State (log west); and to the cities of Maceió and Aracaju (south log).

There are two access channels to the Port, both of natural characteristics. The main one, South Channel, has 260 m of width and 3.4 km (2.11 mi) of extension approximately, with a depth of 10.5 m. The other, denominated North Channel, has little width, about 1.00 km (0.6 mi) of length, and a depth of 6.5 m, and it is used only by small size vessels. The International Airport of Guararapes is 14 km (8.6 mi) away from the Port.


Since 1998, building of the Metro expansion has been in progress. When ready, Recife Metro will become the second largest in Brazil, after São Paulo.[45] It already reaches from Recife central station to Jaboatão, Timbi (Camaragibe) and Mall (Shopping Recife).

This system also integrates with several bus lines connected to the bus/metro[46] integration terminals, such as Barro and Joana Bezerra stations. It is possible to ride the metro and the connected bus line by purchasing one ticket only. Since March of 2009, Recife Metro has finished one more phase of expansion. The system now has 28 stations (11 integrated with buses) and is 39.5 km (24.5 mi) long.


According to Detran-PE (Transportation State Bureau Administrator) in 2009, the city of Recife has a total fleet of over 464 thousand[47] motor vehicles on its streets. 54,335 cargo vehicles, 318,520 passenger vehicles, 72,719 motorbikes, 14,142 others and 4,855 buses (split between private and public). These buses transport almost two million passengers daily[48][49] in the metropolitan area, distributed between 17 local bus companies.


Transport Map of Recife.

Recife metropolitan area is crossed by 3 main Federal[50] highways:

  • Numerous state highways (PE-xxx): 001/007/009/015/020/022/027/028/035/037/038/041/042/045/060/096.


Station of Uchôa Bridge.
São Pedro dos Clérigos Cathedral.
Recife Sunset.
Marco Zero in the city.

The city has 6 Regions[51] Political Administrative RPA, which contains all 94 neighborhoods:

  • Aflitos , Afogados , Água Fria,
  • Alto do Mandu , Alto José Bonifácio,
  • Alto José do Pinho , Alto Santa Terezinha,
  • Apipucos , Areias , Arruda , Barro,
  • Beberibe , Boa Viagem , Boa Vista,
  • Bomba do Hemetério , Bongi ,
  • Brasília Teimosa ,Brejo da Guabiraba ,
  • Brejo de Beberibe ,Cabanga ,Caçote ,
  • Cajueiro , Campina do Barreto ,
  • Campo Grande , Casa Amarela ,
  • Casa Forte ,Caxangá,Cidade Universitária ,
  • Coelhos , Coqueiral , Cordeiro ,
  • Córrego do Jenipapo ,Curado , Derby ,
  • Dois Irmãos ,Dois Unidos ,Encruzilhada ,
  • Engenho do Meio ,Espinheiro ,Estância ,
  • Fundão , Graças , Guabiraba ,
  • Hipódromo ,Ibura ,Ibura de Cima (Cohab),
  • Ilha do Leite , Ilha do Retiro ,
  • Ilha Joana Bezerra ,Imbiribeira ,Ipsep ,
  • Iputinga , Jaqueira , Jardim São Paulo ,
  • Jiquiá , Jordão , Jordão Baixo ,
  • Linha do Tiro ,Macaxeira , Madalena ,
  • Mangabeira , Mangueira , Monteiro ,
  • Morro da Conceição , Mustardinha ,
  • Nova Descoberta , Passarinho ,
  • Paissandu , Parnamirim , Pau Ferro ,
  • Peixinhos , Pina , Poço ,
  • Ponto de Parada , Porto da Madeira ,
  • Prado , Bairro do Recife (Recife Antigo) ,
  • Rosarinho , San Martin , Sancho ,
  • Santana , Santo Amaro , Santo Antônio ,
  • São José , Sítio dos Pintos ,
  • Soledade , Tamarineira , Tejipió ,
  • Torre , Torreão , Torrões ,
  • Totó , Várzea ,
  • Vasco da Gama , Zumbi .


Arruda Stadium in Recife.

Soccer in Pernambuco began in 1902, when English and Dutch sailors landed in Recife and played a game of soccer on the beach. The new game aroused the interest of the people of Pernambuco, and they soon started playing.

Recife provides visitors and residents with various sporting activities. There are several soccer clubs based in Recife, such as Sport (38 times state champion and once national champion(87) and Brazil's Cup champion (08)), Santa Cruz FC (24 times state champion), and Náutico (22 times state champion). The Campeonato Pernambucano (Pernambuco's State Championship) is divided into Taça Tabocas e Guararapes and Taça Confederação do Equador. They both have the same format: standard round-robin, in which all teams play each other once. A round-robin tournament or all-play-all tournament is a type of group tournament in which each participant plays every other participant an equal number of times. If a team wins both Taça Tabocas e Guararapes and Taça Confederação do Equador, it is crowned the state champion. If not, a home-and-away playoff with the winners is disputed, and the winner is declared the state champion.

Also, the city has traditions in another sports as: Basketball, Hockey, Golf, Tenis, Table tenis, Volleyball, beach volley, Handball, Surf, Bodysurf, Swimning pool and Futsal. Provided by clubs such as: Nautico, Sport, Santa Cruz, Portuguese Club of Recife, Caxanga Golf & Country Club, Mauricio de Nassau University, School of Tenis Recife as others.

2014 FIFA World Cup

Recife's fans.

Recife is one of the 12 cities to host games for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for which Brazil is the host nation. The other 11 cities are:

The Metropolitan Recife project consists of a new Sports City to be built in São Lourenço da Mata in an intersection area near to Recife, Jaboatão dos Guararapes and Camaragibe. The new Sports complex is 19 km (11 mi) west of Recife city center and 19 km (11 mi) from the Airport. The sports complex 'City'[52] will have a new Stadium with 45,000 seats, 9,000 Flats, 6,000 car parking spaces, 1 Hospital, 1 Technical school, 1 Shopping center, 1 integrated metro/bus station and improvement of federal roads: all with an estimated cost of R$ 1.6 billion. Further expenses will be necessary in the metro area for remodelling of roads and airport expansion.

This is the second time Recife has been chosen to be one of the host cities of the 1950 FIFA World Cup. In 1950, Recife hosted just one game in the Brazil World Cup between Chile and the United States (5x2). At this time, it was the only city which represented the Northeast of Brazil.

Social exclusion


Marco Zero in Old Recife.
View of the city.
João Cabral de Melo Neto statue, an important Brazilian writer. Behind, the Santa Isabel Theatre.

Recife's reputation for safety is not one of the best of the country[53] which placed the city as 9th most violent city in Brazil, and 2nd as capital, after only Maceió. As one of the largest Recife metropolitan area (5th) of the country with large urban concentrations of unskilled people in the peripheral suburbs. Which combined with high unemployment rates, social exclusion, and poverty, generates violence.

PESP plan

The State Governor Eduardo Campos introduced the PESP plan (Security state Plan - Plano Estadual de Seguranca Publica) on second of May 2009, which will try [54] to reduce homicides by 12% each year until they reach half of the previous rate. The plan is based on the fact that 60% of the murders are committed by people related to criminal activities and reaches from the prevention stage until the correctional stage.

Carnival Security plan

Considered to be the world's largest Carnival celebration, as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, Recife, and neighboring Olinda are at the heart of over than 1.5 million person strong celebration. ISS servers managed 50 Pelco Spectra PTZ cameras to capture all activity within the city's celebratory areas. Continued deployment of this project at Recife, will continue towards a short term goal of over 1000 cameras blanketing the city. Immediate statistics during the Carnival period indicate a reduction in violent crime of over 30%.[55][56]

The system remains fully operational and will be the vanguard of an ever-growing surveillance framework implemented by the forward-thinking government of Recife. ISS servers also manage security and surveillance throughout Brazil, including the national presidential compound, the Palácio da Alvorada in Brasília, as well as several of the largest ports in the country, including the 2nd largest port, Terminal Portuário de Itajaí Ltda, in Itajaí, Santa Catarina. Governor Eduardo Campos was on hand to celebrate the inauguration of this milestone event in the city's move toward greater security and safety. Logistics for the project were handled by Anixter International, a U.S. company. Integration was conducted by Aragão Engenharia & Networks.

Sex tourism

Recife in the evening.

There has been a growing number of foreign tourists who come to Brazil looking for sex, mostly Germans, Italians, and other Europeans.[57] These tourists come to Recife not for the culture and beaches, but for sex, often with minors. Brazil has a supply of young girls desperate to escape poverty, and the demand from foreign men is rising all the time. In Recife, where a growing population of children sleep on park benches or fall drugged or drunk on the curbs outside bars catering to a brisk trade in sex tourism, many girls who live on the streets have begun slashing themselves with razor blades, often on their forearms.[58] Recife's secretary for tourism, Romeo Batista, says the long-term antidote to the sex trade lies in better social policies so that Brazilian girls have less need for foreign men and money. Several countries worldwide have their own legislation that prosecutes tourists in their homeland if they engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with children.

Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad.[59] The Sexual Offences Act 2003 enables British citizens and residents who commit sexual offences against children overseas to be prosecuted in the United Kingdom.[60] Germany works with a similar law since 1993. Complaints concerning foreigners who are suspected of committing child sex tourism offences should be directed to the nearest consulate or embassy.

Recuperation program

View of Old Recife.

UNICEF is an international development agency, which supports locally initiated projects with an emphasis on children. Recife offered an environment to utilize its rich cultural heritage to develop programs aimed at its most serious issues. One of the most hands-on projects was a radio program named "Jovens Comunicadores" (Communicating Youth).[61] It trained a group of eighteen adolescents to produce a weekly radio program focusing on child labour. The program is recorded and sent to community radio stations, most of which are broadcast in the sugar cane area where many children work. Jovens Comunicadores advocates and lobbies against exploitation, all produced and edited by teens. As a radio program, it also plays regional music, giving a boost to local culture.[62]

"Criança Feliz" (Happy Child) had the same objective, eliminating child exploitation, but used a different approach. It was begun by a women's organization and offered after-school activities with the goal of discouraging children and adolescents from working in sex tourism. Besides giving classes and training in computers, English, art, and karate, it also offered psychological services and group therapy. These combined services sought to equip children not only with skills but also a positive self image and respect to not fall into prostitution. As all the kids came from very poor backgrounds, the financial pull of prostitution is very high. Criança Feliz worked at educating them about the high costs in the long term. This was a very interesting project, since it was actually a house with groups of kids divided into participating in different activities.[63]

Shark attacks

Boa Viagem Beach, before the waterfront's reform.

In recent years, the number of shark attacks on the beaches of Recife has increased. This was addressed on the National Geographic Channel series Hunter Hunted in the episode "Shark Invasion." Surfing has been outlawed since 1995 on the urban beaches (Pina, Boa Viagem, Piedade, and Candeias) because of the risk the sport poses to its practitioners due to shark attacks. It's strongly recommended you do not climb over and swim behind the reefs because of strong, unpredictable currents and the possible presence of bull sharks. Several beaches have messages alerting people of the danger of finding sharks, although this is very rare as in most parts of Brazil.

Before the 1990s, there were virtually no attacks reported here. But since 1992, there have been 47 shark attacks along a 20-km (12.5-mile) stretch of coast. Sixteen of them were fatal. In 2004, there were seven reported attacks. Two of the victims died. However, in absolute terms, there are more shark attacks in the U.S. State of Florida and Australia than in Brazil.[64] Since mid-1992, 50 encounters involving humans and sharks, 19 of them fatal, have been recorded along the short strip of coast.[65] By comparison, a relatively modest 18 unprovoked shark attacks were reported along the 1,926 kilometers (1,197 miles) of Florida coast in 2005, according to the International Shark Attack File compiled by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History. At the same rate per kilometer per year as Recife, Florida would suffer nearly 350 attacks a year.[66]

Recife Skyline.

A state-funded investigation has focused on the long-term ecological effects of a new port, to the south of Recife. Port of Suape opened for business in 1984, and today handles more than four million tonnes of cargo per year. To facilitate its initial construction, two freshwater estuaries, which had discharged into the Atlantic Ocean, were sealed off. Based on that finding, local human rights lawyers are considering a symbolic legal challenge to the State of Pernambuco, with the aim of securing compensation for the victims of attacks.

Via CEMIT, Pernambuco state officials have attempted to reduce the risk of shark attacks through educational campaigns, oversight and research. A CEMIT patrol boat has captured 14 sharks found too close to the coast for comfort over two years. Other public policies include the posting of warning signs every 350 meters (1,150 feet) along the beach and the prohibition of surfing in threatened areas.[67] Nevertheless, when the beach has low waves, natives and tourists protected by the natural reefs do go swimming.

Human development

Recife on the far end.

The human development of Recife varies greatly by locality, reflecting the city's spatial segregation and vast socioeconomic inequalities. There are neighborhoods that had very high Human Development Indexes in 2000 (equal to or greater than the indexes of some Scandinavian countries), but also those in the lower range (in line with, for example, North Africa).[68]

Neighborhoods and localities champions:

  • Boa Viagem/Pina (0.964) - (Greater than  Canada - 0.961)
  • Graças/Aflitos (0.953) - (Equal to  Japan,  Netherlands - 0.953)
  • Derby/Espinheiro (0.953) - (Equal to  Japan,  Netherlands - 0.953)

Neighborhoods and localities in last place:

  • Joana Bezerra Island/São José/Zeis Coque (0.689) - (Equal to  Guatemala - 0.689)

Notable people

Sister cities

Recife's sister cities are:[69]


  1. ^ Cities Influence Areas
  2. ^ IBGE Population
  3. ^ Recife Municipal Profile
  4. ^ Recife Medical Pool
  5. ^ Pernambuco A-Z
  6. ^ Pernambuco Daily
  7. ^ Porto de Galinhas Beach
  8. ^ Business in Recife
  9. ^ Unesco - Fernando de Noronha Islands
  10. ^ Weather of Recife
  11. ^ Islands of Recife
  12. ^ Rivers of the city
  13. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Recife". 
  14. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Jewish community in Recife. Recife, Brazil: Jewish press. 2006. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  15. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2008. Recife, Brazil: IBGE. 2008. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  16. ^ Recife City Hall - Demographics
  17. ^ a b c d e f Artigo na Revista do Instituto do Ceará - Página consultada em 27 de agosto de 2007.
  18. ^ estimativa - Fonte: IBGE
  19. ^
  20. ^ Sistema IBGE de Recuperação Automática - SIDRA
  21. ^ Economy of Recife
  22. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) GDP and GDPpc. Recife, Brazil: IBGE. 2006. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  23. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Digital Port of Recife. Recife, Brazil: Porto Digital. 2006. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  24. ^ a b Brazil: A Hot Incubator For Tech Startups
  25. ^ Recife Medical Pool
  26. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Medical pool Ranking. Recife, Brazil: UOL. 2006. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  27. ^ Government State Site
  28. ^ State site Portal Pernambuco, World Cup 2014 Plan, page 11
  29. ^ a b Olinda - Unesco
  30. ^ Miolo_1.pdf Fifa 2014 - Recife
  31. ^ Dois Irmãos Park
  32. ^ Shopping Recife
  33. ^ Daily Pernambuco - Shopping Recife
  34. ^ Shopping Tacaruna
  35. ^ Shopping Paço da Alfândega
  36. ^ Plaza Shopping Casa Forte
  37. ^ Fernando de Noronha
  38. ^ Consulates search engine
  39. ^ Miolo_1.pdf Cultura in Fifa 2014 project page 23
  40. ^ Recife cinema festival
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ Cuisine of Recife
  43. ^ Cuisine of Recife
  44. ^ Frevo
  45. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Recife Metro. Recife, Brazil: Diário de Pernambuco. 2006. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  46. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) Recife Metro. Recife, Brazil: CBTU. 2006. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ Recife Sports City 2014 in Pernambuco State site (Portuguese)
  53. ^ Homicide rate in Brazil's Cities 2006 in Portuguese page 16
  54. ^ Miolo_2.pdf PESP plan in Fifa 2014 project page 26
  55. ^ Security plan of Recife
  56. ^ City hall website - Security plan
  57. ^ BBC NEWS | Americas | Brazil struggles to curb sex tourism
  58. ^ Recife Journal;The Decorated Veterans of Brazil's Stark Streets - New York Times
  59. ^ Country Specific Information Criminal Penalties
  60. ^ Travelling Child Sex Offenders Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  61. ^ Jovens Comunicadores in Recife, Pernambuco
  62. ^ Jovens Comunicadores Program Blog
  63. ^ Criança Feliz Program
  64. ^ Shark attacks in Boa Viagem Beach
  65. ^ Top 10 Shark Infested Beaches in the World
  66. ^ Sharks in Recife
  67. ^ Reduce the risk of shark attacks
  68. ^ (in Portuguese) (PDF) HDI. Recife, Brazil: PNUD. 2000. ISBN 85-240-3919-1. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  69. ^ a b c d e "Mayor's International Council Sister Cities Program". Recife, Pernambuco. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 

External links



  • (Portuguese) Unicap - Catholic University of Pernambuco
  • (Portuguese) UFPE - Federal University of Pernambuco
  • (Portuguese) UPE - University of Pernambuco
  • (Portuguese) UFRPE - Rural Federal University of Pernambuco
  • (English) Escola Americana do Recife - (American School of Recife)




Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Boa Viagem beach
Boa Viagem beach

Recife [1], the capital of Pernambuco, is one of the largest and most important cities on the northeastern coast of Brazil. This lively capital, originally founded by Dutch colonizers, is brimming with a vibrant culture, an interesting old town (which includes the oldest synagogue in the Americas) and some nice beaches.


