Find a Cruise



The Beach That Fronts Recife

Recife, Brazil Information
Contributed by
Tom Ogg

Language and Currency
What is Recife Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Recife, Brazil Port Reviews

Language and Currency

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and the currency is the Brazilian Real. However, U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Be sure to have an ample supply of small bills to make exact change.

What is Recife like?

Looking at Recife From Olinda

Recife is a huge metropolis city of almost 2 million residents. Unlike many of Brazil's cities, Recife has grown outward, rather than upward making for good distances between sights. Recife has a good number of waterways with bridges allowing access for pedestrians and automobiles alike and is sometime likened to Italy's Venice. Make no mistake though, Recife is no Venice. The Old Town area in downtown is quite interesting even if there are. modern building mixed in with the colonial architecture.

What is the weather like?

Recife enjoys tropical weather year around with temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees. It can be hot and sunny. Be sure to take lots of sunscreen and wear a hat and limit your time in the direct sun based on the amount of exposure that you have had prior to arriving in Recife. Recife receives some rain during their summer months (November through April) but can be very dry, as well.

Where does the ship dock?

Oceania's Insignia Docked in Recife, Brazil

Cruise ships dock in the commercial harbor and must shuttle passengers from the port facility. No one is allowed to walk through the port facilities and there is no cruise ship terminal and associated services. The shuttle will take you into downtown Recife to a large shopping mall where taxis may be negotiated that are lines up along the river.

Where is the shopping?

The Shopping Mall in Downtown Recife

Right where the shuttle drops you, there is a large (4-story) modern shopping mall that passengers found quite interesting. There is everything one would expect to find in a large shopping mall anywhere in the world plus some shops selling local arts and crafts.

Recife's Prison Mall

Also located near the Old Town area is the unique Prison Mall. This was Recife's prison at one time and has since been converted to a shopping mall catering primarily to tourists. The shops are locaed in what were once the cells of the prison. It is well worth a visit.

Olinda Shops

Olinda (a UNESCO Heritage site) also offers great shopping opportunities for passengers interested in local arts and crafts.

Brazil's largest mall, The Shopping Center Recife, at Rua Padre Carapuceiro 777 in Boa Viagem is a must-visit for hard core shoppers and can easily be incorporated into a visit to Recife's beachs in the Boa Viagern area.

What is there to buy?

Typical Shop Selling Local Arts and Crafts in Olinda

Lace items are quite plentiful and inexpensive, as are local paintings that are sold around all of the major attractions. They are of excellent quality and are offered at give-away prices. You will also find leather goods, clay figurines, wood carved items, collectibles, costume jewelry and bead work and lots more.

Just a Sample of the Wood Carvings That Are Available in Recife

What is there to do?

The Cathedral in Olinda

A visit to Olinda should be high on your list of things to do in Recife. Olinda is is a UNESCO historic site and dates back to the 16th century.

Olinda Street Vendors

There is lots of shopping for local crafts and arts from both the street vendors and from the various shops in Olinda. It is well worth a visit. Olinda is about a 20-30 minute taxi ride from where the shuttle drops you off at the mall.

Just One of Recife's Many Churches

Leaving Olinda and making your way back into Recife's Old Town, you will pass a good number of churches and interesting squares.

The Golden Chapel

If you are going to only visit one church, be sure to visit the Golden Chapel. It is located in the Capela Dourada (Golden Chapel) and costs a dolltar to enter. It is well worth a visit as the entire chapel is covered in gold leaf and art.

The Ceiling of the Golden Chapel

The ceiling of the Golden Chapel is absolutely gorgeous and the more you look at the detail that makes up its walls and ceiling the more you can appreciate the Brazilian Baoque.

Recife's Old Town

Exploring Old Town is also very much fun. Old Town is spread over three different islands and has modern buildings mixed in with the old colonial structures, but there is plenty to see. Old Town is marked with good restaurants, boutiques, shops and other attractions.

Just One of Recife's Many Waterways

There are footbridges that allow pedestrians to cross the many waterways that make up the various districts in Recife.

The Entrance to the Prison Mall

I would strongly suggest a visit to the Prison Mall simply because it is so unique.

A Wooden Model of the Prison Mall

You can wander throughout the prison's various levels and visit the shops in their "cells". It is very unique.

The Beach in Recife

If you would rather go to the beach, just take a taxi to one of Recife's many beaches and enjoy the day. They all offer complete services and the beaches are linesd with additional shops and services. It is safe swimming in crystal clear water.

Is there anything of “Don’t Miss” quality?

While Recife is a fun port to explore, I couldn't give this rating to anything that I saw.

Are there any great restaurants or bars?

I am sure that there are, but I didn't find any. Let us know if you do.

Be the first to submit a review for this port!

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,