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Where to Stay in Florianópolis, Brazil?

No other place in Brazil is like Florianópolis.

With its white-sand beaches and ocean air, it’s a safe place to live, work and sunbathe. The fast internet, healthy eats, and high-level safety make it a haven for digital nomads.

The problem with "Floripa" is it’s vast – a whopping 54 km North to South. Where should you stay in Florianópolis? Let's dig into the best places to live in Florianópolis and how to get around this gigantic area.

Table of Contents

Where to stay in Florianópolis: Central Part of Mainland

Where to stay in Florianópolis: North Part of the Island

Where to stay in Florianópolis: East Part of the Island

Where to stay in Florianópolis: West Part of the Island

FAQ: Getting around Florianópolis, Brazil

Do you need a car in Florianópolis?

You don’t need a car to live in Florianópolis. However, it is quicker and easier to get around with a vehicle.

The island is a mix of forest, mountain, lake, and undeveloped land. There are pocket communities throughout the area making up small, individual cities. Each of these cities connects via road or highway.

These little towns all have bus stops. The more developed areas even have their own bus terminals. Many of these communities are highly walkable and bikeable, but they aren’t physically close together.

Are there buses in Florianópolis?

Florianópolis has two options for municipal buses. There is also a coach bus terminal in Centro.

The blue "TICEN" buses are $1.20 USD per ride. This includes free transfers at each city bus station. Check out the bus times and stops here.

There are also yellow "executive" coach buses running Monday-Friday. They are $3 USD per ride and include air-conditioning and pillowy seats. These executive buses also travel further than the blue line, so you don't have to transfer as often.

Check the executive bus schedule here.

Is there Uber in Florianópolis?

Yes, Uber is available throughout the island. You can also use Cabify and 99 with a CPF (Brazilian tax) card.

Where to stay in Florianópolis: Central

Centro: Best place for a short visit (1-3 days)

Centuries old fig tree in Centro
Centuries old fig tree in Centro

The name Centro suggests this area is the center, but it is not. Centro is the mainland beside the neighboring city, San Jose, located east of the island.

In Centro, you'll find the main coach bus terminal – (Rodoviária) Terminal Rita Maria. If you arrive in Florianópolis by bus, this will be your first impression of the area.

Those who stay in Centro can walk or run along the pier that follows the bay area. The Ponte Hercílio Luz bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the country. Walk across for a new perspective on the city and bay. The best time to visit the bridge is after dark when the bridge is lit up.

Ponte Hercílio Luz bridge, centro, Florianopolis
Ponte Hercílio Luz bridge

Right in the city center is the Public Market. The market is open daily to buy or eat fresh-caught seafood. Next door to the market is Praça XV de Novembro Square. A centuries-old fig tree sits at its heart.

Centro is the best location for short stays. Finding transportation to other parts of the island and the country is easy.

Where to stay in Florianópolis: North Part of the Island

Jurerê: Best place for a wedding or romantic getaway

Jurerê beach sunset
Sunsets don't get any more glamorous than this

Located on the northwest shore of Florianópolis is the affluent beach-side neighborhood, Jurerê. Here you’ll find expensive-looking homes, as well as chic shoreside apartments. Hotels go for around $50 USD a night.

Jurerê has a stunning beach, perfect for watching sunsets and star-gazing. The uncrowded beach has warm waters and gentle waves for paddling or fishing.

Sports courts are off to the side, liberating the shoreline for those who want to lay back, sunbathe and chill uninterrupted. The area caters to the whole family with free Wi-Fi in the center and playgrounds near the beach.

Aside from the beach is a commercial center with a gourmet food court and shopping. You can indulge in local craft beer, hand-made burgers, and fancy mixed drinks there.

Junerê is the best place for a vacation getaway, honeymoon, or wedding.

Canasvieiras: Best place for family fun

The crowded shores at Canasvieiras Beach
The crowded shores at Canasvieiras Beach

The center north neighborhood is a mixed resort and residential area called Canavieiras.

The residential part of town, away from the beach, is quiet. Towards the beach, the city center is alive with music and fun. There are tons of ice cream bars, food vendors, and knick-knacks every which way.

The beach is busy and somewhat crowded, with many families, food stalls, and beachy bars. The sand beach has warm waters with gentle waves. You'll spot multiple fishing boats along the coast and might note that the water is less clear than other parts of the island.

At night, the beach is lit up with security lights, while the downtown is alive with bars and restaurants to hop.

Canasvieiras is the best place for the whole family to take a budget trip.

Ingleses: Best mix of amenities and beach on a budget

Trilha Morro dos Ingleses overlooking Santinho
Trilha Morro dos Ingleses overlooking Santinho Beach

Ingleses makes up a large part of the island's northeastern tip.

It's home to the beach, sand dunes, and trails overlooking the surrounding beaches. You'll spot multiple fishing boats along the coast and might note that the water is not as clear as other parts of the island. The warm, gentle waters are filled with beach-goers on a sunny day.

Central Ingleses is a hub for gastronomy. If you head toward the highway, you will find lots of fast food and buffet livre (open buffets).

Ingleses is a mix of tourists and residents. Highly developed, it's not the prettiest or most peaceful place on Florianópolis island. The traffic and highways are usually busy. Some of the congested roadways smell like car exhaust. Away from the highway, the residential streets are tranquil and safe at night.

Because of the number of shops and easy access to transportation, Ingleses is the best place to live for a longer-term stay on a budget. It's a great place to live near the beach while enjoying close amenities.

Where to stay in Florianópolis: East Part of the Island

São João do Rio Vermelho: best place for a local experience

Moody skies while walking to Praia do Moįambique
Moody skies while walking to Praia do Moįambique

Nestled underneath Ingleses on the East shore is Rio Vermelho.

