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São Paulo

São Paulo (Brazil)

Practical information about São Paulo

  • Park and garden
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Music
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
Six hours by bus from Rio
When to go
From March to June and September to December
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of São Paulo

Anne-Laure Paffenholz Travel writer
13 travel articles

Bem-Vindo to SãoPaulo! A busy, bustling South American city where Brazil meets the rest of the world! Essentially a cosmopolitan megalopolis, city-dwellers who prefer the madness of the urban jungle to natural, wild forests will love it.  

My suggestion:
Fully absorb the city's atmosphere as you stroll along its palm-lined avenues. As far as possible, avoid getting bogged down in the traffic that chokes the city. Use the subway to get around instead. You'll save both time and energy.
Summary:

Flying over the city before landing provided an opportunity to get a glimpse of the sheer extent of this widely varying megalopolis. Each neighborhood has its own particular flavor: East Asian in Liberdade, Bohemian/student in Pinheiros, the area around Plaça da Sé is the business district , affluent neighborhoods to the south, etc.

In this large city swarming with people I at one point felt the need for a bit of green space. You don't need to leave this megalopolis behind for that. I went to relax in the Parque do Ibirapuera in the southern part of the city. It's a nice place to go for a stroll, sugarcane juice in hand, or to go jogging after a big meal in one of the city's many delicious restaurants.

São Paulo really stands out for its cultural life and the reputation of its food. Don't let your taste buds miss out, and be sure to check the cultural events calendar to find out what's taking place during your stay in Brazil. It would be a pity to be just a couple of blocks away from a good concert or exhibition and not go to see it.

São Paulo skyline
Eva Martin Travel writer
181 travel articles

The largest metropolis in South America, situated in south-east Brazil and the economic capital of the country.

My suggestion:
If you have the time, head out of town to little known, yet beautiful, beaches that are within a reasonable traveling distance. I particularly recommend Ubatuba Beach, but bear in mind it'll take you two hours to get there.
Summary:

São Paulois immense, some say monstrous and impossible to tame. As it's from the airport here that you can jet off to see the rest of the country, it's likely that you'll find yourself in the city at some point during your trip to Brazil.  

On arriving don't expect a charming view; a smoggy, huge, concrete jungle is the best description. You'll also probably feel oppressed by its urban chaos, whilst dizzied by its immensity. And, as often happens when you arrive in a huge town, it takes time to get into its vibe and orientate yourself. So you may not be sure where to go and what to do next. But at least you've made it to Brazil! The people here will bend over backwards to help you, even it they can't come up with the right solution. Bear in mind that if you are lost and being directed by someone (nicely so) you may well end up going in completely the wrong dIrection. It can be either amusing or frustrating, but it's a pretty common occurrence when you're traveling around this country! 

As a result, it'll be thanks to the local 'Paulistanos' that you'll stumble upon or hear about the hidden treasures the city has to offer. The city's a melting pot and it's cultural life compares to no other in this part of the continent. So what is there to do? Visit museums, planetariums, the different quarters and eat great food. In other words, the A-Z of any big city visit. The city's university campus is an interesting microcosm, set in green parkland and worth a detour. As for its nightlife? Well, that's something for you to discover!

View of the city
Amélie Perraud-Boulard Travel writer
32 travel articles

São Paulo, the economic lungs of Brazil, also has some pleasant surprises in store for tourists. Food lovers, visitors interested in culture and architecture will be seduced by this 'Pauliste' city.

My suggestion:
To appreciate the immensity of the metropolis, go to the top floor of the Martinelli Building or, if money's not a problem, charter a helicopter.
Summary:

I've lived here for 5 years and it still never ceases to amaze me. It's true that at first sight, its charm may not be obvious and many visitors to Brazil just use it as a stopover point. But if you give it some time, São Paulo will win you over too.

Things worth doing are a visit to the Ibirapuera Park, in the Centro, which is dotted with early 20th Century buildings and to eat a little 'pastel' (a Brazilian speciality) in the Mercado Municipal. Then there's the sushi sold on stands in the Japanese quarter in Liberdade and you can finish your day with a beer or caïpirinha, whilst listening to samba in Vila Madalena. If there's a museum to remember, its the football museum at the Pacaembu Stadium.

Another fun idea is to go on free, organized tours by foot. They're themed and held in Portuguese or English. Run by the São Paulo Metro, look them up under free walking tours. Some guides can also show you some amazing street art, for which the city is also known.

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