The capital of the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis comprises Santa Catarina Island and a small peninsula on the Brazilian mainland, which are linked by the longest suspension bridge in the country, the Hercilio Luz Bridge. It is most famous for its sandy beaches, natural scenery, and the local culture. Originally settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, but then taken over by the Portuguese in the 17th century, Florianopolis is a melting pot of cultures, with a significant German and Italian influence fuelled by immigration to the state, and is a popular holiday destination for Brazilians and other South American tourists.


There are around 42 well-known beaches in Florianopolis, making it a paradise for beach lovers and surfers. The northern beaches, such as Jurere, Brava, and Ingleses are developed tourist resorts that become extremely busy in the summer months, while the eastern beaches of Mole and Joaquina are famous for surfing and even sand boarding.

Florianopolis also has a number of tourist sites to visit. Along Santa Catarina Island’s coastline there are a series of maritime forts that were built in the 16th and 17th centuries to withstand occupation from foreign forces, and stand as reminders of the region’s colonial past. There are further remnants of the area’s history with colonial buildings such as the Cruz e Souza Museum, which was a former government building, and a house where Victor Meirelles was born, who was one of the authors who developed the first Mass to be spoken in Brazil.


Tourist shops at the beaches offer visitors t-shirts, prints, and other typical souvenirs. The public market in the centre of town has a fine selection of ceramics, which symbolise local folklore figures as well as the local Azorean people.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Seafood is the speciality of the region, and some local dishes to try include stuffed Tainha fish, shrimp, and oysters. Also popular with locals is the typical Brazilian barbeque, known as a churrasco. There is also a selection of international cuisine available, such as Italian and Oriental.

There is an abundance of nightclubs and bars scattered throughout Florianopolis, many of which offer live music, both Brazilian and international. Visitors must try Brazil’s most famous drink, Caipirinha, at one of the city’s many establishments. Some of the best-known nightclubs in town include El Divino, Latitude 27, and Ilha dos Cascaez.

Tourist Information

  • Florianopolis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rua Jeronimo Coelho 383, Florianopolis 88010-030
  • Telephone: +55 48 222 4904
  • Website: www.florianopoliscvb.com.br


Florianopolis’ airport is located approximately 12 km south of the town, and is best reached by taxi. A number of foreign airlines serve the airport, though another option is to fly into the larger international airports at Sao Paolo or Rio de Janeiro and then take a domestic flight of around an hour into Florianopolis.

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