Rio de Janeiro is enormous and one of the liveliest cities in the world. It’s no mean feat to squeeze everything in to one weekend, but it’s possible. This itinerary will help you see the biggest and best sights in Rio, as well as some more peaceful spots for when you need a break from the hectic streets.
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and is the capital of the state of the same name, established in honor of Saint Paul of Tarsus. With a significant population of over 11 million Paulistanos (local inhabitants), the city is a teeming metropolis with regional influences of arts and entertainment. Its culture reaches far beyond history and stretches into the modern day with worldwide acclaimed events such as the Brazilian Grand Prix and the world’s largest Gay Pride Parade.
Known as Cidade Maravilhosa, the Marvellous City, Rio is home to some of the friendliest people and the world’s most famous beaches. Brazil’s interracial history of Portuguese, Japanese, Indian and German settlers have created a multi-cultural society which has led to festivals and celebrations that are known all over the world. Choose from a fantastic selection of water sports, learn how to samba or view the city from one of the cable cars.
Located in central northeast Brazil, Recife and the state of Pernambuco have everything to make them one of the country's most interesting places to visit. Recife has a unique and lively culture and a warm sunny tropical coastal climate all year round. With the state's multicultural roots, dance, music art and cuisine it enchants visitors with originality, diversity, tradition, vibrant nightlife and colorful carnivals. Pernambuco locals are well known for their hospitality, always prepared to make any visitor's stay a pleasant and unforgettable experience.
Be spellbound by a São Paulo break that takes in vibrant cultural hot spots, futuristic urban marvels and diverse ethnic foods. From modernist museums showcasing the latest avant-garde trends to Japanese neighborhoods with ramen houses, a stay at a São Paulo hotel uncovers the richness of life in this great metropolis.
A city break in Rio de Janeiro presents an unforgettable cityscape of green mountains overlooking blue seas and long, sandy beaches. Glamorous Rio de Janeiro hotels hug the seafront, where hot days drift into balmy nights with a samba soundtrack.
Visitors on carnival holidays in Brazil need to book well ahead to guarantee a hotel. Brazil is a fascinating destination any time for its Amazonian flora, colonial architecture and lively music scene.
Accommodation in this diverse and multicultural city is as varied and as different as the people that live within it. Choose from good cheap hostels in bohemian Vila Madalena, cozy bed and breakfasts to serviced apartments, three to five star hotels and boutique luxury hotels. There is something to suit any type of travelers needs in this city. Even the up-market accommodation is still reasonably affordable, making it a great city to spend a little and get a lot.
In Sao Paulo, huge western shopping malls are known as ‘shoppings’ to the locals and the rest of Brazil. Here, you can buy practically anything. Aside from the malls, there are areas catering specifically to the varied shoppers needs. Visit the open markets in the Downtown area of the city for fresh produce while the local shops sell more traditional Brazilian items, and are where the best bargains can be found.
The diversity of Sao Paulo is obvious in its cuisine and the many different eateries it has, making its food famous. From American style steakhouses, to a huge amount of Japanese restaurants, pizzerias and bakeries, Sao Paulo covers any kind of food craving. Brazilian food is hugely popular in Sao Paulo and with European and indigenous African influences, Brazilian dishes change throughout the region. With over 12,000 restaurants, Sao Paulo literally spoils you for choice.
As the largest city within the huge country of Brazil, there is certainly no shortage of sights and activities. Sao Paulo has the culturally old, large parks full of monuments and museums, huge metal sky scrapers, cathedrals and plenty of modern architecture. It is a bustling city with so much on offer, so much so that Paulistanos (locals) famously would not live anywhere else. Explore art house cinemas, theatres, restaurants and museums.
Rio offers its tourists a wide range of choices when it comes to accommodation, from five-star hotels to a bustling hostel, to B&Bs or apartments amongst the more scenic areas. Many of Rio’s visitors stay in the Southern area where the hotels boast fitness centers and rooftop swimming pools, and similar to the shopping scenario, there is less accommodation in the North Zone.
With an exciting mix of high-end shopping malls and flea markets, shopping in Rio won’t disappoint. Brazil is one of the world’s largest suppliers of colored gemstones, making jewelry shopping in Minas Gerais a priority for many tourists. Throughout Rio you will find shoes, local music, bookshops and souvenirs along with cheap fashion and if that isn’t for you, almost every major district has a shopping mall of some sort.
Due to the diversity in culture Rio de Janeiro doesn’t have an identifiable cuisine, but instead, Rio’s dining scene offers you drinks and dishes from all over the world. From Italian pastas to Chinese wontons, Spanish empanadillas to Arabian kibbeh there have been variations of other culture’s favourite dishes that are now enjoyed throughout the country. From botecos or five-star restaurants, make the most of what Rio has to offer your taste buds.
