Recife´s neighborhoods can be visited on Walking Tours offered by Recife Guide. The city can be roughly divided in four major areas, Santo Antônio, São José, Santo Amaro and Boa Vista. We currently offer tours in the two most important historic areas:
Centro (Downtown) The heart of this region as far as the visitor to Recife is concerned will be Recife Antigo. I therefore dedicated section of the site to this area. There are several other interesting areas of Downtown to visit and below are some of the main points of interest:
Santo Antônio is connected to Recife Antigo by three bridges. The main attractions in this area are Teatro Santa Isabel, the Palácio da Justiça and the Palácio do Campo das Princesas, the Gosvenor´s residence. In the centre is Praça do Republica.
The theatre was fully restored but retains all its charm. It offers a broad range of events.
Also in the area you will find the Patio de São Pedro, a very historic square that comes alive at night as the bars on either side open to serve regional cuisine. This is bit off the usual tourist track, hence the prices here are very reasonable. It’s a place where locals meet after work and, more recently, to listen to music which changes in style every night. The area around is not very safe at night so tourists wishing to visit here would be well advised to do so only with a guide or a local person.
The area Santo Antônio borders São José where the major attractions consist of two markets and a fort.
Casa do Cultura is a former prison, now home to a host of vendors, with each cell being a shop, offering gift and souvenir items, including lace, jewellery, sculptures and T-shirts. The concept is interesting and the building worthy of a quick stop. Unfortunately, the offerings lack imagination and innovation, but for a few exceptions. You will also see the same things in many other tourist stops. The upside is that if you do spot something you like you can haggle for a good price as trade here is clearly not very brisk.
A far more interesting market nearby is the Mercado São José, a french built 19th Century market selling fruit, fish and meat alongside art crafts and souvenirs. It is surrounded by a busy vegetable market and stalls selling flowers, herbs & spices, beans & pulses, nuts and various other merchandise. There many shops in the area selling just about anything you can think of. Scattered amongst them are several churches, squares and buildings of architectural interest. This area is also a little of the usual tourist track and visitors would again be well advised to ensure they have a guide or local help.