Florianopolis is the capital of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina and stretches out over 54km of pristine sandy coastline, making it a top destination for beach-lovers.
Florianopolis is a unique destination that’s part island and part mainland Brazil. It has an extensive coastline, which is made up of countless beaches and cliffs. Yet, the ocean isn’t the only nature you can expect to find in this Brazilian city, as it is also home to a forest made up of protected pines, sandy dunes, and towering mountains. This idyllic destination, nestled between the ocean and mountains, is the perfect place to escape to if you’re tired of the busy urban life and are seeking a slower pace of life. With that said, there is still a buzzing city center and plenty of nightlife to be enjoyed in the capital of Santa Catarina. So whether you enjoy long walks along the beach and epic hikes, or you’re more of a city dweller, you’ll find plenty to stick around for in Florianopolis.
Where to live in Florianopolis
Due to Florianopolis’ interesting location, which makes it half mainland and half Santa Catarina island, accommodation options are varied. One thing is for sure, though: the best properties will have breathtaking views over the surrounding nature and ocean. The city may have a slightly quirky sprawled layout, but each district offers up a distinct flavor so you can find the perfect environment for your needs.
Best Neighborhoods in Florianopolis
Frequently touted as the best neighborhoods in Florianopolis are Santo Antonio de Lisboa, Costa da Lagoa, Centro, and Canasvieiras. Centro offers everything you’d expect from a metropolis, including the city’s best nightlife and a relaxing waterfront area, which is home to many fine-dining restaurants and lively bars. Alternatively, you have districts like Costa da Lagoa, the southernmost neighborhood right on the oceanfront with plenty to see and do.
Quick Facts About FlorianopolisFlorianopolis is an odd proposition with its interesting layout, yet there’s so much more to it beyond its geography. It’s a city that advocates both a slow pace of life with its beaches but also invites party-goers with its lively nightlife. Here are some quick facts to help you get to know the city better:
Home to several pristine beachesFlorianopolis is home to several large bodies of water, including the grand Lagoon of Conceição, which is one of its most visited natural attractions. There’s also a canal that takes the water from the lagoon to the ocean and many pristine beaches along the coast, such as Praia Mole and Joaquina Beach.
It’s part island and part mainland BrazilThe city of Florianopolis spreads out across Santa Catarina island, several small islands, and mainland Brazil. This means it’s an inland, coastal, and island city all at the same time.
It’s known as the Magic IslandFlorianopolis is known as the Magic Island, which is mostly due to its popularity in Brazil. This is a city with some of the best beaches and nightlife in the whole country, as well as one of the lowest crime rates nationwide and a high Human Development Index score.
It’s a popular party destinationFlorianopolis doesn’t just have a lively nightlife scene, but it’s known for it. So much so that The New York Times awarded it the title of ‘Party Destination of the Year’ back in 2009.
It’s the surf capital of BrazilIf you love nothing more than catching a wave, then you’ll be pleased to know that Florianopolis has a reputation as the surf capital of Brazil. Even if you’ve never tried the water sport before, there are many beginner classes and surfboards to rent in the city.
You can find Portuguese architecture in nearby villagesBoth Riberão da Ilha in the south of the island and Santo Antonio de Lisboa in the north are home to stunning colonial Portuguese architecture. Both villages are home to vibrant colors and striking buildings.
There are epic hikes all aroundThe Lagoinha do Leste is an absolutely stunning beach that’s a two-hour hike from the city. Once you arrive, you’ll be treated to luscious rainforest surrounding the isolated beach.
It’s one of the best places to live in BrazilWhile there are some truly stunning destinations in Brazil, Florianopolis might just claim the top spot as far as places to live go. This is backed up by a Brazilian publication called Veja, which once described the city as ‘the best place to live in Brazil.’
Work in Florianopolis
There are several job opportunities in Florianopolis and top employers, so even if you don’t have a solid grasp of Portuguese, you might still be able to find work. The top employers of the Santa Catarina capital are health technology giants Philips, multinational technology and consultancy corporation Capgemini, and huge supermarket chain Walmart. There should be something for you on the island to keep a steady cash flow, but remote work is also possible.
