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Florianópolis is the Brazilian capital with the highest rating on the Human Development Index. The city has around 430 thousand inhabitants, but during the summer, almost one million tourists flock to the city, making it the city in Brazil with the second most foreign visitors. During the peak seasons, Spanish becomes the second language of the region, as a result of Argentines and Uruguayans. The city is known for its beautiful beaches and its exciting nightlife, which makes it especially attractive for the younger crowd.
If you go to Florianópolis, don’t forget to visit Ponte Hercílio Luz, which links the island to the continent, and is one of the main postcard locations of the city. On beaches like Jurerê Internacional, if you spend some money, you can try out the beach lounges. Praia Brava is known for its surfing, and Praia da Joaquina has excellent infrastructure and large dunes which make for great sandboarding. If you want to avoid the sand, visit the Historical Center and the forts that were constructed during the eighteenth century.
For artisan works and souvenirs, head to one of the little fairs spread throughout the city. Some are organized by the Mercado Público and some are in the Alfândega. Beira-Mar Shopping is the most traditional place to shop on the island. For a more sophisticated selection, try out Jurerê Open Shopping.
The city has innumerable spots for lunch, bars, restaurants, and they cater to all tastes and price ranges. Florionópolis is the largest producer of oysters in Brazil, and it’s almost required to try this delicacy in one of the specialized restaurants.
During the summer, traffic jams are frequent, making car travel less comfortable. The public transit is efficient, but it can be a little confusing for a visitor. Find out what lines and connections you need to take beforehand, and get a hold of a tourist card, so you can make multiple connections with one ticket. The city doesn’t have trains or a metro.
Florianópolis is a safe city, with a strong security infrastructure, especially in the central areas. There are cameras installed by the city government and run by the Guarda Municipal. But, don’t forget basic common sense, like avoiding dark and deserted areas.