Sao Paulo, the richest and largest city in Brazil, is a vibrant multicultural metropolis. The country’s financial center and cultural hotbed is home to people from across Brazil and other foreign countries. This multi-ethnic city, also popularly called Sampa, has a diverse mix of immigrants hailing from countries such as the Middle East, Korea, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Italy. The multi-cultural mix of this magnificent place can be seen in its various neighborhoods.
The city of Sao Paulo has many attractions to offer to its quintessential visitors. It is home to many world-class museums. The city also plays host to South America’s premier, high-profile Fashion Week, which is held twice every year in January and June. If you are planning to spend your next vacation in Sao Paulo, here are the top three attractions that are a must visit while you simultaneously get fascinated with the diverse cultural lifestyle of the people here.
Museu do Futebol
Football remains an integral part of the Brazilian people and its culture. Some of the greatest football legends such as Pele, Ronaldino and Romário deSouza Faria were born in Brazil and gained wide acclaim for their country in the world of football. Considering the vital role that football plays in Brazil, a dedicated Museu do Futebol or Museum of Football has come into being to further promote the cultural importance of football. Movie screenings, lectures, cultural shows, exhibitions and all other things specifically related to football are showcased in the museum, which was established in 2008. The museum in fact promises to become a must visit place for football fans from all over the world in the years to come.
The Museu do Futebol is housed in the Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo. As you enter the museum you will find endless collection of posters decorating the entrance hall. This is absolutely the best introduction that one could ever ask into the nostalgic history of football. Technology and interactivity play a key role in retracing the history of Brazilian football and the society. Photos depicting the first decades of Brazilian soccer history can be seen in a section of the museum, which among others also has a vast collection of snapshots of the bygone era. Apart from this, the museum also showcases above 100 artifacts depicting Pele’s life and career. It also provides a fascinating account of the Sao Paulo Athletic Club (established in 1888) and the history of local football. The Museu do Futebol can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday between 1000 to 1700 hours. The museum is closed only when a game is being played at the stadium.
The Ibirapuera Park was founded in 1954 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Sao Paulo. This famous park in the city is visited by nearly 20,000 visitors from Monday to Friday, goes up to 70,000 on Saturday, and visited by over 130,000 people on Sunday. The popularity of the Ibirapuera Park makes it at par with New York City’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park, Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and Tokyo’s Ueno Park.
The Ibirapuera Park offers many playgrounds, 13 courts, bicycle path, fitness areas and several cultural attractions. The important attractions found here include Oca do Ibirapuera (formerly called Palácio das Artes or Palace of Arts), Japanese Pavilion, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Afro-Brazil Museum, Biennial Pavilion, and Manequinho Lopes Vivarium.
Jardim Botanico de Sao Paulo
The Jardim Botanico de Sao Paulo or Sao Paulo Botanical Garden is situated near the Zoo. It is housed in a conservation arena amongst the state park named PEFI or Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga. It is among the few existing arenas of Atlantic Rainforest (AR), which earlier covered a large portion of the Brazilian seashore. This biological reserve is currently home to original trees of the AR and its vegetation.
The Botanical Garden offers trails through which you can see many varieties of wildlife and plant species in their natural environs. Here you will discover many bird species as well. The animals found here include toucans, sloths and monkeys. This botanical garden also has lakes, various kinds of gardens, greenhouses and a botanical museum. It owes its existence to naturalist Frederico Hoehne, who was its founder. It was inaugurated in the year 1928. This place can be visited on all days except Monday between 9 am and 5 pm. This is a must visit place to enjoy nature at its best.