Santos Travel Guide

Photo of Santos

Santos Overview

The beachside city of Santos sits on the island of Sao Vicente in Brazils southern state of Sao Paulo. Founded way back in 1546, it is one of South Americas oldest cities and famed for being the continents principal port and also the place where the countrys most famous son, Pele, grew to prominence and put his football genius on the world map. Today, Santos is a popular tourist destination of beaches, coffee and football.

 
By Brazilian standards, Santos is by no means overwhelming and a destination allowing the freedom to explore. Dominating the city are two distinct landmarks, Monte Serrat Hill and the beach garden, the latter of which has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Stretching for over 5km from Ponta da Praia to Sao Vicente beach, the beach garden is a colourful esplanade of landscape gardens and abundant flora running alongside the urban beaches. The beaches themselves are not the most beautiful in Brazil; however the garden is a great place to walk and experience the life of the local food and handicraft vendors. Back in town, take a stroll along downtowns R Quinze de Novembro street, sit in a café and admire the colonial buildings that were once used as offices by the Coffee Lords of Santos.
 
Santos is located just over an hour from Sao Paulo and buses and taxis are readily available for trips between the two. From Sao Paulo connections can be found for destinations all across the country. Getting around Santos is generally stress free, with friendly taxi drivers and an easy to negotiate bus system. An alternative and enjoyable way to get around is on the Tourist Tram Line that, dating back to 1861 that runs between the streets and plazas of the citys historic centre.

Things to do in Santos

Museums in Santos

With its close proximity to the ocean and historical harbor, the city of Santos has a rich history which is showcased in some great museums. Check out the Museum of Coffee, complete with the original auction rooms used by the old brokers, and see how coffee is prepared before export. The Museu do Mar is another interesting place with displays of numerous marine animals, corals and shells.
 
Santos Futebol Club - Visit the home of one of Brazils most famous clubs, put on the world map by the legendary Pele who played almost his entire record breaking career here. Tours of the stadium are available, showcasing the clubs history and displaying some memorable trophies of past and present. If around town during the football season then check out a game and soak up the electric atmosphere.
 
Monte Serrat Hill - Rising out of the city centre, Monte Serrat Hill is a wonderful place to escape the crowds and appreciate the spectacular 360 views across the bay. At the top are some restaurants and coffee shops and a chapel dating back to 1603. The hill can be reached on foot or via the funicular tram.
 
Aquario Municipal - Good collection of marine life and the interesting Museu de Pesca.
 
Nightlife - Bars in Santos are generally lively and moving to samba beats, beer and caipirinha. Good areas to check out are Ponta da Praia, at the east end of the bay, and the Gonzaga district. The BeachGarden is also packed with cafés and beach restaurants. Definitely worth a look are Barao do Café and Bar Heinz.

Hotels in Santos

Ritz Hotel - Comfortable motel-like rooms in the city centre. Tel (55) 13 3284 1171.

Hotel Praiano - Good value rooms next to Praca Washington. Tel (55) 13 3237 4033.
Atlantico Hotel - Basic rooms in a superb old mansion overlooking the beach. Tel (55) 13 3289 4500.
Mendes Panorama Hotel - Business orientated hotel with contemporary rooms and good facilities. Tel (55) 13 3208 6500.
Plaza Mendes Hotel - Stylish hotel with a range of rooms and suites. Tel (55) 13 3205 6400.
Atlantico Inn - Clean standard rooms a few blocks back from the beach road. Tel (55) 13 3289 4700.
Hotel Parque Balneario - Superb hotel, bar, restaurant and entertainment for those who can afford it. Tel (55) 13 3285 6900.

Santos Weather

Santos Travel Resources

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