Recife is on the Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Capibaribe, Beberibe and Jordão Rivers, close to the eastern most point of the Americas. The climate is tropical, with two main seasons: dry (September-March) and rainy (April-August). Average annual temperature is 78.8°F, with limited variation. The city, which is only two meters above the sea level (some parts are below the sea level), is distributed across rivers, canals and islands. Due to the prevalence of waterways in its geography, Recife is known as the Brazilian Venice. Its 1.5 million inhabitants (3.5 million in the Grande Recife) are called recifenses. Services are the base of the economy. Despite the high incidence of poverty, the municipal Human Development Index (HDI) in 2000 (0.810) was above Brazil's national average (0.800). Recife is famous for its beaches, history, Carnaval, arts and cuisine.

The city can be roughly divided in four major areas: (1) Centro (Downtown), (2) Zona Sul (Southern Zone), (3) Zona Oeste (Western Zone), and (4) Zona Norte (Northern Zone).

  • The Centro is composed of the neighborhoods of Recife Antigo (Old Recife), Santo Antônio, São José, Santo Amaro and Boa Vista, which are scattered through a couple of islands and part of the mainland. They are connected to each other by a series of bridges over the Capibaribe River. The Centro contains most of the historic and government buildings in the city. The port, located in Recife Antigo, was once the most active in all of the Americas.
  • Zona Sul is the most modern and touristic part of the city, as it was built around the beautiful natural reef beaches that gave the city its name (recife is Portuguese for reef). This area is were most hotels and restaurants are located, as well as the airport and the largest shopping mall. Its most important neighborhood is Boa Viagem, set along the beautiful Boa Viagem beach.
  • Zona Oeste is by far the greenest part of the city. It contains remnants of the Atlantic Forest that once covered most of the Brazilian eastern coast. It contains two famous museums (Instituto Ricardo Brennand and Museu-Oficina Francisco Brennand), as well as the Federal University of Pernambuco, and the Recife Military school (2nd best school around all Brazil).
  • Zona Norte is mostly a residential area. Throughout the centuries, the neighborhoods along the Capibaribe River were home to the local aristocracy. It contains the city's best schools and hospitals, and is also famous for its parks and bars.

The term Grande Recife is used to describe the Metropolitan Region of Recife, the fifth largest urban agglomeration in Brazil (after Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeio Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre) and the single largest in the Northeast. Grande Recife offers superb touristic attractions both in Recife proper and outside the city limits. Do not miss Olinda or Porto de Galinhas. The first is famous for its natural setting, colonial architecture and carnaval, while the second has been consistently voted the best beach in Brazil. Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Itamaraca Island and Igarassu are known for their beautiful beaches and important historical monuments.

Recife Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport
Recife Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport

By plane

Recife's modern Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport [2] (REC) is efficient, user-friendly and close to the city. There are direct scheduled flights to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Salvador, Fortaleza, Maceió, Natal, João Pessoa, Aracaju, Petrolina, Campina Grande, Juazeiro do Norte, as well as to Atlanta (Delta[3]), Buenos Aires, Lisbon (TAP[4]), Madrid, Miami, Milan, Oporto and Paris. There are also regular charter flights from other European cities, such as Helsinki and Amsterdam.

Domestic airlines operating regular scheduled flights to Recife: GOL [5], OCEANAIR [6], TAF [7], TAM [8], TRIP [9], VARIG [10] and WebJet [11].

By car

Some distances by road: Olinda (7 Km), Cabo de Santo Agostinho (33 Km), Igarassu (39 Km), Itamaracá (49 Km), Porto de Galinhas (64 Km), Tamandaré (99 Km), Caruaru (135 Km), Garanhuns (245 Km), Triunfo (450 Km), Serrita (544 Km), Araripina (690 Km) and Petrolina (740 Km).

Three state capitals are less than four hours away: João Pessoa (120 Km), Maceió (285 Km) and Natal (297 Km). A twelve-hour drive separates Recife from either Fortaleza (800 Km due north) or Salvador (839 Km due south).

It is also possible to drive from/to other regions of Brazil, but distances are significantly longer: Belo Horizonte (2,061 Km), Belém (2,074 Km), Brasília (2,220 Km), Rio de Janeiro (2,338 Km), São Paulo (2,660 Km), Curitiba (3,078 Km) and Rio Branco (5,243 Km).

Highway BR-101, also known as the Translitoranean, connects Recife with beaches along Pernambuco's coast, other coastal cities in the Northeast (Natal, João Pessoa, Maceió, Aracaju, Salvador), as well as Vitória and Rio de Janeiro.

Highway BR-232 connects Recife with Gravatá and Caruaru.

Highway BR-408 connects Recife with Campina Grande.

This article or section does not match our manual of style or needs other editing. Please plunge forward, give it your attention and help it improve!

Recife's long-distance bus terminal, Terminal Integrado de Passageiros (TIP), is way out in the suburbs. For information, call TIP at +55 81 3452-1999. TIP is connected to the city by MetroRec train (around 15 minutes). Bus companies have booths at the Central MetroRec station in town, so at least you do not have to trek out just to buy advance bus tickets.

Bus companies serving Recife's TIP Bus Station:

  • Boa Esperança, tel.: +55 81 3452-1618 (to/from Belém)
  • Bonfim, tel.: +55 81 3452-1155/2066 (to/from João Pessoa),
  • Borborema, tel.: +55 81 3452-2859 (to/from Vitória de Santo Antao),
  • Caruaruense, tel.: +55 81 3452-2500 (to/from Caruaru, Gravatá)
  • Cruzeiro, tel.: +55 81 3452-2025 (to/from Porto de Galinhas, Tamandaré)
  • Expreso 1002 [12], tel.: +55 81 3452-2796 (to/from Aliança, Carpina, Limoeiro, Paudalho, Salgadinho, Surubim, Timbaúba, Taquaritinga do Norte)
  • Expresso Guanabara [13], tel.: +55 81 3452-2100 (to/from Fortaleza, Mossoró, Imperatriz, Marabá)
  • Gontijo [14], ), tel.: 0800-311-312 (to/from Belo Horizonte, Montes Claros, Sao José do Rio Preto, Uberaba, Uberlândia, Vitória da Conquista)
  • Itamaracá [15], tel.: +55 81 3542-1011 and 3424-8331 (to/from Abreu e Lima, Igarassu, Itamaracá Island, Paulista)
  • Itapemirim [16], tel.: +55 81 3452-2111 (to/from Barra do Garças, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Campos, Curitiba, Feira de Santana, Foz do Iguaçu, Goiânia, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo, Vitória, Vitória da Conquista)
  • Jotude, tel.: +55 81 3452-1741 (to/from Garanhunhs, Gravatá)
  • Leão do Norte, tel.: +55 81 2121-9111 (to/from Arcoverde, Campina Grande, Paulo Afonso)
  • Penha [17], tel.: 0800-723-2122 (to/from Feira de Santana, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador)
  • Princesa do Agreste, tel.: +55 81 3452-1371 (to/from Araripina, Crato, Juazeiro do Norte, Salgueiro, Serra Talhada, Teresina)
  • Progresso [18], (to/from Aracaju, Araripina, Arcoverde, Campina Grande, Garanhuns, João Pessoa, Juazeiro, Monteiro, Natal, Paulo Afonso, Pesqueira, São Luís, Serra Talhada, Teresina, Triunfo). Tickets can be bought in Boa Viagem, tel.: +55 81 3465-4640; Boa Vista, +55 81 3231-1860; MetroRec Central Station, +55 81 3424-5648
  • Real Alagoas, tel.: +55 81 3452-1511 (to/from Aracaju, Ipojuca, Maceió, Maragogi, Sao José da Coroa Grande, Sirinhaém)
  • São Domingos, tel.: +55 81 3452-2462
  • São Geraldo [19], tel.: +55 81 3452-2733 (to/from Caruaru, Curitiba, Foz do Iguaçu, Garanhuns, Palmas, Petrolina, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo)
  • Transacreana, tel.: +55 11 6698-7399 and +55 61 8402-8418 (to/from Cacoal, Cuiabá, Feira de Santana, Ji-Paraná, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, Rondonópolis, Vitória da Conquista)

By sea

You can arrive in cruise ships at the Port of Recife [20].

Cruises may come from other Brazilian states, from other countries in South America and the Caribbean, or from Europe. Transatlantic cruise liners include Holland America Line ms Rotterdam [21], Holland America Line ms Prisendam [22], Oceania Cruises Insignia [23], SeaDream Yacht Club [24], Royal Caribbean International Splendour of the Sea [25], P&O Cruises Artemis [26], Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth II, among others.

Cruises from Recife to the Fernando de Noronha archipelago are also available.

