Olinda Travel Guide

  • Santo Antonio do Carmo
    Santo Antonio do Carmo
    by neverstoptravel
  • View from Olinda
    View from Olinda
    by neverstoptravel
  • Olinda
    by sachara

Olinda Highlights

  • Pro
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    janaina says…

     A PLACE YOU JUST MUST VISIT! 

  • Con
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    NedHopkins says…

     Old bones may ache climbing the many hills 

  • In a nutshell
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    jessys says…

     Matacatu in the streets 

Olinda Things to Do

  • Cathedral

    Created in the 16th century, this church was destroyed during the war between Portuguese and Dutch. Rebuilt in the 17th and ruined again, the final version is about 100 years old. It's far from being among the best in Olinda, but it surely is located in the best sightseeing place of town. The yard in its back is mandatory.

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  • Carmo Church

    We didn't enter this church, that shows from below the need of conservation. It's a beautiful building atop a small hill, dating from the 17th century

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  • Old Town

    Where am I? In Obidos? Monsaraz? Castelo de Vide? No! With this temperature in March it cannot be Portugal. But it looks like! Sorry folks, this sensation is reserved for the Portuguese, but the visual pleasure is shareable. So, walk slow, breed deeply, and... enjoy! There is always a solution to understand the described feeling - come to Portugal...

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  • Recife

    I was in Recife and visited Olinda from there, but nothing stops you to do it the opposite way. No matter where you are, one thing is clear: both places must be seen,and it will take only some minutes to move between them.

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  • S Bento Church - Golden Altar

    I left Portugal with a severe warning from a friend: I should not miss this church. Thanks for the warning! I didn't and agree that the richness and beauty of the altar are unbeatable. Unfortunately the photo of the altar (flash forbidden) was so lousy I don't dare to publish it. But it's better that way: you will have to go there and look for...

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  • St Francisco church

    The most beautiful church I saw in Olinda, St Francis suffered the common mistreatment of the war, but kept the appearance of its reconstruction in the 17th century. Nested in green, its sober cloisters contrast with its rich baroque decoration

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Olinda Hotels

See all 8 Hotels in Olinda
  • Hotel 7 Colinas

    Street of San Francisco 307, Olinda, State of Pernambuco, 53120-070, Brazil

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Amoaras

    Rua Garoupa, Olinda, 525, BR

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Parthenon Quatro Rodas Olinda

    Av Jose Augusto Moreira 2200, Casa Caiada, Olinda, Pernambuco, 53130410, Brazil

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

Olinda Restaurants

  • Good Seafood

    $S4Roberto, our driver took us to this restaurant saying that it was good, with a small price. It was his biggest mistake: It was veeeery good, with a not so small price. But it served us one of the best meals he had In Brazil. CrabMoqueca of lobster, fish and shrimps

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  • Coconut Water

    Brasil is very hot and it is important to stay hydrated, especially on the hills of Olinda. Partake of the local coconut water stand where the proprietor will hack the top off of a coconut with a machete to reach the refreshing water. Coconut water is cool and refreshing.

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  • OLINDA : TAPIOCA

    Tapioca is a snack made by mixing the powdery tapioca and shredded coconut. The ladies fry the tapioca in a small pan and somehow, the powders stick together after a while, forming a tortilla shape. They add butter and sprinkle some coconut. Then, you can select your choice of sweet - chocolate, marmalade, banana - or salty - meat - fillings and...

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  • Order the Plate of the Day

    Fresh seafood is the main feature at this restaurant, cited by many as the finest in Olinda (or in all of the Olinda-Recife area).Depending on how the tables are put together, the restaurant can serve 72 to 90 people, all on one floor, with spectacular views of the Recife skyline (especially from the tables in front).If you order the plate of the...

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  • A MId–Range Option

    Seafood is the highlight at Goya, as it is in most Olinda and Recife restaurants.Paintings by Goya's owners and staff are on all the walls of this restored 18th century casa -- and some are for sale.The restaurant is divided into two sections -- (1) the front, before the bar and the stairwell leading down to the kitchen, and (2) the back, open to...

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  • 2 HIGH RECOMENDED RESTAURANTS

    Huh!!Sushi in Olinda was an experience!!The concierge highly recomended us this restaurant,who am I to disagree??Built in an old colonial style,the house makes you the first impression:we chose the right place!The restaurant has a cultural space for new and young local crafts artistts/painters,exposions always running in this place,live music...

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Olinda Nightlife

  • Nice live local music

    If you get there during the day, it looks a bit shabby... it is an openair podium and it could use a paint-job, but if you get there during the night... they have live music all night long, cheap bear... and a lot of localsIf you want to buy a beer, get a ticket first and then go to the counter, you will get a large bottle (1 liter) with some cups...

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  • RECIFE..

    I spent most nights in Recife,and there,the place I loved most was "The Performing Arts Space",Recife's prime theater venue,in the elegant "Princess Isabel Theater.Nowadays I heard it's closed for renovations.

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  • Olinda Hotels

    8 Hotels in Olinda

    1 Reviews and Opinions

Olinda Transportation

  • To Olinda from Recife by bus

    Taxi is always the easiest way. But for some visitors travelling on budget, it's convenient, economic and safe to take a bus in Recife during the day.Take the bus #910 Heading Picdade/Rio Doce from downtown Recife or Boa Viagem, it will stop on Av. Sigismundo Goncalves in front of Placa do Carmo.The fare is R$2.80/one way.

