Opinion / Sports

World Cup’s Host Cities Series: Recife

Recife, the “Brazilian Venice”, is the featured city at the World Cup’s Host Cities Series, through the eyes of guest writer Mônica Schweizer.

Mônica Schweizer, 51, is a sales manager.

Capital of the state of Pernambuco, located in Northeast Brazil, Recife is one of the 12 host cities of the World Cup 2014. Founded on March 12, 1537, the city is the richest metropolis in the Northeast, which is the sixth most populous region of the country.

Recife plays a strong role in its state and region,  holding a large number of regional and national headquarters of institutions, public and private companies, as well as having the highest number of foreign consulates outside Rio and São Paulo.

Recife has been named one of the 65 cities with the most developed economy of emerging markets in the world.

Image by Guilherme Jofili

The city centre has several shopping centres, and the RioMar Mall located in the South of the city, is the largest shopping center in the North-Northeast of Brazil and the third largest in the whole country.

According to British consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Recife will be one of the 100 richest cities in the world by 2020.

Recife is famous for having the largest technology park in Brazil, Porto Digital, the second most important medical hub of Brazil,  and the best airport in the country. It is also known for being the Northeastern capital with the best Human Development Index according to UN figures from 2010.

Image by Mônica Schweizer

Known as the “Brazilian Venice” the city is located between the border of the Atlantic ocean and the rivers Capibaribe, Beberibe, Tejipio, Pina and Jordao. With great potential for tourism, the city is often chosen to host various events. It has a beauty that makes everyone that visits once, wanting to come back.

I couldn’t forget to mention its people. We are super receptive people, cheerful, creative and hospitable with a cultural diversity influenced by Indigenous people, Africans and Europeans. And this diversity can be found in our food, music, parties, dances and crafts.



Recife is the third largest gastronomic centre of Brazil. Some of the traditional dishes are: “Peixada Pernambucana”, “Galinha a Cabidela”, “Arrumadinho de Charque”, “Escondidinho de Carne de Sol”, “Churrasco de Bode”, “Caranguejada”, “Bolo de Rolo” e  “Bolo Souza Leão”  (a Brazilian traditional cake since the Empire Era) and sweets made of various fruits. Those dishes enrich the gastronomy of the city that offers countless restaurants to the most diverse audiences and palates.

Image by Mônica Schweizer

Recife is a party city that has the largest street carnival group in the world, Galo da Madrugada, and that in the month of June commemorates the local Saints with Forró music and typical foods derived primarily from corn.

The music is strongly marked by the mixture of rhythms: Forró, Frevo, Maracatu, Coco, Sieve Afoxé, Pastoral, Caboclinho, and “Manguebeat“.

Image by Mônica Schweizer

Recife is surrounded by other cities full of culture and leisure alternatives. From the countryside to the coast it’s a touristic attraction galore. The highlights are:  Garanhuns, Caruaru, Olinda,  Jaboatão Guararapes and Nova Jerusalem. And the beaches of Porto de Galinhas, Serrambi Gaibu, Maracaipe, Tamandaré and Itamaracá.

The city center is crossed by several rivers where the architecture of its more than 40 bridges brings us their story, which can also be seen in the collections of several museums such as the Ricardo Brennand Institute, Memorial Luiz Gonzaga, the Museu da Cidade do Recife, the Museu do Homen do Nordeste, Francisco Brennand’s pottery workshops among many others.

You can also see the city from the water. There are catamaran rides sailing through the Capibaribe river. I also recommend a visit to Forte das Cinco Pontas, Forte do Brum and the Synagogue Kahal Zur Israel (first synagogue in the Americas)

Image by Mônica Schweizer

For those who enjoy diving, the city is the capital of the shipwrecks, with over 20 of them, some that are over 400 years. The most visited is the Pirapama.

Recife is a city that appeals to all tastes and ages. It offers a wide variety of hotels and accommodations and numerous tourist agencies with attractive tour packages. The weather doesn’t change much, expect a rainy but mild winter, and the rest of the year it is summer all around.

Come and discover Recife, you won’t regret!

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