  • Taxi is the best bet. Look for registered taxi companies which charge standard rates. Ask for a car with air conditioning (especially in the summer).
    • TeleTáxi | Tel: +55 81 2121-4242
    • Ligue Táxi | Tel: +55 81 3228-6830
    • Coopetáxi | Tel: +55 81 3224-8441
    • Disk Táxi | Tel: +55 81 3224-5410
    • RádioTáxi Recife | Tel: +55 81 3222-6580
    • Recife Táxi | Tel: +55 81 3424-3020
  • Rent a car:
    • Avis | Tel: +55 81 3341-2542
    • Clean Car | Tel: +55 81 3326-4236
    • Fleet Car | Tel: +55 81 3465-4777
    • Hertz | Tel: +55 81 3461-1222
    • Interlocadora | Tel: +55 81 3341-5364
    • Localiza | Tel: +55 81 3341-2082
    • Locarauto | Tel: +55 81 3341-6544
    • Nobre | Tel: +55 81 3326-5673
    • Rede Brasil | Tel: +55 81 3341-5549
    • Unidas | Tel: +55 81 3325-5949
  • Buses are the best form of public transportation. They are all over the city.
  • MetroRec [27], Recife's subway system. Although it is the third largest in Brazil, it only covers limited areas of the city. It provides a useful link between the city center and the TIP Bus Station in the outskirts. Otherwise, the metro does not serve any major tourist areas. The Southern Line, which is under construction, will provide direct access to the airport and Shopping Center Recife.



Recife is known for its amazing beaches. Probably one of the world's best urban beaches is Boa Viagem Beach with pristine white sands. If you want a tan, you came to the right place. The beach road has a wide walkway attached and this is dotted with huts selling food and drink. Try the traditional "água de coco" (coconut water). The beach itself is full of vendors selling food and drink. There are also vendors selling t-shirts, hats, suncream, sunglasses. These guys can get a bit insistent. Simply smile and one word will have them on their way: não (pronounced "now.")

The best beach in Recife is Porto de Galinhas. On New Year's, this place is like a fantasy with amazing open-air parties, tourists from all over Brazil, and an amazing beach. Other awesome spots are: Maracaípe, Serrambi, Tamandaré, São José da Coroa Grande, Muro Alto, Cupe, Suape, Calhetas, Gaibu, Maria Farinha and Itamaracá Island.

