Olinda is a very small town in the metropolitan area of Recife. It was built by the Portuguese before Recife was, but like Ouro Preto in Minas it is on hilly ground, so had a limit to it’s expansion, unlike Recife which is on very flat ground.
Olinda is great because it’s full of beautiful churches and convents, but there’s music all over the place due to the carnival preparations that were happening. It’s meant to have one of the best carnivals in the country, and they’re very proud of it. One Friday evening, a band came through the sqaure where we were having dinner, and then on our way home the carnival ‘escola’ or group near our hotel was having a public rehearsal. An 80 or so year old woman belting out carnival beats with everyone dancing around her is something to see!
I would recommend just walking around the town, the Alto da Sé and Convento de São Francisco are lovely, and both very Portuguese. The picture above is of the Convent, and you can see the typical Portuguese tiles.
Also worth a mention is the hotel we stayed in, which was called Eco Olinda B&B. The owner doesn’t speak English, but she has the most amazing gardens, lovely rooms and the most incredible breakfast you can imagine! She is so kind and welcoming, we had an amazing time there. Her house is about 10 minutes from the Alto da Sé on a very quiet road. Definitely worth a stay!
We also went to the Oficina do Sabor for my Mum’s birthday, the service was pretty bad, but the food was scrumptious, we had a pumpkin stuffed with shrimp and spinach rice and I had passionfruit mousse for desert. I also got excited at the extensive wine list, as wine is something you don’t get that often in Brazil.
Olinda’s historic town is beautiful so just wander around and appreciate the coloured houses! Also, go around in the evening, especially on Friday, the atmosphere is great even if you don’t feel like having a caipirinha or three! And if you have the money head to Oficina do Sabor.