Recife in Brazil: Travel Guide and Interesting Places

Exploring Brazil #1: The city of Recife and surroundings

Recife City in Brazil

Is it already? Finally! I was waiting for my trip to that biggest country in South America for months to write my Brazil travel blog! I'm not regretting any day and penny spend there, as my adventure was amazing!

Let's start my Brazil travel guide by visiting the city of Recife with a great Old Town, Marco Zero Square, Sculptures at the waterfront, and Boa Viagem Beach. We will also visit great tourist attractions and interesting places like Francisco Brennand's Ceramic Workshop, Ricardo Brennand Institute, and New Jerusalem Theater. So let's get to it!

Old Town in Recife, Brazil

Recife Old Town

Recife Old Town (called also Recife Antigo) is the oldest part of the city, founded in 1537. The place was chosen because of its great place near the South Atlantic bay, so the huge port was created here. In 1837, the Recife became a strategic trading place and a capital of Pernambuco state.

If you want to visit the biggest tourist attractions in the city, you should start right here. It combines an excellent mix of history, culture, and entertainment like restaurants, bars, and cafes. Oh, and don't forget about the Carnival, that takes place in Recife every year. The city during Carnival changes a lot, with many themed ornamentations.

Marco Zero Square in Recife. Source: Chilipe / Wikipedia.

Marco Zero Square

Marco Zero Square is the main part of the Recife Old Town. You can find here a lot of old, colorful buildings from the colonial times. It's the best place to start visiting Old Town and to have a long wander. The whole square is full of colors and a great place for a photography.

The Marco Zero Square was founded by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century. You can also find here a small monument called Marco Zero (called also "Km 0") - it marks the place where the Portuguese founded Recife.

Sculpture Park at the Waterfront

The Sculpture Park can be found near the Recife Shopping Mall and it's the place where we can find 35 different sculptures in the green area of almost 19000 m2. It was opened in 1998.

Sculpture Park in Recife, Brazil

There are many famous Brazilian artists that were working on the Sculpture Park in Recife: Augusto Ferrer, Francisco Brennand, Abelardo da Hora, and Marianne Peretti. All of them was chosen by Rogélia Peres, the architect who created this exhibition. The Sculpture Park in Recife is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city and for sure a very interesting place full of art and culture.

Boa Viagem Beach in Recife, Brazil

Boa Viagem Beach

I cannot imagine visiting Brazil without swimming! If you going on a trip to the city, the best place you can do this is a Boa Viagem Beach in Recife. Well, not only I think this way, as this beach is one of the most visited beaches in Northeastern Brazil.

The Boa Viagem is the longest stretch of urbanized seafront in Brazil and it's more than 8 kilometers long. The water has the temperature about 25 °C.

Beware that the Boa Viagem Beach in Recife is plagued by tiger shark attacks that happens here sometimes. Well, not too many tourists or locals care.

Francisco Brennand Ceramic Workshop in Recife, Brazil. Source: Valdiney Pimenta / Wikipedia.

Francisco Brennand's Ceramic Workshop

Francisco Brennand was born in northern Brazil in 1927 in a rich family. His interesting to pottery and other kinds of art began very early. His father opened a pottery in Recife in 1917 and he started to work there when he was just a boy. He even traveled to Europe, Italy and Spain to search for the inspiration, based on such famous people as Gaudi or Picasso.

After he came back in 1971, his family pottery was on the verge of bankruptcy. To preserve that, he combined his love and talent to ceramics with an architect Roberto Brule Marx, which resulted in the creation of Francisco Brennand's Ceramic Workshop with beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, fountains, and temples.

Francisco Brennand Museum in Recife

Nowadays the Francisco Brennand's Ceramic Workshop is filled with hundreds of statues that he created, numerous amount of paintings and ceramics. Many of the gardens have Brennand’s work with ceramics and statues. The whole complex looks amazing, like nothing else in the world. The gardens and museums are open to the public whole week.

Ricardo Brennand Institute and Museum in Recife. Source: Luci Correia / Wikipedia.

Ricardo Brennand Institute

The Ricardo Brennand Institute looks like a Tudor-style European castle and it's nothing strange because it was built by the Dutch people.It is a museum that holds South America's biggest collection of different kind of armor and weapons, like swords, maces, crossbows or daggers or a 27 full-plate armor. It takes us back to a time of medieval knights, and it was a world in which I immersed myself with great pleasure.

Not only weapons can be found here. Ricardo Brennand Institute is also a library that holds over 60 000 items, it's also the world's largest collection of paintings and drawings by the renowned New World landscape artist Frans Post.

Ricardo Brennand Institute was opened in 2002 and offered cultural education programs to the local community. It's opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 17:00.

New Jerusalem Theatre

The New Jerusalem Theater, located in a dusty region of Brejo da Madre de Deus is an open-air theater covering more than 24 acres of space and it looks like some kind of a medieval castle. The place is really huge, just imagine that the walls are 2.2 miles long and they have about 70 towers. All of this makes it the biggest open-air theater in the world.

New Jerusalem Theatre in Brazil

The first play in the New Jerusalem Theater is dated in 1951 and the show was made only for friends and family that was playing different roles. This changed in 1963 when people from nearest town decided to build here a Jerusalem replica.

New Jerusalem Theater, Recife

Nowadays 8 big plays (550 actors each) takes place in in the New Jerusalem Theater during the year, being watched by more than 8000 people per single show, mostly the Passion of Christ. Tourists that came here to see the play can stay in the inn inside the walls.


This is the end of my Recife travel guide about the city's interesting places and tourist attractions. Soon I will write on my travel blog other articles about my trips to other parts of Brazil.

Recife is a great city with so many great spots, like the Old Town, Francisco Brennand's Ceramic Workshop, New Jerusalem Theater, and Ricardo Brennand Institute. If you know other places, write me about them and I will try to describe them here. I hope you enjoyed this guide, if you have any questions about Recife or Brazil, feel free to leave me a comment.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

4.88 | 8 votes
Comments: 5
  •   23th April 2018, 14:54

    Brazil, unfortunately, has never seen me before, but we will try to catch up :) This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Brazylia niestety jeszcze nigdy mnie nie widziała, ale postaramy się to nadrobić :)

    •   26th April 2018, 09:26

      This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Warto, piekny, wielki i trochę dziki kraj. Planowaliśmy tę podróż latami, tanio i łatwo nie było, ale wspomnienia bezcenne! :-)

  •   6th June 2018, 10:57

    I was traveling to Brazil but unfortunately missed the city of Recife... Maybe next time, as I can see that you travel guide shows that there are a lot of interesting places in Recife!

  •   25th June 2018, 16:30

    Crap, I've been to Brazil several times, I even wrote some articles on my travel blog, but I was not in Recife, which is a pity. It looks like a fantastic city, especially the old town. This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Kurcze, byłem w Brazylii kilka razy, nawet napisałem parę artykułów na moim blogu podrózniczym, ale w Recife nie byłem, a szkoda. Wygląda na fantastyczne miasto, szczególnie starówka.

  •   16th July 2018, 16:28

    We are going with my husband to Brazil in August, and after reading this travel article the city of Recife will undoubtedly be on our list! Interesting places, tourist attractions, nothing but to go and visit :-) This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Wybieramy się z mężem do Brazylii w sierpniu, i po przeczytaniu tego artykułu podróżniczego miasto Recife bez wątpienia znajdzie się na naszej liście! Ciekawe miejsca, atrakcje turystyczne, nic tylko jechać i zwiedzać :-)

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