  • Convento Franciscano de Santo Antônio (Franciscan Convent of Saint Anthony). Rua Imperador Pedro II, Santo Antônio, (Centro), [28]. Open: Mon-Fri 8AM-11:30AM and 2PM-5PM, Sat 8AM-11:30AM. One of the city's biggest attractions, a convent containing the ostentatious Capela Dourada (Golden Chapel), which certainly lives up to its name. Built in 1588, it is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Brazil. Altar with gold covered engravings, beautiful paintings on the ceiling an impressive amount of Portuguese-style tiled panels. The convent also houses the Museu Franciscano de Arte Sagrada (Franciscan Museum of Sacred Art).
  • São Pedro dos Clérigos (Saint Peter of Clerics Cathedral). Pátio de Sao José (Centro), [29]. Built between 1728 and 1782, the cathedral is in the charming Saint Peter Square, surrounded by colorful colonial buildings. It is a replica of the Santa Maria Maggiore Sanctuary in Rome. Rosewood altar; pulpit engraved in gold; wooden ceiling sculpted with images of Saint Peter, the twelve apostles and the evangelists. Blend of baroque art, 16th century mannerism, as well as rococo and neoclassic elements.
  • Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Carmel Basilica and Convent). Avenida Dantas Barreto, Santo Antônio (Centro), [30]. Open: Mo-Fr from 7AM-7PM, Sa 7AM-noon, Su 8AM-noon and 6PM-9PM. Built between 1710-1767, where the Boa Vista Palace built by the Dutch governor of Northeastern Brazil once stood. A religious art collection can also be visited. Baroque in style; altar with gold engravings and crowns of gold and precious stones. One of the rooms is covered with Portuguese tiles.
  • Santíssimo Sacramento - Matriz de Santo Antônio (Holy Sacrament - Saint Anthony Mother Church). Praça da Independência, Santo Antônio (Centro). Open: daily, 7AM-noon and 2PM-6PM. Built between 1753 and 1790, the church is in manueline/baroque style. Interior decorated with enormous crystal chandelier and images of Saint Anthony and Saint Sebastian.
  • Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos (Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black Men). Rua Estreita do Rosário, Santo Antônio (Centro). Open: Mo-Fr 9AM-1:30PM and 2:30PM-6PM, Sat 8AM-noon. Erected by African-Brazilian slaves in the 17th century. Main wooden altar engraved in gold; lateral altars display images from the 18th century.
  • Madre de Deus (Mother of God). Rua Madre de Deus, Recife Antigo (Centro), next-door to the Paço Alfândega Shopping Mall, tel.: +55 81 3224-5587. Open: Tu-Fr 8AM-noon and 2PM-5PM, Sat-Sun 9AM-noon.
  • Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao dos Militares (Our Lady of the Conception of the Military). Rua Nova, 309, Santo Antônio (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3224-3106, [31]. Built in 1726. The 1781 ceiling paintings depict the Guararapes Battle against the Dutch. Leaders from the Praieira Revolution and the Paraguay War are burried in the church. The church also houses the Museu de Arte Sacra Padre Roberto Barbalho (Father Roberto Barbalho Museum of Sacred Art).
  • Santa Cruz (Holy Cross). Pátio de Santa Cruz, Boa Vista (Centro). Built between 1725 and 1732. Parts of the movie Lisbela e o Prisioneiro [32] (2003) were shot in the square in front of the church.
  • Nossa Senhora do Pilar (1733). Praça Monsenhor João Castilho Barbosa, (Centro), tel.: +55 31 3551-4736. This church is one of Ouro Preto's highly decorated building, said to have the interior made up of 400 gold leafs. Also houses the Museu de Arte Sacra.
Historic buildings at Marco Zero Square in Recife Antigo
Historic buildings at Marco Zero Square in Recife Antigo
Instituto Ricardo Brennand
Instituto Ricardo Brennand
Brum Fortress (17th century). Source: Cultural Foundation of the Brazilian Army
Brum Fortress (17th century). Source: Cultural Foundation of the Brazilian Army
Brum Fortress (17th century). Source: Cultural Foundation of the Brazilian Army
Brum Fortress (17th century). Source: Cultural Foundation of the Brazilian Army
  • Ricardo Brennand Institute. Alameda Antônio Brennand, Várzea (Zona Oeste), tel.: +55 81 2121-0352 / +55 81 2121-0365, [33]. Open: Tu-Su, 1PM-5PM. Holds a very impressive collection of Brazilian and European historical artifacts from the 15th to 19th centuries. Special attention given to the period of Dutch occupation in Recife and Northeastern Brazil. Highly Recommended.
  • Museum of the Northeastern Man. Museu do Homem do Nordeste, Avenida 17 de Agosto, 2187, Casa Forte (Zona Norte), tel.: +55 81 3441-5500 (take the "Dois Irmãos" bus in front of the Central Post Office in downtown, and ask the driver to let you off), [34]. Part of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco. This fantastic museum depicts the various folk arts, traditions, and history of Northeast Brazil. The displays are divided among three sections, focusing on sugar, folk arts, and anthropology. It's located in the suburbs, but well worth the ride out.
  • Museum of the State of Pernambuco. Museu do Estado de Pernambuco, Avenida Rui Barbosa, 960, Graças (Zona Norte), tel.: +55 81 3427-9322 and 3427-0766, [35]. Open: Tu-Fr 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 2PM-5PM.
  • Museum of the City of Recife. Museu da Cidade do Recife, Forte das Cinco Pontas, São José (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3224-8492. Open: M-Fr 9AM-6PM, Sa-Su 1PM-5PM. Located at the 17th century Cinco Pontas Fortress.
  • Military Museum. Museu Militar, at the Brum Fortress, Praça da Comunidade Luso-Brasileira, Recife Antigo (Centro).
  • Abolition Museum. Museu da Abolição, Rua Benfica, 1150, Madalena (Zona Norte), [36]. Museum that covers the period of slavery and the abolitionist movement in XIX century Brazil. Former plantation house. Former residence of Counsellor Joao Alfredo, leader of Brazil's abolitionist movement in the 19th century.
  • Value Museum. Museu de Valores, Rua da Aurora, 1259, Santo Amaro (Centro), tel.: 0800-992-345, [37]. Open: Mo-Fr 9AM-4PM. Museum of by the local representation of the Central Bank of Brazil. Holds more than 7,000 historic coins from Brazil and abroad, historic maps and artifacts found during excavations at Fort Orange, in nearby Itamaracá Island.
  • Train Museum. Museu do Trêm, Estação Central, Praça Visconde de Mauá, São José (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3224-4620. Open: M-Th 1PM-6PM, Fr 8AM-noon. The Train Museum is in the old Central Train Station, which now also serves as the central station for MetroREC, Recife's subway system.
  • Museum of the Archeological, Historic and Geographic Insitute of Pernambuco. Museu do Instituto Arqueológico, Histórico e Geográfico de Pernambuco, Rua do Hospício , 130, Boa Vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3222-4952. Open: M-Fr 1PM-5PM, Sa 8AM-noon.
  • Museum of Natural History Louis Jacques Viget. Museu de História Natural Louis Jacques Brunet, Rua da Aurora, Boa Vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3303-5315 / +55 81 3421-7427. Created in 1861, it is one of the first natural history museums in Latin America. Located at Ginásio Pernambucano. Collection spans archeology, botany, geology and zoology.
  • Museum of Archeology of the Catholic University of Pernambuco. Museu de Arqueologia da Universidade Católica de Pernambuco, Rua do Príncipe, 526, Bl G, 1° Andar, Boa vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3216-4192, [38]. Archeological museum focused on indigenous artifacts. Located at the Catholic University of Pernambuco.
  • Casa-Museu Gilberto Freyre. Rua Jorge Tasso Neto, Apipucos (Zona Norte), tel.: +55 81 3441-1733, [39]. Open: M-Fr, 9AM-4:30PM Beautiful house where once lived Brazil's greatest sociologist, Gilberto Freyre .
  • Casa Manuel Bandeira/Espaço Pasárgada. Rua da União, 26, Boa Vista (Centro), next door to Joaquim Nabuco Palace and Pernambucan School, tel.: +55 81 3231-3994, [40]. Open: M-Fr, 8AM-6PM. House were the acclaimed poet Manuel Bandeira spent his childhood.
  • Museu-Oficina Francisco Brennand, Propriedade Santos Cosme e Damião, near Avenida Caxangá and Rua Gastão Vidigal, Cordeiro, Zona Oeste, [41]. Great ceramic art in a bucolic area of the city surrounded by forest.
  • Parque das Esculturas, a sculpture park on the reefs of the port of Recife. Contains more than 90 sculptures by Francisco Brennand, including a 30 meter high tower. Getting there: take a canoe ride from Praça do Marco Zero, in Recife Antigo (Centro). Alternatively, drive through Brasília Teimosa (Zona Sul).
  • Museu da Imagem e do Som de Pernambuco (MISPE) . Rua da Aurora, Boa Vista, Centro, tel.: +55 81 3231-2716, [42]. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa,Su 1PM-5PM. Image and Sound Museum. Holds more than 6,000 pieces, including movies, records, photographs, postcards and the like. Uses modern audivisual techniques to document Pernambuco's culture.
  • Aluísio Magalhães Modern Art Museum (Museu de Arte Moderna Aluísio Magalhães (MAMAM). Rua da Aurora, 265, Boa Vista Centro, tel: +55 81 3232-2188 and 3232-1694, [43]. Open: Tu-Su noon-6PM.
  • MAMAM at the Courtyard (MAMAM no Pátio). Unit of the Aloísio Magalhães Modern Art Museum (MAMAM) at the São Pedro Courtyard. Experimental space for visual arts and critical reflection concerning contemporary development in these arts. Short term exhibitions, performance art, workshops, debates. Pátio de São Pedro, 17, São José (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3232-2844 / +55 81 3232-2857.
  • Museu Murillo La Greca, Rua Leonardo Bezerra Cavalcanti 366, Parnamirim, Zonta Norte, tel.: +55 81 3232-4276, [44]. M-Fr, 9AM-5PM. More than 1,400 drawings and 160 paintings by paintor Murillo La Greca. The paintor's biography (in Portuguese) and some of his works can be seen at Cyberartes [45].
  • Museu de Arte Sacra Padre Roberto Barbalho, Rua Nova, 309, Santo Antônio, Centro, tel: +55 81 3224-3106. Located at Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao dos Militares Church, the museum contains religious artifacts.
  • Museu Franciscano de Arte Sacra, at Santo Antônio de Sao Francisco Convent. Rua Imperador Pedro II, Santo Antônio, Centro.
  • Museu de Arte Popular, Pátio de São Pedro, 11, São José, Centro. Open: M-Fr 8AM-5PM.
  • Casa do Carnaval. Pátio de São Pedro, 52, São José, Centro, tel.: +55 81 3224-1103, [46]. Open: M-Fr 9AM-5:30PM.
  • Santa Isabel Theater (1850). Teatro Santa Isabel, Praça da República, Santo Antônio (Centro), [47]. One of Brazil's finest theaters.
  • Princesses' Field Palace (1841). Palácio do Campo das Princesas, Praça da República, Santo Antônio (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3425-2124, [48]. The state governor's Palace. The name of the building derives from the fact that the daughters of Emperor Dom Pedro II used to play in the palace's gardens.
  • Justice Palace (1930). Palácio da Justiça, Praça da República, Santo Antônio (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3419-3311, [49]. Seat of the Pernambuco State Judiciary.
  • Portuguese Reading Room (1850). Gabinete Português de Leitura (1850), Rua do Imperador, 290, Santo Antônio (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3224-2593, [50]. Open: M-Fr, 8AM-noon and 1PM-5PM.
  • Joaquim Nabuco House. Rua da Imperatriz, 147, Santo Antônio (Centro). House were 19th century politician, abolitionist and author Joaquim Nabuco was born.
  • Joaquim Nabuco Palace (1874). Assembléia Legislativa do Estado de Pernambuco, Rua da União, 439, Boa Vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3217-2211, [51]. Seat of the Pernambuco State Legislature. A Historical Documents Collection can be visited in the annex building.
  • Pernambucan School (1825-1855). Ginásio Pernambucano, Rua da Aurora, 703, Boa Vista, (Centro), next door to the State Assembly and Manuel Bandeira's House. One of Brazil's oldest secondary schools. The school's Louis Jacques Brunet Natural History Museum was one of the first in Latin America. Father Carapuceiro, Barbosa Lima Sobrinho, Epitácio Pessoa and Ariano Suassuna were either teachers or students here. The school was visited by Emperor Dom Pedro II.
  • Parque Theater (1915). Teatro do Parque, Rua do Hospício, 81, Boa Vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3423-6044. Parque Theater is one of the three oldest, historic theaters in Recife. Modern and traditional plays from Spanish and Portuguese playwrights of the 17th-21st centuries are performed at the theater. Next door is the Cineteatro do Parque, Recife's oldest cinemas. Because Recife's municipal government, tickets are subsidized and cost only pennies!
  • Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue. Rua do Bom Jesus, Recife Antigo (Centro), . Oldest synagogue in the Americas.
  • Malakoff Tower Cultural Obseratory (1853). Torre Malakoff, Rua do Observatório, Recife Antigo (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3424.8704, [52]. Open: T-Fr 10AM-8PM, Sa 2PM-8PM, Su 2PM-7PM. Beautiful tower in the port front. Functions as an astronomic observatory and arts and science center.
  • Benfica Cultural Center. Centro Cultural Benfica, Rua Benfica, 157, Madalena (Zona Norte); tel.: +55 81 3227-0657 and 3228-6589, [53]. Open: M-Fr, 9AM-noon and 2PM-5PM. The center specializes in the "Armorial" Movement and also holds a significant portion of the pieces from the old Fine Arts School.
  • Pernambucan Academy of Letters (1870). Academia Pernambucana de Letras, Av. Rui Barbosa, 1586, Graças (Zona Norte), [54].
  • Recife's Carnaval is one of the country's busiest. Very different from its carioca counterpart, in Recife street shows and parades play contagious rhythms like frevo and maracatu, attracting more than 1.6 million people to celebrate and dance on the streets every year. Apart from frevo and maracatu, two other cultural manifestations that are typical of Pernambucan Carnaval include bumba-meu-boi and caboclinho.
  • Maracatu Rehearsals (ensaios de maracatu). Some of the most traditional maracatu groups include: Leão Coroado [55] (since 1863), Estrela Brilhante do Recife [56] (since 1909), Porto Rico (since 1916), Cambinda Estrela do Recife (since 1935), and Elefante, among others.
  • Catamaran Rides in the Capibaribe River. Contact: Catamaran Tours, Cais das Cinco Pontas, Avenida Sul, São José (Centro), tels.: +55 81 3424-2845 and +55 81 9973-4077, [57]. Daily, 4PM and 8PM. Tour last 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Scuba-diving at shipwreck park [[58] off the coast of Recife. Recife is known as Brazil's shipwreck capital: more than 100 ships have sunk in the coast around the city, 15 of which are accessible to tourists. Together with the natural coral reefs, they make the coast of Recife a perfect spot for scuba-diving, .
  • Volleyball and footvolley at Boa Viagem beach. The latter was first developed into a sport in the sands of Recife, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s.
Paço Alfândega in a 1852 cromolitography by Emil Bauch
Paço Alfândega in a 1852 cromolitography by Emil Bauch
  • Casa de Cultura [59], across from the old Central Train Station (now Train Museum). Once the city prison, it is now a warren of small shops (one in each cell) selling regional arts and crafts.
  • Mercado de Sao José (Sao José Market), 1871 project of architect J. Louis Liethier and engineer Louis Léger Vauthier. Iron structure was inspired in the Grenelle Market in Paris, France. Historically, the market played an important role as a meeting place for street magicians, musicians, acrobats and the like. You can still find traditional handicrafts, regional food, medicinal herbs and Cordel Literature.
  • Recife is a major commercial hub in Brazil. Large shopping malls include Shopping Center Recife (among Brazil's largest), Shopping Center Tacaruna, Shopping Center Guararapes, Plaza Casa Forte, and Shopping Boa Vista. A special visit to Paço Alfândega [60] is highly recommended. Paço Alfândega (Customs' Palace in Portuguese) is a comfortable, modern shopping mall set in the renovated structure of a colonial customs house building from the early 1700s, during which Recife was the largest port in the Americas. There is a permanent historic exhibition on the history of Recife and the customs building. The mall also houses one of Recife's main nightclubs and some good restaurants. You can have a good view of the Capibaribe River and its bridges from the main terrace. Next door, you can visit the wonderful Livraria Cultura bookstore.


