Useful Numbers

Telephones in Brazil - DDD and International:

As a general rule, long-distance and international calls within or from Brazil are expensive compared to Europe or North America (for example).

When telephoning long-distance within Brazil (DDD), you need to use a two-digit operator code, after the leading zero denoted by (0xx) below. 

Thus, when dialing any other city with a different area code or another state in Brazil, you’ll need to dial as follows: 

0 21 xx 1234-5678

The '21' is one example of an operator code (Embratel) and can be subsituted by others such as '31' - OI (the choice of operator can affect the price considerably depending on the operator and plan that the line you are calling from uses).

The xx (81 for Recife metropolitan region) is the area code, and followed by the 8 digit phone number.  Note recently numbers in São Paulo have recently added a leading '9' to  numbers.

If you are dialing outside the country, add an extra leading '0' as normal but remember that you must follow it by the two-digit operator number:

00 21 + country code + number (without leading zero).

Reserve charge or Collect calls:

To dial collect to a non-local number, just add a leading '9'. 

To call collect from a payphone to a local number, add a leading '9090':

9090 + 5555-5555 (8 digit local number without the area code)

Whilst in these days where most travellers have mobile phones that operate internationally, the above may still come in handy if you have a contact in the city, but don’t have a phonecard or your mobile/cell-phone doesn’t work upon arrival! 

Mobile networks and International roaming:

Whilst most large foreign mobile networks may work in Brazil, almost certainly any international roaming will be very expensive.  If you intend to use your own phone number/network in Brazil, you should advise your operator, check pricing and any special deal prior to travelling.

In any case, we recommend you consider buying a local pre-paid SIM-card (Chip), which can double as an extra option should your mobile not work, which from experience, often occurs or takes some time to be enabled. It will also probably prove much cheaper.

Whilst you can buy SIM-cards at many street stands around the city, there are a number of operators to choose from (Claro, TIM, VIVO, Oi) and the vendors will probably not speak English.

We recommend you ask for help upon arrival in the airport (outside international arrivals, there is a SIM-card kiosk), hotel concierge or a friendly local.


Codes and Emergencies


Recife metropolitan region|(0xx) 81**

Interior of Pernambuco|(0xx) 87**


Emergency Numbers

Tourist police - Recife Airport|(81) 3322 4088/3322 4867/3303 7217**



Fire Department|193**


Airport Services

Recife Guararapes International Airport Information|(81) 3322-4188 /4353 /4685**

Tourist Information - Empetur|(81) 3232-3594(24h) / 3462-4960 / 3182-8299**

Receita Federal (Federal Customs authority)|(81) 3322-4712/4241/4689**

Federal Police - immigrant Services|(81) 3322 4949/3322 4952**