Housed within the former public jailhouse in downtown Fortaleza, the Center of Tourism (Centro de Turismo do Ceara) has been fully restored to include art and traditional local craft shops, the Museum of Art and Popular Culture (Museu de Arte e Cultura Popular) and a tourist information center.
For most visitors, the main draw of the Center of Tourism is the shopping, and along with the Central Market (Mercado Central), it represents one of the best places in the city to buy local crafts for gifts or souvenirs. The vendors mostly specialize in textiles, particularly the embroidered white lace Fortaleza is known for. Within the mid-nineteenth century building, vendors set up shop inside old prison cells, making the Center of Tourism an interesting stop for history lovers as well as shoppers.
The Center of Tourism is open seven days a week, but hours are limited on Sundays and holidays.