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How to get from Recife Airport to Downtown Recife

Recife, the capital of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, is a tropical paradise and a popular destination for holidaymakers. Yet, this is only one of the city’s aspects. Besides the sun, the fun and the lovely beaches, Recife has a rich historical heritage, a brilliant culinary scene, and a large selection of things to do and experience in the arts and crafts sector.

You will land at the Recife/Guararapes–Gilberto Freyre International Airport (REC) to start your local adventure. For your transfer from Recife Airport to downtown, there are three different transport options; taxi, metro or bus. A Recife Airport to Recife taxi is the most convenient option, with zero waiting times and a ride duration of around 20-25 minutes. The metro will get you to the historic centre in 35 minutes, and it is a cost-effective option. Last, buses leaving the airport take 40 minutes more or less to reach Recife Antigo, and they are also a cheap alternative.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Recife at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Comparison of the options

Welcome Pickups €20 20min 24/7
Taxi €10.50 20min 24/7
Metro €1.50 35min 05:00–23:00
Bus €1.50 30min 04:00–23:50

How to get from Recife Airport to downtown by taxi

A Recife Airport taxi or private transfer is the easiest and quickest way to get to Recife Antigo – Old Recife, the historical centre, or other parts of the centre. The ride takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic conditions, costing €10.50 (BRL 60).

What’s the cost of a taxi from Recife Airport to Recife Antigo?

As soon as you exit the arrivals hall, a rank of cabs is lined up to board travellers. These are the taxis authorised to pick up passengers from the airport, and they’re called “Special Taxi” (Táxi Especial). They are a bit pricier than common taxis but offer set-fare fares depending on your final destination in the city. For Recife Antigo specifically, it’s €10.50 (BRL 60).

However, if you want to avoid wait times and take advantage of a competitive fixed fare without hidden costs, you can always pre-book your private airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.


€10.50 (BRL 60)

Trip Duration

20 min

*Prices may vary unless booked in advance.

Value for money

*Taxis are available 24/7 at Recife Airport.

Where do I get a taxi from?

The taxi rank is conveniently located right outside the arrivals hall. Once you claim your luggage, a member of staff at the terminal exit will ask you if you need a taxi and show you to the line. All you have to do is go to the front of the line and board the first available vehicle.


A taxi is the most convenient and hassle-free option for a door-to-door transfer to your hotel or apartment. Wait times are minimum, and you will get a comfortable, air-conditioned ride to your destination in the city centre.

Editor’s Note

“Special Taxis” are not the only ones authorised to work at the airport. If you take a short walk at the end of the concourse, after the last exit door, there is another line of “Common Taxis” (Táxi Comum). Common taxis apply regular taximeter rates.

Useful Tips

Not all taxis accept payments by card, so be ready and have some cash on you.
Tipping is not mandatory for taxi drivers in Recife. Yet, a roundup is always appreciated.

How to get from Recife Airport to downtown by metro

At Recife Airport, a Blue Line (South) metro station can connect you directly to the historic centre. A single ticket costs €0.75 (BRL 4.30) and the travel time is 35 minutes.

Metro fare from Recife Airport to Recife city centre

A single ticket for the Blue metro line costs €0.75 (BRL 4.30). You must validate your ticket at the designated machine before entering the station.


€0.75 (BRL 4.30)

Trip Duration

35 min

*The Recife metro system operates 7 days a week from 05:00 to 23:00.

Value for money

The metro from Recife Airport departs every 8 minutes.

Where do I get the metro from?

The metro’s airport station is located 500m from the terminals. The subway platform is close to Minister Salgado Filho Square, opposite the airport. To get there, you will have to cross the footbridge opposite boarding gate B6. It has enough space, making it easier for you to carry your luggage on the way to the station.


The metro is a reasonably convenient option to get to the city centre, as waiting times between itineraries are 8 minutes maximum, and it takes you to the historic centre in a comfortable 35 minutes. Nervethess, if you’re travelling with a large group, children or carrying heavy luggage, the 500m distance to the station might become a bit arduous.

