Brazil as a country is, to be quite honest, a massive area of land. The country covers 3.2 million square miles (8.5 million square km) and is comprised of 26 different states. If you’ve ever wanted to visit Brazil, that may leave you wondering, “where exactly do I want to go?” Perhaps it’s to the beautiful beach cities of Maceio or Rio de Janeiro, where the waters are blue and sunshine is welcoming. Or maybe you’d like to learn a bit about the history of the country when visiting Sao Luis or finding your own German heritage when traveling through Blumenau. These are just a few places within Brazil you can go to have an outlandishly good time; for more ideas on places to visit in Brazil, keep reading this article.
Perhaps one of the best known cities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is full of exciting places for visitors to enjoy during a getaway. Naturally, you’ll want to get a close-up view of the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue and certainly no trip to Rio would be complete without one! After visiting the statue, be sure to hit up some of the wonderful beaches that the city has to offer as well, including Copacabana Beach, which is one of the most popular beaches in the world. Other places of interest you’ll want to check out while in Rio include Sugar Loaf Mountain, Guanabara Palace and Tijuca Forest.
Duration: 8 hours
The city of Manaus sits on the northern banks of the Rio Negro where it joins the Amazon River; in fact, the town is considered to be a major departure point for the rainforest itself. During your Brazilian excursion in Manaus, you’ll want to check out the Rio Negro Palace, the Indian Museum and the local opera house at Teatro Amazonas. These and other attractions within Manaus are sure to delight you with their unique architecture and culture.
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
What trip to Brazil would be complete without visiting the country’s largest city (and third most populated city in the world)? There is much to see within the city, from the oldest building, Pateo do Colegio, to the greenery located in the Jardins neighborhood. Other historic buildings you’ll want to see during your visit include Luz Rail Station, which was constructed in the 1800s, and the beautiful Italianate Opera House. For those looking to admire more modern architecture, be sure to visit Avenida Paulista or immerse yourself in the local cultures, such as that of Japantown.
Duration: 4.0 hour
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4. Porto Alegre
Located in southern Brazil, Porta Alegre is the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul. When visiting, be sure to check out Parque Farroupilha, which is a spacious park that plays host to flea markets, local painters and sculptors and it’s also just a generally great place to stretch your legs for a walk. The Mario Quintana House of Culture is also a great place to visit, as it offers a wide variety of artistic productions from musical performances to poetry readings. Nearby Aparados da Serra National Park is also a great place to discover the local beauty of the region.
Belo Horizonte is the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais, which is located in the southeastern region of Brazil. Spend your days in Belo Horizonte discovering some of the architecture of the famous Oscar Niemeyer or take some time to take a few photos at Pope Plaza. Head inside to check out some of the exhibits at the Museum of Modern Arts and be sure to stop by one of the local markets, where you can pick up some of the freshest food around.
Duration: 240 to 360 minutes
No visit to Brazil is complete without a trip to the country’s capital city of Brasilia. As you might expect in the capital city, there is much to see including the uniquely designed Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge or spending a day on the water at Paranoá Lake. Be sure to snap a few photos of some of the interestingly designed buildings in the city, such as the Cathedral of Brasília or the Planalto Palace. You can enjoy getting close to nature by hiking through Brasília National Park or get to know the animals of Brasilia Zoo. The zoo encompasses a total of 345 acres (139.7 hectares) that over 800 animals call home.
The beautiful capital city of the sea-side state of Alagoas is Maceio and it is absolutely worth a trip to while in Brazil. You’ll find white sand beaches lining the city and provide all the leisurely activities you’d expect, including swimming, snorkeling and boating. Some of the best beaches in the city include Ponta Verde, Praia do Gunga and Praia do Francês. The swimming at Praia do Francês is ideal, with a large stretch of calm waters that are protected by the barrier reef and a variety of food vendors available to keep your hunger at bay.
Belem is overlooked by many travelers in lieu of more well-known destinations within Brazil, but by doing so many are missing a great cultural hot spot. The city is a riverfront city and it has plenty of Portuguese-colonial architecture to marvel at as you walk the streets, including Forte do Presépio. The fort sits right on the Bay of Guajara and was originally built in 1616, though it has undergone numerous repairs since its founding. It was erected to protect the Portuguese from the Dutch and French and today serves as a great place to see a bit of history up close.
Salvador is a major port city, and subsequent capital, of the state of Bahia in Brazil. This city is also known for its Portuguese-colonial architecture, which can be found quite prominently in the Pelourinho neighborhood. Spend time walking the cobbled streets of the neighborhood before checking out the beautiful sandy shores of Porta da Barra Beach or catch a ride to the top of Lacerda’s elevator, which offers visitors a fantastic view of the water. The construction of the elevator was completed in 1873 and it connects the upper and lower parts of the city.