A residential area, it’s a mix of rural properties, small homes, and businesses. Large portions of the highway are quiet and deserted. You may spot the occasional bicycle passing by. And periodically, you’ll spot someone walking a cow or horse along the road.

Rio Vermelho is not a tourist hotspot. It’s home to Praia do Moįambique, a wild and uncrowded stretch of sands and dunes. While easier to reach by car, the beach is also accessible by bus.

You walk along a dirt road lined with pines, cattails, and greenery to get to the beach. At the end of the road is a parking lot and the beach.

The beach has strong waves crashing ashore, and the water is chilly. There are no screaming kids or food vendors trying to sell items. Instead, you feel far off and totally alone. Be cautious; the waves are strong and fierce.

Rio Vermelho is the best place to taste local life. Come ready to speak Portuguese and shop at little locally-owned stores with an open mind.

Barra da Lagoa: Best place for digital nomads

Tranquil trails in Barra da Lagoa
Tranquil trails in Barra da Lagoa

From Rio Vermelho, travel south along the east shore to Barra da Lagoa. Exiting the highway may seem like much. But the action picks up as you round the bend towards the river.

Originally a tiny fishing village, it’s now a haven for the alternative. Today, Barra da Lagoa is home to fishermen, musicians, yogis, and surfers.

There are many hostels, hotels, and coliving places for digital nomads. Check out Rosemary Coliving or Nômades Hostel & Coworking to book a stay where you can work and chill out among friends.

It's a healthy and active place. Many running trails and hikes overlook the sea, for instance, Bela Vista trail.

The local beach is perfect for beach beers 'n chill. The quality of surf and windsurfing depends on the weather - some days, there’s not a wisp of wind.

Also in town is the hidden beach, Prainha da Barra. Piscinas Naturais da Barra da Lagoa is a short walk away. It's a rock lookout for stunning sunset views.

A 5-minute bus ride south is Praia Galleta, the nude beach, and Praia Mole, just a hop and a skip south.

Barra de Lagoa is the best place for young people, free spirits, and digital nomads.

Lagoa (Lagoa da Conceição): Best place on the island for amenities

Private boats on Lagoa da Conceição
Private boats on Lagoa da Conceição

Inland to the west of Barra da Lagoa is Lagoa da Conceição. It's located on the island's largest lake, perfect for windsurfing or sailing. Known as Lagoa, the area does not have a beach. Instead, it has sandy dunes for boarding and more of a city feel than the coastal areas.

Filled with bars for live music, lakeside parks, and grocery stores, Lagoa is where many run errands, get tattoos, or spend a night partying. There are a few beautiful trails, notably the Costa da Lagoa trail, and nearby areas are only accessible by boat.

There are backpacker hostels and hotels, though the area seemed slightly more residential than Barra da Lagoa. A little ways away is Praia Joaquina - a popular spot for dune surfing and bar hopping on the beach.

Lagoa is an excellent place to stay on the island if you want access to amenities – transit, bars, and shops.

Campeche: best place for long-term stays

Wooden bridges leading to Campeche condos
Wooden bridges leading to Campeche condos along the beach

South of Joaquina is Campeche. Campeche Beach is chill, with strong waves and condos lining the shore. West is Campeche Leste – a commercial hub with lots of shopping and a bus terminal.

The area is close to Ilha do Campeche, though you can access the island from other parts of Florianópolis.

There's not a lot of food or bars nearby the beach. Some strip malls and bars are a short hike away, though they are more expensive than other parts of Florianópolis. Campeche Leste has much for everyday errands – cell phone stores, restaurants, gyms, etc.

Campeche is ideal for an extended, more residential stay. It's located further to the south, and buses to other parts of the island take a lot of time, so it’s worth having a vehicle.

Morro das Pedras: Best place to surf and hike

Outlook at Morro das Pedras
Outlook at Morro das Pedras

On the island's west shore, south of Campeche, is Morro das Pedras.

It's near Lagoinha do Leste – a 3-hour hike along the coast with occasional dolphin sightings.

The area is small and quaint, with a mix of local fishermen and surfers. It is a chill spot, a beautiful and excellent place to catch giant waves.

In the off-season, the area is uncrowded. However, it is located south on the island, making trips into Centro or other neighborhoods a long journey. There are few grocery stores around, making shopping easier with a car.

Morro das Pedras is the best place to stay if you love all things outdoors – surfing, hiking, and camping.

Where to stay in Florianópolis: West Part of the Island

San Antônio de Lisboa: Best place to buy mementos

Art shops in San Antônio de Lisboa
Art shops in San Antônio de Lisboa

About 15 km north of the Centro area is San Antônio de Lisboa, a small port neighborhood. Settled by Azorian immigrants from Portugal in the 19th century, some of the architecture and culture remain.

San Antônio, along with its neighbor, Sambaqui, are residential. Both are quiet during the weekday, with not much happening. There are some port-side restaurants and bars, but during the week, many are closed.

San Antônio is the best place to buy one-of-a-kind moments. It has multiple shops with beautiful creations – hardwood figurines, paintings, and ceramics in every crack and crevice.

This could be your spot if you're looking for a quiet place to get some work done and watch the sunset. There aren't any sand beaches here, but it's an excellent spot for a quiet date night or finding peace and quiet.

Main Takeaways: Best places to stay in Florianópolis

  • The Northern shore is excellent for families with small children. It's home to gentle and warm water with many things to do.

  • The island's east is wilder, with strong waves and a far-off hippie vibe.

  • The western part of the island, including Centro, faces the bay area. It is a port area with some small pebble beaches.

  • The south part of the island is remote, with hidden beaches and fantastic trails. Visit the south for long hikes and remote beaches and to glimpse some sea life.

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