The celebrations, holidays and other events are numerous during the whole year. The New Year begins at the beach, Praia de Boa Viagem and in Recife Antigo (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.
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. 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 center.
--> RioMar Shopping;
-->Shopping Center Tacaruna;
-->Plaza Shopping Casa Forte;
-->Shopping Paço da Alfândega;
-->Shopping Center Recife - The first Shopping Center in the North/Northeastern region, 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.
Boa Viagem Beach. Itamaracá Beach RMR. Coral Reefs in Boa Viagem.Shopping Paço da Alfândega. The new centre for shopping is divided into four levels: services, fashion, dining, and panoramic restaurants. Next to the building is Livraria Cultura (cultural bookshop), the largest bookstore in Brazil, with 26,000 square feet. It also features the Convention and Business Centre for the Recife wharf area with two parking areas (800 spaces), a garden, observatory, open air exhibition space, an area for fashion shows, a mini-convention centre, bookstore, auditorium (300 seats), and 4 meeting rooms. Rather uniquely, the business hours are from midday until midnight.
Museums - The Museum of Pernambuco State (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco) Housed in a 19th century mansion in Recife, capital of Pernambuco state, the "Museu do Estado de Pernambuco (MEPE)" dates back to 1929. From Masters who portrayed the Colonial period, as well as the Dutch invasion (1630) to 20th and 21st century, the museum comprises over 12 thousand art pieces. Periodically the museum hosts the "Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Pernambuco" when emerging artists are selected to represent the new run of local professionals who will help to maintain and shape the new profile of the local art scenery.
Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue - Kahal Zur Israel, the historic Recife synagogue in Recife Antigo, is the oldest in the Americas, dating back to the 17th Century. Reopened recently, Kahal is an important part of Pernambuco's historic patrimony. It was founded by Jews who were once expelled from Portugal and settled in the Netherlands. Some of those Jews emigrated to "New Holland" when the Dutch invaded the Northeastern portion of Brazilian lands occupied by the Portuguese. When the Portuguese, helped by Portuguese-Brazilians, reconquered the land, Recife Portuguese-Brazilian Jews moved further north with the Dutch, and founded "New Amsterdam" on Manhattan Island. Thus, the first New York City synagogue was created in lower Manhattan by the founders of the first synagogue in the New World in Recife. It later moved to the Upper West Side, where it is still called "The Portuguese and Spanish Synagogue."
Francisco Brennand Ceramic - Shop Francisco Brennand, one of the most important names in contemporary sculptures in Brazil, displays his ceramic works in enormous open sheds, between monuments and gardens. It is set in an old brick factory that belonged to the sculptor's family.
Museum of the Northeastern Man - This broad collection portrays Pernambuco's culture through three main themes: the sugar-cane production cycle, the Northeastern man's life-style and the folkloric and religious manifestations.
Gilberto Freyre Foundation - This farmhouse, from the 18th century, was Gilberto Freyre's old residence. Artworks, arts and crafts, book collections and objects that belonged to the Pernambucan writer and sociologist are displayed here.
Ricardo Brennand Institute - Set up in a reproduction of a medieval-style castle, there is a collection of pieces from the Dutch domination period in Recife, as well as daggers and armor from medieval Europe.
Recife City Museum Located in a room in Cinco Pontas Fort (the five-pointed Fort), it houses pictures, reproductions of old paintings and objects that encapsulate Recife since the period of Dutch rule.