Recife was founded in 1537 during the Portuguese colonisation of Brazil. It is the capital and largest city of the state Pernambuco in the Northeast of Brazil. It is characterised by its many rivers, bridges and islands. As of that it is called the “Brazilian Venice”.
The city has three main areas:
We recommend visiting the old town and beaches the most. The old town takes you back to colonial architecture and 18th century churches which mix with modern refurbished warehouses with restaurants, galleries and museums.
An unexpected trip for both of us was a short boat ride leaving in front of the art museum costing R$10 (£2) to a pier wall with sculptures. The sculptures themselves are fascinating with the varied shapes in and materials used as well as the waves against the breakers.
We climbed up to the top of the wall and got absolutely soaked – Susannah got drenched – but at least we got a good photo opportunity!
If you are up for something more adventurous than walking the colonial streets, add this to your to do list.
On Sundays, the old city area is mostly blocked off and pedestrians can roam freely with musicians and local stalls filling the streets.
There is also a number of statues celebrating the culture and historical persons. Why not try and take some photos with them all?
Another place to visit is the Cultural Muesum. This mostly focuses on the music and stories of people in the surrounding areas. This was voted Trip Advisors Travellers Top Destination in 2016 and costs R$10 for entry.
In Recife we learned a valuable lesson… research the area you are staying in.
All Brazilian cities have their mix of poor and richer areas with varied rates of crime and safety.
We had arranged to stay with a local guy for free in his home. When we arrived, the area looked a lot like a favela and seemed unsafe. After stopping and looking up the area on Google, we discovered this was a area of high crime and that our gut feelings were correct.
Luckily, we booked ourselves into a wonderful hostel that supported us when we arrived.
For both of us, this was a stressful moment and we know now to always ask “is your area safe” before confirming a stay.
- The tourist and beach areas
- The old town
Quick fire questions:
Q: Where did we stay?
A: Cosmapolotian Hostel (was our review)
Q: Is Recifezz Safe?
A: Yes! Along the beaches and the old town are very safe for tourists. Be aware of entering favelas and if it doesn’t feel righ don’t go there.
Q: What about LGBT?
A: Recife has two gay nightclubs in the city. These are in the old town and are surrounded by other bars and clubs. We never felt unsafe where we were staying or in the tourist zones!