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Curitiba is currently the most populous city in the southern region of Brazil, home to 1.8 million inhabitants and stands right at the center of a metropolitan area whose economy ranks fourth in terms of contribution to the country's gross national product. It boasts innumerable parks and a high-profile cultural schedule. During the immigration process in the 19th century, the city welcomed a huge contingent of Germans, Italians, Ukrainians and Poles. Their influence is noticeable in such city landmarks as the Santa Felicidade neighborhood, with its first-class Italian cantinas, the German Grove or Bosque Alemão and the Ukrainian church replica at the magnificent Tingui Park. Besides the Tingui, other important parks that showcase Curitiba's concern with preserving green areas include the Tangua, the Barigui and the impressive Botanical Garden. Other city attractions revolve around its vibrant cultural life, like the Opera de Arame housed in a spectacular structure made of glass and iron as well as the stunning Oscar Niemeyer Museum, designed by the architect himself.

Where to eat 
Novo Madalosso em Santa Felicidade 
Kenji Kaiten
Barolo Trattoria

Where to drink
Bar Aos Democratas 
Bar Brahma
Bar Curityba
Things to see
Ópera do Arame
Jardim Botânico
Parque Tanguá
Santa Felicidade
Estádio Arena da Baixada

Fortaleza owes its name to the period between 1637 to 1654, when it was controlled by the Dutch who built the Schoonenborch Fort. Featuring 21 miles of wonderful beaches, Fortaleza has been one of the main tourist destinations in the northeast of Brazil for years. It has also developed into an important economic center and a densely populated metropolitan area with over 2.4 million people. Most of the tourist attractions in Fortaleza revolve around its beaches; the Beach of the Future or Praia do Futuro, popular for its barracas — simple kiosk eateries built right on the sand that serve super fresh seafood — while Iracema Beach is the place for bars and nightclubs. The bucolic Mucuripe Beach where fishermen venture into the sea on their jangadas — handmade flat-bottom wooden boats — is a nice alternative. The coastal Beira Mar Avenue, which extends along the coast, also hosts a daily artisan fair. But if swaying to sensual sounds is more your style, then you will find plenty of spots to enjoy the forró, a typical rhythm from that part of Brazil. Fortaleza has invested in infrastructure for tourism and in new features such as the Sea Dragon Art and Culture Center and Beach Park, Brazil's largest water park, with several adrenaline producing water slides.

Where to eat
Tilapia Restaurante 
Colher de Pau
Restaurante Frederico
Coco Bambu Beira Mar 

Where to drink
Buteco Praia
Picanha do Cowboy
 Things to see
Avenida Beira Mar 
Iate Clube 
Dragão do Mar 
Beach Park 
Barraca de Praia Guarderia, Praia do Futuro
Estádio Castelão

Botanical Garden
Hiroshi Higuchi/Getty Images

The city of Manaus, with just over 2 million inhabitants, is at the confluence of the Black and Solimoes rivers. The dark-colored waters of the former and the muddy waters of the latter flow side by side for more than 11 miles without mixing, forming one of the Amazon’s most majestic sights. The combination of outstanding natural beauty, local traditions and a metropolis on the rise gives Manaus a unique ambience. Be sure to visit the Teatro Amazonas, an impressive concert hall that houses the annual Amazonas Opera Festival.  Another notable celebration is the Boi-Manaus that marks the city's anniversary and showcases the rhythmic sounds of the “boi-bumbá.” 

Where to eat

Where to drink
Touchdown Bar
Things to see
Teatro do Amazonas
Encontro das Águas
Estádio Arena da Amazônia