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A Complete Guide for Things to Do in Florianopolis, Brazil

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Florianopolis? How about wanting to learn why you should visit, or the easiest way to get there?


Florianopolis (also known as Floripa by locals) is one of our favorite places in Brazil. While we thought of it as a hidden gem, it truly is not hidden, and is super popular for vacation amongst locals and Argentinians. Whether you're into a relaxing beach getaway, a trip full of adventure, or some upscale nightlife, you'll find it all in Florianopolis, Brazil.


In this complete travel guide for Florianopolis we're going to share everything you need to know for visiting from how to get there and maneuver around, to a list of all of the fun things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil. Let's jump right in!

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Where is Florianopolis in Brazil?

Florianopolis is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, in the south of Brazil. Located along the coast, this popular island is attached to the mainland by two bridges. Brazil is the biggest country in South America, and takes up the majority of the center and east of the continent.

Where is Florianopolis in Brazil

Florianopolis is located off the coast of Southern Brazil.


How to Get to Florianopolis, Brazil

Florianopolis has an International airport, and it is located just 15 km outside the city center. There are plenty of buses and shuttle service options to get from the airport to the city.


Flying into Florianolis

Domestic cities that fly direct to Florianopolis include Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Campinas, Chapeca, Cordoba, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Foz do Iguazu, Passo Fundo, Pelotas, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Santo Angelo, Sao Paulo, and Uruguaiana.


International cities that fly into Florianopolis include Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rosario, Santa Maria, and Santiago.


Flight Tip: Skyscanner has a calendar option so that you can see which are the cheapest dates for flying to Florianopolis.

Look for a flight to Florianopolis:

Taking a Bus to Florianopolis

Coming from another city in the south of Brazil? Well, you can save a bit of money by taking a bus to Florianopolis, and even book seats that fully recline so that you can sleep.


Here are a few popular routes that you can book:


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Entry Requirements for Brazil

Before traveling anywhere new it's important to keep in mind any requirements you may need to enter. Here are both the visa and Covid requirements to put into consideration when traveling to Florianopolis, Brazil.


Visa Entry Requirements For Brazil

The first time that I traveled to Brazil I actually needed a visa to enter. The last time I went and brought my visa, only to find out that US nationals no longer need them!


The nationalities that are exempt from tourist visas in Brazil include AndorraArgentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Canada, ChileColombiaCosta RicaDenmarkEcuador, Finland, France, GermanyGreece, Japan, Iceland, IrelandItaly, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, San Marino, South Africa, SpainSuriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United StatesUnited Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.


Countries in the Mercosur region don't need to enter with their passport, and can simply bring their ID card. The countries that are included in Mercosur are Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.


Covid Entry Requirements For Brazil

All passengers over the age of 12 need to present either a Covid vaccination, or a negative RT-PCR test. If you are not vaccinated, you must take a test within one day of traveling, and the results must be in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.


Local Adjustments for Traveling to Florianopolis, Brazil

Whenever traveling somewhere new, there are things that may be different from where you are coming from. These are what we like to call "local adjustments". Here are a few to keep in mind while traveling to Florianopolis, Brazil.


What Language is Spoken in Florianopolis, Brazil?

The official language in Brazil is Portuguese. We speak Spanish, and found that there were a decent amount of people that spoke either English or Spanish (particularly Spanish due to the number of tourists from Argentina).


We do suggest learning some of the basics to get by, as in some circumstances you may be able to haggle better if you speak Portuguese.


Do They Speak English in Florianopolis?

We did find some people spoke English in Florianopolis, but it is much easier to get by if you know some Portuguese or Spanish.


Currency Used in Florianopolis

The currency used in Brazil is the Real. Currently (February 2023) the exchange rate is 5.14 Brazilian Real for every 1 USD or Euro, and 6.34 Brazilian Real for every British pound.


Do You Need Cash in Florianopolis?

We found many places throughout Florianopolis accepted credit cards in restaurants and hotels, and even sometimes for tours. We do suggest having some cash on you though for those selling things on the beach, tipping, or other small expenses.


Electrical Outlets in Florianopolis

Brazil is interesting because it actually has a mix of different outlets. The majority are the ones that have two round prongs and a grounding pin, which are for plug types C & N.


We also did find a few places throughout Florianopolis that had international outlets, which accepted both US and European appliances. Brazil operates on a 127/220V supply voltage and 60Hz.


Can You Drink the Water in Florianopolis?

Generally speaking, the water isn't really safe or advised to be consumed in Florianopolis. We suggest buying big jugs of water, and refilling a reusable water bottle so that you can always stay hydrated (it gets pretty hot in Florianopolis!).


Tipping Culture in Florianopolis, Brazil

The tipping culture in Brazil is pretty similar to a lot of countries around the world. We suggest tipping an extra 10% while in restaurants, and to do so in cash.

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Things to Do in Florianopolis, Brazil

Now that you know almost everything you need to know about visiting Brazil, here are the best things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil.


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Things to Do in Florianopolis Pin

Enjoy the Beaches

The number one reason people flock to Florianopolis is for the amazing beaches. There are actually over 40 on the island, so there is something for everyone!


Some of the best beaches in Florianopolis are those that aren't easily accessed- our favorite being Lagoinha do Leste (we'll explain more soon). Another hidden beach that can only be accessed by foot is Praia do Gravata. Our next favorite beach is Mole Beach, as it has a beautiful backdrop of the mountains, and is slightly less crowded than some of the other surrounding beaches.

Mole Beach, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
Mole Beach, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil

Mole Beach is one of the best beaches in Florianopolis, and has parts that are less crowded.

