São Paulo - Brazilian Cities
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the chosen base for nearly 75% of all fairs and congresses held in the country. It is known throughout the country as the “business capital”. Although this is a well-deserved title, it does not reveal everything else this great metropolis has to offer. Here, it is fundamental to underscore its restaurants, its intense nightlife and the busy artistic calendar. These are responsible for prolonging the stays of those visitors who arrive in the city only to work or to participate in events and who end up surrendering to these wonders.
For you to have an idea how important the Paulistano (resident of the city of São Paulo) ranks cuisine, all you need to say is that it is treated as seriously as business. That’s why all those who appreciate the pleasures of food can be certain: São Paulo will never let you down. From the corner bar to the most refined restaurant in the Jardins districts, from the snack served over the counter to the famous pastas in Italian cantinas, from the hot dog to the most varied international menus – gastronomy in São Paulo is varied, unbiased and completely cosmopolitan. As a starting point for your visit to São Paulo, no place better than Paulista Avenue, one of the city’s landmarks. Home to nearly 30% of the São Paulo financial center, it is one of the most loved districts by its residents. For those who wish to have the feeling of visiting the whole world in one place, São Pauli is a must destination. Immigrants from every corner of Brazil and the world can be found there. You will find Jews, Italians, Japanese, Arabs, in short, people for everywhere on the planet. They live in communities that preserve the traditions of the countries of origin. And they live in perfect harmony with each other. When the topic is fun and art, São Paulo impresses. The capital of the state has nearly 300 cinemas, more than 100 theaters, a dozen cultural centers and 70 museums, among diverse historical buildings. There are also theme parks, countless leisure areas and two large stadiums. It is also interesting to underscore the Interlagos Speedway, home of the city’s Formula 1 Grand Prix. In a city this size, shopping is not only part of the itinerary, but also one of the main attractions. With its countless shopping malls, streets with specialized commerce and arts and crafts fairs, the city guarantees options for every taste.
Throughout most of the year, the climate in São Paulo is mild, with maximum temperatures of around 24ºC during the day, and 18/19ºC at night. It is warm from November thru March, and the temperature can reach 28 or 30ºC during the day. During these months, it is common to have torrential rains almost every afternoon that sometimes cause flooding in the lower sections of downtown and complicate traffic throughout the city. Do not leave home without an umbrella during this period. In the winter months (June and July), it can get very cold, with temperatures dropping to 6ºC.
São Paulo has a very busy schedule of congresses, fairs and expos. Every year, the city holds a growing number of events, totaling 70 thousand, with a number of participants and visitors surpassing 15 million. It has countless spaces that are appropriate for receiving events of every size, totaling 330 thousand m² for fairs.
The municipal Anhembi Complex is comprised of the largest expo center in Latin America (68 thousand m², with parking for 7.5 thousand vehicles), the Convention Palace (with auditoriums for 2.8 thousand people) and the Grande Otelo Sport and Cultural Pole, better known as the Sambódromo (which holds large open-air events for 40 thousand people). This space is used for Samba school parades during Carnival, and for musical presentations.
The Expo Center Norte is another large pavilion with 61 thousand m² for expos, as well as auditoriums. Some of the most important fairs include: UD – International Domestic Utilities Fair; Biannual International Book Fair; Fenit – International Fashion and Textile Trade Fair; Fenasoft – Domestic Software and Hardware Fair; International Auto Show; Francal – Footwear, Fashion Accessory, Machine and Component Fair; Hospitalar – International Fair for Hospital, Laboratory, Clinic and Doctor Office Products, Equipment, Services and Technologies; and Couromoda – International Fair for Footwear, Sporting Goods and Leather Goods.
