Brazil is the largest country in South America and fifth largest in the world. Famous for its soccer tradition and its annual carnaval, Brazil offers many different and interesting travel destinations. I have been traveling in three main cities and I suggest you to visit following places of interest:
Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city of Brazil and one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere. It’s located on Brazil’s South Atlantic coast and has a population of about 6.3 million people. Rio is famous for its breathtaking landscape, its beach culture and its carnival celebration. By the way, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro.
Highlights of the city are the Cristo Redentor statue on the top of the Corcovado mountain, which can be seen from nearly all the city. As well the Pao de Açucar (Sugarloaf mountain) with its cable car offers at the top of the mountain a fantastic view over Rio.
Santa Teresa is a neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which it’s located on top of a hill, by the centre of Rio. It’s famous for its winding narrow streets which are a favorite spot for artists and tourists. In Santa Teresa you can visit as well the world-famous steps Escadaria Selaron, which have been created by the Chilean-born artist Jorge Selaron.
Rio is also home to 23 beaches. The Copacabana and the Ipanema beaches are the most famous one. The Copacabana neighborhood is offering many hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs and a beautiful promenade sidewalk along the beach.
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and the world’s 7th largest city by population. The city has a population of about 11 million and is located in Southeastern Brazil. It has significant cultural, economic and political influence both nationally and internationally. It is also considered the financial capital of Brazil.
Sao Paulo is as well one of the country’s most ethnically diverse city. There is a large number of immigrants from Europe (such as countries from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Germany), immigrants from Asia (such as China, Korea and Japan) and from Arab countries.
Some interesting places to see are first of all the Paulista Avenue, the most important financial center of Sao Paulo. Walking done the avenue is like being in New York. Sao Paulo has the third highest density of buildings in the world. The Paulista Avenue is also a site of many cultural centers and museums, such as the MASP (Sao Paulo Museum of Art).
The Oscar Freire street in the Jardins district, not far away from the Paulista Avenue, is one of the luxurious streets that offers shops with luxury brands. As well the Rua Augusta is a beautiful street with many shops, art galleries, theatres and pubs. Another important museum of Brazilian art is the Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, in the center of the city.
Sao Salvador da Bahia is after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro the third largest city of Brazil. It’s the capital of the state of Bahia and is located on the Northeast of the Brazilian coast. Salvador was the first colonial capital of Brazil and considered as one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture.
In 1549, a fleet of Portuguese settlers established Salvador and the city became the first colonial capital of Brazil. It quickly became its main seaport and an important center of the sugar industry and the slave trade from Africa. The historical centre, called Pelourinho, still shows the beautiful architecture of its former Portuguese colony, with historical monuments dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
The neighborhood Barra is one of the main alternative points to the historical center Pelourinho. The Porto de Barra is one of the main beaches of Salvador and one highlight for many tourists. It was originally the site of the first settlement of European newcomers. The Fort Santo Antônio da Barra is the first fort built in the city and had the function of hindering the enemies to enter the bay. Today a Nautical Museum, with exhibitions of old maps, navigation equipment and models of vessels, is showed inside the fort. The Farol da Barra is a lighthouse that has been built in 1836 on the fort of Santo Antônio.
Salvador is known for many things such as the carnival, the music, the cuisine, the architecture and the beaches. Salvador’s historical and cultural aspects were inherited by the intermarriage of such ethnic groups as Native-Indian, African and European. Especially the African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture. Till this day the population remains in its large black population.