Brazil’s largest city came to prominence on the world map as a commercial centre, but has since transformed into a cultural hub featuring museums, galleries and a thriving nightlife. This densely developed city has historic attractions and sprawling urban parks alongside modern high-rise buildings.
A range of exciting destinations can be found outside of the central business district. Explore São Paulo’s green parks and gardens, where locals come to meet on weekends. Visit Ibirapuera Park to find a popular area with lakes and water features lined with lush trees. Relax by the lakeside and explore the park’s cultural institutions. Enjoy an open-air concert at Ibirapuera Auditorium and discover the cosmos at Planetário Professor Aristótles Orsini. Visit the Museum of Modern Art to discover a collection of works by Pablo Picasso and many Brazilian artists.
Head to the commercial centre to see more cultural destinations, such as the Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre and the Portuguese Language Museum. Use São Paulo’s metro to enjoy quick and easy transport to the bustling Paulista Avenue. Here, you’ll find museums and shops as well as a busy entertainment plaza serving fresh local cuisine. Try a pastel, a regional savoury pastry snack filled with meat or vegetables.
São Paulo’s history can be discovered at the city’s numerous heritage attractions. Experience Sunday Mass and Gregorian chanting at the São Bento Monastery. Admire the architecture of the nearby São Paulo Cathedral, one of the city’s most photographed buildings.
Be aware of your personal belongings when visiting tourist attractions and exercise caution when travelling, as criminal activity in the city is high. You can easily get around safely by sticking in crowds and catching taxis at night.
A few key Portuguese phrases will get you a long way, but English and Spanish are also regularly spoken at major attractions. Fly in to São Paulo via Guarulhos International Airport and then take a taxi to reach the diverse city centre.
Travel guide produced with the assistance of the São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau, SPTuris and Flavia Liz Personal Guide - Sao Paulo specialist.