Recife is the gastronomic capital of the Northeast. There are more high-quality restaurants here than in any other city in Brazil north of Rio de Janeiro.

Local specialties

Pernambuco has a multicultural gastronomy with African and indigenous influences, among others. The national dish is Feijoada, but not very popular in Recife. It is a stew of beans, pork and beef, and served with rice and Farofa. Seafood is exotic and delicious. The regional food has some peculiarities like Carne de Sol and buchada, a dish prepared with the stomach of billy goat.

  • Recife is the birthplace of two traditional and delicious cakes Bolo de Rolo and Bolo Sousa Leão.
  • Do try the snacks on offer from beach vendors---little chicken and beef kebabs, oysters, prawns, and grilled cheese. Just be aware that some of the vendors may have been carrying them around for hours--if it doesn't look fresh, it probably isn't.
  • A must try is Caldinho: a soup served all over the place (restaurants, dedicated carts and people with flasks selling it on the beach). Comes in a variety of flavors from black bean to shrimp. The person selling it will say "completa" when you order it. This simply means "complete", and if you say yes at this point you get a few added extras, such as a small boiled egg put into the cup of hot soup.

Beach food

Fancy sitting around all day on the beach under a beach umbrella? Well, you can! The chairs and the guy that moves the umbrella are free. All they ask in return is that you buy your food and drink from them.

They all carry a menu and the food arrives quickly and freshly made on the beach. Try the seafood. The fish is usually caught locally and earlier that same day.

Apart from your own vendor, there will be a variety of vendors walking up and down the beach, selling a variety of things. Learning the language for these items is useful but unnecessary as the vendor will take the time to show you what he/she has on offer.

  • Prawns (Camarao) - Be careful of the prawns-- smell them before purchase. A free sample is available with the word prova. They might have been walked up and down the beach for hours in the hot sun. A quick sniff is enough to tell you if they are fresh or not. If you decide to eat them, here is a quick tip: hold the tail of the prawn, tear off and discard the head and leg sections, hold the very tip of the tail, pop the rest in your mouth and bite off the tip leaving it in your fingers. Yes, you can eat the shell; peel it if you wish, but you will not see the locals doing this.
  • Oysters (Ostra) - Vendors will be carrying a bucket full of ice and live oysters. They are prepared for you one at a time. Served with a squeeze of lime, salt and cumin powder.
  • Crab - They do not come prepared, so unless you know which bits to eat and which bits to discard, steer clear!
  • Grilled cheese (Queijo de Coalho) - No warnings here--just go ahead and enjoy. It's a real treat.
  • Kebabs (Espetinhos) - Grilled chicken or beef. Cooked fresh right in front of you.
  • Ice-cream - The prices are a lot more expensive than just off the beach. But you don't have to get out of your chair. In that heat, you will appreciate that.
  • Caldinho - you will notice guys walking up and down the beach with flasks. These are full of different flavors of a soup called caldinho. Try prawn one with hot pepper sauce.
  • Ovos de codorna - Small boiled quail eggs ready to peel salt and eat.
  • Nuts - A variety of nuts is available, cashew being the most obvious because it is grown right there in northeastern Brazil. Also, peanuts in 2 varieties: roasted or boiled.
  • Carne-de-Sol do Cunha, Rua Rigueira Costa, 80, Rosarinho, Zona Norte, tel.: 81 3241-6512. Located in the center of Recife, this restaurant is a local favorite. It offers traditional Pernambucan food, such as buchada, as well as other regional dishes. With low prices and large portions, Carne-de-Sol do Cunha is one place you do not want to miss.
  • Parraxaxá, Rua Baltazar Pereira, 32, Boa Viagem, Zona Sul, tel.: +55 81 3463-7874, [61]. This Northeast-themed restaurant offers all the traditional regional cuisine. The staff are dressed as either police or outlaws. With its festive decor, the restaurant is a fun way to enjoy a meal.Famous for it´s "Pernambuco Breakfast"(Café da Manhã Pernambucano).Some young people go there for breakfast after a night out.
  • Leite, Praça Joaquim Nabuco, 147, Santo Antônio, Centro, tel.: +55 81 3224-7977. Open since 1886, it is Recife's most traditional restaurant. Leite has a large menu ranging from decadent entrees to delicious deserts. The restaurant mainly serves Portuguese dishes.
  • Assucar, Rua da Alfândega, 35, Recife Antigo, Centro, tel.: +55 81 3419-7582. Set on the fourth floor of the Paço Alfândega Shopping Mall, patrons of this restaurant can enjoy gorgeous views of the Capibaribe River. Assucar offers a menu filled with classic and contemporary northeastern cuisine.
  • Mingus, Rua Atlantico 102, Boa Viagem, Zona Sul, [62]. This modern restaurant offers patrons a variety of dishes and regional wines. Mingus delights its diners with fine cuisine along with relaxing jazz harmonies.
  • Ponte Nova, Rua Bruno Veloso, 528, Boa Viagem, Zona Sul, tel.: +55 81 3327-7226, [63]. Ponte Nova serves contemporary, French-influenced, regional cuisine. Adding to its reputation as one of the best restaurants in town, Chef Joca Pontes was voted 2007's best chef by Veja Magazine. This restaurant will surely impress those who dine here.
  • Boi Preto Grill, Av. Boa Viagem 97, Pina, Zona Sul, tel:+55 81 3466-6334, [64].
This article or section does not match our manual of style or needs other editing. Please plunge forward, give it your attention and help it improve!


There are many many bars in Recife, most, if not all, serving food as well as drinks. The prices are cheap, ranging from R$2.50 to R$4 for a 600 ml bottle of cerveja, a lager style beer.

There are bars of varying quality up and down the streets of Recife. A few good picks include the following:

  • Bar Central, Rua Mamede Simões 144, Boa Vista. Tel.: +55 81 3222-7622. M-Fr 12-2AM, Sa 8PM-2AM, Su closed. Situated in downtown Recife, this is a lively and fun place more upmarket than most. The bar attracts a diverse crowd, ranging from writers to musician. Bar Central is also queer-friendly and very famous with indie kids.
  • Biruta, Rua Bem-Te-Vi, 15, Pina, Zona Sul. Tel.: +55 81 3326-5151. [65]. A lovely bar on the north end of the beach that gets a great sea breeze all evening. Get there early to get a table with a view.
  • Entre Amigos, Rua Marquês de Valença 30, Boa Viagem. Tel.: +55 81 3312-1000. [66]. A bar restaurant with 2 names and 3 seating areas, one of which has air conditioning. Situated in downtown Boa Viagem and a 5 minute walk from the beach. A great place to watch the football or soak up the lively atmosphere of the very busy bar, it has a great buffet for lunch or you can eat à la carte.
  • Guaiamum Gigante, Rua Dr. José de Góes, Parnamirim; tel.: +55 81 3441-1509.[67]. This bar-restaurant seats up to 600 people. Although it may not be too pleasing to the eyes, Guaiamum Gigante serves great portions of delicious seafood for a relatively low price. This is a nice place to go on Sundays!
  • Downtown Pub, Rua Vigário Tenório, 105, Recife Antigo; tel.: +55 81 3424-6317. [68]. Located in Old Town Recife, this bar is inspired by British pubs. The bar puts on live music shows and is self-entitled "House of Rock".If you like "Heavy Metal", watch out. There might be a concert over there.

At the less classy end of the market, there are some great bars. They don't have great signage to tell you that it's a bar. Basically, if you see some plastic garden furniture in the street, you are looking at a bar. These are usually the most fun places with the loudest people and the best vibe. Be careful of the ice in places like this as it might not be made from bottled water. It also helps to have a good constitution of you are going to eat in these bars.