The most crowded beaches with a slew of amenities are Barra da Lagoa, Joaquina, and Armacao. These are the most popular for big families, and groups of friends looking to eat, drink, and do different activities at the beach.


Barra da Lagoa, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
crowded beach, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
Joaquina beach, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil

Some of the beaches in Florianopolis are ridiculously crowded.


Hike to Lagoinha do Leste

Lagoinha do Leste was hands down our favorite beach, as it has an epic viewpoint, and you could really enjoy a relaxing time there since there are far less people there (you can't drive there).


Lagoinha do Leste, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
Lagoinha do Leste, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
Lagoinha do Leste, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil

Lagoinha do Leste is one of the most beautiful beaches in Florianopolis.


You can either reach here by boat or by hiking, and despite the extra efforts, it definitely is worth carving out some time for. We actually have a full travel guide for everything you need to know about visiting, which you can read below.

Check Out the Old Town

While our favorite things to do in Florianopolis are related to nature, the Old Town is worth a stop for just an hour or two. Browse the market, admire the colonial architecture, and look out for all of the cool art in the area. While this certainly wasn't the most impressive part of Florianopolis, it does deserve a visit before leaving.


yellow church in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
yellow church in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
yellow church in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil


Some of the noteworthy buildings to visit include the market, the pink Cruz e Sousa Palace, Mapa Church, and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Florianopolis.

pink building in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
pink building in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
pink building in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil
pink building in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis, Brazil

This is definitely one of the prettiest buildings in Florianopolis.


We also loved the different street art that we found, which you can find on several different buildings.


street art in Florianopolis
street art in Florianopolis


Explore the Cute Towns

Want a happy medium of city and beach town? Well, there are actually two adorable tiny towns that you can check out. Ribeirao de Ilha and Santo Antonio de Lisboa both have colorful buildings and colonial architecture, and make for great places to take a stroll or stop by for a drink or bite to eat.


Colorful town in Floripa, things to do in Florianopolis
Colorful town in Floripa, things to do in Florianopolis
Colorful town in Floripa, things to do in Florianopolis

There are a couple of neighborhoods that have cute and colorful buildings.


Watch the Sunset at Mirante do Morro do Cruz

Looking for the most beautiful view in Florianopolis? Perched up on a hill, Mirante Morro de Cruz overlooks the entire city of Florianopolis, and is super beautiful for sunset especially.


You can visit here by driving up a windy road, or by taking a bus to the top. The viewpoint just takes a minute to get up to, and has almost 360 views of Florianopolis, completely free of charge.

viewpoint in Florianopolis, things to do in Florianopolis

This is the best view of Florianopolis, and is free to visit.

Visit the Sand Dunes and Go Sand boarding

Right nearby some of the popular beaches you can actually fin giant sand dunes! You'll feel like you transported to the desert, and get great views from the top. There are also sand boarding excursions you can sign up for if you'd like. Make sure to wear proper footwear, as the sand gets super hot!


The two different sand dunes are the dunes of Joaquina (right across from the beach), and Dunes Lagoon, which sit right across from Lagoa de Conceicao. They are free of charge, and you can find parking alongside the road nearby.


San Dunes, things to do in Florianopolis
San Dunes, things to do in Florianopolis
San Dunes, things to do in Florianopolis

The Joaquina Sand Dunes give greta views of the surrounding landscapes.

Take a Trip to Campeche Island

This was another one of our favorite things to do in Florianopolis. The Island of Campeche is seriously stunning, and reminded us of Seychelles with its clear waters, fine sand, and giant boulders. To get here you'll need to take a boat excursion. Times are limited to 4 hours, as the island is a protected area, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Island of Campeche, things to do in Florianopolis

One of the most beautiful beaches in Florianopolis is on Campeche Island.

Want to learn more about this little slice of paradise? Make sure to check out our complete guide below.


Go on a Boat Trip

There are so many incredible places to visit in Florianopolis, and there are actually quite a few that can only be accessed by boat! There are quite a few different boat tours that you can choose from.


One of the most popular boat tours is one that takes you down the beautiful canal from Barra da Lagoa, and another one is one that takes you to natural pools.

boat trip, things to do in Florianopolis

There are a bunch of different boat trips that you can take in Florianopolis.

Many of these tours go from Barra da Lagoa or surrounding beach towns, and can be booked online in advance, or in an agency right inside the beach towns.


Book a boat tour in Florianopolis:

Go Paragliding

Being that Florianopolis has a ton of beaches surrounded by big hills, it makes for the perfect place to go paragliding! If you're looking for great views and a fun activity, then this is perfect to add to your list of things to do in Florianopolis.

Paragliding, things to do in Florianopolis

One of the most fun things to do in Florianopolis is paragliding.

Hike to a Waterfall

Did you know that there is actually a waterfall on the island of Florianopolis? Well, it's not actually as accessible as you may think, but is definitely something to add to the list if you've already experienced the highlights of the area.


Cachoeira do Costa da Lagoa is located on the coast of Lagoa da Conceicao, and can only be reached by taking a boat ride to get there. In order to do so, you can grab a boat from right next to Maria & Maria in Barra da Lagoa.


Relax at the Lagoon

The lagoon (Lagoa da Conceicao) is not only great for boat rides, but it is a great place to relax without any waves, as well as grabbing a bite to eat. Restaurants, bars, and shops lines the lake, and you can find plenty of areas to just relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds at the beaches.


lagoa, things to do in Florianopolis
lagoa, things to do in Florianopolis