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A trip to Brazil – “Baixada Santista” – Santos – SP – Part 2 – What to see and do

On this post I will highlight the places we visited and the best things to see and best things to do in Santos.


I will start Part 2 of Santos, moving on from the city centre and to the neighbourhoods on the beaches, I will start in “Ponta da Praia”.

There you will find many other places to visit, such as “The Aquarium” where you will learn all aspects of the local marine life. This is the oldest aquarium in Brazil and on the Guinness Book of Records.

It is a great day out with kids, and you will learn a lot about the life of the marine animals.

“The Aquarium”

In “Ponta da Praia” near the “Aquarium” you will also find the “Museu da Pesca” and “Museu Naval” where you will learn everything to do with fishing and ships.

We visited these museums when our kids were small, and I remember it was very much appreciated and the visit stayed for a long time on their memories.

On a nice day, also in “Ponta da Praia” you can take a tour on a schooner passing beautiful beaches and admiring wonderful views of Santos Bay from a different angle.

“Schooner Tour”: credit of Carlos Nogueira

Still, in “Ponta da Praia” there is the wonderful “Mercado dos Peixes” where you can find all kinds of fish and shellfish freshly caught that day.

It is a busy market in the morning when everybody wants to buy their lunch. We bought some lovely fish and prawns for a special dish when we went there.

In “Ponta da Praia” is where you take the ferry to cross to the continent and to another city in the Baixada Santista: “Guarujá”.

Guarujá is an upmarket beach resort that also receives a lot of tourists in the high season and deserves a post for itself another time.

At the Aparecida neighbourhood, next to “Ponta da Praia”, there is the nicest shopping centre in Santos, “Praiamar Shopping”.

It is a big shopping centre with a good range of shops, a supermarket, a cinema, and various restaurants.

 Below is a video from the Travelling Surveyor Instagram showing part of the shopping centre on the week before Christmas.

Going in the direction of the beaches from “Ponta da Praia”, the first attraction we will find is the fabulous mansion of the “Pinacoteca Benedito Calixto”.

This is one of my favourite places in Santos and I go there every time I’m in Brazil. I just love the house; it is so pretty and in beautiful grounds as well.

This is one of the few mansions left on the beach front, all the rest have been demolished to make place to big apartment buildings.

This house was listed in 2012 and luckily will be protected and will never be demolished like others did. The house belonged to Benedito Calixto, a famous painter from the area, and there is a permanent exposition of some of his work.

The house itself is a work of art and deserves a visit for only that.

“Pinacoteca Benedito Calixto”

In the extensive garden, we find “Bistro Calixto” a lovely restaurant serving lovely dishes in a very pleasant environment.

Next to it there is also “Forneria Calixto” serving freshly oven baked pizzas. The food is just delicious and some of the best places to eat for my taste.

“Bistro Calixto”
Seafood risotto at Bistro Calixto

Following the beach front, we arrive at “Gonzaga” neighbourhood.

This is one part of the city where you will find two shopping centres, “Miramar Shopping” and “Parque Balneário Shopping” as well as many other shops. It is home to many restaurants, night clubs, hotels, bars, as well as residences.

The main road of Gonzaga is “Avenida Ana Costa” starting in front of the fountain and “Praça das Bandeiras”, and going all the way to the city centre at the foot of Monte Serrat. It is a long avenue with “Palmeiras Imperiais” trees planted in the middle.

“Avenida Ana Costa”

It is the only road in Santos to have the name of a woman. It was named after Dona Ana Costa the wife of an important businessman that owned an extensive amount of land in Santos, called Mathias Casimiro Alberto da Costa.

Mathias was killed by some rival brothers because of land disputes while working on the avenue in 1889. As a last wish he asked for the avenue to be named after his wife, and this was officially done in 1921. The death of Mathias chocked the local residents, and another neighbourhood in Santos was also named after him: Vila Mathias.

On Avenida Ana Costa you will find “Praça da Independência” and the Parque Balneário Hotel on what is part of the Parque Balneário shopping centre. It is very close to the beach and with all the amenities expected from a 5-star hotel. It is very close to the Praça das Bandeiras in front of Avenida Ana Costa.

