Brazil Tourism – Top 15 Brazilian Cities/Places You Must Visit
- Thursday July 14th, 2022
- Posted by: Amanda Ennes
- Category: Brazil
Brazil has so many amazing cities/places to visit, that it is almost unfair to list only the top 15 destinations. However, if you are interested in Brazil Tourism and do not have enough time to explore the whole country, here are the must-visit places in Brazil.
From big busy cities to calm paradisiac towns, Brazil has it all. It does not matter if you love history, nature, architecture, mountains and beaches, or forests and wetlands. Brazil is the right destination for tourism during your dream vacation.
Rio de Janeiro
Founded in 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro served as the capital of Brazil from 1763 to 1960, before it was transferred to Brasília. It is one of the most visited cities in South America, known for its natural beauty, Carnival, and famous landmarks.
If you are planning on visiting Rio, you will have much to explore, such as the history of Brazil, amazing beaches, museums, and nightlife.
São Paulo is a global city with impressive statistics. It is not only the most populous city in Brazil, but also the largest city in the Americas, the Western Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the 5th largest city in the world. It is popular for its architecture, business complexes, and interesting museums. São Paulo is also famous to house prestigious restaurants, including Michelin-awarded ones.
Places to Visit: São Paulo Museum of Art, Ibirapuera Park, Municipal Market of São Paulo, Football Museum, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Museum of the Portuguese Language.
Fortaleza is among the most visited places in the country and a great city for Brazil tourism. The city attracts tourists because of its fishing villages, quiet beaches, coastal lifestyle, and exciting nightlife.
Places to visit: Iracema Beach, Praia do Futuro, Mercado Central, and the fishing market.
Florianópolis is the city capital of Santa Catarina state, in the South region of Brazil. This island is popular for its good ratings in quality of life, security, and tourism. It is one of the best cities for Brazil tourism because of its natural beauty, infrastructure, and public safety. Florianópolis is also a resort city due to the dozens of paradisical beaches on its coast.
Places to visit: Jurerê Internacional, Canasvieiras Beach, Ingleses Beach, Joaquina Beach, Campeche Island.
Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas and the first capital of Brazil. It is known for its cuisine, dance, music, and colonial architecture, mainly the Pelourinho historical neighborhood.
The city is also home to important religious events, such as the Feast of Bomfim and Feast of Yemanjá, celebrated especially in Afro-Brazilian religions. Salvador is also famous for its Carnival, with lots of Axé music and its special type of sound trucks.
Places to visit: Farol da Barra and Barra Beach, the Lacerda Elevator, Mercado Modelo, and Pelourinho historical neighborhood.
Manaus lies within the Amazon forest. Yes, a big city with over 2 million inhabitants is located right in the middle of the largest rainforest in the world. Nonetheless, it is also a famous tourist destination in Brazil.
This city is one of the hottest capital cities of Brazil, with average temperatures of 26.7°C, reaching up to 38.3°C during summer. Moreover, it is situated near the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers, an astonishing natural phenomenon in the Amazon region.
Places to visit: Amazon forest, Amazon Theatre, Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, Ponta Negra Cultural, Sport and Leisure Park.
Located in the Brazilian highlands, Brasília is the federal capital of Brazil, with one of the highest GDP per capita in Latin America.
Read more: All About Brasília: The Capital City of Brazil.
Brasília is a planned city, part of a project to move the capital to a more central location. It was designed by architects Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, engineer Joaquim Cardozo, and landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx. Besides, UNESCO named Brasília the “City of Design” in 2017.
Places to visit: Lake Paranoá, the Cathedral of Brasilia, and the National Congress.
Recife stands out as a major tourist attraction in the Northeast of Brazil, both for its beaches and historical sites. The city is also famous for its Carnival, considered by many the best in Brazil.
The city of Recife is also home to Frevo, fast-paced Brazilian music and dance. The steps of Frevo have their roots in Capoeira moves and you need to use a small colorful umbrella while dancing.
Places to visit: Boa Viagem Beach, Instituto Ricardo Brennand, and Praça Rio Branco.