State: São Paulo
Area Code: (11)
Brasília: 1020 km
Rio de Janeiro: 430 km
Curitiba: 410 km
Belo Horizonte: 590 km
Accommodation / Restaurants
São Paulo has nearly 60 thousand hotel rooms of diverse categories and prices, which includes from luxurious units belonging to large international chains, to tiny inns. The most modern hotels attend to travelers arriving in the city on business with perfection. They are mostly located in the areas surrounding Paulista Avenue and the Jardins, the downtown districts and the southern section of the city.
When it comes to dining, São Paulo is equally grandiose. The thousands of restaurants that serve dishes from more than 40 different countries and from every corner of Brazil make this city one of the most important gastronomic poles in the world. Downtown, Bixiga, Jardins, Consolação, Moema, Vila Olímpia Itaim Bibi and Vila Madalena are just some of the best-known districts when it comes to dining.
How to get there
By Air: the Congonhas Airport receives daily and regular flights from every large city in Brazil. The Guarulhos Airport, 50 km from São Paulo, receives the international flights destined for the state capital.
By Highway: SP-160 (Imigrantes), SP-280, (Castelo Branco), BR-116 (Washington Luiz), SP-330 (Anhanguera), SP-348 (Bandeirantes), BR-116 (Dutra), BR-381 (Fernão Dias) and SP-150 (Anchieta) are the highways that access São Paulo.
EMTU (Airport Service – bus service to the International Airport)
Phone: +55 (11) 6445 2505 ou 0800 190 088
- São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport
Phone: +55 (11) 6445-2945
- Congonhas Airport
Phone: +55 (11) 5090-9000
- Tietê Terminal
Phone: +55 (11) 3235 0322
- Jabaquara Terminal
Phone: +55 (11) 5012 2256
- Barra Funda Terminal
Phone: +55 (11) 3666 4682
The city has countless domestic and international bank agencies. Most commercial establishments accept credit cards.
Fun and art are synonymous with São Paulo, a city that breathes culture. The capital of the state has 272 cinemas, 102 theaters, 11 cultural centers and 70 museums, as well as dozens of historical buildings.
The city also has five theme parks and countless leisure areas. There are also seven large stadiums and the Interlagos Speedway, home to the city’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The verb to shop is closely linked to São Paulo. Similar to the other great metropolises on the planet, the city ensures options for all tastes, from arts and crafts fairs and art galleries to the more than 50 shopping malls. The most famous brands from every corner of the world are here. The streets with specialized commerce are a big differential in the city. They offer antiques, electronic equipment, costume jewelry, and much more.
Theaters and Halls
Julio Prestes Station
The station was built from 1926 to 1938, and it was inspired by the great American train stations. It was transformed into a show hall – the São Paulo Concert Hall – home to the São Paulo State Symphonic Orchestra.
The theater was built in 1903 and inaugurated in 1911. Its baroque Renaissance style was inspired by the Paris Opera House. It stands out with its majestic interior and exterior construction. It held the 1922 Modern Art Week. The Theater Museum is annexed.
São Bento Monastery and Church
This is an important landmark in the history of the foundation of São Paulo. The tower holds the most traditional clock in the city. It was installed in 1921. It also has beautiful stained-glass windows.
Imaculada Conceição da Luz Church and Monastery / Museum of Sacred Art
The 1st chapel was built in the 16th Century by Domingos Luiz. The monastery where the nuns were cloistered was built in 1774. The Museum of Sacred Art is next door, occupying the old part of the construction. The museum’s original mud pestle construction was preserved. Its collection includes baroque art pieces and images from the 17th to the 20th Centuries.
Construction began in 1913, but the cathedral was only inaugurated in January 1954. The most prominent features are the stained-glass windows with Biblical themes, the Italian organ with 10 thousand pipes and the carillon with its 65 bells.
Paulista Museum (Ipiranga)
This museum has an important collection of 200 thousand pieces that portrays the Empire of Brazil. It also has a model of how the City of São Paulo looked in 1841.
Contemporary Art Museum - MAC/USP
This museum has a collection of 8000 works, a documentation center and a library.
