Is Recife Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Recife, Brazil
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 67 / 100 based on 3 user reviews.

Recife is the capital of Pernambuco, is one of the largest essential cities on the northeastern coast of Brazil.

This lively capital, initially founded by Dutch colonizers, is brimming with a vibrant culture, a delightful old town.

There are many beautiful beaches, but many of them have a lot of sharks.

Recife is on the Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Capibaribe, Beberibe, and Jordão Rivers, close to the easternmost point of the Americas.

Travelers come here to enjoy the beautiful beaches, see the unique architecture of the city, historic churches, many museums, and other historical buildings.

Warnings & Dangers in Recife

Overall Risk


The city is full of crime and crime. To be safe here, you need to be always on the alert. special security measures must also be taken, do not carry valuables and cash, avoid the streets of Recife after sunset.

Transport & Taxis Risk


It is not safe to travel in public transportation in Recife, for example, on a bus, especially at night. The risk of being mugged is high. Use a licensed taxi to get around the city. Especially at night.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpocketing is the most significant risk for tourists in Recife. Cleaning your pockets and bag snatchers all around - that what you can expect from the city most. Stay alert of your surroundings and the people around you. Do not walk in unlit city streets.

Natural Disasters Risk


The region is prone to droughts - and as a result - to forest fires. But the likelihood of this is low. Floods and landslides are also possible here. Examine the weather and the current situation for natural disasters before you travel here.

Mugging Risk


Recife is famous for its robberies. Armed robberies and reprisals against tourists are not uncommon here. Be extremely vigilant; move around the city only in groups, and avoid the city center at night. In the event of an attack, give the criminals what they demand and contact the police.

Terrorism Risk


Even though in the history of Brasilia, there were no terrorist attacks, the proximity to Venezuela and its conflicts makes it possible to attack the capital of Brazil. Besides, like any capital, the city is especially attractive to terrorists. Be on the alert and avoid political demonstrations.

Scams Risk


Most fraud involves attempting to trick tourists. It can be taxi drivers with a taximeter turned off, parking attendants offering an illegally paid parking place, prostitutes who can add sleeping pills to your drink to rob, credit card skimming (malware to infect point of sales (POS) terminals to capture your card's data and override any PIN.), fake products at low prices. Beware of these scams, and you will be fine.

Women Travelers Risk


Women are not recommended to travel to Recife alone; the risk of getting into trouble is very high. It is better to move around in a group and be sure to take a taxi if you return to the hotel late at night. In a cab, take a back seat to avoid the driver's unwanted harassment.

So... How Safe Is Recife Really?

Recife is a very unsafe city, probably one of the most treacherous in Brazil.

The crime rate here is very high.

The main problems are violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery, high levels of corruption, and drug trafficking.

Robberies on streets and buses are relatively common.

You can have a great time in Recife, but you need to always be on the lookout for your surroundings.

Look around, do not leave things unattended, do not get involved in street disputes, do not walk around the city at night, and alone – these are the rules that are mandatory in this city to remain safe.

While entering or leaving Olinda at dusk or dawn, you have an elevated risk of being ambushed.

Taxis are recommended.

Beware of the unlicensed guides.

Make sure you have the travel itinerary planned out and a price (including meals, fuel, etc.) agreed upon before starting.

Watch out for shark warnings before entering the water at the Boa Viagem beach.

Women traveling alone in a taxi are advised to sit in the back seat to avoid harassment from the driver.

Avoid Recife’s downtown on Sundays.

At that time, the streets are deserted all day long and are very unsafe.

Consider taking a tour to a beach instead.

How Does Recife Compare?

CitySafety Index
Rio de Janeiro43
Sao Paulo45
Porto Alegre21
Belo Horizonte48
Sydney (Australia)80
Tianjin (China)67
Vienna (Austria)88
Shanghai (China)66
Manama (Bahrain)54
Brussels (Belgium)60

Useful Information



Visitors to Brazil must obtain a visa from one of the Brazilian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries. Visas are not required for airport transit, from any nationality, as long as the traveler does not leave the international transit area. A valid passport is a must.



The Brazilian real is the official currency of Brazil since 1994. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. It has a sign: R$ and code: BRL. The Brazilian real is the nineteenth most traded currency in the world by value.



The best time to visit Recife goes from September to February, when it rains less and the humidity is lower. Seawater temperatures remain stable all over the year: around 26.5º minimum in August to 29ºC maximum in April-May.



Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport is the airport serving Recife, Brazil. It located 12 km from the city center. Some of its facilities are shared with the Recife Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Recife Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 29° C
Feb 29° C
Mar 28° C
Apr 28° C
May 27° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 27° C
Oct 28° C
Nov 28° C
Dec 29° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Brazil - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Belo Horizonte48
Porto Alegre21
Rio de Janeiro43
Sao Paulo45

Where to Next?

3 Reviews on Recife

  1. A
    American Tourist says:

    Extremely impoverished place.

  2. R
    Richard Leroy says:

    Go to Recife!!!

    Recife is a beautiful city, full of culture, with a rich gastronomy and paradisiacal beaches. You need to take the necessary precautions as in any Latin American city and avoid some risky situations. Enjoy 🙂

  3. More dangerous than expected

    Too bad i didn’t read but to go to downtown Recife on Sunday. There was an attempt to rob me. Will be a story to tell for years to come and a city never to return to.

Recife Rated 3.33 / 5 based on 3 user reviews.

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