Manaus is the capital city of the state of Amazonas in the North Region of Brazil. Formerly known as Barra do Rio Negro, it is the most populous city in both the Brazilian state of Amazonas and the Amazon rainforest. Dubbed the “Heart of the Amazon” and the “City of the Forest”, for its well preserved natural environment as well as the culture of the city, only Manaus, out of any other urban area in Brazil, has been able to maintain its Native Brazilian tribes.
You can discover many things if you plan to visit the city. Manaus offers different kinds of activities, as well as attractions that you might not have seen or experienced in previous trips. The city is located in the heart of the Amazon and this is evident through the city’s variety of plants, birds, insects, fish, and other animals. More than one-third of all species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest and you have the chance to encounter all of them if you visit Manaus!
Brace yourself, because you might want to book a ticket to Manaus on the spot! Here is our list of the best things to do in Manaus, Brazil!
1. Watch a performance at the Teatro Amazonas (Amazon Theatre)
This opera house is the home of different acts such as musical concerts and regular rehearsals and performances of the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra. It is the top theatre in the city of Manaus and holds annual events like the Amazonas Opera Festival. When the city of Manaus became one of the wealthiest cities in the world, they began to construct many impressive buildings, including the Amazon Theatre.
The idea for its construction was led by a member of the local House of Representatives, Antonio Jose Fernandes Junior - a person with a passion for opera and arts who dreamt of making the city the arts and culture capital of Brazil. The theatre was built in the Renaissance Revival architectural style and guided tours are available if you want to see its detailed design, up close.
Address: Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro, Centro, Manaus - AM, 69025-140, Brazil
Website: Amazon Theatre (in Portugese)
2. See the Palacio Rio Negro
This palace was built in an eclectic style, in 1903, as the private residence of a German entrepreneur named Karl Waldemar Scholz. It later changed hands in 1918 when the palace was purchased by Pedro de Alcantara Bacellar - a governor of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. The palace was the former hub of the government, as well as the residence of the governor of the state of Amazonas. As of today, the palace hosts different kinds of events, such as art expos, shows, plays and cultural activities, to name a few.
Palacio Rio Negro
Address: Av. Sete de Setembro, 1546 - Centro, Manaus - AM, 69005-141, Brazil
Website: Palacio Rio Negro (in Portugese)
3. Take a dip at Praia da Ponta Negra
If you are looking for a place to enjoy during a summer visit, Ponta Negra should be on your list. Ponta Negra is the city’s popular beach, where visitors and residents of Manaus flock together. The place is perfect for a relaxed morning walk and has a very lively nightlife. There are different activities you can do while on the beach, such as bicycling, different ball games and a large playground, perfect for the kids.
You don’t also need to worry about going hungry here, as cafes and shops are everywhere. Take advantage of the perfect spot to see the picturesque sunset and enjoy the view.
Praia da Ponta Negra
Address: Rua João Rodrigues de Oliveira, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte 59090-210, Brasil
4. Bring the whole family to the Adolpho Ducke Botanical Garden
This botanical garden spans over 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles) and is an ecological reserve and the largest urban forest in the world, with an infinite number of vegetal and animal species. The garden provides its visitors, both Brazilian and international, with a wide variety of interesting attractions, including exhibits on environmental education, a botanical library, expos, events and seminars.
See the amazing and well-kept flora and fauna in the open-air museum inside the reserve. Best of all, you can enjoy all of these attractions and activities for free!
Adolpho Ducke Botanical Garden
Address: R. Profa. Felismina Cheks, s/n - Cidade de Deus, Manaus - AM, 69099-415, Brazil
5. Appreciate the giant water lilies at Parque do Mindu
What’s so special about water lilies? Nothing - if they aren’t the largest water lilies in the world. The lakes of the Amazon River, in Manaus, are the homes of the giant Victoria Amazonica water lily- the largest in the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. The plant’s leaves grow up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in diameter, which could carry a small baby and flowers with a very short life that last, more or less, three days.
This is one of the highlights when you visit Mindu’s Municipal Park. Another is the abundance of birds in the area, perfect for people who want to do birdwatching.
Parque do Mindu
Address: Bairro Parque 10, 69075-327 Manaus, Brazil
Facebook: Parque do Mindu
6. Shop at Mercado Municipal Adolfo Lisboa
Don’t forget to drop by Manaus’ famous marketplace. The market was built during 1880 and later inaugurated in 1883. Also called the Mercado Municipal, this market is a replica of Paris’ popular market, Les Halles. In fact, some of the structures of the building were built in Paris and sent to Manaus, by ship.
The market is also one of the biggest of its kind in the city, where you can find a vast array of fish, fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, and souvenirs for you to take home!
Mercado Municipal Adolfo Lisboa
Address: Rua Dos Bares, Nº 46 Centro, 69005-020 Manaus, Brazil
Facebook: Mercado Municipal Adolfo Lisboa
7. Visit Museu do Seringal Vila Paraiso
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Care for another interesting visit to a museum? A quick visit to the Museu Do Seringal will take you back to the past. It is a tour of an old movie set that showcases what an actual latex extraction plantation looked like, back in the early days. You will also be able to touch real rubber and watch as the latex is drips off the trees.
Museu do Seringal
Address: São João Afluente do Tarumã Mirim, S/n - Zona Rural, Igarapé - MG, Brazil
Website: Museu do Seringal **in Portugese)
8. Visit Bosque da Ciencia
Another interesting sight in the city of Manaus is the Bosque da Ciencia, a great place for a morning walk, where you can see different species of monkeys. The place is not too small - big enough to see several different special Amazonian animals. Also known as the INPA (National Institute of Amazonian Research), it also features rescued manatees, as well as different fish from the river, birds and other species of animals indigenous to the area.
Bosque da Ciencia
Address: Av. Bem Te VI, 1 - Petrópolis, Manaus - AM, 69067-001, Brazil
Website: Bosque da Ciencia *in Portugese
9. Admire the Monumento a Abertura dos Portos as Nacoes Amigas
Right in front of the Amazon Theater lies this admirable monument in a plaza. This is also a nice place to have a relaxing break and there are benches available to sit on if you are tired. There is a sculpture in the middle of San Sebastian Square and some musicians or street performers can be seen here.
Four continents can be seen on the different sides of the monument, namely Europe, Africa, Asia and America, which are responsible for the development of Brazil.
Monumento a Abertura dos Portos as Nacoes Amigas
Address: Praca Sao Sebastiao, Manaus, State of Amazonas 69010-240, Brazil
Brazilian nature is really wonderful and the Amazon River and rainforest are so beautiful that they have been named one of the New7Wonders of Nature by popular vote. One of the highlights in Manaus that you shouldn’t miss is the Meeting of the Waters of the Amazon River. This is where you can see the confluence of the black water of the Rio Negro and the white water of the Rio Solimões, due to the differences in temperature, speed and water density of the two rivers.
If you want to see this unusual phenomenon, guided tours are available that also include other places to visit in Manaus. You just have to book your ticket in advance for a hassle-free trip. This is certainly worth seeing!
Rio Negro Cruise from Manaus to the Amazon River
Duration: 4 hours
A variety of attractions
There you have it - a list of the things to see and do in the city of Manaus. Surprisingly, Manaus has many things to offer all of its visitors. A week spent in the city will never be enough so please, make sure to stay longer! Have fun exploring the city of Manaus, Brazil!
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