Things To Do In Recife
Recife is the oldest state capital of Brazil that is located in the Penambuco Region. It is a city that has great shopping centers, beaches, cultural attraction and charming neighborhoods. Unlike the vast majority of the capital in the Northeast, Recife knows how to harness the potential of its historical center and has at Marco Zero and in Old Recife the apogee of cultural diversity. The Boa Viagem Beach and the city of Olinda stands close to each other and also full of attractions.
The city of Recife is lined with big hotels and a huge range of restaurants for all types and tastes. The bridges across the city are also one of its great attractions. For those who like shopping malls there are two very large complexes dedicated for shoppers. The last that was opened was Riomar, an impressive structure with large stores of famous brands.
When To Go:
Like the other waterfront urban communities inside the tropics of Brazil, Recife has a warm temperature that lasts throughout the year. Because of its nearness to the equator, the sun even sparkles amid the winter with a normal temperature of 70 °F. Indeed with the high temperatures the climate is extremely pleasant from the cool sea winds coming in from the Atlantic.
Amid the winter months Recife and its adjacent territories may get some downpour or sprinkle that goes on for a couple of days, however even without the warmth of the sun, low temperatures seldom drop underneath 80° F. The normal year round temperature ranges from 75° F to 83° F. Despite the fact that the climate in Recife is steady, the perfect time to visit is from February to June so as to dodge the extreme sunlight of a tropical summer.
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Extended along the northeast drift, Recife has some incredible shorelines, and with generally sunny days and a moderate temperature, most days are flawless shoreline climate. Boa Viagem, the shoreline region, has numerous bistros and restaurants to appreciate. It is additionally prescribed to walk around the provincial roads of the old city particularly amid February when the festivities for the Carnival season begins.
Here are the places you must see and the variety of things to do in the city of Recife:
Boa Viagem Beach
As in all Brazilian sea metropolises, you could not miss the Boa Viagem Beach in Recife City. It has a busy long avenue with palm trees, bike and jogging paths, stalls to taste coconut and cold beer, sports equipment, bathrooms and communal showers. Life on the beach is often quiet except on weekends when most families gather to enjoy the sun and sand. Food is never a problem for there are many kiosks that can prepare and serve what you want to eat. Behind the boulevard there are restaurants of all kinds and it is pleasant, cheap and tasty.
The sea air is quite humid and after a good sweat there lies a fresh green coconut and you can ask the seller to open it up so you can drink the water and eat the pulp. At the beach, do not forget to try the Queijo na Brasa (grilled cheese). Keep in mind that the seats or beach chairs are free and you do not need to pay or rent them.
The beach is one of the most luxurious areas of Recife with huge skyscrapers. It is well ventilated and in the evening, you can breathe and feel the cool ocean breeze. During the carnival the beach and the promenade are filled with about 1 million people. If you are in Recife it is one of the first sites that are required to visit.
Instituto Ricardo Brennand
If you are at the Boa Viagem you can reach by taxi the Instituto Ricardo Brennand and you will spend a beautiful day reliving the historic atmosphere of various periods and countries immersed in an oasis of greenery, peace, and coolness. if you are a teacher or a student you can get a discount on the entry price. You can arrange a picnic at the dining area or in the park. It has interesting collections from various countries. The Instituto is a nice surprise and a pleasant place for those who want to see something different besides the beaches and rich Brazilian culture. It is a private exhibition of art in and out of a castle in the middle of nature. It is a magnificent castle that has been transformed into a museum in an oasis of calm in Recife and in a well-kept environment. The Institute has a very interesting collection of art objects in European and Brazilian early colonial rule, particularly the Dutch era. It is surprising because it is rare to see a cultural collection as complete like this in Brazil.
The cultural center has an excellent collection of medieval armor and weapons. The sculptures and other works are well divided between the buildings of the institute. It is worth knowing and you can buy affordable items at half the price. It has a beautiful garden and a great restaurant that opens one hour before the opening of the museum, which only works for the afternoon (the center opens at 13:00 pm). Enjoy every detail, every sculpture and absorb the culture that emanates from this place. You must be willing to walk (it is a bit far from the property entrance to the castle entrance). The gardens are lovely and the place is gorgeous; and the children like the tour package that is specially designed for them.
Oficina Ceramica Francisco Brennand
The Pottery Workshop or the Oficina Ceramica Francisco Brennand is an interesting and unexpected ride in Recife. It is an old family ceramics factory that has been turned into a cultural center with works of Francisco Brennand, which can still be seen from time to time walking there. The place has gardens, including one with landscaping of Burle Marx, warehouses and galleries filled with sculptures and paintings. The ride is pleasant even for those who are not really into art. Do not need much time. In less than two hours you can see everything calmly. They have a snack bar / restaurant with tasty dishes but it is good to avoid during peak hours (between 13:00 and 14:30, more or less, in high season).
It has many sculptures; it features Mr. Francisco Brennand’s biography, pictures, among other wonderful things. It's worth taking a quick stop at the cafe and enjoy a lemon juice with ginger or pineapple with lemongrass. It is a must see for those who are in the city and enjoy the arts. The place is half hidden and located inside the UR-7 and the entry is accessible via the Caxangá which is 3 km of dirt road inside the Atlantic Forest (forest reserve). The workshop works in the ruins of a pottery from the early twentieth century. It is open every day (except public holidays in general), but with different time. The admission fee costs $5.00.
Everywhere you look contains the artist's work, which mostly consists of pottery, but also has a gallery with drawings and paintings of Francisco Brennand. It has a showroom area that show the exotic works well and many of them addresses an obscure and sexual side. The tour is a very different ride and you can see everything from an eccentric art world. However, the history of the place itself is well worth the visit but not highly recommend for children. The coffee shop is a charm and has some interesting desserts.
