Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city is a vibrant metropolis, a cultural center and a foodie’s paradise.
Head down Paulista Avenue on your trip to Sao Paulo and you’ll discover towering skyscrapers, the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, luxury hotels and trendy coffee shops. Many of the main attractions though are spread throughout the city. Other museums worth visiting include Museu do Ipiranga in the southeast of the city, and Pinocoteca do Estado in the Downtown area.
Parque Ibirapuera is one of the largest public parks in South America, while the Museu de Futebol (football museum) at Estadio Pacaembu is a great place to discover Brazil’s national obsession.
To get a good view of Sao Paulo’s sprawling and continually growing skyline, head to the Banespa Tower, which has an observation deck located on the 34th floor.
If you want to get a real feel for the culture of the city during your trip to Sao Paulo, a historical city tour will familiarize you with all the major sights and the stories behind them.
Most Brazilians love to celebrate, and you’ll find that Paulistas are no different. The city hosts a huge range of events and festivals throughout the year. If you want to experience an authentic Brazilian street parade filled with music and colorful costumes, then visit during the Sao Paulo Carnival, which takes place annually between February and March. Another big event on the city’s cultural and sporting calendar is the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Eating in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo has the most diverse culinary culture that you’re likely to see anywhere in Brazil. Traditional Brazilian and Latin American dishes can be enjoyed alongside a wealth of cuisine from around the world, from Japanese to Italian, Chinese, and Spanish.
Brazilian cuisine takes its cue from European (particularly Portuguese) and African dietary traditions.
For a quick bite, try Pao de Queijo (bread rolls baked with cheese), or for something more substantial, head to one of the city’s many churrasco eateries where they serve up a range of grilled meats.
Shopping in Sao Paulo
Shopping in Sao Paulo is suitable for a range of budgets and tastes. In the Downtown area, many of the largest shops and bargain shopping can be found on Rua 25 de Marco. Further out in the suburbs, you’ll find numerous street markets selling local goods and produce as well as imported goods.
When travelling to Sao Paulo, you’re also likely to come across at least one of the city’s large indoor mall complexes that are frequented by locals and tourists alike. Significant malls include the affordable Center Norte in the north of the city, to the exclusive shopping of JK Iguatemi Mall.
Most Brazilians are practicing Catholics and take their faith very seriously, so be sure to show the proper respect. The official language of the country is Portuguese, and if you can speak even a few words, you may find your travels to Sao Paulo richer as the locals respond more warmly towards you.