Florianópolis is an island city of different villages. It can be hard to know which one will suit you. Here are our favourites to help you decide.
Lagoa da Conceição
Best for: Beach lovers, hippies, young people who like to be surrounded by nightlife, a bit of a buzz, and of course, the beauty of nature.
Pros: There are plenty of funky restaurants, bars and cafés to explore. If you like to walk along the beach or jog along the water’s edge, this is an ideal neighbourhood for you. It is also close to some of the island’s best surf beaches, in particular Praia Mole, which is spectacular. While Lagoa da Conceição is the busy heart of the island, there are many quiet spots you can retreat to if you so wish. The nearby neighbourhood of Canto da Lagoa is more tranquil, with a few restaurants, a small supermarket and lots of beautiful homes and forested mountains.
Cons: During high season, this area is packed with tourists and traffic, all making their way to the east coast of the island. It is common to wait for an hour in traffic each way during summer.
Best for: Families, people who want to be near the water but far from the crowds, lovers of samba. This hidden gem is full of waterside restaurants – the more upscale eateries can be found in the neighbouring suburb of Santo Antônio de Lisboa. The beaches here have calm waters and face towards the mainland, making for beautiful views. A great place to walk your dog or have a beer beneath the shade of a mango tree.
Pros: It’s relatively peaceful, has many lovely homes and great places to relax.
Cons: It can be a little far away from the centre of town, but there is a regular bus service, or you can take an Uber, which shouldn’t cost very much. But this is the kind of neighbourhood that is most convenient for those who have a car.
Best for: Wealthy families and beach lovers. Florianópolis’ answer to Beverly Hills, this is the most upscale neighbourhood on the island, full of enormous, expensive mansions and a glorious stretch of coastline.
Pros: The homes here are some of the best you’ll find in all of Brazil. There are some lovely restaurants and bars in which to relax. During summer this area comes alive with parties and foreign visitors. The beaches on the north of the island are spectacular.
Cons: It is an expensive place to live, although neighbouring suburbs like Canasvieiras can be cheaper alternatives, albeit without the same glamour. It is also a long way from the centre of the city, but regular buses will take you there, or you can take taxis or an Uber. If you can afford to live in Jurerê, you should have no problem paying for transport! If you are staying here in summer, we hope you like crowds!
Best for: Beach lovers, young families, people looking to relax. Campeche is in the south of the island, and has one of the most beautiful stretches of beach to be found in Florianópolis. There’s also an island off the coast that you can visit, which is wonderful in the summer. There are bars and restaurants on the beach, and on your way into the town there is a main street filled with shops and a supermarket, so it has everything you need. It is also not far from the centre of the city.
Pros: The beach is beautiful, there are affordable places to live and it offers a lovely, relaxed lifestyle. It’s great for families or people who want to live a quiet life by the sea.
Cons: Like most beach places in Floripa, it becomes very busy in summer. Also, the biggest con with this neighbourhood is that traffic can be a nightmare, making it almost impossible to get out of here during the summer months. Roadworks are currently in process to help solve this problem, but for now, you can expect to sit in traffic for upwards of 20 minutes every time you want to leave Campeche and head north.
Best for: Families who like lots of space, peace and quiet and living close to the city and the large shopping centres. This area has a large nature park, plus many bars, restaurants and shops to enjoy. It’s close to town, but also has a relaxed, suburban feel once you get away from the main streets.
Pros: There are lots of lovely houses here, it’s well serviced by public transport and is close to large shopping centres, like Iguatemi. If you love nature, go and explore the beautiful Parque Municipal do Córrego Grande.
Cons: There aren’t many cons with this part of town!
Barra da Lagoa
Best for: Beach and nature lovers, people wanting to get away from the touristy nature of Lagoa da Conceição while still being surrounded by bars, restaurants and activity.
Pros: The beaches here are wonderful, with popular Praia Mole and secluded Praia da Galheta to your south, and the impossibly long and often deserted Praia do Moçambique to your north. There’s also a canal which connect the lagoa to the sea, and you’ll find some lovely waterside restaurants and bars here too.
Cons: The traffic in summer is likely to be your biggest problem with this part of town. Also, while it is serviced by buses, it can take some time and waiting around to get into the city, so keep that in mind.
Best for: Families, people on a budget, young people, people who like bars, restaurants and want to explore the continent. This is the vibrant waterfront strip on the continent, just a left turn over the bridge as you leave the island.
Pros: This neighbourhood is quiet during the day, but at night comes alive as people flock to the excellent bars and restaurants along the water. There are plenty of great places to choose from and some great apartments and houses to choose from.
Cons: Being on the continent, you will have to contend with traffic going over the bridge, which is busy in the mornings (heading to the island) and in the afternoons (leaving the island). It is well serviced by buses but better if you have a car. Life on the continent is a little poorer, a little rougher around the edges, but don’t let that put you off! This area is still just as safe and as organised as you’ll find on the island.
Of course there are many other wonderful neighbourhoods to explore in Florianópolis. Take a look at our handy city map, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please post them in the comments below!