Everything you need to know for your trip to São Francisco do Sul, in Santa Catarina. Check out what to do in the city and our tourist tips to discover in the destination

The city of San Francisco do Sull, is located on São Francisco Island, east of Joinville, in the state of Santa Catarina. Its foundation, according to reports, dates back to 1504, although it could not even be called a village at the time. Because it's so old, San Francisco do Sul It has a charming historic waterfront that unites museums, century-old buildings, beautiful beaches, nature trails and ecological reserves.

If visiting this island city is in your plans, the historic center cannot be left out of the itinerary. This part of the city is home to a set of 150 houses listed by the Historic Patrimony, dating from the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The buildings in Portuguese, German and Norwegian styles form one of the largest collections of historical heritage in the country and take tourists through a journey through the history of Brazil. It is also there that we find the only boat museum in the country. The Museu Nacional do Mar has in its collection books on boats, on-board crockery, navigation instruments and vessels from all over Brazil, such as rafts, canoes and boats.

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Continuing along the historical tour, the Palácio da Praia do Motta and the Forte Marechal Luz are attractions to consider. The Palace is an 18th century building that was used as the seat of local government and as a prison. It now houses the municipal museum which includes photos and other artifacts from the 18th and 19th century. Construction began on the fort in 1909, and is still controlled by the army today. Therefore, the entire structure is very well taken care of. There, one of the attractions is the Troca da Bandeira, held since the beginning of the century, every Saturday at 8 am.

In addition to the historical part, San Francisco do Sul attracts many tourists who seek to enjoy beautiful beaches in this region of the state. Among the most sought after by tourists are Praia do Ubatuba, Praia da Enseada and Prainha.

Things to do in San Francisco do Sul

Tourism tips in São Francisco do Sul. Photo: Armando Magalhães

Our Lady of Grace Parish Church

Recognized for its tradition and trajectory of faith, the Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora da Graça, one of the postcards and historical heritage of São Francisco do Sul. The church was designed in Venetian style with its base made with shell lime, whale oil and sand, in 1699. The baptismal font dates from 1802 and the organ used until today, came from Rio de Janeiro in 1823.

National Museum of the Sea

The only museum with a collection of vessels in Brazil, the Museu Nacional do Mar is located in the historic center of the city and houses books about boats, on-board dishes, navigation instruments, vessels from all over Brazil, such as rafts, canoes, boats, and even the Paraty I boat with which Amyr Klink crossed the Atlantic.

Municipal Public Market

The Municipal Market was, for many decades, the main sales center of São Francisco do Sul. Today, in addition to fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, tourists can find pieces of local handicrafts.

Babitonga Bay

A great option to spend the whole day enjoying the beauties of the coast of San Francisco from the south is to choose to take a boat trip through Babitonga Bay. The most common route is the one that goes to the port of the city, passing close to the 14 islands of the bay and stopping in the Historic Center. It is possible to make stops for bathing in Ilha das Flores and lunch in Vila da Glória. Tourists can also choose to leave Praia da Enseada for a boat trip to Ilha da Paz, where there are beautiful beaches, rocky shores and a 1905 lighthouse.

Fort Marshal Luz

With the aim of protecting the city from possible invasions, the Marechal Luz Fort began to be built in 1909. Controlled until today by the Army, the entire structure is very well taken care of.

Beaches in San Francisco do Sul

Photo: Matthew Laine

Ubatuba beach

Praia do Ubatuba, with a sea of strong waves, very popular with surfers and a wide strip of sand that usually hosts a beach volleyball championship during the summer.

Enseada Beach

With the best tourist infrastructure, Praia da Enseada is the one that most attracts tourists in the region. With three kilometers long, and its horseshoe shape, it is popular for having a calm sea, with few waves. There, you can rent paddle boats and kayaks. The schooner and banana boat trips are also successful.

little beach

Praia da Saudade, also known as Prainha, is the great surfing spot on the island, serving as the headquarters for the region's championships. It is here that the most popular bars of the high season are concentrated.

How to get to San Francisco do Sul

Things to do in San Francisco do Sul

Tourism tips in São Francisco do Sul. Photo: David Cano

By airplane

The closest airport to São Francisco do Sul is Lauro Carneiro de Loyola Airport, in Joinville, 50 km away by road. Another option is Navegantes International Airport – Ministro Vitor Konder, in Navegantes/SC, 95 km away, and Hercílio Luz Airport, in Florianópolis, 198 km away.

By car

Access to São Francisco do Sul both from the North (São Paulo and Curitiba) and from the South (Florianópolis and Porto Alegre) is via the BR-101 and then the SC 280 to reach the city.

When to go to San Francisco do Sul

Tourism tips in São Francisco do Sul

Tourism tips in São Francisco do Sul. Photo: Anderson Gomes

To make the most of the beautiful beaches of São Francisco do Sul, it is recommended to visit the city between December and March, a period when temperatures usually reach 39 degrees on the coast of Santa Catarina.

In April, the Festa de Tradições da Ilha takes place, an event with shows, cultural presentations and typical cuisine that celebrates the traditions and folklore of São Francisco do Sul.

Where to stay in San Francisco do Sul

San Francisco do Sul

Photo: Constanza Liberatore

Booking offers more than 50 options for accommodation in San Francisco do Sul. See all available hotels on Booking.com here.

São Francisco do Sul has great accommodation options on Airbnb. The platform that offers house, apartment and room rentals can be much cheaper than hotels. And if you haven't registered yet, you can use this discount code.

Useful links for your trip to San Francisco do Sul

Plan your trip to San Francisco do Sul:

Check out a selection of articles with tourism tips in São Francisco do Sul to help you plan your trip:

book your hotel

In addition to having several promotions, the Booking.com has the possibility of free cancellation.

If you prefer AirBnb, has several amazing apartments and rooms in São Francisco do Sul. In this link you Get discounts on your first AirBnB stay.

Car rental

THE rent cars is the leading car rental site in Latin America and offers up to 60% discount on reservations. In addition, those who use the platform do not have to worry about IOF fees and have advantages with easier payment methods and free service cancellation.

Flights to San Francisco do Sul

THE MaxMiles is one of the references for those looking for cheap travel. The site sells airline tickets with up to 50% off. They get these attractive values because they buy airline tickets with miles from people who want to sell points. Everything is done with total security and has become the favorite site for frequent travelers who always buy tickets, simulate the value of your flight with MaxMilhas.

Travel insurance

find your Travel insurance with the best prices at Allianz Travel.



Dica extra para a sua viagem

Para encontrar inúmeras opções de acomodação e book hotels e pousadas durante a viagem, utilizamos o Booking.com - disponível em milhares de destinos. Para economizar com voos, consultamos primeiro as passagens aéreas na MaxMilhas, - quase sempre encontramos os melhores preços tanto no Brasil quanto no exterior. As passagens podem ser emitidas mesmo para quem não tem milhas aéreas.

Outras dicas úteis

Encontre informações úteis sobre os best destinations do mundo, com guias de viagens especializados sobre diferentes places to visit in Brazil e no exterior. São milhares de travel tips com sugestões de onde ir na sua viagem, recomendação de hotels, notícias atualizadas e muito mais.

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