Brazil, the fifth-largest country, occupying almost half of South America is also the fifth most populous country in the world. The Atlantic Ocean on the east of Brazil has given it a 7,491 km long coastline. Originally a colony of Portugal and an empire since 1822, Brazil established itself as a republic in 1889. Currently defined as a Federal Republic, Brazil consists of 26 states and 5,564 municipalities. Most of the state capitals are the largest cities in their respective states. Brazil is characterized by a high level of urbanization, with nearly 8 out of every 10 Brazilians inhabiting the cities. Here we take you on a tour to some of the major cities of Brazil. Come along!
Located in the central-west region of Brazil, Brasilia is the country's capital since 1960. Its architecture and town planning has influenced many urban areas that developed in the 20th century. Interestingly, when seen from above, the shape of the planned part of this city resembles that of a butterfly. Brasilia is home to about 2,557,000 people. Many Brazilian companies are headquartered in Brasilia. This major city of Brazil finds a place in the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
Rio de Janeiro
Literally meaning, 'River of January', Rio de Janeiro is the second-largest city of Brazil and South America. The city is the capital of Rio de Janeiro state. It was the national capital for two centuries and an independent nation for over 130 years. Rio houses Christ the Redeemer, a giant statue of Jesus, which is one of the New seven wonders of the world. Maracana stadium, the largest football stadium in the world and Sambodromo, a gigantic parade stand are some of the other important landmarks of Rio de Janeiro. The year-round carnivals and hotel-lined beaches are some of the tourist attractions of Rio. Ironically, it is also among the most violent cities in the world.
Founded in 1669, as the Fort of Sao Jose do Rio Negro, Manaus developed into a town in 1832 and was named 'Manaus', meaning 'Mother of the gods' in honor of the nation of Manaus. Since 1848, Manaus has been formally recognized as a city. It is the second-largest metropolitan area in Northern Brazil with a population of 1.71 million. Today, Manaus is the most influential city of Brazil.
Salvador is the capital of Bahia state located on the northeastern coast of Brazil. Due to the happy-go-lucky nature of the inhabitants and their active participation in celebrations and carnivals, Salvador is often referred to as the Brazil's capital of happiness. It is the third-most populous city in Brazil, and its metropolitan area is considered as the wealthiest in the north-eastern region of the country. A major portion of Salvador's population has a Black African ancestry. Perhaps, this is the reason behind the influence of Africans on many aspects of Salvador's culture. Apart from being an important city in Brazil, Salvador is also the oldest city in Brazil.
It is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil. Located at the confluence of Rivers Beberibe and Capibaribe, it is a major port in the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the presence of many rivers and bridges, the city has been nicknamed as 'Brazilian Venice'. Recife is the second-largest medical center of Brazil, a well-known educational center, and an upcoming tourist attraction. The growth of electronics, food, and other industries, has made it the most important commercial center of Brazil.
Located in southeastern Brazil, between Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is the country's most populous city. It is also the world's 12th largest city by population. Capital of the state of Sao Paulo, it houses many important museums, monuments, and parks, thus making it a major economic and cultural center. It is also known as Sampa or Terra da Garoa (Land of Drizzle). It was expected to rank third after London and Mexico City in terms of economic growth between 2011 and 2025. It has the largest economy by GDP in Latin America and Southern Hemisphere. Home to immigrants from all parts of the world, it is a multicultural city known for its diversity.
A trip to Brazil is incomplete without a visit to Brazil's famous cities like these and places such as Fortaleza, Santa Catarina, and Minas Gerais, housing some of the important historic landmarks of Brazil. So when are you planning your next vacation to this country?