Top 10 Things To Do In Joao Pessoa, Brazil

Things to do in Joao Pessoa
| 3 min read

Joao Pessoa, the easternmost city in North and South America, is known for its tropical climate and abundant vegetation. Established in 1585, it is also the third oldest city in all of Brazil and has plenty of landmarks with historical significance. In an attempt to boost tourism, the city is currently working on the rejuvenation of notable historic sites, such as the Igreja do São Francisco and Casa da Polvora.

Joao Pessoa is truly a hidden gem. On a trip to the city, you won’t see many foreigners. Brazilian natives flock to the clean, low key beaches to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Keep reading this top 10 list if you want to relax and experience Joao Pessoa with the locals.

1. Visit the beautiful Igreja Sao Francisco


Posted by Edir Pereira E Silva on Saturday, 19 February 2011

Igreja Sao Francisco, or the Church of San Francisco, dates all the way back to the year 1589. Utilized as a fortress by Dutch invaders in 1634, it was eventually reclaimed and underwent a massive restoration. Today, the facility acts as a church and cultural center with permanent and temporary exhibitions about the history of Joao Pessoa.

Igreja Sao Francisco

Address: Centro Cultural de São Francisco, s/n, Centro, 58010-650 João Pessoa (PB), Brazil

Website: Igreja Sao Francisco (in Portugese)

2. Soak in the sun at Camboinha Beach

Praia de Camboinhas (3962716940)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rodrigo Soldon used under CC BY 2.0

The water is exceptionally clear and warm at Camboinha Beach. Walk along the shallow shoreline or lay peacefully under your umbrella on the sand. Locals love coming here because it is quiet and not crowded. You may even be able to enjoy the beach all by yourself!

Camboinha Beach

Address: Litoral Norte, Joao Pessoa, State of Paraiba, Brazil

Website: Camboinha Beach (in Portugese)

3. Buy handcrafted souvenirs at Paraibano Craft Market

Posted by Mercado de Artesanato Paraibano on Tuesday, 27 March 2012

With over 120 stores, the Paraibano Craft Market is a place you’ve just got to visit. The items are all handmade, and they are wonderful souvenirs for friends and loved ones back at home. The market is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Paraibano Craft Market

Address: Av. Rui Carneiro, Tambaú

Website: Paraibano Craft Market (in Portugese)

4. View work from local artists at Popular Artist House

Posted by Programa de Artesanato da Paraíba on Thursday, 2 July 2015

View handcrafted works of art at Popular Artist House, located in the center of Joao Pessoa. The art gallery and store show the works of local artists and also holds special art education events. Visitors to the gallery can buy artwork, traditionally handcrafted accessories, and clothes.

Popular Artist House

Address: Praca da Independencia 56 | Centro, Joao Pessoa, 58013-025 State of Paraiba, Brazil

5. View tropical animals at Parque Zoobotanico Arruda Camara


Posted by Educação Ambiental - Parque Zoobotânico Arruda Câmara on Sunday, 19 January 2014

Nature and animal lovers will love visiting the Parque Zoobotanico Arruda Camara. Doubling as a zoo and botanical garden, there are a wide variety of animals such as monkeys, birds, and lions living in the surrounding foliage. Bring your whole family along on this trip to Parque Zoobotanico Arruda Camara. Children will treasure the experience of seeing animals up close for many years to come.

Parque Zoobotanico Arruda Camara

Address: Av. Gouvêia Nóbrega, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil

Website: Parque Zoobotanico Arruda Camara (in Portugese)

6. Swim in a natural pool at Picaozinho

Piscinas naturais de Picãozinho 📷 via @naparaibatem

Posted by Guia Viajar Melhor on Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Picaozinho is a natural pool located off the shores of Joao Pessoa that visitors can reach by boat. Since the pool is clear, this is a prime snorkeling spot, and many companies advertise tours of the area. With that being said, be sure to arrive at Picaozinho early to avoid the crowds.


Address: Joao Pessoa, State of Paraiba, Brazil

Website: Picaozinho (in Portugese)

7. Visit Jose Lins Do Rego Cultural Center

Posted by Funesc Cultura on Monday, 14 August 2017

If you want to learn more about the city of Joao Pessoa, take a trip to the Jose Lins Do Rego Cultural Center. Take part in cultural exhibitions such as art installations, musical concerts, and film viewings. The cultural center also has a library that is named after Jose Lins Do Rego, as well as a planetarium that offers educational school tours.

Jose Lins Do Rego Cultural Center

Address: Rua Abdias Gomes de Almeida 800 | Funesc, Joao Pessoa, 58042-900 State of Paraiba, Brazil

Website: Jose Lins Do Rego Cultural Center (in Portugese)

8. Estacao Cabo Branco – Ciencia, Cultura & Artes

Estação Cabo Branco – Ciência, Cultura e Artes - Paraíba, nordeste do Brasil. Cabo Branco Station - Science, Culture and Arts - Paraíba, northeastern Brazil.

Posted by The Real Brazil on Monday, 27 July 2015

Estacao Cabo Branco – Ciencia, Cultura & Artes is an architectural masterpiece created by Oscar Niemeyer, who also designed the United Nations building in New York City. This center for science and arts showcases the works of famous artists from all over the world. Both adults and children can also get some hands-on experience with the many science installations on the campus.

Estacao Cabo Branco – Ciencia, Cultura & Artes

Website: Estacao Cabo Branco – Ciencia, Cultura & Artes (in Portugese)

9. Farol Do Cabo Branco

Farol do Cabo Branco João Pessoa PB - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user valgnelo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Farol Do Cabo Branco is a lighthouse located near Ponta do Seixas, which is the easternmost point of the Americas. This lighthouse is unique because it is the only one of its kind to have triangular wings at its base. Above the wings, there is a bold, black stripe that circles the white lighthouse. The beauty of Farol Do Cabo Branco is paired with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Farol Do Cabo Branco

Address: Ponta Do Cabo Branco, Joao Pessoa, State of Paraiba, Brazil

Website: Farol Do Cabo Branco (in Portugese)

10. Teatro Santa Roza

Teatro Santa Rosa - João Pessoa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dantadd used under CC BY-SA 3.0

O Teatro Santa Roza é patrimônio material do estado e palco de momentos importantes para a sociedade paraibana. Ano...

Posted by Governo do Estado da Paraíba on Sunday, 28 May 2017

Built in 1889, Teatro Santa Roza is a theater located in the center of Joao Pessoa. This theater is currently open to the public and still holds performances. Visitors also come to Teatro Santa Roza to admire its beautiful European inspired architecture. The interior is just as stunning as the exterior. With 412 classic red seats and a charming wooden stage, visitors can definitely sense its historical value that extends over 100 years.

Teatro Santa Roza

Address: Praca Pedro Americo, Joao Pessoa, State of Paraiba, Brazil

Kick back and relax in Joao Pessoa, Brazil

If you like what you read, why not take the plunge and visit this paradise on your next vacation? With a wide variety of historical sites, beach excursions, and art installations, a trip to Joao Pessoa, Brazil should be at the top of your to-do list!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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