Recife Tourism

Visit Recife - Best of Recife

Recife gets its name from the ancient underwater reef that protects its shore. In the 16th century, Recife was only a collection of fishing shacks. With the arrival of the Franciscans, and then Jews, the significance of the city began to expand steadily. The city’s growth is closely tied to the growth of the nearby town of Olinda, which has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Touristically, the city is famous for its Old Town, the spectacular Boa Viagem beach, the unrelenting arts and culture scene, vibrant nightlife and two iconic museums. There are many great churches, and also the America’s first Jewish synagogue. The museums all have excellent exhibitions – detailed, well-presented, and thoughtfully laid out.

Aside from three major parks, there’s not much to be done in terms of green spaces. The theatre scene is quite active. Shopping is great too, especially the souvenir kind. Food wise, Pernambuco state’s cuisine is distinct from the rest of Brazil thanks to its greater African and indigenous influence. Beach food is practically its own sub-culture, with an endless number of vendors serving the Boa Viagem beach. The Boa Viagem district also has many great bars, pubs, and nightclubs, which the local young crowd is crazy for.

There are a number of tourist attractions for sightseeing around the city too. For example, Itamaraca Island and Coroa do Aviao islet; Porto de Galinhas, the best beach in the state; Igarassu, the location of Brazil’s oldest church and some great artwork; and the Sao Benedito do Sul waterfalls. Off the shores, there are over 100 shipwrecks to dive to.

Recife Travel Tips

Essential travel information and Recife tips for your visit


  • Time Zone: BRT (UTC−3)
  • Currency: Brazilian real
  • Tipping: You don’t need to tip, except when being dropped to or fro from the airport; and a R$ 5/10 tip for the bellhop at hotels.
  • Tourist Traps: Marko Zero, Casa da Cultura
  • Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish

 Electricity and Internet: 

  • Plug type: C, N
  • Standard: NBR 14136 127 V; 220 V 60 Hz


  • Never drink and drive in Brazil. The police are unbelievably strict, and are allowed to arrest you on mere suspicion.
  • Emergencies: 190 (police), 192 (ambulance)
  • Robbery is common, so take the usual precaustions.
  • The Boa Viagem beach is tiger shark infested.
  • Avoid downtown on Sundays.


  • Kissing on the cheek is a common greeting, but men should stick handshakes and backslaps with each other.
  • Don’t make the ‘OK’ sign with your hand.
  • It’s ok and expected to be slightly late.
  • Avoid sensitive topics.
  • Don’t be late answering social media and email and texts.

Explore the travel itinerary planning tool for your visit to Recife and create a flawless plan in few simple steps!

Facts and Stats for Recife*

  • Pollution Statistics in Recife

    Know the pollution level of Recife before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 54.17 (Moderate)
    • Water Pollution 81.25 (Very High)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 62.5 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 77.08 (High)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 64.58 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 77.08 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 56.25 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 59.09 (Moderate)
  • Recife: Crime and Safety

    How safe is Recife for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Recife.

    • Burglary and Theft 57.5 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 89.71 (Very High)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 94.12 (Very High)
    • Corruption and Bribery 95.41 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 74.51 (High)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 78.06 (High)
    • Attacks 67.65 (High)
    • Drug offense 80.39 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 27.45 (Low)
    • Safety walking alone during night 2.94 (Very Low)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 45.5 (Moderate)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 18.63 (Very Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 87.75 (Very High)
  • Living in Recife - Quality of Life

    Quality of Life Index of Recife is 80.8 (Moderate)

    • Safety Index 23.53 (Low)
    • Climate Index 80.36 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 73.04 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 48 (High)
    • Cost of Living Index 51.82 (Low)
    • Health Care Index 56.03 (Moderate)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 17.48 (Very High)
    • Purchasing Power Index 37.99 (Very Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Cost for Essentials in Recife

    Here's how much it will cost to shop in Recife

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.43 USD
    • International Movie per seat 7.74 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 42.3 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 90.76 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 51.18 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

Recife Travel Guides

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* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo