View of Praça dos Namorados and Curva da Jurema Beach with the Third Bridge and the "Convento da Penha" in the background
Vitória, the small and cozy capital of Espírito Santo, is a city on the southeast coast of Brazil, famous for its beaches and culture, and for its proximity from many other touristic destinations in the state. Most of the city's neighborhoods are surrounded by parks and forests and many cultural events add an extra bliss to the city throughout the year. One might also consider staying in a hotel in Vitória while visiting nearby cities and regions of interest during the day like Vila Velha, Guarapari, Domingos Martins, or Serra, all of them with many attractions less than 2 hours away by car or bus. Vitória is also a perfect stop for travelers planning to go from the state of Rio de Janeiro or east of Minas Gerais by bus or car to beach destinations in the south of Bahia, like Prado, Caravelas and Abrolhos, or even Porto Seguro.
Founded in 1551, is the third oldest capital of Brazil, after Salvador and Recife. For a long time it was only a ‘city-port’, suffering various French, British and Dutch attacks, after sugar and ‘pau-brasil’.
Its name is attributed to a victory over the native Indians, when, seeking refuge, the Portuguese fled to the island, and then achieved victory, renaming the village, at the time known only as “Vila Nova”, to “Vila Nova da Vitória”. It has many nicknames, like Ilha do Mel (Honey Island), Cidade Sol (Sun City) and others. It's often referred by the locals as simply "VIX" (the IATA code for its airport).
It is located in the southeastern region of Brazil, the most developed in the country. The location is strategic, close to the big urban centers, and it is, in average, one hour away by plane from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
Circled by the Bay of Vitória, the main island has mangroves, beaches, granite formations and many smaller islands.
The municipality of Vitória is made of an archipelago with 34 islands and a continental area. Its total area is 104 km2, including the main island, the continental area, the coastal islands and the oceanic islands of Trindade and Martin Vaz. It used to have more than 50 islands, but now many of them have been incorporated, by landfills, to the main island.
The highest point is the Maciço da Fonte Grande, a granite formation 309 meters tall, and then there is the Pedra dos (Dois) Olhos, 296 meters tall.
The climate is tropical humid, with a maximum average temperature of 30,4ºC and a minimum of 24ºC, with most of the rainfall in the months between October and January.
Vitória Airport (VIX) - also known as Eurico Salles Airport - is located near the north end of Camburi beach. It's about 10 minutes by taxi to most hotels and served by many bus lines. It receives daily flights from most state capitals in the country, mostly via Rio de Janeiro (the nearest gateway), São Paulo, Belo Horizonte or Salvador.
Among the main airlines serving the airport are TAM, Gol and Azul.
The bus line 212 direction Aeroporto / B.Mar x Mario Cyprestes takes you from the airport via the Camburi beach, the port and the city center to the main bus station in 50-60 minutes.
Vitória's long-distance bus station is downtown, also with many bus lines serving it. There are many buses arriving and leaving during the day from cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Brasília and others. It's around 20 minutes away from most of the hotels by taxi and 30 to 35 minutes by bus.
The bus 212 Aeroporto / B.Mar x Mario Cyprestes takes you from the bus station via the city center, the port and the Camburi beach to the airport in 50-60 minutes.
The bus trip from Rio de Janeiro takes about 8 hours, and from São Paulo some 14 hours, but most of the bus times are at night, making the trip not as tiring and time-wasting.
The two main roads are the BR-101, which runs south-north just inland of the coast, linking Vitória to Rio de Janeiro, to the south, and Salvador, to the north, and BR-262, that runs east-west, leaving Vitória and going to Belo Horizonte. Another road, local highway 60, runs along the coast southward to Guarapari.
The website Ponto Vitória (in Portuguese) lists bus connections in the city. For Transcol buses, which cross city boundaries connecting the whole Grande Vitória metropolitanean area, please check CETURB (in Portuguese). Prices are R$2.45 per fare. Transfers at the terminals (eg Terminal Ibes, Terminal Vila Velha, etc) are free.
Parque Pedra da Cebola - Located in the Jardim da Penha neighborhood near the university, the centerpiece of this park is an unusual rock formation. A popular place for local couples to hang out. There is a mini farm and wild animals all around the park. It's a great place for a picnic or to practice sports (soccer, baseball and softball courts available)
Parque da Fonte Grande - Located in the central portion of the island, this is the biggest park of Vitória, preserving an important remaining area of the Atlantic Forest. Visitors can choose from many planned walks inside the forest and spot native animals such as snakes, small mammals, and many species of birds. The area's highlight is its 309m high mountain from which you can appreciate beautiful views from Vitória and nearby cities. To get there from the neighborhood of Praia do Canto, take the direction of Maruípe and make a right turn on the Police Station Headquartes, towards Serafim Derenzi Road. From there, just keep going straight ahead until you see the sign to get in the park. The route should take 15 minutes by car. The park is open from tuesday to sunday, from 8am to 5pm.
