BRAZIL  |  São Paulo, Brazil Travel Guide
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São Paulo, Brazil

Daiane Conterato modeling during Fashion Week in São Paulo, Brazil (cc)
 

São Paulo Travel Guide

Introduction

São Paulo is all about size and dimension. It is the largest city in not only Brazil but all of South America. It has the biggest, richest, most active stock exchange in the Southern Hemisphere. It has what can only be described as an endless skyline, with skyscrapers on the horizon as far as the eye can see. It is a melting pot of monumental status, with the largest populations of Lebanese, Japanese, Portuguese, Italians and Germans outside of their respective homelands, and sizeable communities of Koreans, Jews, Greeks, Eastern Europeans and myriad other ethnicities besides. It is a city for the workaholic. It is a city for the business traveler with an expense account, catered to by high-end hotels and fine restaurants with prices to match. Which, however, does not imply that it has little to offer the accidental tourist. For it does: it has charming neighborhoods, architectural gems, resplendent parks and gardens known as "jardims," hip boutiques and atmospheric teashops, countless first-class museums and galleries, and colorful food and arts and crafts fairs and antique markets to revel in and explore. Ultimately, though, São Paulo can fairly be described as a megacity that can both overwhelm and delight, its offerings ladled out on a giant-sized platter.

Location

São Paulo is located in the state of São Paulo in the southeastern part of Brazil, some 43 miles (70 km) from the Atlantic coast. It's perched on a plateau in the Brazilian Highlands at an average elevation of aprroximately 2,621 feet (799 m).

How to Get There

Sightseeing

Main Neighborhoods

  • The Centro -

    Centro Velho (Old Centro) - This is where you'll find the old part of town, Centro Velho, with small streets radiating out from its central plaza, Praça da Sé, crowded with some of the city's oldest buildings, particularly along the quarter's two oldest streets, Rua Diréita and Rua São Bento. There several interesting old churches and basilicas here; as well as the São Paulo Stock Exchange and some of the city's earliest skyscrapers.

    Nova Centro (New Centro). - This is the other part of São Paulo's historic center, west of Centro Velho, with some pedestrians-only streets such as Barão de Itapetininga, and with tons of shops and street vendors to add to the color. Praça da República (Republic Square), is where the Hippie Fair is held on Sundays, featuring artisans and street musicians.

  • Liberdade - Working-class neighborhood, home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan. There are pagoda-shaped buildings here, homes with red porticos. and street lamps resembling Japanese lanterns. There are Asian stores and restaurants, teashops, events celebrating the residents' Japanese heritage, and Asian foods and handicrafts fair every Sunday on the main square, Praça Liberdad, and a Japanese Immigration Museum, Museu da Imigracãno Japonesa, which is well worth visiting.

  • Bela Vista - São Paulo's Italian quarter, locally referred to as Bixinga, with Italian restaurants and neat little homes with well-kept gardens. There are also several interesting shops here, well worth browsing in, a museum, Museu Memória do Bixiga, which traces and preserves the residents' Italian heritage, and a weekend fair, held in the quarter's Praça Dom Orione, spilling over with more antiques and handicrafts than even the one in Liberdade.

  • Financial District - The city's principal business district, fast paced and filled with skyscrapers, largely centered on Av. Paulista. It has several pricey, exclusive hotels, upscale restaurants, and modern cultural centers offering art exhibits and classical music. The city’s premier Fine Arts Museum (MASP) is also located here, on Av. Paulista.

How to Get Around

Where to Party

Where to Eat

Where to Stay

Know Before You Go

  • Best Time to Visit:
  • Cost Per Day: US$-US$ (-)
  • Currency: (US$1 ~ )
  • Electricity: 220-240V - 50Hz
  • Phone Code: +55
  • Population: 11.3 million (19.9 million in the greater metropolitan area)

Nearby Destinations

© Indian Chief Travel Guides

Last updated November 22, 2013
Posted in   Brazil  |  São Paulo
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
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