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  • Hilly terrain

    Getting to Olinda is very easy. You can go by public transportation (Bus), or by Taxi (on the meter). Once you have arrived, it is possible to travel on foot. But beware that this is a hilly region, good shoes should be worn, and if you are not in good shape, starting at the top and working your way down will be easier.

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Olinda Shopping

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  • Local Crafts and Artists

    There are many artisans and vendors in the square in front of the Igreja da Sé. Scan them all before deciding on your purchases. Here you will find all manor of goods from bead work, wood carvings, paintings, linens, and clothing. Something for everyone on your shopping list. I am not a shopper, but I did get some beadwork from a vendor who was...

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  • Loads of street vendors!

    There are loads of people selling crafts throughout Olinda - althoug most are up on the Alto da Se during the day. There are some good deals to be had with linen - like table runners and place mats and the like. Also, the artists do some nice work with wood -- creating panoramas of typical Olinda street scenes.

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  • WHERE TO BUY THE FANTASTIC LOCAL CRAFTS

    "Eufrasio Barbosa" or better known as "Do Varadouro" market:handcrafts,antique shops,snack bars."Da Ribeira" market:handcrafts,antique shops."Sobrado Sete:handcrafts,antique shops.The wood small neighbourhoods are made from "caja" tree.

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Olinda Local Customs

  • Boys will be boys

    A bright day anywhere in the world will be an excuse for a man with a car to take his shirt off and wash it in public. It shows some affluence, and can be a way to impress a lady.

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  • Playing Games

    I often observed the locals playing games, this one a form of dominos. It is nice to see people out and being sociable.

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  • THE RICH AND EXOTIC CUISINE FROM OLINDA

    Influenced by African,Indigenous and European cultures,Olinda mixes its ingredients to produce a rich and exotic cuisine,based on natural products:manioc,seafood,coconut,fruits,greens,roots and vegetables.TAPIOCA:this omelet-like delicacy,is based on a thin pancake,made from manioc starch,filled with grated coconut and sour cheese.At the top of...

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Olinda Warnings and Dangers

  • Advance of the sea

    In some areas the sea is advancing, swallowing beach and everything unprotected. Some friends of mine bought an apartment near Recife, and their beach... is gone. In Olinda it's easy to see the struggle to sustain the sea. To win or to loose? If you plan any kind of investment pay attention to your chosen area!

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  • Tour Guides

    The guides are very pushy, and in cahoots with the taxi drivers. Even travelling on the meter my taxi beeped to alert these guides who swarmed over to the cab. Helpfully, the cab driver dispatched those who did not speak English, then let them accost me with offers of help. The guides in a casual uniform will show you their ID badges and say they...

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  • Guides and More Guides

    There are guides all over the old town. Among the independents are many who speak little (or barely comprehensible) English.Using my indispensable Baedeker, I had no need of a guide (though I did allow a 'guide' of sorts to attach himself to me in the wonderful church of the Convento Sao Francisco).If you visit Olinda and do want to be shown...

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Olinda Tourist Traps

  • Tour guides

    Please see warnings and dangers for more information. Here are the guides waiting to take you around for a fee. If you want a guide make sure that he speaks your language. Some taxis will offer to be your guide for the day and run you around "off the meter" which is at least twoce what you should pay, even after negotiating a price. If you do hire...

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  • Tourist Guides

    You will hear from all sides aroun the city: Amigo do you need a guide.They will even follow you around and are very perssistant, seems that if they don-t recognice the word No.Threre will approach you people official guides, they wear a Blue and yellow polo shirt and will show you their card. it can also approach you some people dressing thir own...

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Olinda Off The Beaten Path

  • Capoeira at Escola Rotary de Olinda

    Beyond avenida Joaquim Nabuco start a barrio of Olinda.Ask to one of young guides of touristic center (in rua 4 cantos)to bring you there to visit Escola Rotary of Olinda. Is an elementary school where, in the evening, some local voluntary meet children of the Barrio to teach them Capoeira and maracatu. This is a way to take them far from drug,...

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  • The Puppet Museum

    The small Museu do Mamulenco exhibits scores of puppets used by traveling troupes to entertain children (of all ages), especially before the age of cinema and television.There's a R$2 admission charge. A handsome booklet is provided and photographs are allowed.The museum is on Rua do Amparo near its intersection with Rua Prudente de Morais.

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  • Puppet Museum Stage

    Before the advent of television -- and even today -- puppet theatres are popular entertainment, especially in rural areas (like the sertao) of Brazil.This stage is in the Puppet Museum.

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Olinda Favorites

  • Walk around

    Olinda is an easy walking city, The area is beautiful, it has lots of one floor colonial buildings and streetsa are colourfull and full of trees and palms. There are interesting churches but dificult to visit by yourself unless you have a guide to open them for you, only a fe are open freely for indeppendent visitors.

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  • A FESTIVE TOWN

    Few cities in Brazil,during carnaval,have as many and such different manisfestations of folklore as Olinda!They differ in duration,environment and diversity of expression.The festive atmosphere,however,is not limited to the comemoration of revelries:it remains representative and popular during the cycles of Lent,the traditional celebrations during...

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  • THIS IS WHAT OLINDA IS..

    Hills arbitrarily from the shoreline and winding upwards,dividing and crossing each other..narrow streets adorned with collorful houses,niches,balconies,waterspouts...2 historical houses with Moorish baloconies,austere convents...churches with rich ornaments,fantastic outlook points..birthplace fo Brazilian culture,literature,theater,painting and...

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