5 Most Popular Cities in Brazil

These popular cities share something in common: they are all excellent examples of Brazil's varied regions, attractions and culture in large cities and favorite beach resorts.

  • 01 of 05
    Ipanema beach
    ••• Maremagnum/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Truly a cidade maravilhosa, Rio is spectacularly located, and to live up to the scenery, cariocas and visitors enjoy a vivid lifestyle nestled between fabulous beaches and rainforested hills.

    Don't miss out on Ipanema Beach, made popular by the song the Girl from Ipanema. But it's also a destination popular for locals who meet for drinks, as beer is sold all along the beach.

    If you're more active there's plenty of activities from volleyball, soccer and the Brazilian footvolley which combines the two sports.

    If the beach at Ipanema is too crowded don't worry you always have the nearby Copacabana.

  • 02 of 05

    Sao Paulo

    Sao Paulo Street Scene
    ••• Sao Paulo Street Scene. Ron Miller - author of Escape from the Happy Cannibal

    The city is South America's largest, Brazil's center of trade and industry. Paulistanos work hard and play hard. It's known to locals as "Sampa" and while many complain it's a concrete jungle due to its financial focus, there's also plenty of opportunities for art and culture. 

    If you're into street art, the city is known for its  pichação which is a series of tagging in a cryptic style in death defying locations. Many of the most famous artists try to impress with finding the most difficult locations to tag. 

    Sao Paulo is also famous for its shopping and is one of the best places to learn Portuguese in Brazil.

  • 03 of 05
    Salvador Cathedral Pelourinho
    ••• Salvador Cathedral Pelourinho. ClipArt.com

    Pelourinho, the old historic center of Salvador, is a city within a city. Centered around the old slave auction, Pelourinho has pastel-hued buildings, churches, museums, shops, restaurants and fantastic nightlife.

    Known as "Pelo" to locals, it's a great location for food and entertainment. It's considered a city within a city and is perfect for photographers who want to shoot its colourful colonial buildings.


  • 04 of 05
    Recife beach
    ••• Recife beach. ClipArt.com

    The capital of Pernambuco state, Recife is called the "Venice of Brazil" and offers the visitor two carnivals a year, plus beaches, dance, music, and Olinda.

    It's located on the coast and is home to two important rivers which lead to the Atlantic ocean. While this made it an important economic centre in years past, it is now known for its beautiful beaches.

    If you love soccer, also known as football in Brazil this one of the best places to watch a game. It's played and watched with a passion here and was chosen as one of the ten World Cup sites.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Buzios beach
    ••• Buzios beach. Peter and Jackie Main

    An international resort, Buzios is one of the most popular cities in Brazil and a popular day trip from Rio de Janeiro. The town is two hours north of Rio de Janeiro, and its twenty plus beaches and relaxed hedonistic style likens it to Saint Tropez.

    If you're not one to soak up the rays on the beach there are plenty of activities such as boat tours, surfing and scuba diving. 

    Truth be told Buzios isn't one city but actually a region with the three communities:

    Ossos on the northern coast which is the oldest and most beautiful with old colonial homes. The beaches here are easily accessible and sheltered from harsh weather.

    Manguinhos and Armacao, more difficult to reach but the beaches are more beautiful.

    You can't go wrong with either, the region is spectacular.


It's easy to see that the most popular cities in Brazil are those with access to beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. It's hard to choose a bad city in Brazil as they all have something to offer with friendly people.