Brazil // The Northeast //

Olinda

OLINDA is, quite simply, one of the largest and most beautiful complexes of colonial architecture in Brazil: a maze of cobbled streets, hills crowned with brilliant white churches, pastel-coloured houses, Baroque fountains and graceful squares. Not surprisingly, in 1982 it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Founded in 1535, the old city is spread across several small hills looking back towards Recife, but it belongs to a different world. In many ways, Olinda is the Greenwich Village of Recife; it’s here that many of the larger city’s artists, musicians and liberal professionals live, and there’s a significant gay community. Olinda is most renowned, though, for its Carnaval, famous throughout Brazil, which attracts visitors from all over the country, as well as sizeable contingents from Europe.

More about Brazil

20% off ebooks

Subscribe to the Rough Guides newsletter and get 20% off any ebook.

Join over 50,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month.