Capital of Santa Catarina, a state in the far south of Brazil, Florianópolis has long been a popular destination for Brazilians looking to get away from the larger attractions! Known for beaches that could easily rival Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis is now on the radar for international tourists looking for a more authentic experience.
The nightlife is more laid back, there is culture waiting around every corner and the beaches are lined with crystal clear waters.
Florianópolis is somewhat awkwardly placed – with the main metropolis split between the mainland and Santa Catarina Island. The entire island, known colloquially as Floripa, is included in the great Florianópolis area.
Neighborhoods are well spaced out can be difficult to navigate.
That is why we’ve created this guide! We’ve figured out the three best neighborhoods in the area, and categorised them based on who they are best for.
So let’s jump right into it!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Florianópolis
- Where to stay in Florianópolis for the first time – Centro
- Where to stay in Florianópolis on a budget – Lagoa da Conceição
- Best neighborhood in Florianópolis for families – Canasvieiras
- Avenida Beira Mar-Norte is the main shopping street in the area – it runs along the coastline, and has some very upmarket dining and retail venues
- Head down to the area around Hercilio Luz Bridge in the evenings for some chilled out nightlife to accompany the gorgeous views across the sea
- Rita Maria Lagosteria is an excellent dining spot where you can sample some of the finest seafood on offer in the entirety of Brazil
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Florianópolis.
If you’re traveling on a budget, we’d highly recommend staying at one of the best hostels in Florianopolis. Keep the costs low while enjoying a comfy bed and a great place to rest your head and recharge for your next adventure!
Best Hostel in Florianópolis: Submarino Hostel
Submarino Hostel remains the best-rated hostel in Florianópolis – and it’s easy to see why! They have a cosy atmosphere that is attributed to their friendly staff, as well as the fantastic social facilities.
Regular social events are held where you can get to know your fellow guests.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Florianópolis: House with Pool
Though the pictures make this accommodation seem basic, don’t be fooled – it actually comes with enough room for five people as well as a private pool! This makes it an excellent choice for families and large groups visiting the area.
The host has superhost status – so you know it is a great quality accommodation.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Florianópolis: Porto da Ilha Hotel
This four-star hotel is a good balance between budget-friendly and excellent levels of service! Right in the heart of Centro, it is perfect for anyone visiting the city for a short period of time that wants to easily get around all of the main attractions.View on Booking.com
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Florianopolis
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Lagoa da Conceição
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Florianópolis might be best known for its gorgeous beaches – but it has so much more to offer visitors! Located in the south of Brazil, it has a pleasant climate year-round and a laid-back culture. If you’re backpacking Brazil and want a couple of relaxing days, this is the best spot for you!
Each neighborhood has its own benefits, so it’s important to get a good overview before planning your itinerary.
Centro is naturally the best entry point for visitors. Though located entirely on Santa Catarina Island, it is connected to the mainland via a bridge.
The waterfront area of Centro is known for its lavish restaurants and hotels, but just a short walk inland will reveal plenty of fantastic budget options.
Over on the other side of the island, the Lagoa da Conceição area is easily the most popular with tourists. The town of Lagoa itself is where you will find many excellent dining, nightlife and entertainment options to suit a variety of tastes.
Despite its status as the tourism hub of the city, it is also one of the most budget-friendly.
Finally, in the far north we have Canasvieiras – a huge beach resort town with crystal clear waters and plenty of watersports facilities! For families, the northern beach resorts are fantastic options that allow you to escape the city whilst still enjoying excellent attractions.
Still undecided? Check out our larger guides below for information on the best attractions and accommodation choices in each neighborhood.
3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Florianópolis
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Florianópolis. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
As the name suggests, Centro is the heart of Florianópolis and acts as the business hub for the area. Whilst not as touristy as the beach resorts elsewhere on Santa Catarina Island, Centro offers plenty of fantastic attractions for visitors looking to sample a little bit of everything the city has to offer!
Just across the Hercilio Luz Bridge is Capoeiras. Though not officially part of the city centre, it is only a few minutes away and offers a more authentic side of local culture!
Both Capoeiras and Centro are packed with museums and art galleries, making them the ideal spot for art lovers wanting to explore the local creative scene.
Things to See and Do in Centro
– Avenida Beira Mar-Norte is the main shopping street in the area – it runs along the coastline, and has some very upmarket dining and retail venues
– If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, the Mercado Municipal is a great place to pick up souvenirs, fresh food and street eats from local farmers and artisans
– Santa Catarina Art Museum and Santa Catarina History Museum are right next door to each other – perfect for learning about the culture and history of the state
– Head down to the area around Hercilio Luz Bridge in the evenings for some chilled out nightlife to accompany the gorgeous views across the sea
– Rita Maria Lagosteria is an excellent dining spot where you can sample some of the finest seafood on offer in the entirety of Brazil
Best Hostel Centro: HI Floripa Hostel
Operated by Hostelling International, HI Floripa Hostel maintains the same high standards you’ve come to expect from the global backpacker chain! They offer regular social events where you can mingle with other guests, and also organises tours across the entire state of Santa Catarina.
They provide airport transfers, free WiFi and discounted nightlife tickets.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Centro: Studio with sea views
This gorgeous studio apartment comes with all the modern conveniences you could possibly need for a trip to Florianópolis! What’s more, it also comes with gorgeous views across the sea and towards the bridge to the mainland.
