Best Things To Do in Recife, Brazil

Are you looking for what to do in Recife?


  • Instituto Ricardo Brennand: a vast collection of arms and armoury and fine art by British descended Brazilian collector, housed in a massive complex.
  • Recife Antigo: The historic centre of the city of Recife. Apart from being location of Ground Zero, it also has a great nightlife, museums, religious buildings, and views of the sea. Architecture here is very charming and worth watching.
  • Boa Viagem: The neighbourhood with one of Brazil’s most popular beaches. Most tourists stay in this area. It’s all about shopping, nightlife and eating.
  • Oficina Ceramica Francisco Brennand: Outside of town, the works of Francisco Brennand lie scattered around an old colonial estate. Surreal, bizarre, sexual, his art - painting, mosaic tiles, sculpture – are all provocative.
  • Casa da Cultura Pernambuco: A former prison that has now been made into a arts and crafts centre with the purpose of propping up local artisans.


  • Catamaran Tours - Passeios Pelo Rio Capibaribe e Outros: Take in Recife from an angle that most people tend to miss out on – from the waters. Nothing better than a sunset boat tour.
  • Ciclofaixa: A cycling tour of the city. Unexpectedly enriching.
  • Aquaticos Diving Center: Train up, and then dive down to an offshore wreck, of which there are hundreds.Travel guides necessary.

Below we have a list of things to do in Recife and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Recife getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Recife with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Recife

Here is the list of things to do in Recife and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Instituto Ricardo Brennand

    4.8 (213 Votes)
    Instituto Ricardo Brennand

    Museum, Specialty Museum

    Ricardo Brennand, was a British descended Brazilian collector and businessman, who began to amass a collection of arms and armoury from all over the world in 1940. Much later, he grew interested in art and artefacts relating to Dutch colonial Brazil. In 2002, his collection was made into a fascinating museum in a Tudor-style castle complex of 77,000 square meters, surrounded by a 18,000 hectare...Read more
  2. Recife Antigo

    4.6 (232 Votes)
    Recife Antigo

    Bar, Church, Museum, Historical Site

    The port at Recife Antigo was once the busiest in all of the Americas. It’s where the Portuguese initially settled in the 16th century, and later, the Jewish community. Today, it is at once the city’s most important historical centre, and the site of the city’s night-time debauchery, full of excellent bars and nightclubs. During the daytime, Sunday, there is a lively market of...Read more
  3. Boa Viagem

    4.7 (237 Votes)
    Boa Viagem

    Hotel, Bar, Church, Beach

    The liveliest, most exclusive neighbourhood in Brazil also has one of the continent of South America’s most visited beaches - Boa Viagem beach. The beach is 8km long, with white sands, crystal clear waters, and thousands of daily visitors. The entire beach is lit up at night too, so it’s never really empty. Unfortunately, the beach has a recent history of increasing number of tiger ...Read more
  4. Marco Zero At Praca Rio Branco

    Light House, Architecture , Arts And Crafts, Sculpture

    This extremely pretty square, also known as Ground Zero, is where the Portuguese founded Recife in 1857. Kilometre 0 is marked with a plaque. Elegant and grand historic buildings surround the square on three sides; the vast oceans spread out to the horizon on the fourth. Sights at the square include: The bust of Baron of Rio Branco by Felix Charpeutier. The Reef Lighthouse. The centre of the s...Read more
  5. Oficina Ceramica Francisco Brennand

    Art And Culture, Nature, Sculpture

    Did you know ceramic making can make you famous even in this date? It worked for Francisco Brennand, widely considered as one of the world’s best. 11 kilometres out of Recife, this complex is dedicated to the man’s life work, and is nothing short of mind-boggling in its inventive nature and scope. Painting, mosaic tiles and sculpture – he’s done it all, exploring fantast...Read more
  6. Riomar Recife

    4.7 (171 Votes)
    Riomar Recife

    Market, Shopping Center

    This upscale shopping mall is the 3rd largest commercial enterprise in Brazil. It’s stuffed full of luxury brands, both international and national. Eat, shop, catch a movie or just hangout. This is about as good as malls can get. In the centre of the mall, there’s a panoramic lift.
  7. Pernambuco House Of Culture