Praça dos Namorados - A very long beachside park that runs from the yacht club at Praia do Canto all the way down to Curva da Jurema near Shopping Vitória.
Catedral Metropolitana, Vitória's cathedral, dates from 1551. Located in downtown.
Capela de Santa Luzia, near the cathedral, is Vitória's oldest religious building. Open weekdays 8AM to 6 PM. Tel.(27)3222-3219
Convento da Penha - Just across the Terceira Ponte (Third Bridge), in Vila Velha (Espírito Santo) is this hilltop Franciscan convent dating from the 16th century.
Paneleiras de Goiabeiras, You must visit where the Paneleiras make the world known panelas de barro (clay pans). Rua das Paneleiras, n°55 - Goiabeiras - Vitória/ES Tel.(27)3327-0519.
Museu Solar Monjardim, Great museum showing how life was like back in the XIX century. Avenida Paulino Müller, s/n - Jucutuquara - Vitória/ES Tel.(27)3322-4807.
Praça do Papa, It's a great open area by Vitória Bay with a restaurant overseeing the city of Vila Velha and the beautiful Convento da Penha. You will also find the Monumento do Papa which was built when the pope visited and celebrated a mass service in the City.
Praia do Canto, This neighborhood is also known as an open air mall. You will find great stores, spas and treat yourself with some fresh coconut water from the street vendors while people watching.
City Parks, Vitória has an unique park/green area in every neighborhood. They built these parks so the citizens can go into a peaceful place and to feel like they are out of the city. In must of the parks you will find mini farms/zoos, wild animals freely walking around you...
UFES, This is the Federal University of Espirito Santo in the morning you can walk around and see the university don't be surprise if you see monkeys, snakes and beautiful birds while doing so. There is also a great planetarium which is free of charge but with limited hours I would suggest you to call them before heading there (27) 4009-2489. At night students throw outdoor parties and concerts which brings a great crowd. There is also a great movie theater (Cine Metropolis (27) 3335-2376) which plays great independent movies. If you like theater plays you may enjoy a play at the Teatro Universitário da UFES (27) 3335-2953.
Cine Metrópolis, 1 movie theater. Av. Fernando Ferrari, s/n, Ufes, Campus de Goiabeiras (27) 3335-2376
Cine Jardins, 2 movie theaters. Av. Anísio Fernandes Coelho nº 453 Jardim da Penha Shopping Jardins (27) 3350-2002
Cinemagic, 4 movie theaters. Av. José Maria Vivacqua Santos, n° 400 Jardim Camburi Shopping Norte Sul (27) 3024-6601
Cinemark, 8 movie theaters. Av. Américo Buaiz, 200, loja A15 Shopping Vitória (27) 3324-5973
At UFES (Federal University of Espírito Santo) , one can find Portuguese courses for foreigners at its Language Center . There are beginners and intermediate courses, and each level takes 1 semester.
A panela de barro, a traditionally-made clay pot used for cooking moqueca capixaba.
Shopping Vitória, With over 350 stores and 8 movie theaters this mall is visited by over 1.200,000 people monthly. Av. Américo Buaiz, , 200 - Enseada do Suá (27) 3335-1000 is a fairly standard shopping mall located near the Terceira Ponte.
Shopping Norte Sul, Much smaller mall with 110 stores and 4 movie theaters its visited by over 55,000 people weekly. Avenida Norte Sul - Jardim Camburi (27) 3317-4040
Shopping Jardins, A neighborhood mall with 30 stores and 2 movie theaters its well visited by locals as it also has offices on top of it providing convenient services to locals. Rua Carlos Eduardo Monteiro de Lemos, 262 - Jardim da Penha (27) 3314-5000
Shopping Rio Branco, This mall is known for the Design mall with 54 stores focusing on interior design and architecture. Avenida Rio Branco, 274 - Santa Lúcia (27) 3285-4376
Vitória Decor, 9 stores focusing on interior design and home technologies. Rua Elias Tommasi Sobrinho, 274 Santa Lúcia (27) 3204-3307
Shopping Centro da Praia, one of the oldest malls in Vitória you will find some great clothing and jewelry stores. On top of the shopping center there is a hotel and an office building. Av. Ns. da Penha, 570 - Praia do Canto (27) 3225-020
Shopping Boulevard da Praia, one of the oldest malls in the city you can find some tech, clothing and service (hair and nail saloon...) stores. On top of the shopping center there is a residential building. Av. Ns. da Penha, 356 - Praia do Canto (27) 3315-6727
Tiffany Center, you will find some great clothing stores and travel agencies. The shopping center also has an office building. Av. Ns. da Penha, 595 - Praia do Canto (27) 3345-6993
Just south of Camburi is the Praia do Canto neighborhood, where you will find a couple of streets lined with restaurants of all types.
