A sprawling city, truly gigantic, challenging to find superlatives to describe the excess of Sao Paulo. The most significant accumulation in Brazil, encompassing nearly 20 million inhabitants. We enter a kind of forest of buildings in the district of business. One of the most dynamic in the world: all sectors are represented there, and multinationals from all over the world establish themselves there. Therefore, Sao Paulo is the country’s economic centre, even if it is not the political centre located in Brasilia. This modern architecture adds to other older districts, such as downtown Sao Paulo.
The contrast is striking between the affluent neighbourhoods west of the city. With its major shopping streets and the areas where the most egregious poverty reigns: the wealth gaps within the Brazilian population remain among the largest in the world. So, whenever you are planning to explore this place? No worry! Stop thinking, start planning, book avianca airlines reservations in any class and save up to 50% off on round trips on every flight. To help you out, below, we’ve mentioned the best things to do in Sao Paulo for a perfect weekend getaway.
Famous tourist places to visit in Sao Paulo
Parque Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park) is the most significant green space in the city and one of the largest urban parks in Latin America. The natural lung of São Paulo allows for many activities. Walking or cycling, people watching from the lawns, visiting museums, admiring the architecture of Niemeyer, strolling around the lake, and much more.
Dancing the samba on saturday
An experience to live! Samba music play live in many bars in the city on Saturdays. Having lunch, having a drink, and dancing to samba is a way for Paulistano to unwind after a busy work week. The best place to eat and hang out, listen to and dance the samba is Bar Samba in Vila Madalena. It opens in the early afternoon and is a great place to enjoy a feijoada (traditional Brazilian dish) and meet the locals.
Antiques, crafts, and street food
On Sundays, the surroundings of MASP come alive on Avenida Paulista, where two large open-air markets are organized. The space under the museum becomes a substantial antique market, and across the street is an artisan market where excellent street food is sold.
MASP (Sao Paulo Art Museum)
São Paulo has many excellent museums, but the MASP is the best art museum in the city. It holds the finest collection of Western art in Latin America and houses fantastic temporary exhibitions. Tuesday is accessible to the public, but it’s more fun to come here on a Sunday, as you can see below.
Discover the most beautiful architecture in the city
One of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Oscar Niemeyer, was Brazilian. You can see his work in several São Paulo (and Brazil ) places. The most striking features of his works are the curved lines. It compares to the female body and the creation of the defiant effect of gravity. These attractive buildings are a pleasant change from the endless apartment towers of São Paulo. In addition to some examples of modern architecture, the city has some examples of colonial and historical architecture.
Latin America memorial
The Memorial da América Latina is a complex designed by Oscar Niemeyer to honour the struggles of Latin American peoples and host festivals or public events. The complex includes a library, a research centre, art exhibits (including popular Latin American art), and the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies. It’s a nice place to walk around and observe the interesting architecture. Try to get inside buildings, if possible.
The afro brazil museum
It is one of the most beautiful museums in the city. It is saying something, as São Paulo has several excellent museums. Inside another building designed by Niemeyer. Inside, the information may still be only in Portuguese, but even if it is, the exhibits on the history of African culture in Brazil are fascinating.
Local street art
São Paulo considers one of the best cities in the world for street art creativity. The city’s streets are filled with beautiful examples of street art, especially in the city centre. To admire the most beautiful frescoes, go to the Vila Madalena district, particularly the Beco do Batman (Batman Alley), close to Rua Harmonia, just before Rua Luis Murat.
The Paulista Museum (Ipiranga) was built in 1895 to preserve 400 years of Brazilian history. It houses old maps, photographs, paintings, and furniture. It is located inside an impressive neo-classical palace with European-style gardens. Unfortunately, Ipiranga is far from the centre but accessible by bus and metro. (As I write this article, the museum is closed for renovations. To find out more, visit the official website ).
Museu do futebol
The Museu do Futebol is located in the Estadio Pacaembu (which was used until 2013 by SC Corinthians), one of the biggest football stadiums in the city. If you love football, you’ll enjoy watching vintage videos and seeing interactive exhibits and documents from the history of the World Cup and Brazilian football stars. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm except for Monday.
One of Niemeyer’s many famous designs, the Edifício Copan, is a landmark in São Paulo due to the skyscraper’s characteristic curve. Many artists and wealthy people from Sao Paulo used to live here. But the building has become a bit neglected over the past two decades. It’s worth visiting, but you can do even better by visiting the nearby Edifício Itália. Climb the top floor where the Terraço Itália restaurant is located for a panoramic view of the city (and of Copan), especially at sunset. Access is free from Monday to Friday from 3 pm to 4 pm. You will have to pay something or buy a drink if you go there at any other time.
One of the largest biomedical research centres in the world, the Butantan Institute, was founded in 1901. It is open to the public and is enjoyable to walk around. See snakes in the serpentarium, and learn about the development of vaccines and anti-venom.
Local flavours at the market
There are several markets in Sao Paulo (that’s Latin America!), and visiting them is a great way to discover the local atmosphere and flavours. Of all the needs, I recommend the sizeable municipal market, the “Mercado”. There is a wide variety of exotic fruits from all over Brazil, spices, meats, vegetables, etc., and it is the ideal place to taste some specialities at attractive prices. The classic: the big mortadella sandwich. Address: Rua de Cantareira 306, Centro, Sao Paulo (metro Luz).
Sao Paulo is a city full of cultural events of all kinds. Suppose you are a fan of music in general. In that case, you will pamper because the music scene in Sao Paulo is very active, whether at the level of small concerts or significant international events. By the way, did you know that it hosts Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, and Sonar? But if you prefer something more classic, don’t miss the magnificent Sala Sao Paulo, located in an old train station, which hosts many concerts and is the seat of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Know that it is possible to get last-minute tickets at only 10 RS!
Try the local specialities
In the city’s many markets, some mentioned here, you will find a wide choice of local specialities, typical fruits, and many other things. Do not hesitate to venture into one of these markets. What out of curiosity.
A stay in São Paulo and Brazil would not be complete without eating in a churrascaria: expect to eat a lot (do not eat lunch in anticipation). The price of the meal includes all the dishes at will except drinks and desserts. The meal usually includes various appetizers and side dishes (I advise you to reserve the meat). Soon after, waiters often dressed as gauchos and passadores come to your table regularly with different cuts of beef on giant skewers. You need to indicate where you want them to cut the meat. On the menu: chicken hearts, sausages, beef, lamb, pork, but also grilled pineapple, grilled fish, etc. Be aware that despite the excellent meat served in restaurants in Sao Paulo, there are many vegetarian restaurants with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Sao Paulo, Brazil, is South America’s most populated metropolis. You already know about the aforementioned exciting places to see and activities to take part in are the outcome of this. Most of the city’s main attractions can only be seen in depth over many days for tourists. Distances in the city of Sao Paulo may be rather long, which is why it is essential to plan. Getting from one place to another might take up a large chunk of your day, so plan accordingly. The city of Sao Paulo is one-of-a-kind due to its rich cultural heritage and lovable personality. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next international trip with AirlinesMap to experience a relaxing holiday in this scenic land!