    4.5 (179 Votes)
    Pernambuco House Of Culture

    Landmark, Market, Shopping Center, Architecture

    This former prison, completed in 1857 in Imperial Classical style, is now one of Rencife’s foremost landmarks. Once the prison was shut down in 1973, the building’s architectural value led the establishment of the House of Culture here. Today, the former cells are almost entirely taken over by individual shops, associations and eateries. It’s is now one of the main centres of ...Read more
  8. Museucais Do Sertao

    4.7 (125 Votes)
    Museucais Do Sertao

    Museum, Nightlife

    Luiz Gonzaga, was a singer-songwriter known as the King of Baiao, and his muse was dear to much of Brazil – the Pernambuco North eastern Hinterlands. The permanent interactive exhibit in this museum explores rural and country culture as Luiz Gonzaga saw it. Opened only recently, it’s already wildly popular with people, thanks to its excellent exhibits. They follow the artist’s...Read more
  9. Mosteiro De Sao Bento

    4.7 (96 Votes)
    Mosteiro De Sao Bento

    Church, Religious Site, Tower, Monastery

    This Baroque religious complex, now a UNESCO world heritage site, dates back to the earliest date of Portuguese colonisation in Brazil. In the 17th century, the place underwent some serious redecoration – gilt valances, rosewood railings, paintings of the life of St. Benedict, rich furniture – and by the 19th century, was one of the richest churches on the continent, i.e., a place f...Read more
  10. Paco Do Frevo

    4.7 (119 Votes)
    Paco Do Frevo

    Art And Culture, Museum, Specialty Museum

    Frevo: Derived from the Portuguese world ferver (to boil), Frevo refers to the wide range of music and dance styles from the Recife area – dances for the Carnival. This is such a big deal in the city, that there’s actually a museum/cultural centre for it – the Paco do Frevo. The centre focuses on activities, progress, transmission and evolution of this slice of Brazilian cultu...Read more
  11. Se Cathedral

    Church, Religious Site, Historical Site, Tower

    Established in July 1614, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife is seated at this church, even though its not the arch-bishop’s own headquarters. More interesting for its historical significance rather than its looks, the church isn’t the main reason why people visit; for the view from this place is the star attraction. For a small fee, you can climb to the top of the wa...Read more
  12. Paiva Beach

    4.6 (69 Votes)
    Paiva Beach


    30 km south of Recife, this pedestrian only beach isn’t protected by coral reefs like the Boa Viagem beach is. There are both shallow calm pools and areas with strong waves, making the beach popular with families and surfers alike. A palm grove borders the beach. In another area, there is a sulphuric mud pool believed to have skin-healing properties. On the downside, the beach barely has ...Read more
  13. Coroa Do Aviao Beach

    Beach, Island, Water Body, Restaurant

    One of Recife’s favourite weekend retreats, this beautiful islet beach has white sand, clear waters, and amenities to fulfil every need. The islet is basically a sandbar with a number of tourist huts and restaurants. Access is by motor boat from the mainland, though you can just walkover during low tide. It’s great for swimming and other watersports. There are kiosks where you can r...Read more
  14. Teatro De Santa Isabel

    4.8 (51 Votes)
    Teatro De Santa Isabel

    Historical Site, Performance, Theatre, Concert

    Opened in 1850, this historic theatre has hosted a great number of important art and political figures. It is a cute little Neo-classical building of pink, and seats about 850 people at a time. Today, most shows happen at night. If you just want to check the building out, free guided tours about the architecture and history of the theatre are on Sunday. The theatre is also home to the Recife Sy...Read more
  15. Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue

    Museum, Historical Site, Archaeological Site , Synagogue

    The first synagogue in the Americas was founded in 1636 by Jews fleeing forced conversion in Spain and Portugal. Though the original building doesn’t exist anymore, there is on the site a museum that is meant to resemble the synagogues built in the 17th and 18th centuries by Sephardic Jews. Also, the original structure has been dug back out of the earth, so the museum also counts as an ar...Read more