Recife is the capital of the northeastern state of Pernambuco and a vibrant, bustling coastal city. Settled by the Dutch, it has a fascinating Old Town and a modern skyline of gleaming towers along the beach. It is a city surrounded by water, with many canals and rivers as well as the reef-calmed ocean.
Recife is famous for its beaches and, in Boa Viagem Beach, has one of the best urban beaches in the world.
The city is renowned for its beautiful churches, including the Golden Chapel, with its extravagant decoration.
Recife has many interesting museums, including the Abolition Museum, which focuses on slavery, and the Military Museum.
The oldest synagogue in South America makes for a fascinating visit.
Recife is known for its shipwrecks and reefs, making for some great diving experiences.
Recife has a tropical climate, with an average temperature of 78 degrees, which changes little throughout the year. The dry season is September-March, which may be most comfortable for a visit.
Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport serves the city with flights to Europe, North America, South America, and many Brazilian cities. You can get to the city by subway or bus, and a taxi will cost R$10.
Recife is well connected to the national road network, with the BR-101 running north to south and the BR-232 running east to west.
Long distance buses arrive at Terminal Integrado de Passageiros Antônio Farias. Fares from Fortaleza are from R$120 and R$42 from Natal.
Albergue Maracatus do Recife offers budget dorm rooms right beside the beach. The Internacional Palace Hotel offers luxury rooms with a beach view.
Recife Antigo - this is the old town and has some beautiful buildings and is home to the port area.
Boa Viagem - this is the spectacular beachfront area and is known as the Copacabana of northeast Brazil.
Olinda - Olinda is a beautiful beach town just four miles from the city center and has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its 16th and 17th-century buildings.
Recife has an extensive bus network and a subway system. Single tickets cost from R$1.60.
Recife has plenty of taxis, with starting fares set at R$4.75 and then R$3.50 per mile.
The roads in Recife are well made but with lots of bridges and islands, the network can be a little confusing to navigate. Car rental is from R$60, and you'll find Avis and Hertz in town.
Casa da Cultura on Rue Floriano Peixoto is a mall in a converted prison selling local arts and crafts. Paço Alfândega on Rua da Alfândega is a modern mall selling fashion and electronics.
A quart of milk in Recife will cost R$3.83 and a dozen eggs are R$7.40.
Chica Pitanga on Rua Petrolina serves good regional food priced by weight, while Assucar on Rua da Alfândega serves classic northeastern Brazil dishes. Expect to pay around R$20 in a budget restaurant and R$80 for a main in Assucar.