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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: June - December Read More

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"Embodying the exquisite"

Fortaleza Tourism

Fortaleza, capital of the state Cearö is the fifth largest city in Brazil with a population of around 4 million. Located on the north-eastern coast of the country, Fortaleza is one of the most popular destinations in the country and attracts more than half a million visitors every year. The city is known for its sunny beaches, dazzling nightlife and exquisite cuisine.

Along the North-eastern cost of Brazil, facing the south Atlantic ocean lies the modern metropolis of Fortaleza which once used to be a Portuguese fishing village. Today, Fortaleza is one of the largest cities and amongst the top tourist destinations in the country. Be ready to be enamoured by the vivacity of Fortaleza's sunny beaches and its cheerful population. With over 25 beaches and numerous fishing villages nearby, Fortaleza offers a variety of activities from rolling through the dunes to wind surfing and jet skiing. Adding to the city's charm is its great diversity of bars and restaurants which offer a toothsome culinary experience and one of the most happening nightlife scenes in the country. The dynamic centres in the city include Praia de Iracema and Praia do Futuro, offering the best restaurants and nightlife in the city. Praia do Futuro is the most frequented urban beach of the city, make sure you taste the local crab as you tan your body on this five kilometre long beach. The city is an important economic centre and offers some appreciable shopping options in its huge shopping malls. Unfortunately, the city has high crime rates, but that shouldn't stop you from visiting one of the most beautiful capitals in the country.

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Currency in Fortaleza

Brazilian Real is the only accepted currency in the country. All major cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and in few taxis as well. ATMs are easily available throughout the country, though it is advised to carry some Brazilian Real before entering the country. Keep the in hand money in small denominations to avoid counterfeited large bills, also paying for goods in cash makes you eligible for some discounts.

Exchanging Money in Fortaleza

ATMs are the best option for currency exchange and are can be located easily. They charge a transaction and conversion fee depending on the bank and are closed between 10 pm to 6 am for security reasons. Currency exchange desks 'Cambio' can be found in all tourist areas and offer better exchange than airports and are better than withdrawing cash from ATMs.

Daily Budget for Fortaleza

Fortaleza is comparatively cheaper than other Brazilian destinations. A cheap budget to get you going would be upto BRL 70 and will include bus travel and decent food for two people. Mid-range budget ranges for BRL 150-200 and has more options such as nightclubs and other entertainment options. Luxury budgets with meals in top restaurants and taxi commute is somewhere around BRL 350-400.

Religion of Fortaleza

The key religion in Fortaleza is Christianity, Roman Catholicism is practised by 68% of the population whereas Protestants comprise 21% of the population.

Fortaleza Customs

People in Fortaleza are friendly and fun loving. They love talking with new people and your involvement and interest in their discussion is welcomed, be careful when talking about certain topics and avoid being critical of their country. Men shake hands and women kiss each other on the cheeks while greeting. Tipping is not expected in Brazil and generally not given. Restaurants have 10% service charge already included in the bill, however it is not compulsory. You can tip the housekeeping staff at the hotel at BRL 5 per day or beach vendors for their services.

Language of Fortaleza

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and a vast majority of the population speaks Portuguese as well. However, Brazilian Portuguese is slightly different from Portugal's. Not many people speak English here, even if you speak Spanish, you might be able to communicate only a little bit. Thus, it is advised to learn some basic Portuguese before you travel. Use 'Oi' for Hello, 'Por favour' for please, 'Bom Dia' for Good Morning and 'Boa Noite' for Good night. Your efforts to learn and speak Portuguese will be highly appreciated by the locals.

History of Fortaleza

Fortaleza's history can be traced back to beginning of the 16th century when a Spaniard by the name of Vicente Pinzãn landed on Praia Mucuripe. The colonization of the place by the Portuguese began in early 17th century and they constructed the fort of S o Tiago, however their rule was short lived. The Dutch invaded the area in 1630 and the fort S o Tiago was destroyed in the battle. The Dutch built a new fortress here by the name of Schoonenborch under the commandership of Matthias Beck. In 1654, after capitulation of Pernambuco, the Dutch gave away their possessions and the Portuguese then renamed the fort to Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assun o giving the city its present name. Fortaleza was established as a village in 1726 and became the capital of Cearö state in 1799. As fortress grew, cattle ranchers and cotton growers settled here. The cotton exports led to the village becoming an important city in the 19th century.

Nightlife in Fortaleza

Fortaleza boasts of an unique nightlife scene with something or the other on every day of the week. Considered one of the best in the country, the nightlife here attracts locals and tourists alike. The neighbourhoods promising a lively scene are locate at Praia de Iracema and the colonial mansions near Centro Cultural do Dragao. On Mondays, definitely head to Pirata which is known for its Craziest Monday all over Latin America. It opens at 8 in the night till sunrise, offering great music and a traditional dance called Forrã. Murucupi, Orbita and Boteco are other well known bars in the city.

Shopping in Fortaleza

The city is known for its textile industry and offers the best options for purchasing good stuff at a budget price. The highlights of Fortaleza are its woven hammocks and lacework supposed to have Portuguese origins. With handicrafts stores located all around the city, you will never be short of option while choosing a souvenir to take back home, head to Mercado Central and Feirinha da Beira Mar to get great deals on bamboo and leather goods. The city has its fair share of malls, the largest and best of them being Shopping Iguatemi.

