Santos is in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is partially located on the mainland and partly on the island of Sao Vicente, and has a population of about 433,966 people. It is 79km from the city of Sao Paulo.
The rise of this city was due to the exportation of coffee from the city's main port. You can learn about the key role Santos played in the Brazilian coffee trade by visiting the Museu do Café – here they once negotiated the prices of this sought-after product. There is so much to see and many great things to do in Santos, such as visiting the famous Santos Futebol Clube, and one of Brazil’s first aquariums, the Aquarium Santos. Also in the city is one of the most beautiful beach gardens; it’s actually in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest beachfront garden in the world. Below is our Santos travel guide with information on all the best things to do, places to go and what not to miss.
DOCK MUESEUM – This water front museum is near the dock that was one of the most famous coffee docks in the world. The story is explained about the 19th century coffee business, and how this dock is where the coffee was brought to be shipped around the world.
COFFEE STOCK EXCHANGE – This building was once one of the most important structures in the city for the coffee industry. Now this building has been turned into a museum where people can come and see the history and importance of coffee in Brazil.
AQUARIUM, SANTOS – This is one of Brazil’s first aquariums, and features an abundance of sea creatures from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil.
ORCHID GARDEN AND ZOOBOTANIC GARDEN – This is a beautiful group of gardens that have orchids, as well as animals that are free to wander in the gardens. You can find turtles, toucans and macaws here.
SANTOS FUTEBOL CLUBE – This is the main soccer club in Santos, and where the famous Pele played most of his club games and practiced. There is an exhibit on some of the trophies and famous moments in Brazilian football history.
*** WHAT NOT TO MISS ***
Brazil is known for its coffee, and Santos is known for its history in the coffee business. This is one of the most interesting things to do in Santos. Try out the coffee and learn about its history. There are also some great beaches to go to and relax while you are in the city.
There are plenty of options to choose from for eating out, and lots of places that offer seafood. Coffee is very popular, and there are quite a few cafes that have great coffee and food. There are also some international places that serve international styles of food.
One restaurant to check out is Van Gogh (Rua Floriano Peixoto, 314) which serves a variety of food for a fair price, including pasta, fish, and meat, although it’s the amazing pizzas that this place is famous for.
For a creative menu, try Oca Santos (Rua Azevedo Sodre 155) – the dishes are beautifully presented, and there are also a range of interesting and tasty salads on offer, if you fancy something light to eat.
If you’re craving Lebanese, go to Al Kabir (Rua Jorge Tibirica, 28) – a good choice is the 'festival for two', with which you get a nice selection of different plates, all tasty and bursting with flavour.
Here in Santos you can party all night until the sun comes up! If that isn’t your thing, there are also many theatre shows and cultural events. Try Cadillac Vintage Bar (R. São Bento, 50) for some retro rock and live music. The nostalgic décor will take you back to in time, and there’s a great atmosphere here. Australiano Bar (Avenida Doutor Epitacio Pessoa 117) is also popular, come here for food and beer.
The average temperature in Santos during the Brazilian summer is on average between 23 – 25 degrees Celsius. In the winter months, it drops below 20 degrees Celsius to about an average of about 18 – 19 degrees Celsius. There is rainfall all year round, but the heavy rainfall comes between December and May.
The closest airport is in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is about 1 hour away by bus or car. The Sao Paolo airport flies out to almost every big city in Brazil and South America, as well as serving to many countries internationally. By bus you will also have to come in from Sao Paulo, which again is about 1 hour or so away.
Most of the cheaper places to stay can be found near the beach area or the port of the city. There are some cheap places, but they are not recommended because they tend to be located in unsafe areas. In the centre of the city there are some nicer, higher end places to stay.
One option is Alojaki Hostel (Avenida Marechal Floriano Peixoto 144), which is located in the neighbourhood of Gonzaga, and just a few minutes walk to the beach. Small dorms are available. Santos Hostel (Rua Barao de Paranapiacaba 22) is also close to the beach, and is simple, clean, and cosy. For a reasonably priced hotel, go to Natal Hotel (Av. Marechal Floriano Peixoto 104). This place is modest, but has everything you need, and the staff are friendly. It’s situated just 5 minutes walking distance from Gonzaga Beach.
Always be careful and cautious at night-time, and never walk alone. There are some shady areas of the city that are best to avoid. Always use common sense while touring the city.