The 10 Best Things To Do In Olinda

Nestled in the lush, green hills of Brazil’s Pernambuco state, Olinda is a gem waiting to be discovered. With its colorful colonial architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder this historic city has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply in search of a unique travel experience, Olinda has something special in store for you. So, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in this charming city, where every cobblestone street tells a story.

1. Explore the Historic Centre

Strolling through Olinda’s Historic Centre is like stepping back in time. The well-preserved colonial buildings, baroque churches, and quaint museums are a feast for the eyes. Don’t miss the Sé Cathedral with its panoramic view of the coastline. Trust me, the climb is worth every step!

2. Visit the Museu de Arte Sacra

Art enthusiasts, you’re in for a treat! The Museu de Arte Sacra houses a stunning collection of religious art. Housed in a former convent, the museum’s pieces tell the rich story of faith in Brazil. It’s a quiet spot that offers a reflective break from the bustling streets.

3. Enjoy the Carnival

If you’re lucky enough to visit during Carnival, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Olinda’s Carnival is famous for its giant puppets parading through the streets. The energy is electric, and the music is irresistible. You can’t help but dance along!

4. Take a Workshop at the Centro de Artesanato

Get hands-on at the Centro de Artesanato. Here, local artisans share their crafts, from pottery to weaving. You can even try your hand at making your own souvenir. It’s a fantastic way to connect with Olinda’s creative spirit.

5. Savor the Local Cuisine

Foodies, rejoice! Olinda’s culinary scene is a blend of indigenous, African, and Portuguese flavors. Be sure to try acarajé, a spicy shrimp-filled delight. And for those with a sweet tooth, the tapioca cakes are heavenly.

6. Visit the Convento de São Francisco

The Convento de São Francisco is not only the oldest Franciscan convent in Brazil but also a treasure trove of history. The azulejos (Portuguese tiles) are particularly impressive. Each tile tells a part of Brazil’s colonial past.

7. Relax at Praia dos Carneiros

A short drive from Olinda, Praia dos Carneiros is a slice of paradise. With its crystal-clear waters and white Sandy beaches, it’s the perfect spot to unwind. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the iconic little church right on the beach!

8. Discover the Mercado da Ribeira

The Mercado da Ribeira is an artist’s haven. Once a slave market, it’s now home to studios and galleries. You can watch artists at work and maybe even find a piece to take home. It’s a place where Olinda’s past and present merge beautifully.

9. Attend a Maracatu Performance

Maracatu is a powerful, rhythmic dance that’s a symbol of Pernambuco’s culture. Seeing a performance is a must-do. The costumes are dazzling, and the drums will resonate with you long after the show.

10. Wander the Alto da Sé

Last but not least, make your way to the Alto da Sé. This High Point offers some of the best views in Olinda. While there, check out the artisan market and grab a refreshing caipirinha. It’s the perfect end to a day of exploration.


  • When is the best time to visit Olinda?

    The best time to visit is during the dry season, from September to February. If you want to experience Carnival, plan your trip for February or March.

  • Is Olinda safe for tourists?

    Yes, Olinda is generally safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and keep valuables secure.

  • Can I get by with English in Olinda?

    While Portuguese is the main language, you’ll find that many people in the tourism industry speak English. It’s always helpful to learn a few basic phrases in Portuguese, though!


Olinda is a city that captures the heart with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. From the historic wonders of its colonial past to the lively beats of its street festivals, there’s an adventure around every corner. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on a pristine beach or getting lost in the artistry of local craftsmen, Olinda offers an array of experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in this enchanting Brazilian city.

By exploring these top 10 things to do in Olinda, you’ll not only immerse yourself in the city’s unique charm but also gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse tapestry that is Brazil. Olinda awaits with open arms and a kaleidoscope of experiences, so why not let it be your next travel destination? 🌴✨

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