Sao Paulo Brazil...
Sightseeing Brazil's largest city

Brazil Travel: San Paulo, Paulista Avenue
Paulista Ave.- © Christian Knepper/Embratur

Sao Paulo tourism should be included in your brazilian holidays, it's one of the most unique travel experiences in South America.

The most impressive city we've ever visited in the whole wide world.

Furthermore, after seeing it, everywhere else seems small. It's by far the largest city in Brazil and South America altogether, second only to Mexico city.

It's gives you the feeling of visiting the whole world in just one place.
You may even feel some kind of cultural shock, be impressed or intimidated by its size and activity level.

Situated at 760 meters above sea level in the state of the same name, it's composed by the city itself and Greater Sao Paulo area, covering approximately 1,500 square kilometers.

Founded in 1554 by the Jesuits, it went from a sleepy Jesuit post -through the boom of coffee plantations and exports that followed from 1850 onwards - to the commercial, financial and industrial locomotive of today's Brazil.

In fact, it generates 30% of the Brazilian GNP (Gross National Product).

Sao Paulo Facts:

Here are some quick facts to help you grasp the concept of what a gigantic city means in this context...

  • Second largest city in the Western Hemisphere. Home to more than 17 million people.
  • Ranked 4th on a global scale. Including the Greater São Paulo area it's actually the third largest megalopolis in the world.
  • Its population as a whole is comprised of more than 70 different nationalities.
  • 10.000 miles of streets.....and increasing.
  • Over 1 million Japanese nationals - at Liberdade - which makes the largest concentration outside Tokyo, Japan.
  • Twelve thousand restaurants.
  • More than 100 theaters.
  • 70 museums.
  • 32 shopping centers
  • A dozen cultural centers
  • Two Zoos
  • Two soccer stadiums
  • A superb Formula one race track: Interlagos
São Paulo.  Ibirapuera Park
Ibirapuera Park- © Christian Knepper/Embratur

The business of Sao Paulo is business. Just about every major industry in Brazil is based there and that is reflected in the number of conventions, expositions, conferences and international trade fairs taking place on any given week.

Food is taken as serious as business in the city, São Paulo has the most sophisticated and varied cuisine you can think of. Waves of immigration brought a mix of cultures and cuisines: Italian, Arabian, Lebanese, Chinese and just about every imaginable dish on top of the traditional brazilian cuisine.

Brazilian BBQ for instance is served in a particular way through its numerous rodizios and churrascarias, where roasted cuts of meat are circulated around the tables and cut on patron's order. Feijoada or feijon - pork and beans - is the most traditional of all Brazil food and served only on wednesdays and saturdays.

You wouldn't want to miss Paulista Ave. - São Paulo's main street - and one of the favorite spots for Paulistanos (as locals are known). It's filled with shopping malls, restaurants, headquarters of Brazil's biggest companies, cultural and financial institutions and some historical buildings. Together with Downtown area, it is where the main tourist attractions in São Paulo are centered.

São Paulo nightlife is not short of options by any means. making it a premier destination in Brazil after Rio de Janeiro. An excellent spot to get involved with fun and music is Bixiga - also known as Bela Vista or Little Italy - filled with many restaurants, clubs, bars, discos and night clubs.

Sao Paulo Tourism: Parks

  • Ibirapuera Park (1.5 million square meters)
  • Trianon Park
  • Playcenter
  • Estrela's Dream House
  • Zoo
  • Safari Zoo
Ipiranga Museum. San Paulo, Brazil
Ipiranga Museum- © Christian Knepper/Embratur

Sao Paulo Tourism: Museums

  • Paulista Museum (Ipiranga)
  • Contemporary Art Museum
  • USP Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
  • USP Geosciences Museum
  • Lasar Segall Museum
  • Modern Art Museum
  • Banco do Brasil Cultural Center
  • Latin America Memorial
  • Museum of Brazilian Art
  • Museum of Image and Sound
  • Herculano Pires Museum
  • The Brazilian Home Museum
  • Immigrant Memorial
  • Station Pinacoteca
  • State Pinacoteca
  • Pautantan Institute

Sao Paulo Tourism: Churches

For soccer fans, the city it's home to the most famous soccer teams in the country: Corinthians, São Paulo and Palmeiras, with two big stadiums...

 San Paulo, Brazil. Vale do Anhangabau
Vale do Anhangabaú - © Christian Knepper/Embratur

For complete information on Sao Paulo tourism visit the official site for the City of São Paulo.

How to Get There:

By Air:
Congonhas Airport for domestic flights and Guarulhos - main international airport - about 50 km. away. See more Airports in Brazil.

By Road: Through Highways...

  • SP-160 (Imigrantes)
  • SP-280 (Castelo Branco)
  • BR-116 (Washington Luiz)
  • SP-330 (Anhanguera)
  • SP-348 (Bandeirantes)
  • BR-116 (Dutra)
  • BR-381 (Fernðo Dias)
  • SP-150 (Anchieta)

Distance to Rio de Janeiro: 429 km.
Distance to Florianópolis: 705 km.
Distance to Iguazu Falls: 1,047 km.

Where to Stay:

The city has over 60 thousand hotel rooms of diverse prices and categories, from the luxurious to hostels and small inns or pousadas.
Find and compare best hotel rates.
Book budget accommodation.

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