Sao Paulo City Guide
About Sao Paulo
Sprawling Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. In fact, this huge metropolis Paulo is also the largest city in the southern hemisphere and the third largest city in the world. Sao Paulo is the industrial, financial and commercial capital of Brazil, which figures prominently on the business traveler’s travel map.
For tourists looking to vacation in Sao Paulo, this chaotic but cosmopolitan city has much to offer in the form of several cultural attractions and excellent shopping, dining and nightlife opportunities.
Where to stay in Sao Paulo
The Centro district of Sao Paulo is the city’s downtown area, which is close to various attractions and well connected by public transport services. This neighborhood hosts a few business hotel properties, which cater to business travelers who want to be based close to their work place. One of the major drawbacks of being based at a Centro hotel is the area empties out at night and has scarce nightlife or dining options.
Avenida Paulista is the prime business district of Sao Paulo and accordingly hosts many business-oriented hotels and high-end, luxury hotel properties, which cater to high-flying executives.
The Jardins neighborhood of Sao Paulo is a highly coveted accommodation destination for tourists on vacation to Sao Paulo. The Jardins neighborhood offers the city’s best restaurant, shops, cafes and hotels and is also less chaotic and crowded than other parts of the city.
However the only drawback of this neighborhood is that it is not connected by the metro to other parts of the city. So if you choose to stay at a hotel in Jardins, you would need to take a bus or cab to get to other parts of the city.
Higienópolis is a verdant residential neighborhood located within close proximity of Centro. The neighborhood offers a few luxury hotels, excellent restaurants and shops and is located within close proximity of Centro.
No matter where you choose to stay during your vacation in Sao Paulo, Fare Buzz can procure the best hotel rates for you.
Places to see in Sao Paulo
Paulo’s main attractions are cultural in nature and include a whole host of museums, which are dedicated to various periods of the city’s history and its unique culture
The Museu de Arte
The Museu de Arte is located on the city’s main avenue of Avenida Paulista. This museum hosts an impressive collection of western art that includes works of all the major European artists. The Museau de Arte in open every day and offers free admission to the public on Thursdays.
The Museu de Afro Brazil
The Museu de Afro Brazil is a relatively new museum in Sao Paulo dedicated to the country’s large Afro-Brazilian population. Brazil’s population of African descent is the largest such population outside Africa. Displays at this museum include artworks by black artists as well as other artifacts. The museums also shows short biographies of black writers and politicians and is definitely worth visiting in order to get an insight into the history of this section of Brazil’s population.
The Parque do Ibirapuera
The Parque do Ibirapuera is a major green space located in the heart of the city, which hosts many attractions like the Obelisk of Sao Paulo, a planetarium, a Japanese pavilion, gymnasium, and the Cicillo Matarazzo Pavilion, which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art and is often used as a venue for large events like the São Paulo Art Biennial and São Paulo Fashion Week. The park also hosts other museums like the Air Force Museum, Folklore Museum, and Modern Art Museum.
The Museu de Arte Moderna
This museum is located within Sao Paulo’s famed Ibirapuera Park and is equipped with two galleries, which host ever-changing exhibits of modern art. These exhibits include paintings, sculpture, video installations and more. The museum is surrounded by a sculpture park, which hosts the works of twenty-eight Brazilian artists.
The Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo is housed in a neo baroque building that is adorned with much stained glass. This vibrant colorful market was built in the 1930s and is located in the heart of the city. It is a ‘must-do’ attraction on any visit to Sao Paulo. The vendors at this market sell a wide variety of fish, vegetable, olive oils and many exotic fruits like jabutica, bacuri, acaia berries, guanabano, which are not found elsewhere. The market also has several restaurants and food stalls that sell many varieties of local eats like cheese buns, pastéis de bacalhau and pao de queijo so the market is a fun place to grab a quick bite during your stay in Sao Paulo.
Museu de Futebol
Soccer is almost followed like a religion in Brazil and the Brazilian team is one of the best football teams in the world. Sao Paulo’s Football Museum is housed within the city’s iconic Pacaembu Stadium and offers numerous interactive exhibits that commemorate the sport and the greatest Brazilian soccer players. If you are at all a soccer fan then the Museu de Futebol should be considered as a number one attraction on your itinerary for your Sao Paulo vacation.
Best time to visit Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo can be classified as a year round destination as the city experiences a mild temperate climate all throughout the year. Since Sao Paulo is located in the southern hemisphere, it experiences its winters during the months of June and July when the lowest temperatures recorded are usually 54F (12C).
Summers in Sao Paulo generally occur during the months of November to March during which the city gets sultry and hot and experiences average daytime temperatures of 82F(27C). The city also receives its annual quota of precipitation during its summer months.
Getting around in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo is usually accessed via it Guarulhos International Airport, which is located 16 miles (30km) to the north east of Sao Paulo. This airport receives a host of carriers from all over the world, which makes getting to Sao Paulo from overseas quite easy. Fare Buzz periodically offers flight deals to Sao Paulo from a various destinations and if you are planning to vacation in Sao Paulo anytime soon, you would do well as to contact Fare Buzz with your needs.
The Guarulhos International Airport is connected to the center of the city by various modes of public transport like taxis, shuttle buses and public buses. Transport within this huge city is provided by a public transport system made up of buses, taxis and the subway but because Sao Paulo’s roads are often gridlocked with traffic the best way to traverse the city is via its metro system.
Taxis also provide an inexpensive and convenient mode of transport in Sao Paulo and it is advisable to use a taxi if you are out for a night on the town in the city. The Sao Paulo subway does not run all night and the city unfortunately also suffers from a high crime rate. Taxis are easily available in the heavily tourist trafficked neighborhoods of Sao Paulo and can also be called on the phone.
Most tourists on a vacation in Sao Paulo usually avoid renting a car for their stay in the city. This is because traffic conditions in Sao Paulo are quite chaotic and driving in the city is quite difficult for those who are not used to these hectic traffic conditions.
Where to shop in Sao Paulo
The sprawling city of Sao Paulo offers a wealth of shopping options at its many glitzy malls, international boutiques and local crafts market. Shopping is a favored past time of the residents of Sao Paulo, who tend to believe that if they can’t find an item in a Sao Paulo store, there is little chance that it will be available elsewhere in Brazil.
Sao Paulo’s city center, Jardins area is the main hub of luxury retail in the city. Streets like Rua Oscar Freire, Rua Alameda Lorena, Rua Augusta and Rua Haddock Lobo are packed with upscale boutiques and stores belonging to national and international luxury retail brands, which offer products like fine jewelry, watches, apparel, gourmet eats and fine lifestyle products. Many prominent Brazilian labels have a presence in the Jardins district like Maria Bonita, Forum, Rosa Cha, Guarana Brasil amongst others.
Yet another popular shopping enclave is Rua 25 de Marco situated within the Centro neighborhood of Sao Paulo. Located here are various small shops offering various daily necessities, like buttons, small gadgets, textiles, inexpensive lingerie, towels, socks, belts and other bits and bobs. This crowded, often chaotic area is frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Mall shopping is immensely popular in Sao Paulo and the city hosts several glitzy, upmarket malls kitted out with a multitude of upmarket stores, restaurants and cinemas. Popular malls in Sao Paulo include Shopping Morumbi, Shopping Iguatemi, Shopping Patio Paulista and Shopping Patio Higienopolis. Also worth perusing is Daslu, a decadent haven for luxury retail in Sao Paulo.
Most stores in Sao Paulo are open from 9 am to 6pm during the work week. On Saturdays, stores remain open from 9am to 1pm, while they are closed for business on Sundays. Malls in Sao Paulo are open from 10 am to 10pm Monday through Saturday. Credit cards are widely accepted in Sao Paulo, though rebates are often offered for cash payments and Traveler’s checks are not easily accepted by retailers in Sao Paulo.
Where to eat in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo’s culinary landscape is diverse and vibrant. In addition to native Brazilian cuisine, the city’s eateries serve up a good selection of international cuisines like French, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Middle Eastern and many more. Highly-ranked and recommended eateries in expansive Sao Paulo currently include dining hotspots like A Figueira Rubaiyat (an old school Brazilian steak house in a stunning setting), Attimo (serving Italian cuisine ), Biondi (for well-priced Italian eats), Brasil a Gosto (a child-friendly Brazilian restaurant) and Bueno (a Japanese resto-bar).
Nightlife in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo is a city that never sleeps, and for many it comes alive at night! Late-night restaurants, live music venues, sports bars, sleek lounges, roof top bars, thumping nightclubs, offer nocturnal fun for almost everyone. Au courant nightlife haunts in Sao Paulo currently include hotspots like Kiss and Fly, Lotus, DEdge, the Week, Mokai, Sonique, Pink Elephant, Mynt Lounge, Skye and Pacha, all of which are regarded as the city’s best places to ‘party’.