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How to Reach Fortaleza

How to Reach Overview

The city of Fortaleza is served by an international airport and a bus station with a network connecting it to all major cities in Brazil. Air travel is by far the best and thus most preferred option to get in the city.

How to reach Fortaleza by flight

Named after a Cearense born aviation pioneer Pinto Martins, the international airport is located six kilometres south of downtown. As airways are the most popular mode of transport in the country, there are flights connecting Fortaleza to all other Brazilian state capitals and major cities. Apart from domestic travel, airlines fly to other south American capital cities via Sao Paulo and direct flights are available to few European cities such as Lisbon, Rome, Milan and Amsterdam. The main carriers operating on these routes include FlyBrazil, AirItaly, TUIFly and TAP Portugal. Buses and taxis are available at the airport to take you to the city centre.

How to reach Fortaleza by road

Brazil being the largest country in South America also has the largest road network and the option to drive can be chosen if you lots of time and flexibility to visit various places. Reaching Fortaleza by road is not your best option unless you have loads of time and money is not a constraint for your trip as the travel time for all major cities such as Rio (via BR-116), Brasilia and Sao Paulo (via BR-020) are all around 30 hours or more. International driving license is not required in Brazil as most countries license are valid a duration under 90 days. Car rental companies such as Alvis and Cearö Rent a Car have their offices at airport offering many options to choose from, apart from these companies there are various others offering cheap rental cars for travelling in Cearö and have the facility of online booking.

How to reach Fortaleza by train

Getting in Fortaleza by train is not possible.

How to reach Fortaleza by bus

Rodoviöria S o Tom_ located about 15 kilometres from Iracema beach is the main bus station serving the city and has buses to almost all parts of the country. The major bus companies operating here include Expresso Guanabara which has the most extensive network and connects to several cities in Northeast of Brazil and Sao Geraldo connecting to Rio and Sao Paulo. The city is served by two more bus stations for intra-state travel. The bus station located in Antonio Bezerra has buses running to western part of Cearö whereas buses in the newest bus station in Messejana go towards the Southern and eastern parts of Cearö.

How to reach Fortaleza by waterways

There are no waterways connecting to Fortaleza.

Local transport in Fortaleza

Like most of the South American cities, getting around by bus is your best option. The bus system is efficient and covers most areas of the cities running at a frequency of every 10 minutes every day and priced at a minimal fare of BRL 2. Taxis are easily available and are the most convenient method of transport. Taxi drivers here are friendly and honest, all the taxis are metered and rates are generally displayed on rear windows of many taxis. The starting fare for taxis is around BRL 4 and then BRL 2 per kilometre. Car Rental services can be found everywhere, however driving scenes in Brazil are quite crazy and most of the road signs are in Portuguese.

Fortaleza Photos

Fortaleza, Brazil

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FAQs on Fortaleza

What is the best time to visit Fortaleza?

Fortaleza enjoys a tropical climate and hot sunshine throughout the year. The average temperature is mostly same for all months making it an all year round destination. Although, being a tropical city, the climate here is characterised by a dry season with low humidity and wet season with very high humidity. The months from February to May receive downpour and humidity can make you a bit uncomfortable. The dry season from June to December is the best for enjoying ideal conditions for relaxing on the beach or to go sightseeing. The peak season is during the Carnival in spring when finding accommodation can be a big deal, so it is recommended to plan and book in advance. Great deals can be availed on accommodation in the months from September to November.
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What is the local food in Fortaleza?

Get ready to have one of the most delightful experiences as you embark on a mission to treat your taste buds with Brazilian cuisine which gets as varied as its geography and demographics. Fortaleza's close proximity to the Atlantic ocean, semi arid climate and poor soil quality is reflected in its gastronomy, making use of components such as corns and manioc in many regional dishes. Although Brazilian national dish Feijoada and the barbeque Churrasco deserve special attention, Fortaleza is renowned for being a Seafood heaven with Thursdays being Crab days. Coco Bambu at Avenida Beira Mar has earned a reputation for providing the best seafood dishes in the city. If you want to have the local experience then head to the award winning restaurant Colher de Pau which is known for its typical Cearense cuisine. Most of the restaurants can be found in Vajorta neighbourhood.
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What is the best way to reach Fortaleza?

The city of Fortaleza is served by an international airport and a bus station with a network connecting it to all major cities in Brazil. Air travel is by far the best and thus most preferred option to get in the city.
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What are the things to do in Fortaleza?

The top things to do in Fortaleza are Morro Branco, Cachaa Museum, Drago do Mar Centro de Arte e Cultura, Arena CastelÜo, Jose de Alencar Theatre, Metropolitana Cathedral. You can see all the places to visit in Fortaleza here

What are the places near Fortaleza?

The top places near to Fortaleza are London which is 7136 km from Fortaleza, Dubai which is located 10569 km from Fortaleza, Amsterdam which is located 7450 km from Fortaleza, New york city which is located 6118 km from Fortaleza, Bali which is located 16801 km from Fortaleza

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