Sao Luis

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São Luís is the capital of the Brazilian state of Maranhão.

-2.622184 -44.281356
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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Sao Luis

These all suffer from an enormous tidal variation, - the sea reportedly recedes close to 1 km on some spots. At high tide there is no dry sand left. The most popular beach is Ponta d'Areia, -far nicer if you continue a couple of kilometers: The beach of São Marcos continues into the beach of Calhau, covering a stretch of some 5 km, with plenty of simple bars and restaurants, and a broad sidewalk by the road.

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Popular events in Sao Luis in the near future

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About Sao Luis


Although it was founded by the French in 1612 and has also been occupied by the Dutch in the past, São Luis remained a markedly Portuguese colonial city. The buildings with beautiful azulejo (tiles) walls and the cobblestone streets of its well-preserved historic center have been listed a World heritage site by UNESCO.

The city is roughly divided in two regions, divided by a river of sorts:

  • São Luís proper with the center, Old Town and industrial and working class suburbs.
  • São Francisco and its neighbours, which comprise a newer commercial district, all urban beaches, and many new high rise apartment buildings.

São Luis is also one of those places that have a distinctive culture of its own - typical cuisine, popular traditions and festivals and lively reggae parties that make the culture of São Luis stand out among Brazilian cities.


There is an art cinema in the Old Town, with a mix of Brazilian and weird imports.

The largest and most modern movie theatre, with 10 showrooms, is at the São Luís Shopping, mostly showing Hollywood fare.


Local dishes include Peixada(fish) and shrimp pie, and Arroz de cuxá -rice with herbs.

In Old Town:

  • La Pizzeria. Real Italian style, probably the best in the state Pizza for 2 R$ 17-29.
  • Toca da Amizade, Rua João Victal, Old Town. Serves late lunch. Set meals R$ 5-10.
  • Dom Francisco, Old Town. Lunch R$ 20 per kilo, dinner a la carte.


Maranhão has its own version of the guaraná soft drink, called Jesus (nothing religious, it was the inventor´s name). It is pink and rather sweeter than the others. Many small bars around Old Town, but quite dead on Sundays, when most action goes along the beaches. Another area is along the Lagoa da Jansen, near the beach Ponta d'Areia. A third is on the beach of Calhau. Night buses go past these areas every half hour on weekends.

  • Kabão (On the seafront 2 km west of old town). Big open air
  • Bar do Porto. Reggea spot by the boat terminal
  • Bar do Nelson (Near the end of Avenida Litorânea, Calhau). Weekends. Bar come club, mostly reggea, some live. Drinking on the street outside. Entry R$ 10.
  • Pirata, Avenida Litoranea, Calhau. Weekends. As big as it gets in this city. Forró. Also quite a party on the pavement outside. Entry R$ 10.


There are three malls in the city with one of them being in the historic part of town. There are numerous shops that sell souvenirs. The city center´s main pedestrian mall is Rua Grande, which has most shops but hardware and foodstuffs.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article São Luís on Wikivoyage.