The small city centre and numerous beach towns that surround it are home to a young, energetic population who enjoy a lower cost of living than Rio and São Paulo. If you’re moving to Florianópolis with a family, it is good to know that the city boasts some of the highest literacy rates and lowest crime figures in the country.While it is easy to imagine spending your days exploring the beaches, rainforests, lagoons and mountains, there is a thriving IT sector and a world class University as well as the booming tourism industry. With a relatively small population and little heavy industry, this sleepy surfer’s paradise may not seem like one of the fastest growing and most entrepreneurial cities in Brazil, but Floripa is full of surprises.
Florianópolis Suburb Profiles
The lively centre of Florianópolis is located on the west of the island facing the mainland and ideal for those wanting to be close to the city’s major amenities and its booming IT sector. With its quirky alleyways and beautiful colonial buildings, the area is bursting with character and is one of the safest commercial centres in South America.
Lagoa da Conceição
Around the spectacularly beautiful lagoon, Lagoa da Conceição, lies a small, bohemian community of locals, students and expats. The laid back lifestyle and good selection of boutique shops and cafes appeals to many and the area is also home to some stunning beaches including the scenic Praia Mole.
Located 15 miles north of downtown Floripa, Canasvieiras is an upmarket beach town with a small, thriving centre and great beaches. Increasingly popular with expats moving to Florianópolis, the area has all the amenities a small family could need in idyllic surroundings.
Less than 30 minutes from the centre of Florianópolis is the small coastal town of Campeche, a hotspot for surfers and eco tourists. Built around one of the islands best beaches on the eastern coast, it is a laid back, picturesque town with easy access to the international airports and some buzzing beachside bars.
Transport and Getting Around Florianópolis
With so much to explore, the easiest way of getting around the Florianópolis is undoubtedly by car. Roads are generally safe and easy to navigate, although traffic can be heavy at weekends particularly crossing the bridges to the mainland. There is an excellent bus network with routes linking downtown Florianopolis with the main towns and beaches including the air conditioned ‘executive’ yellow buses. Taxis are also safe, reliable and plentiful and some can be booked in advance. Hercilio Luz International Airport offers regular flights to all major Brazilian cities as well as Argentina and Chile.
Leisure Activities and Things to Do when Moving to Florianópolis
This beachside paradise is awash with activities to keep even the most energetic expat busy. Surfing is hugely popular and people travel from all over the world to ride Floripa’s perfect waves and there’s also paddle boarding, sailing and kite surfing. When not having fun at sea, Floripans love to party and the local nightlife is legendary from traditional samba nights at Sambaqui and bar hopping in Lagoa to flash roof parties at Jurere and all night beach parties. Florianópolis’ spectacular natural beauty isn’t limited to its coastline and there are thousands of acres of rainforest to explore along hiking and cycling trails. For a taste of the city’s captivating history, head to the centre where you can see beautiful buildings such as the imposing, colonial Municipal Market and the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral and try some of the best street food in Brazil.
Fun facts about Florianópolis
- The prestigious publication Newsweek once named Florianópolis as one of the top ten most dynamic cities in the world.
- With over 42 beaches, you’ll never be short of somewhere to take a swim and soak up the sun in Florianópolis.
- While only a relatively small city, Floripa has its fair share of famous sons and daughters including tennis player Gustavo Kuerten and supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
- The beautiful landscape around the island is protected by strict planning laws forbidding any building within 100 yards of the coast.
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