Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of São Luís, Brazil






São Luís is a town in Brazil that was founded in the 17th century by the French. It later came under Dutch occupation before eventually coming under Portuguese rule. Through these periods, it became home to many historicd buildings of the different eras. Thanks to an economic stagnation of the early 20th century, many of the historic buildings in São Luís have survived intact, making the town one of the best examples of an Iberian colonial town in Brazil.

São Luís was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 21st session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Naples, Italy, on 1-6 December, 1997. The Committee recognizes it as an outstanding example of a Portuguese colonial town that has adapted successfully to the climatic conditions in equatorial South America, while at the same time, has managed to preserve its urban fabric.

Photos of Historic Centre of São Luís

Palacio Leoes, São Luís, Brazil
Palacio Leoes, São Luís, Brazil
Author: Marcus Guimarães (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

São Luís Cathedral, Brazil
São Luís Cathedral, Brazil
Author: Marcus Guimarães (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

São Luís Street, Brazil
São Luís Street, Brazil
Author: Marcus Guimarães (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

What to See in Historic Centre of São Luís

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: S 2 30 51 W 44 18 9 in Maranhão State, in northeast Brazil
Inscription Year: 1997
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III, IV, V

Location Map


View Sao Luis, Brazil in a larger map

Visiting Historic Centre of São Luís

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Sao Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. From there, you can make the arrangement, either on your own or through a travel agency, to go there. As part of the preparations, here's a list of hotels in Sao Paolo with online booking facility.

Getting there

You can reach São Luís by bus, train as well as by flight. There are several domestic airlines flying to São Luís from major Brazilian cities.

Book Hotel Rooms in Brazil and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Brazil or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.


Local Tours of Brazil

Brazil is an exciting location, and often the only way to enjoy it fully is to join a local tour. Here are some local tours of Brazil that you may want to include to your itinerary. They save you time and cost of doing it yourself. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

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