Check out our list of the Top 10 Cities to Visit in Brazil from our Travel Consultant Megan Zebari.
São Paulo – Best Cities in Brazil
The financial hub of Brazil, São Paulo has become a major player in global economics. Home to Brazil’s largest and most diverse population, São Paulo is known for its status as the concrete jungle, where visitors come to do business, rather than focusing on sightseeing. The bustling city’s fast paced lifestyle may not be for everyone, but if you’re curious about what cements Brazil as the world’s third biggest economy, a visit to the city is an excellent way to experience it first hand. São Paulo is also a great place to start or end your visit in Brazil, as the city’s major airport receives flights from over 90 cities worldwide.
Salvador – Best Cities in Brazil
Salvador is both Brazil’s first political and cultural capital. In Salvador, the first people of Brazil blended to create an incredibly diverse mix of cultures that create the Brazil we know and love today. The historic neighborhoods of Pelourinho and Barra house museums and architectural monuments that have stood for many years. Salvador is one of the best locations to witness the traditional martial arts dance of Brazil, Capoeira, with its most notable school located in the Pelourinho neighborhood.
A long coastline wraps around Salvador, and many hotels are treated with ocean views. If you’re looking for the ultimate beach escape, take a ferry to the nearby Praia do Forte or Morro de São Paulo, beach villages located two hours from mainland Salvador
Recife – Best Cities in Brazil
Like Salvador, Recife is home to an abundance of attractive beaches and colonial architecture. A beach getaway with a historic flair, Recife is privileged to have pleasant weather year round. The nearby town of Olinda is the best place to see colorful colonial architecture, and cultural livelihood of the area. Olinda is home to an abundance of craftspeople, honoring old world traditions.
Paraty – Best Cities in Brazil
Paraty, located on Brazil’s Costa Verde or “Green Coast”, is surrounded in equal parts by mountains and coastline. Gold was once funneled from the mining regions of inland Brazil through Paraty. Evidence of the city’s historical past stands today in the form of beautiful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Visit the quaint city to escape from the bustling metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, and enjoy strolls through cobblestone streets, and boat rides to the surrounding islands. A boat ride from Paraty is a fantastic way to explore the hundreds of nearby islands surrounding the mainland. Ilha Grande is one of the most well-known islands, and small pousadas on the peaceful island are the perfect place to relax and unwind before your trip back to the mainland.
Foz do Iguassu – Best Cities in Brazil
Foz do Iguassu is located in Iguassu Falls National Park, home to 300 of the world’s most powerful and breathtaking waterfalls. Surrounded by lush rainforest and permanently adorned with rainbows, this landscape must be seen to be believed. Wooden walkways are placed through the falls, and you can feel the mist of the forceful waterfalls while you explore them. Foz do Iguassu is the name of the nearest town on the Brazilian side of the national park. Stay in the Belmond das Cataratas in Foz do Iguassu to maximize your experience in Igaussu Falls. Descended from the historic Orient Express Hotel line, the Belmond das Cataracts, delivers unforgettable charm and convenience.
Manaus – Best Cities in Brazil
The Amazon Rainforest accounts for an incredible 60% of Brazil’s entire land area. Manaus is not the only city located in the rainforest, but the city plays a vital role as a major facilitator of travel through the Amazon. The success of the city’s latex exports (extracted from local rubber trees) gave way to its economic growth. Today Manaus boasts beautiful architecture and historic squares, an opera house and theater, and numerous Amazon research centers. Views of the Amazon river and even beautiful beaches line the river’s coast. Cruises through the Amazon depart from the city of Manaus, strategically navigating a route which attracts fewer mosquitos due to water nutrient levels. An abundance of lodges near Manaus provide authentic experiences in the Amazon. The Manaus International Airport welcomes flights from Brazil and around the world.
Fortaleza – Best Cities in Brazil
Fortaleza is one of Brazil’s top party destinations! The sprawling metropolis is beloved by native Brazilians and international tourists alike for its abundance of clubs and well-kept beaches (the city boasts 16 miles of beaches!). Fortaleza is the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceara, home to many other of Brazil’s best beach towns, including Jericoacoara and Paraiba.
Brazil’s golden age might be hundreds of years in the past, but Ouro Preto, in the state of Minas Gerais, is a reminder of its shimmering past. Landlocked about tucked in the hills of a gorgeous countryside, Ouro Preto is often overlooked by visitors focused on scouting Brazil’s best beaches and nightlife. However, you’ll find that Ouro Preto is one of Brazil’s most charming cities precisely because of it’s isolation. The cobblestone streets and incredibly preserved colonial architecture provide a wonderfully rare journey into Brazil’s fascinating past.
Though not one of Brazil’s most famous cities, Curitiba is one of Brazil’s most endearing modern cities. The city offers a one of a kind train through the Atlantic Rainforest, a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in South America. Curitiba offers a wonderful variety of restaurants and bars, offering up delicious local cuisine. Curitiba is home to many parks filled with amazing sculptures and excellent gardens.
Rio de Janeiro is South America’s most alluring city. The picturesque streets captivate travelers of all types. Visitors are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic ocean, attractive beaches and have almost endless opportunities to sunbathe, dance, and explore. An explosion in spirit erupts during the season of Carnival, during the first two weeks of February every year. Rio de Janeiro is home to one of the biggest parties of the year. You can watch Samba schools compete for the crown prize during the winners parade, every Saturday after Carnival.
Rio is also famous for football! Football is one of the most important pastimes and passions in Brazilian culture. Going to a football game will make it impossible not to become a fan for the Brazilian passion for the sport, and life.