Capital of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, Recife is also nicknamed the "Venice of Brazil" and the "Capital of the Northeast" for its importance to the region. Originally founded by the Dutch, you'll find its interesting mix of cultures in the city's many museums and food. This town is truly football crazy, so it's appropriate that a number of important matches will held at the city's Arena Pernambuco Stadium, including U.S. vs Germany on June 26th.
If you're one of the legion of fans coming to see the game at Recife, here's what you need to know.Recife — Photo courtesy of guilherme jofili
Getting There and Around
Direct flights from select European cities come in to Recife's Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport. For visitors on multi-stop tours of the region, direct flights also come in from major Brazilian cities and Buenos Aires. Recife's Terminal Integrado de Passageiros connects Fortaleza , Natal and João Pessoa to Recife via bus. And as a port city, cruises arrive from destinations in Brazil, Europe and the Caribbean.
Recife has its own subway, the MetroRec, the third largest in Brazil, though it does not cover all areas of the city. Registered taxis are available throughout the area and are perhaps the best way to traverse town.
What to See and Do
Architecture of Recife — Photo courtesy of Rafael Holanda BarrosoRecife is a museum town. You'll find museums dedicated to everything from money and coins to trains, natural science, folk art, and poetry. It's also filled with great examples of old architecture. Head to the restored Old Recife and stroll down the avenues to have a look at churches and monuments like Malakoff Tower, an observatory with excellent views of downtown.
Sunken ship in Recife — Photo courtesy of Global_Pics/iStockIf surf and sand is more your style, head to the beaches like Boa Vigem. The longest urban beach in the country, its white sands are lined with hotels and restaurants. Scuba diving is also quite popular here due to the natural coral reefs. Known as Brazil's shipwreck capital, there at least 15 sunken ships accessible to tourists who want to dive and explore them.
Where to Eat
Beaches of Recife — Photo courtesy of _luiza_st/iStock Like many beach towns in Brazil, the beach culture includes food. It's customary to rent an umbrella and chair and buy from vendors who walk up and down the beach selling crab, oysters, prawns, and grilled cheese. But Recife is also known for its high-end cuisine, serving everything from seafood to French fusion. Ponte Nova serves elevated, French-influenced cuisine like pork confit, shrimp risotto, and calamari. Leite specializes in traditional Portuguese food like dried cod and shrimp dishes. But if you'd rather stay local, try caldinho, a soup available at every corner restaurant and street stand in flavors from black bean to shrimp.
Where to Watch the Game
An 18th century colonial customs house, the Paço Alfåndega is a now a renovated shopping area with dance clubs and restaurants. It will also be the location of FIFA's official "Fan Fest" - areas in all host cities where visitors can watch the game. The area will have matches displayed on large screen TVs, as well as cultural and musical events.
The city also has a number of bars like Underground Sports Bar, which roffers pool tables, draft beer and pub grub in addition to regularly showing matches on its many screens, Winner Sports Bar bills itself as an American style bar and restaurant, serving American beer and a variety of cocktails with pool tables, and of course, plenty of TVs to view soccer.
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