How good is Florianopolis for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Florianopolis. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Florianopolis for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedIn Florianopolis, the average download speed is 24Mbps, while the upload speed on average is 9.9Mbps. The average internet speed in Florianopolis is good but not great, with its upload speed much better than download speed.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsIt’s always nice to have the option of working from a coffee shop if you’re a digital nomad, as it can be a welcome break from working at home. Here are the tops spots for working in Florianopolis: Leeds Cafe: Leeds Cafe is a large space with healthy breakfast options and fast Wi-Fi. There’s also a garden out the back, which is perfect for a breather. Family Coffee: Family Coffee is a great spot for getting comfortable as you work away on a project. Here you can find like-minded people and network if you want to. Cafe Cultura: Cafe Cultura is a popular coffee shop for remote workers and digital nomads. It has all of the comforts of a big coffee chain but all the charm of an independent cafe.
Coworking SpacesCoworking spaces can be essential for getting work done as a digital nomad, so it’s always good to know what your options are. Here are the top-rated options in Florianopolis: Rosemary Dream: Rosemary Dream is part international community and part coworking space. It’s a relaxed spot to hang out with fantastic views and plenty of like-minded people to chat with. O Sitio: O Sitio is a more conventional coworking space, but what makes it special is its monthly events and courses. Here you’ll find everything from indoor office space to outdoor spots, so you can work in the way that suits you. Favo Coworking: Favo Coworking is the most traditional coworking space on this list, with all the facilities you’d expect. It has a comfortable atmosphere with plenty of rooms and office spaces to choose from. All of these coworking spaces offer something a little bit different; from monthly events to international meetups, you’ll be able to better integrate into the city with these expat-friendly spots.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsThere are many reasons why Florianopolis can be considered an excellent city to settle for a digital nomad. It offers both a slow and fast pace of life, depending on whether you enjoy hours spent at the beach or prefer to party away the night in bars and clubs. That means it’s easy to unwind after a hard day of work since your options are countless. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even hike to one of the more remote beaches or explore a new area of the island. Island life is always portrayed as idyllic to an extent, but by all accounts, Florianopolis really does fit the bill as an island paradise.
Visa RequirementsWhile there are several visa options for staying in Brazil for a short period of time, if you want to move to Florianopolis, you’ll need to acquire a permanent visa. There are three conditions for obtaining such a visa; you either have to have family in Brazil, be seeking retirement in the country, or be a foreign investor. The most popular way to move to Brazil is as a foreign investor or manager of a start-up company; for the former, you must invest at least R$150,000 in a Brazilian company or in real estate. For the latter, you need to have a company that has been doing business for at least five years in another country.
Food and Drink in Florianopolis
While the city is more famed for its nightlife than its gastronomy, there is one great thing about eating out in Florianopolis - more often than not, you’ll have a view over the ocean. A prime example of an outdoor restaurant with stunning ocean views is Pier 54, which has been open since 1999 and offers up some of the best seafood dishes on the island. Or there’s Ostradamus if you’re a fan of oysters, which is a harbor restaurant with a private pier for an intimate dinner right by the water. For the meat-eaters, no trip to Brazil would be complete without a visit to a Churrascaria, which serves up delicious meat by the skewer. For this, we recommend Ataliba Churrascaria in the center of the city. For nightlife, where do we even begin. There’s the hugely popular P12 beach club frequented by top DJs like David Guetta, Milk, another club known for high-profile guests, and Cafe de la Musique, which is for all the international party-goers looking to dance the night away.
Top 6 Things To Do in Florianopolis
If you come to Florianopolis expecting a few beaches, blue skies, and beautiful nature, you won’t be disappointed. Yet once you get to know the city on a deeper level, you’ll uncover so much more. There’s the large lagoon, the colorful Portuguese architecture, and boat trips. Mountain ranges and sandy dunes, pristine sandy beaches, and sheer cliff faces. Remote spots surrounded by lush rainforest and an urban metropolis with more nighttime atmosphere than most other Brazilian cities. Then there’s some of the best surfing in the whole country, available to both experienced surfers and complete beginners.
Centro Histórico de Florianópolis
Praça XV de Novembro - Centro, Florianópolis
Santa Catarina Art Museum
Av. Gov. Irineu Bornhausen, 5600 - Agronômica, Florianópolis
Mercado Público de Florianópolis
R. Jerônimo Coelho, 60 - Centro, Florianópolis
Projeto TAMAR Florianópolis
R. Prof. Ademir Francisco, s/n - Barra da Lagoa, Florianópolis
Rio Vermelho State Park
Rod. João Gualberto Soares, s/n - São João do Rio Vermelho, Florianópolis
Track Costa da Lagoa
R. João Henrique Gonçalves, 1736 - Lagoa da Conceição, Florianópolis