I wish I had more time there. Anyway, first thing I recommend is to go to Marco Zero, downtown in the Recife Antigo (old town) and take a catamarã trip. It costs R$ 30,00 per person and there is a real good guide (not a tape record) who gives you enough information about the town. The owner, Lydia Silva, always travels along. E-mail her for more information firstname.lastname@example.org .Her boat is right in front of the Artesanato do Recife (the buiding bellow).The trip goes under the old city bridges which fortunately were all lit withs Christmas lights. The pretty building bellow is the Assembleia Legislativa de Pernambuco.
Some of the lights. The guide was so useful! she told about the history of the many buildings, legends and facts.
This place deserves a special post. Inside, handcraft from all over the state.Nice restored depot, air condicioner, beautiful display.Right in front of the Marco Zero.
Francisco Brennand's Sculpture Park. You have to take a small boat to get there. Only R$ 5,00 back and forth. Take note of the boatsman's cell phone.
The Brennand family is very respected and loved in Recife. If you have more time there, don't miss the visit to the amazing Oficina Brennand and Instituto Ricardo Brennand.It was not open while I was there.
While in this sculpture park, go until the end of the reefs and you will find a restaurant called Casa De Banhos. It is very simple but the seafood is great. Many years ago, there were natural swimming pools here and the place was frequented by the local society. At night, however, a very lively "redlight" restaurant became too famous for the jealous wives of the rich men. It is said that they set fire on it. You can still see the ruins of the old restaurant.
After you eat you call the boat man to pick you up.
The Mercado de São José is the oldest prefabricated iron building in Brazil. It was exported from Europe to Recife in the late nineteenth century.Outside the Market, live crabs (caranguejo) with tied up paws and all kinds of herbs and amulets.
One of many Recife's specialties is the "bolo de rolo",a rolled cake filled with "goiabada". They last longer than an usual cake. Cut it in very thin slices.
Espaço Cultural Pátio de São Pedro, a place for cultural events, history and gastronomie. Every Tuesday night, a Terça Negra, with music and afro dance. The church is São Pedro dos Clérigos.Its structure was built from the stones of the reefs from the sea. You can still see some shells in its composition. Usually, the churches have a cross format but this one is octogonal. Inside, the ceiling was painted by João de Deus Sepúlveda, known as the “Michelangelo pernambucano”. The balconies are covered with gold and the doors are made of Brazilian rosewood (jacarandá). The image of Saint Peter in the altar is in human size and his teeth are made of ivory.
Also in this patio: Museu de Arte Popular (MAP), Memorial Luiz Gonzaga; Memorial Chico Science and Museu de Arte Moderna Aloísio Magalhães (Mamam).
Casa da Cultura. This French building used to be a jail. Its 150 prison cells house now nice handcraft shops. It also holds the Museu do Frevo e a Fundacao de Desenvolvimento da Cultura Negra.
The iron structure is very impressive. The public phones: the umbrella is typical of the "frevo" dance and the hat is typical from the "cangaceiros", a too long story to tell here.
Dinner time at Entre Amigos". Their specialty is goat. I am not very fond of it but it tasted really nice. I had this one with passionfruit sauce. Try the caipirinhas, there are many different local fruit.
If you have another day, go to Olinda, a cute nearby town.Again, I am sorry about my English but I just think there is not enough reading material about Brazil for tourists.