Duration: 4.0 hour
Petrolina sits along the northern banks of the São Francisco River in the deep southern region of the state of Pernambuco. Within the city, you’ll find plenty of both natural and historical places to explore, including Rodeadouro Island, Fire Island, Caatinga Park Zoobotany and the Sertão Petrolina Museum. Sertão Petrolina Museum is a great place to visit if you’re looking to get to know the area better, as it has over 3000 objects in its permanent collection, all of which are directly related to the area.
Nestled in the heart of the salt production region of Brazil, Mossoro claims the second highest population of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. The area is also known for being the highest land-based petroleum producer, so much so that there is an entire museum dedicated to the industry that’s worthy of a visit while in Mossoro. Other places of interest include the archaeological site Lajedo da Soledade and the Memorial da Resistencia, which is a monument that documents the city’s history of political repression.
Recife sits on Brazil’s eastern coastline and enjoys beautiful views out into the Atlantic Ocean. Get out and check out the thrills at Mirabilandia, one of the local amusement parks, or visit the animals at Zoo Botanical Park Dois Irmãos. One of the best beaches in the city is Boa Viagem Beach, which is a great place to go soak up some sun or walk the sandy shores while Ricardo Brennand Institute is a great place to learn more about the area’s history and culture. The institute is actually four venues in one, with a museum, art gallery, library and park in one location.
Macapa sits on the northern banks of the Amazon River just inland from where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. You can get a feel for the area’s history at any of several museums, including Joaquim Caetano da Silva Historical Museum, the Fortress Museum of San Jose de Macapa and Sacaca Museum. Perhaps one of the most unique places you can visit while in Macapa is the monument at Marco Zero; this monument is the location where the northern and southern hemispheres meet within the city. Be sure to check it out and snap a picture of yourself at such a fun place!
Natal sits flush with the Atlantic Ocean on Brazil’s eastern coastline, putting it in a prime location for plenty of beach time fun. Some notable beaches in the area include Genipaboo, Artists Beach and Redinha Beach. Other fun places to visit while in Natal are Mother Luiza’s Lighthouse, Natal Dunes State Park and the Natal Aquarium. The aquarium is a great place for children and adults alike to enjoy the company of animals which include a hippo, piranhas and penguins. During your trip, you’ll also want to check out the 16th-century Portuguese fortress, Forte dos Reis Magos.
15. Feira de Santana
Feira de Santana is a bustling city in eastern Brazil which dates back to the 18th century. While visiting the city, you’ll want to check out the art exhibits at the Folk Art Market, the Raimundo de Oliveira Museum of Contemporary Art and the Regional Art Museum. Enjoy a bit of time spent outdoors when you visit Subaé Lagoon and Berreca Lagoon or take your kids to play at Lagoa Park. If you’re keen on a history or science lesson, be sure to check out Knowledge Park Museum, which has fun exhibits to wander through and even a planetarium.
Another beautiful beach-side city in Brazil, Aracaju is the capital of the state of Sergipe and is the perfect place for a beach getaway. You’ll find a multitude of sandy shores on which to sunbathe and dip your toes in the water, including Mosqueiro Beach and Atalaia Nova Beach. Aracaju also has several popular markets for a fun day of shopping; be sure to get check out the wares at the Aracaju Tourist Fair, Antônio Franco Municipal Market and Craftsman Runway. Don’t forget to add Oceanário de Aracaju aquarium to your list of places to visit; the building is in the shape of a turtle, and inside, you’ll find stingrays and sharks on display, among other ocean critters.
Pelotas lies toward the southern tip of Brazil in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Just a few miles’ drive from the city center, you’ll find several beaches to relax on, from the sandy shores of Laranjal to those of Santo Antônio. Stay in town and check out the historical Castle Simoes Lopes that was completed in 1923 or stroll through the exhibits of Museum of Baroness or the unaltered Charqueada São João.
18. Boa Vista
Boa Vista is the capital city of the northern state of Roraima, and it happens to be the only capital city in Brazil which sits north of the equator. During a trip to Boa Vista, you’ll want to check out the Millennium Portal, which was built to celebrate the new millennium in 2000 as well as the Monument to the Pioneers. This monument was created to commemorate the founding members of the city that made the area what it is today.
Cuiaba is situated just east of the Bolivian border and it is well known for its colonial age architecture. The city has numerous attractions to offer visitors, including the museum Oporto Scenery, Ipiranga Square and the Casa Dom Aquino Natural History Museum. This museum has been labeled a State Historical Heritage site, and it’s guaranteed that the kids in your group will love the dinosaur exhibits.
Located in the southern region of Brazil, Londrina is filled with many wonderful things to experience during a trip here. Start off by enjoying a bit of nature and strolling along the sidewalks around Lake Igapó before checking out Londrina Museum of Art, which just so happens to reside within an old bus station. Other fun places within Londrina that should be spared some of your time include Londrina Historical Museum, State Forest Park Godo and Londrina Botanical Garden.