Watch teacher Deise’s video to learn more about Recife and the state of Pernambuco.
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago in Brazil, part of the State of Pernambuco, and one of the most famous places for Brazil tourism. The island is so beautiful it is hard to believe. For instance, Baía do Sancho features on TripAdvisor’s top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world every year.
Brazil does a good job preserving this piece of heaven and controls every single visitor on the island — preservation lectures are mandatory upon arrival. Moreover, the place is famous for its crystal clear waters, an abundance of sea turtles and dolphins, and the practice of scuba diving.
Beaches to Visit: Baía do Sancho, Cacimba do Padre, Praia da Conceição, Atalaia, and Praia do Leão.
Lençóis Maranhenses is a national park located in the state of Maranhão. It is a protected park composed of sand dunes and freshwater lagoons. It is an ecosystem of its own, home to important species of animals.
This park is a popular destination among people looking for ecotourism in Brazil. It is nothing like you have seen before.
Foz do Iguaçu
Foz do Iguaçu is among the most visited cities in Brazil, just behind Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Home to one of the largest waterfalls in the world, it has amazing sights and incredible places to visit. The city is located in the State of Paraná, in the south region of Brazil. Moreover, it borders Paraguai and Argentina internationally. Therefore, that makes the city a great vacation destination if you want to visit three countries on a single trip.
Places to visit: Iguaçu Falls, Bird Park, Itaipu Dam, and Three Borders Landmark.
This is a cultural region in the mountain area of Rio Grande do Sul, the southmost state in Brazil. It got much influence from European immigrants who came to Brazil in the 19th century. Comprised of different cities, this area is known for its European architecture, cuisine, and cold weather.
Serra Gaúcha is also popular for its vineyards and chocolate factories, as well as wine-tasting and Christmas events. Moreover, it is also famous for its snow season, being home to only a few cities in Brazil where snowing is frequent during winter.
Cities to visit: Gramado, Canela, Caxias do Sul, and Bento Gonçalves.
Pantanal is located in the Central-West region of Brazil. It is the largest tropical wetland area and largest flooded grasslands on the planet. It nurtures a biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helps to support a dense array of animal species.
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Pantanal is home to the largest concentration of crocodiles in the world, the biggest parrot on the planet, and the world’s largest snake. Indeed, this area has an impressive biodiversity, and its fauna includes jaguars, anacondas, piranhas, giant anteaters, capuchin monkeys, and much more.
If you are interested in Brazil Tourism, especially heritage tourism, you must visit Ouro Preto. This city is located in the state of Minas Gerais and is famous to be a former colonial mining town. It is located in one of the main areas of the Brazilian Gold Rush that started in the 1690s. Therefore, if you ever plan a trip to Ouro Preto, make sure to add these other historical cities to your itinerary: São João del-Rei, Diamantina, Mariana, Tiradentes, and Congonhas.
Places to visit: Historical Center, Inconfidência Museum, Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Pilar, Mina Du Veloso, train ride to Mariana, Church of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Ilha Grande is two hours away from Rio de Janeiro and home to little more than 3,000 people. It is a paradisiac island where cars are not welcome and the main commercial area is comprised of just a few streets in a calm village. Ilha Grande is a protected area — the nature and vegetation there are breathtaking.
There are amazing boat tours for you to choose from while enjoying a few of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Beaches to Visit: Lopes Mendes, Feiticeira, Aventureiro, Caxadaço, Parnaioca, Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde.
Caminhos Language Centre is the largest and most exciting Portuguese school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We have an excellent infrastructure, over 15 experienced Brazilian teachers, and a friendly multilingual support staff. We are the only school in Brazil able to offer Portuguese group courses throughout the year on 10 different levels. Moreover, our school also offers more than just Portuguese lessons for foreigners, we offer you the complete Rio de Janeiro experience. Every day we organize 100% free and fun activities for you to socialize and practice your Portuguese. We can also help you with a student visa for Brazil and accommodation in Rio de Janeiro.