Eating, drinking and nightlife

The best places to eat and drink in the city are out of the centre, at Mundau lagoon and Pajucara beach. From Praca dos Martirios you can take a taxi, or a local bus marked "Mundau" or "Ponta da Barra", for the short ride to Lagoa Mundau , where you can have a caipirinha at a waterfront bar to accompany the routinely spectacular sunset. There are simple but excellent eating places here, too, selling fish and shrimp, and the early evening is a good time to watch prawn fishermen at work on punts in the lagoon, their silhouetted figures throwing out nets against the sunset.

At Pajucara , you'll find a series of bars built around thatched emplacements - barracas - at intervals along the beach. They mix excellent caipirinhas and serve cheaper food than you're likely to find in the seafront restaurants on the other side of the road, all much of a muchness. Seafood is, naturally, best: the sopa de ostra manages to get more oysters into a single dish than most gringos see in a lifetime; they're so common, you can even get an oyster omelette. Of the restaurants , Spettus, at the northern end of Praia de Pajucara at Av. Robert Kennedy 1911, is probably the best place in town for steaks, but it's not cheap. Slightly more expensive again, the sophisticated French restaurant Gstaad, on the same street at no. 2167, is well known for its salmon dishes. The Chinese restaurant Nova China and the churrascaria Recanto do Picui are both reasonable options and lie opposite each other on block 15 of Rua Jangadeiros Alagoanos.

There are two main clubs in Maceio. Liveliest is Aeroporco's, Rua Sa e Albuquerque 588, Jaragua (open Thurs-Sat), with lots of samba, Brazilian DJs and a sushi bar. Aquarela, at Antonio Gomes de Barros 66, Jatiuca, also has a large dance floor, as well as reasonably good live bands playing pagode and forro, and some tourist dance shows. The Fundacao Teatro Deodoro sometimes presents spectacular dance performances; check the cultural listings in the Tribuna de Alagoas newspaper or call 082/327-2727 for information.

Other useful information for tourists (each section contains more specific sub-sections):