Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. It belongs to the Metropolitan mesoregion of Fortaleza and microregion of Fortaleza. It is Brazil's 5th largest city and the twelfth richest city in the country in GDP. It also has the third richest metropolitan area in the North and Northeast regions. It is an important industrial and commercial center of Brazil, the nation's eighth largest municipality in purchasing power. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the city reached the mark of second most desired destination of Brazil and fourth among Brazilian cities in tourists received. The BR-116, the most important highway of the country, starts in Fortaleza. The municipality is part of the Common Market of Mercosur Cities, and also the Brazilian state capital which is closest to Europe, 5,608 kilometres from Lisbon, Portugal.
To the north of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean; to the south are the municipalities of Pacatuba, Eusébio, Maracanaú and Itaitinga; to the east is the municipality of Aquiraz and the Atlantic Ocean; and to the west is the municipality of Caucaia. Residents of the city are known as Fortalezenses.