Sao Paulo

Travel Guide
Italia Building showing skyline and a city

Sao Paulo Travel Guide Video

Experience the diversity of this megacity’s cultural offerings, visit religious buildings or practice Portuguese with locals in nightclubs or shady parks.

Brazil’s largest city is often overlooked as merely a business center, but a recent cultural resurgence means São Paulo now attracts visitors for its many museums and galleries, and its nightlife. The concentrated city has one of the most dramatic skylines in the world. Discover many historic sites beneath the towering skyscrapers.

You’ll find plenty of things to explore beyond the city center: São Paulo’s parks and gardens become popular meeting places on the weekends. While a little Portuguese will get you a long way, English and Spanish are spoken at most major attractions.

Go to the large Ibirapuera Park to see a popular green area. The tree-lined banks of its lakes are perfect for relaxing and the many cultural institutions within its grounds are great spots to spend the afternoon. Visit the Ibirapuera Auditorium for an open-air concert. See the night sky unfold before your eyes at the Planetário Professor Aristóteles Orsini. Stop by the Museum of Modern Art to see works by Pablo Picasso and numerous Brazilian artists.

Cultural offerings continue downtown, where you’ll find the Bank of Brazil Cultural Center and the Portuguese Language Museum. Catch the metro, the easiest way to travel, to reach São Paulo’s busy Paulista Avenue. Visit museums, shopping malls and a popular entertainment plaza where you can try the local cuisine. Sample a pastel, a savory pastry stuffed with meat or vegetables, as you wander the streets.

Learn the history of São Paulo by visiting some of the city’s oldest attractions. The iconic São Bento Monastery holds a Mass on Sundays complete with Gregorian chanting, while the nearby São Paulo Cathedral is one of the city’s most photographed structures.

Look after your belongings while visiting the major attractions. As in most major cities, try to avoid areas with little or no activity as they could be potentially risky.

Arrive in São Paulo at Guarulhos International Airport before hopping into a cab to reach the exciting city center.

Travel guide produced with the assistance of the São Paulo Convention &Visitors Bureau, SPTuris and Flavia Liz Personal Guide - Sao Paulo specialist

Where to stay in Sao Paulo

Paulista Avenue featuring a city and modern architecture

Jardins

4.5/5(195 area reviews)

An upper-class region in São Paulo, Jardins boasts numerous museums, including the São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound and the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture. Surrounded by Rebouças Avenue, River Pinheiros Marginal Avenue, Brigadeiro Luís Antônio Avenue, and Paulista Avenue.

Jardins
City Hall which includes a city and street scenes

Itaim Bibi

4.5/5(40 area reviews)

Visitors often come to Itaim Bibi for its abundant dining options, but many stay to explore sights like Parque do Povo and JK Iguatemi Shopping Mall. Getting around the area on the metro is easy if you catch a ride at Campo Belo Station.

Itaim Bibi
Ibirapuera Park which includes outdoor art and night scenes as well as an individual male

Moema