  • There are huts selling food, beer, and the like about every half kilometer in the center of Boa Viagem beach.
  • Warning: Be sure to take a taxi to and from the bars you are visiting. Getting mugged is not the best way to end an otherwise pleasant evening out. Taxis are cheap and the staff will be only too happy to call one for you.
  • NOX, in Boa Viagem, [69].
  • OverPoint, in Recife Antigo, [70].
  • Depois Dancing Bar, in Recife Antigo, [71].
  • Downtown Pub, bar/danceclub in Recife Antigo, [72].
  • Sala de Reboco, specialized in Forró , in Cordeiro, [73].
  • Metrópole, GLS danceclub in Boa Vista, [74].


Recife is the third largest theater production center in Brazil, after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The most traditional theater is Teatro Santa Isabel, while the most modern is the one at Convention Center of the Federal University of Pernambuco.

  • Santa Isabel Theater. Praça da República, Santo Antônio (Centro), [75].
  • Universidade Federal de Pernambuco Theater. UFPE Campus, Cidade Universitária (Zona Oeste), [76].
  • Valdemar de Oliveira Theater. Praça Oswaldo Cruz, 412, Boa Vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3222-1284.
  • Teatro Barreto Júnior, Rua Estudante Jeremias Bastos, 121, Pina (Zona Sul), tel.: +55 81 3326-4177
  • Teatro Apolo, Rua do Apolo, 121, Recife Antigo (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3224-1114
  • Teatro SESC Casa Amarela (Teatro Capiba), Rua Professor José dos Anjos, 1109, Casa Amarela (Zona Norte), tel.: +55 81 3441-8900
  • Teatro SESC Santo Amaro, Rua Marques do Pombal, Santo Amaro (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3216-1616
  • Teatro Hermilo Borba Filho, Rua do Apolo, 121, Recife Antigo (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3424-5429
  • Teatro Armazém 14, Rua Alfredo Lisboa, Cais do Porto, Recife Antigo (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3424-5613

Smaller Theaters:

  • Teatro Clênio Vanderley, Rua Floriano Peixoto São José (Centro), at Casa da Cultura, tel.: +55 81 3224-2850
  • Teatro da Ribalta, Rua das Pernambucanas, 65, Graças (Zona Norte), tel.: +55 81 3231-4884
  • Teatro Joaquim Cardozo, Rua Benfica, 157, Madalena (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3227-0657
  • Teatro Maurício de Nassau, Rua Vigário Tenório, 135/143, Recife Antigo (Centro), tel.: +55 81 3224-8790 / +55 81 3225-3073
  • Multiplex Shopping Tacaruna. Shopping Center Tacaruna, Avenida Agamenon Magalhães, 153, Santo Amaro, Centro/Zona Norte; tel.: +55 81 3207-3001, [77].
  • Cine Rosa e Silva. Executive Trade Center, Avenida Rosa e Silva, 1460, Aflitos, Zona Norte; tel.: +55 81 3243-8255, [78].
  • Cineteatro José Carlos Cavalvante Borges (Cine FUNDAJ), Rua Henrique Dias, 609, Derby (Zona Norte), tel.: +55 81 3421-3266, [79].


Soccer teams from Recife participate in the A-Series (First Division) Brazilian Championship, the Brazil Cup, Pernambucan Championship, and the Copa Libertadores da América.

The three most traditional teams are Clube Nautico Capibaribe [80] (home: Aflitos Stadium); Sport Clube do Recife [81] (home: Ilha do Retiro Stadium); and Santa Cruz Futebol Clube [82] (home: Arruda Stadium). Nautico and Sport are currently in the A-Series Brazilian Champsionship. Santa Cruz is in the D-Series.

Recife is home to internationally famous soccer players including Juninho Pernambucano, Rivaldo, Ricardo Rocha and Vavá.

Roller hockey

The city of Recife is home to some of Brazil's top roller hockey teams: Clube Portugues do Recife [83], Clube Nautico Capibaribe [84], Sport Clube do Recife [85] and Associacão Amigos do Minho do Recife. Both Clube Portugues and Sport have been national champions.

Beach volleyball and footvolley

Can be practiced along Boa Viagem beach.


Many tourists stay along the beach in Boa Viagem, 10 km (7 mi) south of the center.

The area of Boa Vista just across the Ponte Velha from the train station has a number of budget and mid-range hotels.

  • Albergue Maracatus do Recife (Hosteling International-HI), Rua Maria Carolina, 185, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), tel. +55 81 3326-1221 / 9292-5670, [86]. Located 200 meters from the beach and near the Recife Shopping Center, this hostel offers shared rooms for 4 to 10 people.
  • Hostel Boa Viagem (Hosteling International-HI), Rua Aviador Severiano Lins, 455, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), tel. +55 81 3326-9572 / +55 81 3466-2486,[87]. Prices vary according to the season. Hostel Boa Viagem is 15 minutes away from the city center by bus and located close to many beaches.
  • Piratas da Praia, Av. Conselheiro Aguiar, 2034 / 307, Boa viagem (Zona Sul), tel. +55 81 3326-1281 / 9649-6887, [88]. Piratas da Praia provides easy access to all the tourist spots, including the beach, Convention Center, and Old Town Recife! This hostel also offers free wi fi and 24 hour parking, if you choose to rent a car. They also have different holiday and Carnaval packages.
  • Pousada Villa Boa Vista, Rua Miguel Couto, 81, Boa Vista (Centro), [89]. Close to downtown and the historic areas of the city.
  • Pousada Bamboo, Rua Setubal, 186, Boa Viagem, tel. +55 81 3343-1179,[90]. This small, 15-room hotel is affiliated with the Pousada bar and club. Guests of the hotel have free admission to the club. Under German/Australian management, the hotel offers yacht and sightseeing tours. Breakfast is included in the price, along with free airport transfers!
  • Hotel Aconchego, Rua Félix de Brito e Melo, 382, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), tel.: +55 81 3464-2989 & +55 81 3075.7767, [91]. Located 10 minutes from the airport and close to the beach, Hotel Aconchego offers its guests 24 hour restaurant and room service.
  • Imperial Suites, Rua Antonio Lumack do Monte. 203, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), [92]. Close to the Recife Shopping Center, this luxurious hotel can provide you with a comfortable, relaxing room to unwind from your busy days of sightseeing.
  • Best Western Manibu Recife, Av Conselheiro Aguiar 919, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), [93]. This well-known hotel provides its guests with two bars, a restaurant that seats 170 people, and a solarium.
  • Holiday Inn Recife, Av. Engenheiro Domingos Ferreira, 3067, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), [94]. tel.: +55 81 2122-3939. Holiday Inn Recife offers complimentary breakfast buffets, along with a well-equipped fitness room. Staff speaks both English and Portuguese.
  • Hotel Central, Av. Manoel Borba, 209, Boa Vista (Centro), tel. +55 81 3222.4001 / 3222-2353 / 3222-9138. The oldest hotel in Recife. Used to attract stars and the like in the early 20th century. Remains architecturally appealing.
  • Hotel São Domingos, Praça Maciel Pinheiro, 66, Boa Vista (Centro), tel.: +55 81 231-1388. Mid-range hotel with good buffet breakfast.
  • Hotel Atlante Plaza, Av. Boa Viagem, 5426, in the beachfront of Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), [95]. Hotel Atlante Plaza is arguably the best hotel in Recife. It has two restaurants, a 24-hour babysitting service, 24-hour room service, and beauty salon. This is probably the only hotel that offers its guests a pillow menu; guests can choose from various scents and stuffings, such as lavender and camomile.
  • Blue Tree Towers Recife, Rua Bernardo Vieira de Melo, 01, in Piedade beach (Jaboatao dos Guararapes), [96]. Tel.:+55 81 3468-1255. This 4-star hotel is comprised of 135 rooms, all with a view of the sea. The hotel also provides child care and room service. Blue Tree Towers is a great option for both business and leisure travelers alike.
  • Internacional Palace Hotel, Av. Boa Viagem, 3722, Boa Viagem, tel. +55 81 4009-2500, toll-free in Brazil 0800-702-8383 [97]. Internacional Palace Hotel provides exceptional service with a great staff. Steps away from the beach, the hotel houses Arrecifes Restaurant, which serves a blend of international and regional cuisine. It also has a coffee shop and bar. Internacional Palace Hotel has weekend and honeymoon packages.
  • Recife Palace Hotel, Av. Boa Viagem, 4070, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), tel.: +55 81 4009-2500/4009-2523, [98]. A sister hotel to the Internacional Palace Hotel, Recife Palace Hotel has a total of 295 rooms, all with sea views, cable TV, and air conditioning. Housing a 5 star cuisine, the hotel has two restaurants, a bar, and coffee shop on the premises. Recife Palace Hotel is located close to the beach, 5 minutes away from the airport, and is walking distance to the city center.
  • Marante Plaza Hotel, Av. Boa Viagem, 1070, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), [99]. +55 81 3465-1070. Marante Plaza Hotel is an excellent option when you vacation in Recife. It is close to the Old Town nightlife and shopping. With 121 elegantly decorated suites, the hotel offers its guests air-conditioned rooms, saunas, and an art gallery. Rooms are available to host events also.
  • Mar Hotel Recife, Rua Barão de Souza Leão, 451, Boa Viagem (Zona Sul), [100]. Close to the airport and the beach, Mar Hotel Recife offers a wide variety of services, such as 24-hour room service, fitness rooms, and spa services.

