A short guide to Recife neighborhoods

Basilica da Penha, near the Mercado de São José, ©.εïз. Simone .εïз./Flickr

With the right directions Recife will become an easy navigate place where every neighborhood has many interesting activities to offer. The city is situated two meters above sea level and there you can see many islands. Recife and its neighborhoods have many rivers and canals, so these are great places for water sports.

It received the name “Brazilian Venice” because all the waterways are running through the city.  Therefore it’s very easy to visit the neighborhood attractions by boat and surely you will enjoy this beautiful trip. Recife city is divided into major parts: the downtown Recife centre, which is called Centro, the Southern part is Zona Sul, the Western part is Zona Oeste, and the Northern zone is Zona Norte.

Northern Zone

The Zona Norte is the residential area. There you can travel easily by bus or metro and meeting friendly locals who live in this area. In the Northern Zone you will find pretty shops and supermarkets, where residential gardens and small squares are waiting for you. Unfortunately this is not a safety zone, so I recommend you to not walk around alone and keep your belongings close to you.

Southern Zone

View of Recife, ©Lyssuel Calvet/Flickr

The Zona Sul is the most popular zone because this is Recife’s modern area. Surely you will find many amazing attractions and this place will satisfy your expectations. The Recife subway is always close to you. This part was built around wonderful natural reef beaches and the best hotels can be found there. You should try the local beach food which is prepared in front of you. In this zone you can find a huge shopping centre and the Recife airport too.


Basilica da Penha, near the Mercado de São José, ©.εïз. Simone .εïз./Flickr

Recife’s old centre can be visited by the suburban trains and there you can explore Boa Vista, Santo Antônio, Santo Amaro and São José. All of them have their own unique look, but surely you will be impressed by these “small villages”. They are dissipate over this beautiful area divided by bridges and islands.

View of Recife, ©Lyssuel Calvet/Flickr

Western Zone

The Zona Oeste is the amazing green belt of the city area. It is so large that is impossible to explore all of the area. There can be found a huge tropical rainforest in Brazil. This wonderful zone will help you to spend your holiday beautifully and to move away from the noise of the city.


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