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Hotels in Recife

Recife is nicknamed “the Brazilian Venice” because of the rivers, bridges and islands that criss-cross it. The city is made up of three islands: Recife, Santo Antonio, and Boa Vista, separated by the rivers Capibaribe and Beberibe. Because Recife is on the outskirts of the rainforest, the city has a tropical monsoon climate with warm weather and rainfall: November is the driest month, while June is the wettest.

The lively nightlife, rich history, and gorgeous beaches all make Recife a big draw for tourists. Porto de Galinhas, the best beach in Brazil, is only 37km South of the city. There’s a good selection of accommodation in Recife, from high end hotels to family run bed and breakfasts.

The following neighbourhoods are all great bases for getting out and about.


Downtown Recife is made up of a few different neighbourhoods including Recife Antigo, the old town, which is home to most of Recife’s historic colonial buildings. Centro is split across the islands and the neighbourhoods are connected by bridges. Sao Antonia, Santo Amaro, Sao Jose and Boa Vista are all in the Centro district, and each has its own atmosphere. It’s worth spending a day exploring on foot, admiring buildings like Teatro Santo Isabel and checking out the handicrafts at Mercado do Sao Jose.

Zona Sul

The South zone of the city is geared towards tourists, with plenty of bars, restaurants, hotels, and a huge shopping mall. The area is modern, and was built to make the most of the natural reef beaches along the coast including Boa Viagem beach, known locally as “the Copacabana of the North East.”

Zona Oeste

Recife’s lungs are in the Western district of the city, characterised by its pretty parks and the last trees of the Atlantic Forest which once stretched to the coast. It’s a good spot for a peaceful break, with a good collection of hotels. The neighbourhood is also home to two of Recife’s best known museums: Museu-Oficina Francisco Brennand, dedicated to the famous sculptor, and Instituto Ricardo Brennand, an arts, history and culture centre.

Zona Norte

The North Zone of the city is a laid back and residential neighbourhood, famous for its chilled bar scene. It’s where most of the population live, so head here if you want to get away from the tourist scene and see the real Recife. There are lots of shops selling fresh produce, perfect if you’re staying in a self catering apartment.