On the northwest part of the island, Ilha das Caieiras, situated near the mangrove forests, are the traditional Moqueca Capixaba restaurants, cooked with seafood from the very mangroves and Vitória bay, catched by the local fishermen.
Get there specially on the weekend for lunch along with capixabas from all metropolitan area.
If you're not able or willing to get out of the living center of Vitória, its easy to find the nice local food Moqueca at good traditional restaurants like Pirão (Praia do Canto); Geraldinho (Praia do Canto); and the most traditional one Restaurante São Pedro (located at the traditional neighborhood Praia do Suá)
Enjoy the real Italian cuisine, taking advantage from the Italian legacy in Espírito Santo, in Oriundi Restaurant (Santa Lúcia); Cantina do Bacco (Jardim da Penha); La Pasta Gialla Restaurant (Praia do Canto); O Mercador Restaurant (Praia do Canto); Vero Ristorante (Praia do Canto); and others.
Also can get a nice meat from south american neighbor Argentina at Argento Restaurant, located in Praia do Canto too.
Triángulo das Bermudas. This area between Joaquim Lírio and João da Cruz streets in Praia do Canto has a lot of bars and restaurants that are very popular, particularly on the weekends.
Rua da Lama, just west of the Camburi beach, near the federal university, there´s a string of bars commonly known as "rua tha Lama", very well attended by university students and the alternative tribes in the city.
On most nights, there are live music events on the beach at Curva da Jurema. Music varies and there are plenty of drink kiosks to keep people happy.
Wunderbar Kaffee. In the corner of Rio Branco and Chapot Presvot streets there is this delicious bar with great beers (Brazilian and foreign), excellent music (jazz, "chorinho", "bossa nova", Brazilian world music) and good food (German and Brazilian). Rio Branco Street, 1305 - Lj 4 - Praia do Canto, phone (27) 3227-4331
São Firmino Botequim, Capacity: 800 - DJ. Av. Nossa Senhora da Penha, 1297 - Santa Lúcia (27) 3201-6600
Adega Sertaneja, Country Club - Live Music / DJ. Rua Neves Armond, 210 - Praia do Suá (27) 3315-1364
Armazém Club, Country Club - Live Music. Avenida Judith Leão Castello Ribeiro , 360 - Jardim Camburi (27) 3337-1828
Move Music, Electronic/LGBT - DJ. Avenida Adalberto Simão Nader, 387 - Mata da Praia (27) 3314-5968
Ilha Shows, Capicity: 4,000 - DJ / Live Music. Alameda Ponta Formosa, 350 - Praia do Canto (27) 3224-3726
Pousada da Praia, Av. Saturnino de Brito, 1500 - Praia do Canto, Tel.(27) 3225-0233. This reasonably-priced pousada sits on a small peninsula that juts out from the south side of the river at the south end of Camburi. The rooms are nothing special, but this place has great views of the bay, free breakfast, and you might even get a free invitation to a forró dance held there if you happen to stay over a weekend.
Onça da Praia - Hostel, Avenida Saturnino Rangel Mauro, 525 , 29062-030 Vitória, Brazil, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. 55.27.9707.9748. GPS: -20.290799, -40.294030.  A new Hostel and first in the city of Vitória, is surrounded by trees and birds that live free and live among the hostel. The Hostel was inspired by the cultural miscegenation of the Latino American. Within a kilometer radius one can find Camburi beach, many bars, nightclubs and entertainment centers. Washing machine, free breakfast, local reggae music, and clean restrooms are all features of this new 36 bed hostel.
Important phone numbers:
156 - request or information on local city services
194 - Federal Police
197 - Local Police
190 - State Police
193 - Fire Departament
192 - Local Ambulance/Emergency line
27-3382-6000 - City Hall
27-3327-8879 - Airport
27-3203-3666 - Bus Terminal
Crime and other hazards in Vitória are low for a major Brazilian city but just like any major city always remember to take some precocious.
Some neighborhoods (especially São Pedro, Santo Antônio and region) are more dangerous than average, and extra care should be taken there. It is even better to avoid walking in these areas at night if possible. Still, the biggest threats for tourists in Vitória are mostly pickpockets.
The safest places to have a night on the town is definitely in the Praia do Canto neighborhood with an upscale crowd and police presence, greatly reducing the likelihood of crime.