Sao Paulo hotels
What travelers to Sao Paulo are saying
Soak Up Sao Paulo
Bring your appetite and your glad rags to Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, where the cuisine is tasty and the people gleaming. So gleaming, in fact, that you won’t even notice that Sao Paulo lacks Rio’s organic lustre, and will instead get swept up by this dauntingly comprehensive bustle of entertainment.
Museums are world-class in this cultural capital, from the Museum of Art to the Museum of the Portuguese Language. A million pizzas are eaten in Sao Paulo every day, and with places like Speranza it’s not hard to see why. Wander through Sampa for an equally sizeable taste of Sao Paulo life – the city has evolved into a heavily populated concrete monster since it was founded by Jesuits in 1554, but although the buildings are grey the people are exceptionally colourful.
Sao Paulo’s Top 10
10. Parque do Carmo A massive city park. So massive it even has its own rainforest!
5. Instituto Butantan Probably the only venom farm you’ll ever visit. A thousand snakes are milked for their poison then returned to simulated native habitats.
9. Playcenter One of a number of amusement parks offering rides, food stalls and shows.
4. Museo do Ipiranga Celebrating Brazil’s independence from Portugal, the Versailles-style gardens here can’t help but impress.
8. Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo A fabulous collection of contemporary art, housed in an iconic piece of modern architecture.
3. Theatro Municipal Ostentatious flourishes from virtually every architectural era are represented on the façade, while inside it is all marbled resplendence.
7. Edificio Copan This massive residential skyscraper has become a symbol of the city.
2. Jardim Zoologico Brazil’s largest zoo is home to 900 species, from the caged to the free ranging.
6. Ibirapuera Park Another huge park, this one is filled with lakes, sports courts and even the Biennial Art building and a Japanese pavilion.
1. Banespa Tower The observation deck on the 34th floor has fantastic views of the city, but requires a passport for entry.
Sao Paulo History
- Catedral da Sé – The cathedral of the metropolitan area and a symbol of the city.
- Faculdade de Direito – The country’s College of Law was founded in 1827 and is the oldest educational institute.
- Banespa Skyscraper – Enjoy the panoramic view from one of Brazil’s highest buildings and landmarks.
- Sao Bento Monastery – Built in 1650, this site attracts many who take part in the Gregorian chants.
- Viaduto do Efigenia – This landmark São Paulo viaduct links two of the city’s main streets.
Sao Paulo Art & Culture
- Latin America's Memorial – A place that bring together the roots and culture of Latin America.
- São Paulo Art Biennial – A cultural event held every two years with Brazilian and international art.
- International Electronic Art Festival – Attracts artists from all of corners of the globe to its art shows, meetings and debates.
- Carnival – A traditional celebration held each year and includes a parade of samba schools.
- Ipiranga Museum – Preserving the memory of Brazil’s Independence, includes 100,000 artefacts.
Sao Paulo Shopping
- Galeria do Rock – A five-story shopping centre dedicated to heavy metal and rock music.
- El Dorado Shopping Centre – More than 300 great shops where you can find just about everything.
- Livraria Cultura – The place to find books on Brazil, its culture, country and life.
- Morumbi Shopping – A refined place with top local and international stores.
- Daslu – This exclusive São Paulo shop offers only the best.
Gay & Lesbian Sao Paulo
- Gay Pride – Largest in the world, held each year during May and June.
- Cantho - Great dancing club with popular music from the '70s, '80s and '90s.
- The Week – Local São Paulo hotspot with awesome DJs and dance floor.
- Vegas Club – Great gay nights on Friday and Saturday with a large bar and outdoor area.
- Sogo – High-energy sounds and dancing.
São Paulo Outdoor
- Paulista Avenue – One of the largest business centres worldwide and the biggest cultural region in São Paulo. Includes numerous shops, galleries, eateries and entertainment.
- Banespa Tower – Great place to see São Paulo from the 34th floor and includes a museum.
- São Paulo Jockey Club – Get a drink or something to eat at one if its bars or restaurants and take in the beautiful sunset.
- Ibirapuera Park – Fills 1.5 million square meters and is one of the most popular outdoor places to enjoy sports, activities and other attractions.
- Festival of Cherry Trees – Parque do Carmo offers this each year in August and includes typical Japanese presentations and food.
São Paulo Sport
- To catch a great game with the SC Corinthian soccer team, stop by the Alfredo Schürig Stadium.
- Esporte Clube Pinheiros offers sports including volleyball, swimming and handball.
- The Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix takes place in the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
- Check out the São Paulo Athletic Club for local rugby games.
- The Esporte Clube Sírio is a great place to enjoy basketball.
Sao Paulo Events
You’ll want tickets to the parade in the Sambodromo for Carnival in March. Elaborately costumed dancers and musicians parade atop decorated cars playing samba rhythms.
At July’s Japanese Festival,it isn’t just sushi and tea that showcaseSao Paulo’s thriving Japanese culture.
Enjoy the smooth grooves at Sao Paulo Jockey Club in October for the Natura Nos Festival,which hosts Brazilian musos and some international acts.
The Sao Paulo International Film Festival in Octoberoffers the very best of the Brazilian film industry, and even shows a few films you won’t need a phrase book to understand.
Big-name bands hit the open-air stages at Sao Paulo Play Centre for Planeta Terra Festival in November.
When To Go
- Summer can be very humid, and although it’s the rainy season it still brings more crowds and higher prices.
- Everything’s cheaper from June to September. It’s colder than summer, but temperatures rarely drop below 11ºC (52ºF).
- Spring (March to May) is a great time to visit,when the city is warm and dry.
- Transport in Sao Paulo can be hellish. Roads are ridiculously congested, so renting a car is not the best option.
- It’s best to stay below ground, and the subway system makes getting around the city very easy, clean, safe and efficient.
- Buses are reliable, but can be uncomfortably crowded at peak hour.
With a virtually inconceivable metro population of 22 million, immense São Paulo provides Brazil with a truly global city. The urban area of record in South America is more than just a wide, colossal swath of humanity. Rather, São Paulo is a diverse cultural, economic, commercial and entertainment hub. As a result, the city offers superb variety for tourists in search of a more complete experience than easy, breezy Rio de Janeiro.
Within the picturesque Brazilian Highlands, visitors to São Paulo who want to get out of the city for a day or two can explore nearby beach resorts and lush parks. Of course, the city can keep you busy for days, if not weeks. With 31 boroughs, or subprefectures, São Paulo is big. The historic downtown core is a pulsepoint of tourism and with more ethnic diversity than any city in Brazil, São Paulo's rich heritage is in full evidence in the architecture, restaurants and shops that populate the bustling neighbourhoods.
Attractions & Events
Restaurant & Nightlife
Home to a humid subtopical climate, São Paulo is fortunate to have great weather for most of the year, with fairly steady temperatures from one month to the next. Although rainfall can be heavy between October and March, the temperature rarely drops below 12° and tops out between 26° and 28° from November to March.
Sao Paulo on Wikipedia
Sao Paulo Official Guide
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Good location. Great staff
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