“Praça das Bandeiras”

On Saturdays they serve the best “feijoada” in the city; it is very famous in Santos and many people go for lunch on Saturdays at their restaurant. We went there for our last lunch in Santos, and I filmed the live music at lunch time in the dining room.

You can watch it at The Travelling Surveyor Instagram below.

Half-way through Avenida Ana Costa and to the left is Vila Belmiro, where the “Urbano Caldeira Stadium” football is.

This is home for “Santos Futebol Clube”, one of the most famous teams in Brazil, and where Pelé and many other famous footballers started their career.

It is an experience to watch a game at this stadium and if you have the chance, don’t miss it.

Nearby, still in Vila Belmiro, you will find the “Cemitério Memorial Necrópoli Ecumênica”.

This is a vertical cemetery and the tallest cemetery in the world with 14 storeys and still growing. Pelé was buried there and apart from that, weirdly, the cemetery was already a touristic attraction before his death.

Still continuing on the beach you get to “Canal 1” and the neighbourhood of “José Menino”.

Near to the canal is located the “Orquidário Municipal de Santos”. It is a mini botanic garden and zoo. It is a peaceful and shaded park where you can escape the buzz of the city and the heat of the sun. It is a tropical oasis with fruit and medicinal trees which are mainly native.

Part of it is dedicated to orchids (with around 3500 types), hence the name “Orquidário”. There are various animals, some wondering free on the grounds and others in their own space; animals such as peacocks, turtles, monkeys, and wild birds.

This is another activity that kids enjoy a lot and will remain in their memories for a long time.


On “José Menino Beach” there is the “Emissario Submarino de Santos”.

It is a public place dedicated to various sports. There is a skate park, a surf school, a basketball court, and other sports.

At the end of the peninsula there is a sculpture by the artist Tomie Ohtake called “Monument to the 100 years of Japanese immigration”. It is very big and can be seen from various parts of the city.

It is a nice place to go for a walk in the end of the afternoon and watch people from one of the benches around the place.

There are plenty of other places to see and things to do in Santos. You will not go without things to visit there.

It is a vibrant city that offers very good quality of life to its residents and visitors, so worth to include in your itinerary when in this part of Brazil.

“Urubuqueçaba Island” seen from “The Emissário Submarino”

If you want to take a day tour from São Paulo to visit Santos, São Vicente and Guarujá, you can book it HERE or HERE.

Or you can have half a day private tour of Santos by booking it HERE.


Below you will find a list of what to visit, where to stay and where to eat in Santos. I classified each place as follows:

BOLD – Visited, tried and recommended

NOT BOLD – Not visited or tried, but planning to visit or try and heard very good reviews

*** – Excellent

** – Good

* – OK

£££ – Expensive

££ – Fair and affordable

£ – Cheap


1 – The Aquarium – ***

2 – Museu da Pesca – ***

3 – Museu Naval – ***

4 – Schooner cruise – ***

5 – Mercado dos Peixes – ***

6 – Guarujá – ***

7 – Praiamar Shopping – ***

8 – Pinacoteca Benedito Calixto – ***

9 – Avenida Ana Costa – ***

10 – Praça da Independência – ***

11 – Estádio Urbano Caldeira – ***

12 – Memorial Necrópoli Ecumênica – ***

13 – Orquidário Municipal de Santos – ***

14 – Emissário Submarino de Santos – ***

15 – Monument to the 100 years of Japonese Immigration – ***


1 – Novotel Santos Gonzaga – 4* – ££

2 – Sheraton Santos Hotel – 5* – £££

3 – Book Santos – Unlimited 3011 – 4* – ££


1 – Bistro Calixto – *** – ££

2 – Forneria Calixto Pizzaria – £

3 – Restaurante Origens Mar – Parque Balneário – *** – £££

If you tried any of my recommendations above, please send me a message and tell me about your experience good or bad, so I can update the list accordingly. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this post you might also like to read:

Hello! I’m Rose and I’m the “Travelling Surveyor”. If you click on the photo you can learn a bit more about me. Join me on my travelling adventures by reading my posts and subscribing to my blog.

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