Stay safe

Recife's reputation for safety is not one of the best. Do not be alarmed - the odds are you will have a fabulous time here - but keep aware of your environment and take the preventive measures recommended for other large cities in Brazil and Latin America.

  • Robbery in street and buses can be fairly common.
  • While entering or leaving Olinda at dusk or dawn, you have a elevated risk of being ambushed. Taxis are recommended.
  • Beware of the unlicensed guides. Make sure you have the travel itinerary planned out and a price (including meals, fuel, etc.) agreed upon before starting out.
  • Watch out for shark warnings before entering the water at the Boa Viagem beach.
  • Be ware of any women who seem "easy" and are extremely friendly. There is a lot of prostitution, both official and unofficial, in Boa Viagem clubs and bars.
  • Some "easy" girls might not be prostitutes,but they might want you to pay all that she eats and drinks for the night(be careful she might choose the most expensive ones on the menu)
  • And of course there are nice, educated and intelligent girls you can meet or fall in love. In case that happens, she might want to take you to meet her family! This is nothing serious, just a part of the city's hospitality. Just be careful with too much intimacy in front of her parents.
  • If you are carrying large notes (20,50, or 100 reais), be sure to tell the taxi driver before you get in because he might not have change. Some taxi drivers might not know how to get to where you are going so make sure that you have everything written down. As well,if you are a woman traveling alone, be careful! Sit at the back row of the car or drivers might try to take advantage of the situation .
  • Learn at least a little bit of Portuguese and learn about the local culture. With that, you can make even more friends and receive lots of smiles.
  • Also be aware that Boa Viagem has a large population of transvestites, which often blend in and go unnoticed.
  • Avoid Recife's downtown on Sundays. Streets are deserted all day long and are very unsafe. Consider taking a tour to a neighboring city or beach instead.
  • Olinda - This cute colonial town, just across the bridge from Recife, is a World Heritage Site.
  • Porto de Galinhas, Maracaípe, Serrambi and Tamandaré are wonderful beaches.
  • Itamaracá Island for its beaches, Coroa do Aviao islet, the 17th century Dutch Fort Orange, the colonial village of Vila Velha, and the IBAMA manatee nature center.
  • Igarassu, home to Brazil's oldest church and Latin America's largest collection of barroque paintaings.
  • São Benedito do Sul waterfalls.
  • Caruaru and Tracunhaém for their rich hadicraft. Caruaru is also famous for its open-air market, the largest in Brazil.
  • Nova Jerusalém [101], the world's largest theater-city, famous for its ennactment of the Passion of Jesus Christ during Easter(holy week).
  • Serrita, in the Sertão region, for its annual Missa do Vaqueiro, a religious-cultural event that honors northeastern cowboys.
Routes through Recife
João PessoaOlinda  N noframe S  MaceióAracaju
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RECIFE, or Pernambuco, a city and seaport of Brazil, capital of the state of Pernambuco, in 8° 3 S. and 34° 55 W., near the extreme eastern point of South America. Pop. (1904 estimate) 186,000. Recife is frequently called the "Venice of America"; it is at the mouths of the rivers Beberibe and Capibaribe which unite to form a small lagoon or bay inside the sea beach. In the angle between the two rivers is the delta island of Antonio Vaz. The city is built on the southern extremity of the sandy sea beach, on the island of Antonio Vaz, and on the mainland to the westward, the river channels being crossed by numerous bridges. With the exception of the hills on which Olinda is built about 5 m. northward, the surrounding country is low and flat, the general elevation averaging 10 ft. As the tide rises about 6 ft., the general level of the city and neighbouring coast, which is wet and swampy to the southward, is too low to be generally healthy, and Pernambuco has a high death-rate (521 per 1 000 in 1904), with malaria as one of the principal causes of death. The climate is hot, although agreeably tempered by the S.E. trade winds; the temperature ranges from an absolute minimum of 61° to an absolute maximum of 99° (1904). The rainfall (1904) is 75.3 in. The three principal parishes of the city are known as Sao Jose do Recife, occupying the sandy peninsula or beach north of the outlet of the united rivers; Santo Antonio, on the island of Antonio Vaz, which was called Mauritia or Mauritzstad during the Dutch occupation; and Boa Vista, on the mainland to the westward, which is the most modern and the most rapidly growing part. The first is the oldest and most crowded section, and is now devoted chiefly to the commercial and financial interests of the port; here are the custom house, merchants' exchange (Praga do Commercio), shipping offices, banks and wholesale houses. Santo Antonio dates from the Dutch occupation. Prince Maurice of Nassau, when governor-general, built here his private residence (Fribourg House) and made it his capital. Its business edifices and residences are largely of Dutch architecture, with many storeys and steep roofs. The older part of Boa Vista dates from the 17th century. Recife has few public squares or gardens, and its streets are not usually well cared for. The older buildings are of the Portuguese type, usually plain, low and heavy, constructed of broken stone and mortar, and plastered and coloured on the outside. The city has gas and electric illumination, street and suburban railways, drainage and a public water supply drawn from a small tributary of the Beberibe about 7 m. to the N.W., in the direction of Caxanga. Among its notable public buildings and institutions are the old government palace in Santo Antonio built upon the foundations of the official residence of Prince Maurice of Nassau, with a pretty garden attached; a theatre facing upon the Praga da Republica, dating from the second empire; the palace of the Provincial Assembly in Boa Vista, built in 1860-66, surmounted by a high dome; the municipal palace, or prefecture, on Rua do Imperador, with the public library (Biblioteca Publica) occupying its third floor and containing about 30,000 volumes; the Gymnasium, a large plain building of two floors standing near the legislative palace; the Pedro II. hospital built between 1847 and 1861; a large penitentiary, insane asylum, orphans' asylum, and beggars' asylum; a law school, artisans' school (Lyceu de Artes e Officios), and archaeological institute; a normal school and school of engineering; and war and naval arsenals. One of the most attractive churches is that of Nossa Senhora da Penha, surmounted by two slender spires and a dome.

The port of Recife is one of the most important of Brazil, on account of its proximity to Europe and its convenience for vessels passing around the east shoulder of the continent. It is the landing-place for two transatlantic and one coastwise cable lines. Its harbour consists of an outer and inner anchorage, the former an open roadstead, which are separated by a remarkable stone reef running parallel with the shore-line, leaving an inside passage 400 to 500 ft. wide. The entrance to the inner anchorage, which has a depth of about 20 ft., is opposite Fort Brum in the northern part of the city, and is marked by a small Dutch fort (Picao) and a lighthouse at the northern extremity of the reef. This remarkable natural breakwater, which is about 50 ft. wide on top and has been repaired with masonry in some places, covers a considerable part of the coastline in this part of Brazil. It is not a coral reef, as is sometimes stated, but is a consolidated ancient beach, now as hard and firm as stone.' In 1910 contractors were at work on improvements to the port to cost about 1,666,000, under a decree of the 3rd of December 1908. The exports include sugar, rum, cotton, hides, skins, rubber, wax, fibres, dyewoods, cacau, mandioca flour, pineapples and other fruits. Pernambuco is the principal sugar-producing state of Brazil, and Recife is therefore an important centre for this product. Its railway communications with the interior are good, and include the Sul de Pernambuco, Recife and Sao Francisco, Central de Pernambuco, and the Recife to Limoeiro lines, the first three now being under the management of the Great Western of Brazil Co. There are also suburban lines to Olinda and Caxanga, the latter providing communication with some of the prettiest suburbs about the city.

Recife was settled about 1535, when Duarte Coelho Pereira landed there to take possession of the captaincy granted him by the Portuguese crown. The site of Coelho's capital was Olinda, but Recife remained its port and did not become an independent villa (town) until 1710. Down to the close of the 18th century, when Rio de Janeiro became important, Recife was the second city of Brazil, and for a time its most important port. It was captured and plundered in 1 595 by the English privateer James Lancaster. It was also captured by the Dutch in 1630 and remained in their possession till 1654, during which time the island of Antonio Vaz was occupied and the town greatly improved. At the end of the Dutch War the capital was removed from Olinda to Recife, where it has since remained.

<< Recidivism

Recipe >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun


  1. State capital of Pernambuco (Brazil).


Simple English


Recife is a Brazilian city, capital of the state of Pernambuco. It has about 1.4 million inhabitants and an area of 218 km².

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address