Named for the city’s people, Paulista Avenue is São Paulo’s busiest street and home to many of the city’s most lauded attractions. The avenue is located between the old and new towns and is flanked by a mix of skyscrapers and historic façades. Paulista is a hub for both culture and business, making it busy throughout the day. Wander the avenue’s 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers), and you’ll pass the nerve centers of Latin America’s largest financial institutions and São Paulo’s famed Museum of Modern Art. At the end of the day, bars and pubs begin to fill up with workers ready to relax and have fun.
Travel by subway to reach the Paulista Center at the northern end of the strip. Spend the afternoon making your way south to experience the exciting atmosphere. You’ll pass Old Paulista, with the oldest home on the street, the tiny house of Coronel Joaquim Franco de Mello, and Casa das Rosas, a historic poetry center.
Continue down the street and you’ll see the soaring Edifício Gazeta high above you. This radio tower is known to locals as the Paulista Tower; it becomes a great landmark when illuminated against the evening sky. Nearby you’ll see the signature red columns that wrap themselves around São Paulo’s Museum of Art. See works spanning many movements, including the Renaissance era, and many by emerging contemporary artists.
By the time you reach the end of the street, you’ll be ready for a snack and a drink. While there are many food courts along Paulista Avenue, the most authentic restaurants and cafés can be found on the quieter side streets. Meet locals over a caipirinha, Brazil’s most popular cocktail, or try couve-de-folhas, a local food favorite made from cabbage leaves.
Paulista Avenue is located in the heart of São Paulo. It is best reached by subway and has three stations along its length. Due to the central location and lack of parking, driving is not recommended. The avenue is best visited in the afternoon or cautiously in the evening when the atmosphere shifts from business-centric to a more relaxed air.