Church and Monastery of Sao Bento
For those who like history, a visit to the Church and Monastery of Sao Bento is a must when in the town of Olinda in Recife. Also known as the Church and Monastery of St. Benedict, you can enjoy and listen to Gregorian chants on its Sunday service. It is a place of peace and reflection.
Regardless of your religion it is worth a visit as a historic place that was built for centuries. Taking pictures is allowed and the parish priest can give you a lively and engaging tour of the church after the Holy Mass. The more than 400 year old church is built in Baroque style and has a beautiful architecture and you will enjoy the visit.
The Recife Antigo is very nice with colonial architecture of outstanding quality but with some limitations in terms of conservation. A walk to the old town of Recife is worth it for the size of both cultural and historical value of this place. A visit also brings you back into the 1800s, the golden era for this city. The old city of Recife is frequented by many tourists because it is full of bars and restaurants.
The center offers a variety of craft shops where you can buy fabrics, carpets, ceramic items, straw, lace, rope, etc. The city is a set of past and present; the palaces and churches are mixed with modern facilities showing houses and colonial neighborhoods that recall times of employment by the Portuguese and Dutch. Here lives together in great harmony the old and the new, the modern and Baroque. A must see when in Recife.
Parque da Jaqueira
The Parque da Jaqueira is very impressive and on Sundays it has attractions for children and many people use the grounds to practice exercises (walking and cycling). It is worth having a picnic with friends in the evening or just sit in one of the benches and enjoy the view of beautiful trees. The park is well wooded and has a gym with well-equipped machine besides classes sponsored by the city. Inside the park there is a solemn church where they perform marriages and baptisms. On weekends, it is filled with families with children attending the holy service and spending time on this park. It is located in the heart of a very affluent area of the city.
This beautiful park has a variety of entertainment, from the various walking trails, jogging paths, and the kids playgrounds. It has outlets of water, coconuts, clean restrooms, food and parking. It has several areas with separate children's toys by age, including a mini Zip Line that makes the joy of children and adults. It features a BMX track right in the center of the park. It is widely used by locals and sports enthusiasts to keep fit. The park has separate lanes for runners and walkers and in some places, separate lanes for strollers. The Parque da Jaqueira is an excellent choice for fun and health.
Basilica and Convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo
The Basilica and Convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo or commonly known as the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the official patron and protector of the city of Recife and one of the oldest and beautiful old buildings of the city. It was built in the year 1667 but it was only completed one hundred years later. It has an imposing and well preserved external architecture.
During the visit by their altars, you can read a symbolic marker that tells the story of the construction of the church and related historical facts showing several important details. It is an ancient basilica with many works of art and well-kept iconostasis. The cathedral is also highly regarded in Recife as a traditional place of sophisticated weddings.
The Se Cathedral or main cathedral in Olinda is very beautiful. The church is now undergoing renovation and additional painting but it is still open for tours and public viewing. It is safe because the police had been reinforced in Olinda, it is also worth paying for a guide to know the whole history of the streets / slopes and churches in Olinda that are very diverse.
The Sé Cathedral retains its original features which makes it even more interesting. With all its simplicity, it has a unique beauty and many attractions such as the images available there, the painting on the ceiling, the Portuguese tiles, etc. Another part is the charming story of the Cathedral as told by the very nice guides that you can avail here. But the most interesting part is the outside part of the Cathedral where you can admire the beautiful city of Olinda from above; the view is amazing!
The Marco Zero is a historic place where you can see some Brenam sculptures in the breakwater. It also has a historical site measuring 80 meters where you can see the old pier. Today, with the opening of several bars, restaurants, museums, it is great for tourists and reef dwellers who want to spend the afternoon exploring the best of Recife City.
It is very symbolic to the city but it looks much better during the Carnival season. The place is spacious and very good for sightseeing; you can visit the old town and other old buildings. If you go on a weekend, the site gets too busy with locals doing all kinds of outdoor activities from this side of the city.
Conjunto Arquitetonico da Praca da Republica
The Conjunto Arquitetonico da Praca da Republica is one of the most beautiful squares in Recife. The Republic Square is surrounded by important and historic buildings highlighting more on the architectural side such as the Teatro Santa Isabel (Pink), the Government Campo das Princesas Palace (burnt yellow) and the Palace of Justice (light yellow).
In addition, the green space of the square stands out well and the special attraction is a tree called the Baobab Tree, native to Africa. There are also lakes with fountains, palm trees and many banks around the square to sit and rest or take a long walk and at the same time admire all around the square. You can do the walk in the center by yourself where you can have more freedom of choices and can stay as long as you want on the site and enjoy the ride.
If you like beautiful landscapes and a well-kept beach, be sure to visit the Paiva Beach. It looks like an almost deserted beach that has beautiful scenery and luxury condominiums with groomed lanes and roads. The sea is very busy for surfing, snorkeling, and other water sports activities (beware of the shark). It is a stunning beach with protected coral reefs and breathtaking rock pools. The beach is a quiet and great place for contemplation of nature, with chances of finding huge sea turtles. Paiva has a simple structure and some stallholders with beverage choices and snacks and where swimming and snorkeling is good. In Recife, there are buses to the Candeias region and there is a need to take another one to the south where in 40 minutes you will arrive on this beach. It is in a great location and highly recommended for an excursion with the family.
Recife is a fantastic city and you will have a great time meeting people and diverse places. It has many restaurants and fun places such as shopping, marvelous beaches and very receptive people. Never forget an amazing trip to the reef, a visit to the museums, old structures and sacred churches. A visit to the city of Recife is 100% recommended.
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