Official Languages: Portuguese
Recognised Regional Languages: Portuguese
Currency: Real (R$)
Population (approx.): 193,946,886
Calling Code: +55
Did you know: Brazil shares its borders with all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile.
Places to visit in Brazil
Considered the cultural capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is home to some amazing art communities. If this is your thing, head to the Lapa neighbourhood on a Saturday where you’ll witness a weekly street party amongst the 18th century architecture. Alternatively, why not enjoy another cultural hotspot in Ipanema where you can walk along one of the worlds more beautiful beaches, which has also been voted the sexiest beach in the world by the Travel Channel.
If you prefer your history, over your art, why not pay one of Rio’s most famous landmarks a visit. The mountain of Corcovado, where the famous ‘Christ the Redemer’ stands with arms stretched out, is a point of pilgrimage for Christians all over Brazil. From the mountaintop you can take in the amazing views, where you’ll be able to see Sugarloaf Mountain and the Copacabana beach in the distance.
You may need to set aside some time to fully experience Sao Paulo, due to its sheer size, mix of cultures and the hundreds of things to do. Within the central districts you’ll be able to find a number of cathedrals, museums and galleries. Get lost in the Catavento Cultural, which is excellent for kids, or the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, which features some classical European names as well as one of the largest collections of Brazilian and other Latin American artists.
Seeking a more relaxing experience, travel to the outskirts of the city where you’ll find the beautiful Jardim Botanico. These gardens contain an amazing sanctuary, which houses thousands of tropical plants and animal species. Alternatively, why don’t you pay the Sao Paulo Zoo a visit? The Zoo focuses on trying to recreate a natural habitat for local animal species, such as the Howler Monkey and Toucan.
Owing much to the Rubber Boom during the late 19th century, the riches of this city can be seen from miles around. From the grand opera house, vast domes and gilded balconies to its marble, glass and crystal features, this all makes the largest city in Northern Brazil a must to visit. Some of the most impressive historical sites can be found at the Rio Negro Palace, the Justice Palace and, of course, the Amazonas Opera House.
Nowadays Manaus is better known for its affiliation with its natural surroundings. In-fact, the city is home to the largest urban forest in the world and a number of other large parks with native forest preservation areas. These can be found at Bosque da Ciência and Parque do Mindú, and are well worth a visit. Alternatively, you can jump on to a tour boat to the Amazon River Basin, that leads you deep in to the Amazon rain forest.
The capital of Brazil is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the only city built in the 20th century to be named as one. It’s a beautiful city, planned with care and designed by Oscar Niemeyer, and features a number of architectural wonders. Some of these are the Juscelion Kubitschek Bridge, Monumental Axis, the Cathedral of Brasilia and the National Congress, which houses the Federative Republic of Brazil.
However, the city has much more to see than the architecture. If you enjoy windsurfing or wakeboarding, take a trip to Paranoa Lake, or if you want to take in some wildlife and plant species, pay the National Park Of Brasilia and the Brasilia Botanical Garden.
This offers something off the beaten track. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these wetlands huge, and to give you an idea of just how vast they are, Pantanal is around 20 times the size of the Everglades in Florida. Access is difficult, due to its size, but also to conserve the existing ecosystem, so any travel is done through small airplanes and motorboats.
However, all good things come to those who wait. In the open wetlands wildlife is visible for everyone, and not limited to those with visual aids. Pantanal is a great location if you want witness animals in their natural environment.
If you’re planning to visit any of these places in Brazil, consider using our World Phone to stay in touch with loved ones back home.