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A perfect mix between history, culture, music, dance, art, and more in just one place

(Video: A Vaidosa Produções)

What to do in Olinda

If you are looking for history and culture, Olinda is the place to go. The city is really charming and it is home of music, dance, art and more! For this reason, it has been added to the list of Word Culture Heritage by UNESCO.

The city is amazing and can be visited any time of the year. Considered one of the best carnivals in Brazil, this week is clearly the highest season of the city but Olinda is full of attractions in all seasons!


The historic center, which was in 1982 declared a historical and cultural patrimony of humanity by UNESCO, is located 10 km (north) from the Marco Zero of Recife, on a gentle hill. The city, despite being relatively small in extent, has a huge amount of attractions. There are 22 churches and 11 chapels, built in the middle of colourful colonial houses. The streets are strait and charming, and transport visitors to another era. It is easy to get carried away by the vibrant cultural energy of the place and spend all day wandering the hillsides. 


Among the churches there are some that deserve more attention than the others. The Carmo Church is located in the lower part of the city, at a slight elevation and its magnitude is the best welcome for those who are arriving. From there, go to São Francisco Street, where you can find the Convent of São Francisco, which stands out for its famous panels of Portuguese tiles. In front of the convent there is a beautiful square, which has a large cross made of stones from the region’s reefs. If you continue to walk this street, you will arrive at Alto da Sé.


Alto da Sé literally means the highest point of the region. Undoubtedly a gastronomic and cultural center of Olinda, which gathers many shops, restaurants and cultural houses. There is the famous “Cathedral of Sé”, and in front of it, “Praça (square) da Sé”. For those who like typical food, there are several spots in the square that serve the most delicious tapiocas and acarajés, among others. It is the right time to take a break for a snack while admiring the view. For being the highest point of Olinda, the view from there is spectacular. It is possible to see the great part of the city of Recife and to the left, the clear blue immensity of the sea. It is a beautiful contrast and undoubtedly one of Olinda’s greatest attractions! Those who are passing by should not miss the sunset at the end of the day.


There is also the Museum of Sacred Art of Pernambuco which is very well organized and has some beautiful pieces. A little further ahead is the Casa dos Bonecos Gigantes de Olinda museum, which gathers the traditional giant carnival dolls. Both attractions are paid for.

Continuing to the other side of Alto da Sé, we arrive at the Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia Church, which is on the top of the Misericórdia slope, the steepest slope of Olinda! If you go down you will find other great attractions of the region: the Ribeira Market; the Mamulengo Museum; and the beautiful São Bento Monastery, which has an altar all leafed in gold.

No doubt it’s attractive enough to fill the whole day! For those who think about sleeping one night in the region there are inns for all types of budget:

Accommodation in Olinda

And for those who are based in other locations, there are day-tour trips from the cities of Recife and Porto de Galinhas. Porto de Galinhas tours also include the historic center of Recife. Undoubtedly a complete way to get to know the most interesting spots.

This is Olinda: in every corner a different charm. An unforgettable day for all travelers passing through the lands of Pernambuco.

Martín Miguel

Martín Miguel

Enter Travel Founder

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Video: A Vaidosa Produções 


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