Recife (population 1.3 million, 3.5 million in the metropolitan area) is the second largest city in the Northeastern Region of Brazil and the largest metropolitan area. It is the 5th largest metropolitan area of Brazil. It is the capital of the Pernambuco state and the city where the Beberibe River meets Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean.

Surrounded by rivers and crossed by bridges, Recife is full of islands and mangrove swamps that magnify its geography. It is known as the American Venice, thanks to its fluvial similarity with the european city, and is considered one of Brazil's cultural capitals.

Birthplace of poets and writers as Manoel Bandeira, Carlos Pena Filho, Sebastião Uchoa Leite, Nelson Rodrigues, Gilberto Freyre, Paulo Freire and João Cabral de Mello Neto; and of several composers as Lenine, Fred Zero Quatro, Otto, Pochyua Andrade, Don Tronxo, Valença Brothers, Antônio Nóbrega, Naná Vasconcelos, jorge dü Peixe, Paulo Diniz, Fernando Lobo, Antônio Maria and Chico Science.



The settlement was established by the Portuguese in 1537, as a suburb of the now historic city of Olinda and remained Portuguese until the independence of Brazil, with the exception of a brief period of Dutch occupation in the 17th century between 1630 and 1654. During this period the first sinagogue of the Americas was founded in the city and for this brief time Recife became one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. The inhabitants fought on their own to expel the Dutch, being helped by the First Anglo-Dutch War. Most of the jews fled to North America, originating the jewish comunity of New Amsterdam (currently known as New York City), nowadays one of the most importan of the world. This was known as the Insurreição Pernambucana (Pernambuco Insurrection). After that, during the 19th century, riots spread throu gh the city, when the rich farmers of Olinda and the traders from Recife clashed. Recife was clearly in adventage in relation to Olinda: Olinda has no harbour, while Recife's Harbor is one of the best of the Atlantic. This was a decisive fact to Recife's succes. Nowadays Recife is a massive city while Olinda is a small historic town.


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Atelier de Francisco Brennand
Torre Malakoff, Recife Antigo
Torre Malakoff, Recife Antigo
Assembléia Legislativa
Assembléia Legislativa
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Prédios no Marco Zero, Recife Antigo
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Capibaribe River's Bridges viewed at the Poço Alfândega's mirror
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River Capibaribe reaching the atlantic ocean viewed at the Poço Alfândega's mirror


Within its metropolitan area are the cities of Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Olinda, Paulista, Abreu e Lima, Igarassu, Camaragibe, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, and São Lourenço da Mata.


Its main tourist atractions are:

  • Churches and historical monuments
  • Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art
  • Ancient Recife buildings
  • Boa Viagem Beach (the main city beach)
  • Olinda - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Casa da Cultura: souvenir shops
  • The Carnival at Recife Antigo
  • Cuba do Capibaribe, a mix of Cuban and Brazilian culture in a charming restaurant & dancing club at Paço Alfândega (In Portuguese)

There are many wonderful beaches surrounding Recife, such as:

  • Porto de galinhas, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (60 km to the south)
  • Maracaípe, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (65 km to the south)
  • Serrambi, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (70 km to the south)
  • Tamandaré, Barreiros, Pernambuco (110 km to the south)
  • Itamaracá, Pernambuco (40 km to the north)
  • Maragoji, Alagoas (150 km to the south)
  • Praia de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte (280 km to the north)
  • Tambaba, Conde, Paraíba (115 km to the north)
  • Serrambi, Ipojuca, Pernambuco


Main Neighborhoods

  • Torre
  • Ipsep
  • Boa Viagem
  • Boa Vista
  • Bongi
  • Brasília Teimosa
  • Cidade Universitária
  • Cordeiro
  • Aflitos
  • Casa Forte
  • Derby
  • Tamarineira
  • Espinheiro
  • Graças
  • Ibura
  • Ilha do Leite
  • Iputinga
  • Pina
  • Recife Antigo
  • Santo Amaro
  • Santo Antônio
  • Setúbal
  • Várzea
  • Beberibe
  • Casa Amarela
  • Afogados
  • Imbiribeira
  • Muribeca
  • Estânciada:Recife

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