USP Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Its collection of nearly 120 thousand objects and images refers to the material culture of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, with special emphasis on Brazil. There are masks, amulets, weapons, ceramics, paintings, ornaments, clothes, domestic utensils, and music and work instruments that depict from pre-history to today.
USP Geosciences Museum
This is the largest museum of its kind (in variety) in South America. Its collection is comprised of 10 thousand pieces, including rocks, fossils, lapidated gems, and precious and semi-precious stones.
Lasar Segall Museum
This cultural activity center has a 2.1 thousand piece collection of works by Lasar Segall.
MASP Museu of Art of São Paulo
This Lina Bo Bardi project was inaugurated in 1968 and it is considered to be the most important museum of western art in Latin America. It receives important temporary exhibits.
State Pinacoteca (Art Museum)
This is the city’s first art museum and it has great architectonic prominence. Its collection includes 5 thousand paintings, sculptures and engravings by Brazilian artists. It receives temporary exhibits.
Station Pinacoteca (Art Museum)
Designed at the start of the 20th Century by Ramos de Azevedo, the building was home to the Department of Political and Social Order (Dops) from the 1930s to the mid 1980s. It was completely restored in 2002, and today it continues the activities of the State Pincoteca. It has five floors, large windows and a brick façade.
Maria Luísa and Oscar Americano Foundation
This park and house has a collection of Brazilian art works and pieces from the 1st and 2nd Empires. There is a jogging track and a tea house.
The memorial’s collection, comprised of furniture, personal and work objects used by the immigrants, helps to better understand the formation of the Brazilian people. Research about the arrival of immigrants is permitted.
Modern Art Museum – MAM
The museum’s collection has 2 thousand pieces, including paintings and sculptures. It has a shop, library and restaurant/bar.
Banco do Brasil Cultural Center
The Banco do Brasil’s first agency and old headquarters is a masterpiece of neo-Classic architecture from the beginning of the century. It has been restored and adapted to receive several artistic displays.
Latin America Memorial
This largest center for Latin American integration has a collection of 30 thousand books and 1.7 thousand South American films. There is a permanent collection of popular art from Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Brazil at the Popular Creativity Pavilion. One of the highlights is the high relief map of Latin America on the glass floor that shows peculiarities of each region.
This institute is famous for its research on poisonous animals and the production of antiophidic serum. It has a exhibit of Brazilian and foreign snakes.
Herculano Pires Museum - Itaú Numismatics
The collection gathers 3 thousand coins, most of which are Brazilian, and some pieces starting from the year 1500 in gold, silver and copper.
The Brazilian House Museum
This large house that belonged to Flávio Prado, mayor of São Paulo (1934/38), has the most complete Brazilian book collection on architecture, urbanism, historical heritage and visual communication. Its collection also includes furniture, crystals, porcelain and objects from the 16th Century.
Museum of Image and Sound
Several contemporary audiovisual languages can be found here. It has an important collection of São Paulo images: short and feature-length films, videos, records, rarities, photos and graphic arts. It has a projection room, an exhibit room, a restaurant and a shop.
Museum of Brazilian Art
The museum was inaugurated in 1961 and its collection gathers 2.3 thousand works by Brazilian artists and foreign residents in Brazil. Most of the works are from the 1960s to the 1980s.
With 1.5 million square meters, this is the most frequented leisure area in São Paulo. It has paths for walking and jogging, bikeways, woods, lakes, sport courts and areas for relaxation that attract city residents of all ages. It receives up to 150 thousand visitors on weekends. There are other important attractions at Ibirapuera, such as the Modern Art Museum, the Biannual Fair building, the Oca art exhibit pavilion and the Japanese pavilion. It also has frequent free music presentations by national and international artists. Ibirapuera was inaugurated in 1954, during the celebrations for the city’s fourth centennial. Oscar Niemeyer, renowned Brazilian architect, designed several of the buildings.
