Sao Paulo is not only Brazil’s largest city, but also the largest city in South America and the southern hemisphere. It is part of one of the five largest metropolitan areas in the world.
The city is a major cultural center, with predominant Italian, Portuguese and African background. Sao Paulo is known for its varied cuisine , museums and festivals.
Here are just some ideas of things to do while you are in Sao Paulo:
A day in Ibirapuera Park
This is the Brazilian equivalent of New York’s Central Park…so spend a day in nature, away from the concrete jungle. Pack a picnic basket, walk, jog, take photos and go to concerts (over the weekends).
Mortadella sandwich for lunch
Head to the Mercado Municipal and get a mortadella sandwich for lunch. You can buy cheeses, various types of meats and fruits and head to the park for a relaxing picnic.
Or , you can hit the per-kilo restaurants (literally pay by the kilo of food you consume). Add a caipirinha to the menu (or leave it for an evening splurge).
Sao Paulo’s Metropolitan Cathedral
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It is a major landmark in the city. Built in Neo-Gothic style, it is the city’s largest cathedral. It is free to visit.
Visit some museums
If budget is problem , then do your research and find out when there’s no entrance fee to popular museums. For example, on Tuesdays it’s free to visit the SÃ£o Paulo Museum of Art, one of the best art museums in the southern hemisphere. The Ipiranga Imperial Museum is a must-visit place for the history buffs.
Take a Zoo Safari
The Zoo Safari is now under the SÃ£o Paulo zoo umbrella. You can enjoy a real safari (tours in closed vans) and see the animals roam freely. Of course, you can also visit the zoo, which is one of the best in South America.
Visit the Sao Paulo’s botanic garden
The orchids will most likely make you fall in love with the place, but the green house is also amazing (Atlantic rain forest).
See the city from above: Altino Arantes Building
If you are fascinated by bird’s eyes views of the cities, then head to Altino Arantes Building. At 161 meters, it used to the tallest building in the city. It has an observation deck (free access) with lovely views of the surrounding area.
Escape to Praia Grande
When you’ve had enough of the busy city, escape to Praia Grande, which is located about an hour’s drive from Sao Paulo.
Sao Paulo is a shopper’s paradise and finding bargains is quite easy. If you look for hand-made goods, then Liberdade district is the place to check out. Otherwise, the Ibirapuera Shopping Mall is where you should look for various brands you might be interested in.