Editor’s Note

To cross the footbridge leading to the metro station, you have to pay the fare first.

Useful Tips

During peak hours, waiting times may exceed 8 minutes if cars passing from the airport station are too crowded.
Along the way to the historic centre, some stations are “integrated”, meaning they have direct connections to bus lines using the same single ticket.

How to get from Recife Airport to downtown by bus

Several bus lines serve Recife Airport. The most convenient ones for passengers wishing to get off at Recife Antigo are buses 33 and 42. Both go through the popular Praia de Boa Viagem on their way to the historic centre.

Bus fare from Recife Airport to Recife city centre

Single tickets for Recife buses cost between €0.60 (BRL 3.45) and €0.75 (BRL 4.30), depending on the type of bus and the itinerary. The recommended “Opcional” buses cost €0.75 (BRL 4.30) for a one-way ticket.


€0.75 (BRL 4.30)

Trip Duration

30 min

*Recife buses operate 7 days a week from 04:00 to 23:50.

Value for money

Recife buses run every 20-30 minutes.

Where do I get the bus from?

The bus stops are conveniently located in front of the arrivals hall. You will see the bus line signs as soon as you claim your luggage and exit the terminal building.


The bus is the most cost-effective option for a transfer to downtown, but not the most convenient one. Many buses are not air-conditioned – which is a big disadvantage in Recife’s tropical climate, while they can get crowded during rush hours.

Editor’s Note

If you travel with a small group of people, or your luggage is difficult to handle in the limited space of a bus, a taxi to the city centre might be a better transportation choice. The differences between four bus tickets and a taxi fare are not that tremendous for up to four people.

Useful Tips

Buses can get crowded during rush hours, so make sure you are at the stop a bit earlier if possible.
“Opcional” buses are air-conditioned and more spacious, though slightly pricier than regular city buses.
The last stop of Bus 33 is Avenida Dantas Barreto in the historic centre. Bus 42 terminates at Recife Antigo.
Remember that Bus 42 runs on weekdays and Saturdays during the day.
If your flight arrives late at night before 04:00, a taxi or private transfer might be your only option.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in Recife. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24 hours before the pickup and get an 80% refund

Edit or cancel transfers

Read more


Same price as a regular taxi from the line


Sedan Car

4 pax, 4 pieces of luggage

Book Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups - Airport Taxi Services

Welcome Pickups launched its five-star airport taxi service in Athens, quickly moving to Rome, then Paris, and Barcelona, offering English-speaking drivers and advanced technology for flight monitoring, live tracking, and 24/7 customer support. The company then expanded its operations to Lisbon, followed by Budapest and Prague, maintaining consistent service standards with efficient airport transfers.

The expansion continued with Amsterdam, then Tel Aviv, each city benefiting from the same high level of operational technology and customer service. Welcome Pickups began operations in Madrid, Berlin, and  Dubai, rounding out their network. In 2024, the service will be available at over 350 airports worldwide, projecting to welcome more than 2 million passengers.

Frequently asked questions

How do I get from Recife Airport to downtown Recife?

There are three available ways to get from Recife Airport to downtown Recife; taxi, metro or bus. The metro and the cab are the most affordable options, with tickets costing €0.75 (BRL 4.30) per person and availability throughout the week, from early morning until almost midnight. Airport taxis are the most convenient option for seamless door-to-door transportation without wait times.

What’s the cost of a taxi from Recife Airport to Recife Antigo?

The cost of your taxi ride from Recife Airport to Recife Antigo depends on the type of taxi you will take from the airport. The designated “Special” taxis offer a set-rate fare of €10.50 (BRL 60) for a trip to the Old Recife/downtown area. “Common” taxis charge using a taximeter, according to the regulated city rates.

Yet, if you want total peace of mind and a competitive fixed-rate fare without hidden costs that can be secured in less than 60 seconds, you can pre-book your Recide Airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.

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