The Top 5 Coastal Cities in Brazil

Brazil’s coastal cities are an eclectic bunch with a wide variety of personalities. From famous Rio to the Venice of Brazil to cachaça country, each has something intriguing to offer. Keen to explore a bit of Brazil? Check out our selection of tours here.


People enjoying the sun in Brazil
Photo by João Pedro Vergara on Unsplash

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s most famous beach town is a giant metropolis home to the country’s most flamboyant Carnival celebration as well as the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. The Christ the Redeemer statue lords over the city from the top of Corcovado mountain, and a spectacular cable car whisks you up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. And be sure to dedicated time to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, from bohemian Santa Teresa to Lapa, Rios buzzy downtown.

Coastal cities in Brazil

Party your way through Florianapolis

Nicknamed Floripa, this city in southern Brazil combines beach life with an urban feel. It’s largely located on an island with roughly 90km of coastline. The city offers abundant opportunities to dine in style, catch an art show or cultural event and go dancing—it’s known as one of Brazil’s biggest party towns. Don’t miss the historic city center’s cluster of attractive colonial buildings and the 17th-century Cathedral Metropolitana. The rest of the island is more about nature, with Azorean fishing villages, verdant green spaces and beaches for everyone, from surf spots to quiet coves ideal for paddle-boarding.

Coastal cities in Brazil

Salvador de Bahia

African-Brazilian culture is at the heart of Salvador de Bahia. This is a city where the African culture of its residents’ ancestors has been kept alive and is celebrated with local festivals, cuisine, dance and music, as well as in its most famous export: capoeira, the martial art that fuses music dance and acrobatic moves. The colonial centre is packed with bright colorful buildings and area is also considered the land of Brazilian drumming, which you’ll encounter in the bars around town or on the many plaza, where street drummers often set up and jam out while locals gather and dance or tap along.  

Coastal cities in Brazil


Paraty is one of Brazil’s most exquisite colonial towns, filled with cobbled streets and well-maintained low-story buildings that are largely white, with a rainbow of colorful doors and window frames. The lively town is packed full of character-filled restaurants and bars, and the town is surrounded by gorgeous beaches, mangroves, waterfalls and pretty islands with excellent snorkeling spots.  The region is also cachaça territory, Brazil’s famous fermented sugar cane juice that serves as the main ingredient of caipirinhas. Many distilleries located in and around Paraty are open to visitors: Cachaça Maria Izabel and Engenho D’Ouro offer tastings and tours.

Coastal cities in Brazil


Recife mixes high rises, urban grit, wide beaches and a high energy vibe. This port city contains a tangle of canals and is often referred to as the Venice of Brazil.The colonial old town is anchored by the lively Praca da Republica, a prime people-watching plaza. Don’t miss the Mercado do Sao Jose with its excellent selection of local crafts including intricate handmade lace.



Caroline Sieg

Caroline Sieg is a half-Swiss, half-American writer, editor and content marketer focusing on travel, food, art, design & the outdoors. She's traveled throughout Latin America, is addicted to empanadas and tacos, and loves outdoor adventure, from trekking in Patagonia to zip lining in Costa Rica.