Most foreign visitors usually head straight to the beach, often completely bypassing the city's historical centre. And that's a shame because whilst Fortaleza may not be Brazil's most beautiful city, its charming centro more than makes up for that with a lot of character and several worthwhile attractions. Go in search of the city’s Dutch roots, visit an art deco theatre or combine art and nightlife in the ‘Sea Dragon’ cultural centre.
Experience the real hustle and bustle of Fortaleza's city centre. Fortalezenzes go about their daily shopping in the busy maze of narrow streets around the cathedral, while bar owners scrub their front steps. Buy a hammock at the Centro de Turismo in the former jail, stroll through the 19th-century Passeio Público park or relax on a bench under the palm trees at Praça do Ferreira square. Please note: after the shops close in the evening, the city centre is deserted and unsafe except for the bustling nightlife district around the Dragão do Mar.