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Sao Paulo City Guide
Massive and sprawling, Sao Paulo can be somewhat overwhelming at first glance. Spend some time in Brazil's largest city, however, and you'll quickly start to appreciate its cultural treasures and impressive international dining scene. There are 20 million people who live in greater Sao Paulo, including the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. All of this creates a rich culture and tolerant atmosphere in this liberal, laid-back city. ¶ Despite its urban setting, Sao Paulo is home to many green spaces including Ibirapuera Park, which offers plenty of walking trails, lush meadows, and free events to enjoy. The Parque Estadual Serra do Mar is also mentioned in any Sao Paulo city guide. This mountain range is covered in rainforest, home to monkeys and tropical birds. Whether you're interested in enjoying the natural side of Sao Paulo or its dynamic 24-7 nightlife, there's something for everyone in this world class metropolis.
Things to do in Sao Paulo
One of Sao Paulo's must-see attractions is the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo. This modernist art museum hosts the most impressively comprehensive collection of art in Latin America, as well as a quirky antique fair on Sundays. For more things to do in Sao Paulo, visit the Memorial da America Latina, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. It combines glass and cement in many positions, for a beautifully memorable visual impact. Visit the Mercado Municipal to admire its stained glass interior, or pick up some gourmet food products including stuffed pastries and dried tropical fruit. Football is Sao Paulo's favourite pastime, and you can catch a match at the vibrant Pacaembu Stadium or visit the small museum under its bleaches to learn more about its history.
Things to see in Sao Paulo
The Historic Centre has gone through many ups and downs through the years, but is now considered one of the worthwhile things to see in Sao Paulo. It has recently been revitalized with theatres, commercial shopping strips, and concrete office buildings. The Caixa Cultural is an impressive cultural centre based in a neoclassical building, encased in imposing black marble. The centre showcases rotating exhibitions from Brazilian artists. Sao Paulo's history of immigration is quite interesting, and you can learn more about it at the Memorial do Imigrante in the suburb of Mooca. For Sao Paulo's answer to Versailles, head to the Museu Paulista in the ritzy suburb of Ipiranga. This museum is set amidst flower gardens and topiary, providing panoramic views from its hilltop position.
Sao Paulo Transport
There are three airports to choose from when flying into Sao Paulo. The largest is Guarulhos International Airport. Viracopos is used for both international and domestic arrivals, while Congonhas is the city's main domestic airport. There are also three major bus terminals, including Rodoviario do Tiete, Rodoviario da Barra Funda, and Rodoviario de Jabaquara. These are all accessible using Sao Paulo's Metro network, which is an excellent and well-organized way to get around the city. The Sao Paulo transport system also includes trams and buses, while taxis are widely used throughout the city. Simply look for the white taxi ranks.
Sao Paulo Events
One of the biggest festivals is the Sao Paulo Carnival, with its exuberant parades, street parties, samba music, and dancing. Another important cultural festival is the Virada Cultural, which occurs during late April and early May. This free event draws an audience of millions, who circulate throughout the city centre to see live theatrical Sao Paulo events that take place 24 hours a day. Do you love cars? You'll want to visit during the Sao Paulo Indy 300 or the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is a Formula One championship race taking place at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.
Restaurants in Sao Paulo
Whatever you are craving, you'll find it in Sao Paulo. Due to the city's high immigrant population, there's an excellent diversity to be found in restaurants in Sao Paulo. Japanese cuisine is particularly popular, but you can also try various forms of typical Brazilian beans and rice. ¶ One traditional dish is the Virado a Paulista, consisting of rice, beans, manioc flour, collard greens, and pork chops. Churrasco is Brazilian barbecue, and is also a must-try cuisine for meat lovers in Sao Paulo. You can find a number of trendy restaurants in neighbourhoods like Jardins or the bustling Avenida Paulista.