One of the oldest cities in Brazil, its Historic Centre includes churches, palaces, houses and other buildings from the colonial and imperial past. There is the Casa de Pólvora, a former powder magazine which supplied troops fighting the invaders; the Convent of Santo Antonio and the church of São Francisco, forming the "baroque area", construction of which commenced in 1589 and took almost 200 years to complete; and the Monastery, considered important for the beauty of its facade, which includes sculptures, decorated tiles and wood carvings, reflecting the influence of indigenous art.
João Pessoa is a coastal city, and most of its beaches are in its outlying districts. Among them are Tambaú, 7 kilometers from the city center, comprising one of the most famous postcard views with the beauty of the scene and the jangadas on the sea; Penha, only two kilometers away, a small fishing village; and, a little further out at 48 kilometers, Tambaba, the only beach in the North East of Brazil devoted entirely to naturalism.

14 kilometers from the center of the city is the most easterly point of the South American continent, Ponta do Seixas, where the dawn light first strikes Brazil. Nearby is Cabo Branco, a popular beach for the beauty of its 50 mere high cliffs and the fort of the same name.

The town of Sousa, situated in the Paraíba outback, 480 kilometres from the capital, is the location for the Valley of the Dinosaurs, considered to be an important world paleontological site, with footprints of Jurassic species at least 70 million years old. The vestigial prints form a path along the banks of the Peixe River, where iguanodontus and alossaurus lived millennia ago.

At Ingá, 96 kilometers from the capital João Pessoa, inscriptions carved into the rocks known as Pedras or Itacoatiaras do Ingá arouse the curiosity of scientists, students and tourists. Surrounded in mystery even today, the ancient inscriptions are indecipherable symbols, but of great archaeological value. There are three schools of thought about their origin: they were written by natives of the region; they are a manifestation of an evolved culture from another continent; or they are even a message from extraterrestrials on a visit to this planet.