Santarem may be a small town, but it has a big phenomenon happening in its own backyard! You may have seen pictures around the internet featuring the confluence of the sandy Amazon River with darker waters of the Tapajos River; this all happens in Santarem and can be viewed from the land at Mirante do Tapajós Square. Snap your share of pictures before heading over to the Museum of Sacred Art and the Tapajós Craft Center.
Located in southern Brazil, the city of Blumenau has perhaps a surprising amount of German influence. XV de Novembro Street is the site of an annual Oktoberfest parade and it is lined with German-style buildings for an enhanced effect. The production of beer has a lengthy history in Blumenau, and you can learn all about it at the Beer Museum Blumenau. Inside, you’ll find the old machinery used to produce the beer and an accompanying video to further walk you through the history.
The eastern city of Limeira was one time known for its production of oranges, though now sugar cane is the main item produced here. There are several photogenic places within Limeria that you’ll want to stop by and snap a few pictures of, including the skeleton bridge and Gruta da Paz. You’ll likely also want to take a few pictures of the animals at the local zoo or while strolling through Limeira Forest Garden. Another place worth checking out is the Catholic cathedral Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte e Assunção.
24. Porto Velho
Porto Velho is located in the northwestern region of Brazil, just a short distance from the border of Bolivia. The city offers plenty for visitors to explore, including the Lago do Cuniã Extractive Reserve, which is a great place to spot wildlife such as the great egret, black caiman and native porpoises. The Porto Velho Natural Museum-Park is a great place to learn about natural history while the Palácio Presidente Getúlio Vargas and Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, Porto Velho are fantastic places to learn more about the local city history. Finally, be sure to check out the Madeira Mamoré Railroad Museum, where you’ll find a classic old locomotive as a prime photo op.
Vitoria is located in Brazil’s southeastern region and it is known by many for its beautiful beaches, such as Camburi Beach, which you should absolutely check out when you visit. Other points of interest worth checking out include Boi Island and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Continue your explorations and learn a bit more about the history of the area when you visit Vila Velha, which lies just south of Vitoria, where the historic Penha Convent is located.
Joao Pessoa is one of the easternmost cities in Brazil and it sits along the banks where the Paraíba River meets the Atlantic Ocean. As one might imagine, given its coastal location, Joao Pessoa has plenty of beaches for you to check out, such as Manaíra Beach and Tambau Beach, which also offers visitors a variety of food and drink choices at various restaurants and bars. Another fun place to check out is Benjamin Maranhão Botanical Garden, which only makes sense in what many consider to be the world’s second greenest city.
Duration: 8.0 hour
There is much to see in Curitiba, starting with Paço da Liberdade, which is considered to be one of the city’s most attractive pieces of architecture. Oscar Niemeyer makes another appearance, this time with a museum that features more about his works and influence. Enjoy the great outdoors while in Curitiba and stroll through any of the urban parks throughout the city and be sure to not miss out on the botanical garden. Other places of interest worthy of a visit include the Wire Opera House Theatre, Tiradentes Square and the Catedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz of Curitiba.
Duration: 4.0 hour
Surrounded by the beautiful turquoise waters of the Atlantic, Fortaleza is a great Brazilian beach city to get out and explore. One of the best beaches in the city is Praia do Futuro, which is the perfect place to sunbathe or wade into the ocean. See a bit of history while in Fortaleza when visiting the Schoonemborch Fortress and the old Public Chain Railway before catching a show or checking the exhibits at the Dragon of the Sea of Art and Culture complex.
Duration: 2 hour
Located on an island of the same name in northeastern Brazil, Sao Luis is a picturesque town full of history and culture. Venture into the heart of the city, where you’ll see the beautiful colonial buildings that feature cast-iron balconies. Another great place to check out the local history of Sao Luis is at the Palace of the Lions, which is the home of the state governor and it has, on display, French art as well as furniture and silverware from the 19th century. After you’ve spent some time exploring the town, be sure to cool off at one of the local beaches, such as Calhau Beach, or enjoy an afternoon spent at the local waterpark, Valparaiso Acqua Park.
Duration: 3.5 hour
Florianopolis is well known for its colonial architecture and local fishing villages, both of which are things that should be on your itinerary when visiting the city. Several historic sites in the city worthy of a visit include the Mercado Publico, the XV of November Square and the Museum Cruz e Souza, which features great art and furniture exhibits with historic relevance. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, be sure to try your hand at oyster farming!
Duration: 6 hours
Start planning your trip to Brazil
In a country that spans as vast land, your options for visiting are nearly limitless. You may have to see all the cities over several trips due to their sheer number, but that’s okay! Start your trip planning using these ideas for the best places to visit in Brazil for the ultimate getaway!
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