The celebrations, holidays and other events are numerous during the whole year. Thus the New Year begins at the beach, Praia de Boa Viagem and in Old Recife. The carnival of Recife and Olinda (which has its historic town center considered world heritage site by UNESCO in 1982) begins many weeks ahead in December with innumerable balls and parades.Aerial view of Old Recife.
In the city, the carnival festivities begin in December, as locals begin preparing for the official Carnival, which starts the week before Ash Wednesday. The pre-Carnival parties usually consist of percussion groups practicing in local clubs, city streets and squares, and even Carnival balls. There is a variety of rhythms from different cultures. Carnival officially starts with the Galo da Madrugada, a party in Downtown Recife attracting many people from several States of Brazil, and other parts of the world.
Recife has many quality 3, 4 and 5-Star International Hotels as well Pousadas (traditional Bed & breakfast) and Apart-Hotels totaling more than 11,500 bedrooms and this number increase to over 30,000 in the metropolitan area of Recife.Santa Isabel Theater.
Mercado de São José (Market of Saint Joseph) is an old, iron construction with a popular market nearby. In the Fort Cinco Pontes (Fort of Five Points) is the state museum, (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco). At the rectangular Pátio de São Pedro are the Cathedral São Pedro (Cathedral of Saint Peter) dating from the year 1782 and restored colonial houses, with numerous restaurants, bistros and bars. In the Bairro Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony Neighborhood), at the meeting place of the rivers Capibaribe and Beberibe, is the Praça da República (Square of the Republic) with the Teatro Santa Isabel (Theatre of Saint Isabel), with its neoclassic front - well worth seeing, the Law Courts, and the Palácio da Justiça (Palace of the Justice). Casa da Cultura (House of Culture) is an old prison that has been converted into a cultural space and shopping centre.Golden chapel.
Built between 1835 and 1855, the Malakoff Tower, a monument constructed in Tunisian style, which used to be an observatory and now is a cultural centre and a place for popular gatherings. It is located at Arsenal da Marinha Square. It has been registered as a Historical Patrimony and was named after a similar monument on Crimean peninsula, used as a defence center for Sebastopol.
Recife has a zoo called Dois Irmãos Park, 387 hectares of Atlantic Forest reserve and 14 hectares of botanical gardens. There are also 800 wild animals, the Natural Science Museum and various ecological trails. The metropolitan area has also a giant water park 20 km (12 mi) North of Recife, called Veneza water park which has nearly one million sq/ft of area, ten millions litres of water and lots of water slides for the youngsters.
Among Recife's main tourist attractions are:José Estelita Wharf. Churches, historical monuments, public markets including 17th and 18th century constructions from Portuguese and Dutch colonisers; Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art; Ricardo Brennand Institute: cultural institute with museum, pinacotec and library; Recife Antigo (Old Recife) buildings; Boa Viagem beach (the inside city's most important beach) and many beautiful beaches in the metropolitan and state area; Casa da Cultura: souvenir shops in an Historic prison building; RioMar Shopping. The Carnival at locations such as downtown and Recife Antigo; Olinda's historic town centre, considered a world heritage site by UNESCO; News and Historic Cinemas, Theatres and Art galleries. Shopping centers
Shopping Center Recife, the first Shopping Center in the North/Northeastern region, was inaugurated in 1980 through the initiatives of two large groups of entrepreneurs: Ancar and Ecisa. After twenty-three years and three expansion projects, Shopping Center Recife has been transformed into one of the largest in Latin America, and the first "mega-mall" in Northeastern Brazil.
With a total area of nearly two million square feet, 70% of which is mall-space, the shopping centre has 465 stores, 10 movie theatres, 8 restaurants, 4 food service courts with 57 fast food mini-restaurants, and 5,000 parking spaces available. 90,000 customers per day pass through its doors, while 32,400,000 consumers per year use the facilities.Boa Viagem Beach.
Other shopping centres include:Shopping Center Tacaruna. The first centre for purchases in the North/West zone of the Recife Metropolitan Region was inaugurated on April 29, 1997, with the intention of improving the economies the cities of Recife, Olinda, and Paulista. Shopping Paço da Alfândega Plaza Shopping Casa Forte was inaugurated in November 1998. Shopping RioMar was inaugurated in 2012. Beaches Main article: Pernambuco beaches
Recife beachesBoa Viagem, Pina and Brasília Teimosa
Jaboatão beachesPiedade, Candeias and Barra de Jangada
Olinda beachesRio Doce, Casa Caiada and Nossa Senhora do Ó
North beachesJanga, Pau Amarelo, Conceição and Maria Farinha (with one of the largest water park in Brazil - Veneza water park (Paulista RMR) 18/29 km N Gavoa, Itamaracá and Jaguaribe. Itamaracá Island has many beaches such as Coroa do Avião, Forte Orange, Quatro cantos and Pontal (Itamaracá RMR) 30/45 km N