Recife City Guide
*Submitted by Anon (2014). Information confirmed to the best of my ability.
OVERVIEW: Best to get this out of the way first: Recife is one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil. You need to have street smarts here, but more on that in the safety section. Recife is the largest city in the northeast region of Brazil, and is the most important commercial centre. Its many bridges, rivers and small islands are responsible for it being dubbed "The Venice of Brazil."
WEATHER: Tropical monsoon (22-31 °C). Rains fairly regularly all year.
SAFETY: Dangerous. Gang violence and petty crime are too common here. On streets, busses and taxis, robberies occur. Don't wear jewellery. Don't show off your cellphone. Don't walk long distances for leisure.
MUST DO: Boa Viagem urban beach. Recife has an massive beached lined with shops and restaurants. It's pretty safe during the day, in the affluent southern zone of Recife.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN RECIFE: $620 is the minimum price to rent a place in a decent neighbourhood.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $15.00
NIGHTLIFE RATING: 7.5/10
Tons of bars. Have you noticed that this seems to be a theme in Brazil? The people love to party! I will focus on Boa Viagem because it is where most tourists will stay.
I recommend: Iguana Cafe. I'm sure you didn't come all the way to Brazil to hang out at a Mexican-themed bar, but this one is worth a look. And the people who come here are beautiful and not stuck up.
BOTTLE OF BEER: $1.75
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN RECIFE: 7.5/10
With a little Portuguese and with a little work ethic, you can make it happen here in Recife. Foreign tourists usually give this town a miss, favouring Fortaleza, Salvador and Natal instead, so you can bet that you'll have a certain exotic factor. The major things that will prevent you from hooking-up in Recife will be safety (lack thereof) and logistics. Basically, you're not going to want to be goofing around too much on the streets after dark, so you'll need to pull a girl directly out the bar and hope that there's a cab waiting for you if you haven't called one already. Girls will also be reluctant to travel to wherever you're sleeping when they have a perfectly nice bed at home with their parents. Unless you're staying in an insanely experience apartment on the poshest street in Boa Viagem, expect resistance.
*If you plan on using online dating in Brazil, I recommend Brazil Cupid as your best option for meeting trustworthy local women.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN RECIFE?: 7.5/10.
Depends on the neighbourhood, but the Boa Viagem hood both on and off the beach is impressive. It can't compete with Florianopolis though. The bars and clubs in both the Boa Viagem and Soledade neighbourhoods have impressive talent, but not on the level that you'd see in Rio de Janeiro.
If you want to meet women in Brazil, you will definitely need to learn some Portuguese. The Rocket Portuguese Program will teach you the basics faster than almost any other program.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.25 Loaf of Bread= $1.70 Eggs= $1.90 Water (1.5L)= $1.00 Cigarettes= $2.75
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Nothing really. Brazilians value their own workers over foreign workers.
NOTES: It doesn't quite cut it. The city is too dangerous and, unlike the equally dangerous city of Salvador, doesn't offer enough to counteract that unfortunate fact. Rental properties here are also inexplicably expensive. If you are headed from Salvador to Fortaleza or Natal, you might as well pop in for a visit, but I wouldn't suggest going too far out of your way to experience Recife.
OVERALL RATING: 7/10
*More city guides from Brazil here!