Sun, sea and sexy beaches – exactly what you’ll find in Rio, surrounded by superb natural views, salsa schools and shopping malls. Rio de Janeiro is divided into zones, districts and neighborhoods, each of them offering something different to both locals and tourists. With the opportunity to hang-glide, hike mountains and relax on cable car rides, Rio is perfect for those looking to appreciate the wildlife. Anyone who loves the water will be spoilt for choice with surfing, scuba diving and plenty of sports available along most of the beach fronts. When the sun goes down the city comes alive with music venues, samba shows and nightclubs with a venue for all tastes.
Recife and surrounding regions have accommodation for all tastes and pockets, catering for tourist and business travelers and longer stays. Recife is a regional hub, a popular holiday break and business travel destination within Brazil. A lot of accommodation is concentrated in the Boa Viagem beach district which is handy for the airport and the Old town of Olinda. Pernambuco's superb tropical beaches are North and South and the paradisical Fernando de Noronha islands are just a one hour flight away.
Recife has been a regional hub for services and commerce going back to Brazil's colonization in the 16th century. Its melting pot of races and creeds has created one of the richest arts, crafts, music and dance scenes in Brazil. Street markets in Boa Viagem, Old Recife and Olinda are a fun way to mingle with the locals and experiment with local delicacies. Containting much cheaper products than the up-market shops or galleries, you are welcome to bargain here, with a smile, or 'cry' (chorar) as the locals say. Kit yourself out with locally produced colorful masks and clothes for Carnival and São João festivals - they double up as souvenirs for back home.
The mixture of diverse ethnic traditions in colonial times gave rise to the exotic flavors which characterize Pernambuco’s cuisine today. The state manages to satisfy a wide variety of different tastes with gastronomical wealth and diversity. The Pernambucan cuisine is a rich fusion of Portuguese, African and native Brazilian dishes, often combined with the freshest tropical fruits, herbs and vegetables. The taste for sweets originated in the kitchens of the sugar plantation houses and whilst the coast provides abundant seafood, the countryside produces sun-dried beef and traditional cheese.
Full of sun, sea and surf, Recife is an ideal Brazilian getaway, but this sunny spot has more to offer than your typical beach-side favorites. Recife holds one of most colorful and folkloric carnivals in the country and along with its neighbor, Olinda, they are considered to be amongst the most culturally diverse cities in Brazil. The local multicultural arts and music scene thrives with galleries, exhibitions and live performances taking place throughout the year. Visit museums, squares, parks and churches to walk through the centuries of Pernambucan and Brazilian history. Today's Recife is dynamic, exciting, abuzz with action, warmth and color and always ready for a good time.
Get the most from a short getaway in São Paulo with this two-day itinerary. Book a São Paulo hotel and enjoy all of the delights of this sultry metropolis.
Groundbreaking art, sensational museums and timeless music venues – book a São Paulo hotel and be inspired by this guide to the top 10 cultural things to do in São Paulo.
Melt-in-your-mouth sushi, sizzling barbecued beef and Amazonian berry juices – stay at a São Paulo hotel and savour the city’s culinary treats with this guide to the top 10 food and drink things to do in São Paulo.
Samba dancing, bossa nova singing and balmy nights with cocktails by the beach. Book a Rio de Janeiro hotel and take in the city’s delights with this guide to the top 10 nightlife things to do in Rio de Janeiro.
Summer breaks in Rio de Janeiro are when tropical dreams of paradise come true. Carnival casts its liberating spell over all comers while festive spirit engulfs New Year’s revellers along Rio’s turquoise shore. Book a Rio de Janeiro summer hotel for balmy nights and joyous celebration.
Whether you’re looking for a São Paulo hotel in chic Jardins or business-friendly Brooklin, use this guide to help choose the best place to stay in São Paulo.
Make the most of a short break in Rio de Janeiro with this two-day itinerary. Book a Rio de Janeiro hotel and get the best out of this lively city.
Use this insider’s guide to the Rio de Janeiro’s neighborhoods to book the best Rio de Janeiro hotel for you and take the stress out of your visit.
Whether you’re after sunbathing on white sand or snorkelling around coral reefs, you’ll know where to book your next hotel with this guide to the world’s top 10 beach destinations.
Rio Carnival is one of the world’s best known events. Its glittering costumes and samba inspire thousands of visitors to take a Rio de Janeiro holiday. Hotels host Rio Carnival balls and parties through the night.