There is a power shower in the bathroom, and its central location is ideal for getting around.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Centro: Porto da Ilha Hotel
Right in the heart of Centro, Porto da Ilha hotel is perfect for travellers wanting to explore all of the main attractions in the neighborhood! They have fantastic facilities – including high-speed WiFi, shuttles and a business centre.
A complimentary breakfast is provided every morning.View on Booking.com
Lagao da Conceiçao is a huge lagoon in the east of the island that contains some of the most popular tourism spots in the area! Most of the towns are well connected to the town of Lagoa itself, where we have focused on in this section, however they all have their own offerings for those wanting to explore a few different neighborhoods whilst in Florianópolis.
Outside of Lagoa da Conceição town, Barro da Lagoa offers the best nightlife options on the island – though quite laid back, the drinks are well priced and the venues are open until late. Mole Beach, on the other hand, is the perfect spot to relax and nurse a hangover. Lagoa da Conceição is one of the cheapest neighborhoods – perfect for budget backpackers!
Things to See and Do in Lagoa da Conceição
– Galeria de Arte Luciano Martins is a small art gallery dedicated to work by local creatives – they also offer some pieces and handicrafts for sale
– Ondanca Passeios de Barco offer boat tours across the lagoon – you can opt for a guided trip, or simply hire a kayak and embark on your own adventure
– Piscinas Naturais are a collection of natural swimming pools using water from the lagoon, with lifeguards and safety equipment on hand to give you peace of mind
– Take a trip up to Barra da Lagoa in the evenings and check out the laid back nightlife – we recommend Bar Da Ju, a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike
– For some equally laid back day drinking, head to Books & Beers to enjoy local craft brew treats as well as some interesting literary gems lining the walls
Best Hostel Lagoa da Conceição: Submarino Hostel
This excellent hostel comes with fantastic reviews thanks to great service and facilities – alongside some of the best rates in Florianópolis! There is a large barbecue area, alongside the two communal kitchens, where you can mingle with fellow guests whilst preparing your dinner.
There is also a dedicated WiFi zone.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Lagoa da Conceição: Style Apartment
This simple apartment is stylishly decorated, giving you a calm and relaxing space to unwind after a day of exploring! The kitchen is well equipped with modern conveniences, and there are supermarkets and shops only a few minutes walk away.
The host has superhost status – meaning you can be certain the apartment is well looked after.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Lagoa da Conceição: Hotel Hola
This hotel might seem quite basic, but it comes with some fantastic facilities – especially considering the great prices! There is an outdoor pool open year-round where you can enjoy the sunshine.
The entire hotel is decorated with art from local artists, and the building is in a secured part of the city.View on Booking.com
Stretching along the north coast of Santa Catarina Island, Canasvieiras is a major beach resort in Florianópolis! For families, the entire northern part of the island is a perfect getaway from the bustling cities.
Nevertheless, Canasvieiras has plenty of tourism infrastructure making it a convenient base from which to explore the rest of the area.
Aside from the gorgeous beaches the region is known for, Canasvieiras also has plenty of fantastic dining options! This is where multicultural Brazil truly shines, with some great cuisine representing every region of the world.
Things to See and Do in Canasvieiras
– Água Show Park is the largest waterpark on the island – it’s only a short drive away from Canasvieiras centre, making it a great choice for a family day out
– Canasvieiras Beach is tranquil and secluded in the winter, and whilst it gets busier in the summer it does also benefit from fantastic water sports facilities
– For a calm beach during the summer, head further up the coastline to Cachoeira do Bom Jesus Beach and enjoy the white sands, blue waters and unbeatable views
– Museu do Naufragio, in neighbouring Ingleses, is dedicated to the island’s seafaring history – and comes with plenty of interactive exhibits for the kids
– Quinha Bar e Restaurant is another fantastic seafood restaurant – it’s located right on the coast, giving you unbeatable views of the ocean
Best Hostel Canasvieiras: Hostel Canasvieiras
Though there aren’t many hostels in Canasvieiras, this backpacker accommodation is perfect for those on an extreme budget! Rooms are basic but well equipped with sturdy furnishings and complimentary lockers.
Water sports equipment hire is also available from the front reception.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Canasvieiras: House with Pool
This apartment comes with fantastic ratings thanks to the great facilities available to guests and excellent levels of service from the host! High-speed WiFi is available throughout, and the kitchen is well equipped for a short stay in the area.
It is also located close to the central bus station in Canasvieiras.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Canasvieiras: Solar Beach Hotel
This hotel is perfect for families wanting to relax on their trip to Florianópolis! All rooms come with either sea or pool views – and the pool area comes with excellent sunbathing facilities.
There is a small games room on-site that features table tennis. A complimentary breakfast buffet is provided.View on Booking.com
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Florianópolis
Florianópolis is a beautiful city with plenty to offer both domestic and international guests! Gorgeous beaches aside, there are plenty of cultural attractions waiting to be discovered in the city – as well as a diverse culinary scene.
For the best area, we are going to have to go with Lagoa da Conceição! Though fairly touristy, it is nevertheless a laid-back hub with budget-friendly prices and great connections to other resorts on the island.
That being said, all three of the neighborhoods mentioned in this guide have their own charms. We hope we have helped you to plan your upcoming trip to Florianópolis!
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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