If, on your next vacation, you want to travel to a religious destination, we’ve brought amazing city tips for you to add to your itinerary and have fun — with options in and out of Brazil. Thus, there will be no excuses for not enjoying religious tourism .
There are many options for those who want to combine the vacation period with that moment of looking inside and connecting with the most intimate of our spirit. After all, it’s a perfect trip to take with parents, grandparents and the whole family. Let’s check it out?
- Juazeiro do Norte
- Zu Lai Temple
- New Jerusalem
- Bonfim Wash
- Santiago de Compostela
- Sanctuary of Fatima
What is religious tourism?
The religious tourism is based basically by visiting cities that have a calendar of festivities linked to expressions of faith, or even those who do not realize festivities, but have a connection to the popular faith.
This is one of the types of tourism that is gaining more and more followers in Brazil and around the world. In it, the motivation tends to have a very specific character: the spiritual. Therefore, it is the desire to connect with faith that carries believers to these destinations.
Even though many people visit cities for cultural reasons or even curiosity, it is still the religious motivation that most moves people to these places. But, do you know which is the most religious city in Brazil? No? So, come check it out!
What is the most religious city in Brazil?
Among so many religious destinations in Brazil — such as Salvador-BA, Belém-PA and Nova Trento-SC — there is a city that stands out when it comes to “faith” in Brazil. This place is Aparecida, in the state of São Paulo .
The city, which is known as “the patroness of Brazil”, attracts millions of Catholic pilgrims every year. The reason? Celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Aparecida take place at the Aparecida National Sanctuary.
The patron saint’s festival, which takes place in October, lasts ten days and has an intense program of religious rites, such as masses, processions and novenas. But Aparecida is not the only city in Brazil and in the world to attract faithful.
Check now the list of 11 places to do religious tourism in Brazil and around the world. So it’s time to travel! Let’s go together?
What are the best cities for religious tourism in Brazil and in the world?
The smallest country in the world is the official seat of the Roman Catholic Church.
We couldn’t begin this list with any other destination than this: the sovereign city-state of the Vatican, located in Rome, Italy. After all, even being the smallest country in the world and having less than 1,000 inhabitants, the Vatican receives more than 6 million people a year.
There are four places that attract the most attention in the Vatican: the museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica. Being so small, you might think it wouldn’t take you long to get to know everything, right?
But be careful! Due to the long lines that form, we advise you to set aside at least one full day to this traditional religious tourism spot on your trip to Italy .
The city is home to places that are part of the spiritist route in Minas Gerais.
Both the city of Pedro Leopoldo, in Minas Gerais, and Uberaba, in the same state, receive faithful linked to the Spiritist faith for the same reason. Cities were the stage of Chico Xavier’s life: in the first, he was born; on the second, he lived and died.
In Uberaba, a memorial was made in honor of the medium, which attracts people from all over Brazil — spiritists or not. In the city, it is also possible to visit the Christian Spiritist Communion and the House of Prayer, both founded by Chico Xavier.
So, they are great places for you to travel, if you want to know more about the history of this important Brazilian medium.
3. Juazeiro do Norte
The most visited city for religious tourism in Ceará.
Known worldwide for being the city of Padre Cícero, Juazeiro do Norte welcomes pilgrims and pilgrims throughout the year. Paying promises, praying at the feet of the famous “Padim Ciço” or getting to know the place that is so famous are the three activities that most attract people to the city.
There, you can visit the priest’s tomb, which is located in the Chapel of Socorro, as well as churches and the memorial made in his honor. Ah! Remember to include in your itinerary the house where Father Cícero lived and the statue in Colina do Horto.
4. Zu Lai Temple
A Buddhist option for those visiting Cotia-SP.
There is also an option of religious tourism for you who are Buddhist or admirer of Buddha culture. This is because the largest Buddhist temple in Latin America — Zu Lai Temple — is in Brazil and is located in the municipality of Cotia, São Paulo.
With a beautiful setting in the middle of nature, the temple is a perfect place for those looking for peace and tranquility. There, you can still attend ceremonies and lectures, as well as courses in meditation, Chinese, Tai Chi Chuan and much more.
5. New Jerusalem
The largest open-air theater in the world.
Located in Pernambuco, Nova Jerusalem is the stage for the show “A Paixão de Cristo”, which attracts spectators from all over Brazil every year. The region is a great tour option if you want to see a reconstruction of the last hours of Christ’s life.
And there’s more! In addition to watching the show, it is possible to visit the scenarios, meet the actors and even have dinner at the place where the Santa Supper is staged. Certainly, Nova Jerusalem is a destination that must not be missing from your journey of faith.
6. Bonfim Wash
The interfaith celebration draws attention in Salvador.
With many options for events to attend in Salvador, Lavagem do Bonfim is certainly one of the most important and beautiful. The rite always takes place in January, on the second Sunday after Twelfth Night, and is a representation of religious syncretism.
Bringing together practitioners of Catholicism and Candomblecists, Lavagem do Bonfim attracts an average of 1 million people a year. As we can see, the place is really one of the greatest expressions of faith of the Brazilian people.
7. Santiago de Compostela
Visit the ways of James, disciple of Christ.
Located in Spain, this is a great itinerary for those who want to know the paths taken by Tiago, apostle of Christ. The route, which passes through several countries in Europe, is declared a World Heritage Site and has its most popular stretch in Spain.
You will have several options to make the way to Santiago and discover the beautiful landscapes where the apostle passed through. The path can be done on foot, but it is also possible to do it by bicycle or horseback.
8. Sanctuary of Fatima
One of the most important Catholic destinations in Europe.
Located in the city of Fátima, in Portugal, the Sanctuary of Fátima is the right destination for Christian pilgrims visiting Portugal. The place is known and famous for the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima to three children, in the beginning of the 20th century.
The region, which started from a small chapel, is now a Catholic complex with large churches and places of faith, where crowds gather every year to watch Catholic celebrations. So, it is worth including this attraction in your travel itinerary for Europe !
Religious tourism in the city of Jesus Christ.
This is an unmissable destination, not only for all Christians in the world, but also for those who, despite not having a religion, are interested in history. The capital of Israel, divided between the old city and the new city, offers tourists several tour options.
Starting with the Upper Room – the place where the Last Supper took place, passing through Mount Cion, the Western Wall and the Holy Sepulcher – you will have a lot to see in Jerusalem. Remember to pass by Monte das Oliveiras and have a privileged view of the city.
Discover one of the three holy places of Islam.
Along with Jerusalem and Medina, Mecca is one of the holiest places for Islam. It is the seat of the Great Mosque—the largest in the world—and it is there that the black stone of Abraham is located, where Muslims kneel to pray daily and kiss it.
Mecca is important to Islam because it was the city where Muhammad, founder of Islam, was born. Therefore, five times a day, Muslims turn towards the holy city to pray.
Important pilgrimage site in France.
850 km from Paris, is located the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes: one of the most important places in the world for Christians. So Catholics go there to place orders and pay promises.
With only 15 thousand inhabitants, Lourdes receives more than 6 million tourists all year round. There are several stunning scenarios to discover. Churches, caves and mountains are waiting for you in Lourdes!