Trianon Park (Lieutenant Siqueira Campos)
The park’s landscaping was designed by the Frenchman, Paul Villon. It offers visitors contact with native trees, such as the more than 300 year old jequitibá, set among sculptures. It has playgrounds, exercise equipment and the Fauno trail.
One of the city’s main amusement parks, Playcenter offers dozens of attractions, as well as shows, places to eat, stores, banks, parking, etc.
Estrela’s Dream House
This house is full of toys and the visitor is received by 5 m tall bear. It is a kind of toy museum run by the Estrela toy manufacturer, where adults find toys that were part of their childhood.
This is an Atlantic Forest area where wild animals such as the maned wolf, baby lynx and big-bellied monkeys, and others live. It also has libraries specialized in zoology and the Environmental Education House where several activities are held.
This park is a mixture of zoo and safari since some animals roam about on the loose among the visitors’ cars. Visitors may opt to see the park in their own vehicles or use park transportation. There is a snack bar in the parking lot.
Built in 1933, in neo-Classic style, this is one of the most representative projects signed by the Ramos de Azevedo office. It has stained-glass windows with agricultural and cattle-raising themes. It is currently an important supply center with a great variety of foods.
Built in 1956, this is São Paulo’s largest building and it has a terrace with an observation deck and a restaurant on the last floor (42nd floor). On clear days, it is possible to see Paulista Avenue, the Jaraguá Peak and even the Serra do Mar.
This building was built in 1939, and it provides one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city. On clear days it is possible to see up to 40 km. In the tower’s anteroom, there is a photo exhibit about the building’s construction.
Designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1951, this is the largest reinforced concrete structure in São Paulo, symbolizing the Old Center’s urban modernity.
This first skyscraper in the city of São Paulo was built in 1929, and for a long time it was the city’s main attraction. The building is the main example of São Paulo Belle Époque luxury. In a way, it marks the transition of provincial São Paulo, from low constructions to the metropolis it is today.
Pacaembu and Morumbi Stadiums
São Paulo is home to some of the most famous soccer teams in the country, such as Corinthians, São Paulo and Palmeiras. And, despite having several stadiums, the main matches are normally held in the city’s two largest and most traditional. The Paulo Machado de Carvalho Municipal stadium, or Pacaembu, is near the downtown area. It was inaugurated in 1940 and can hold up to 40 thousand spectators. Morumbi, or Cícero Pompeu de Toledo, belongs to São Paulo Futebol Clube and it was inaugurated in 1970, with capacity for 80 thousand fans. It is located in the district of Morumbi, in the south of the city.
Golf – Blue Tree Park Mogi das Cruzes, Paradise Golf & Lake Resort
The proximity to the capital makes this resort one of the most frequented by São Paulo golfers who are a majority in the country. Set on a one million square meter area along the banks of a beautiful lake, the resort can be easily reached over the Ayrton Senna Highway. Today, the hotel has the capacity to receive up to 500 guests. However, a constructed area expansion project has already been elaborated by the chain, and when terminated, it will triple capacity.
Embu – shopping for antiques, arts and crafts and furniture
The commerce for antiques and arts and crafts is concentrated on N. S. do Rosário and Joaquim Santana Streets and the Largo dos Jesuítas. On Elias Yazbek Avenue (old Road to Itapecerica) there are stores specialized in rustic furniture. Most downtown establishments are open from Tuesday thru Sunday. Almost all stores maintain the same opening hours, from 8AM to 6PM. Sundays are the busiest and the streets are closed to car traffic. Small stands invade the downtown area, selling every kind of art and craft – from rag dolls to wooden sculptures and oil paintings.
The Village of Paranapiacaba is the only Railroad Village in Brazil that has been preserved since its foundation. Located in the southeast region of Santo André township, on the border of the Paulista Plateau and the Serra do Mar, Paranapiacaba has one of the most expressive cultural and natural heritages in the country.
Castelinho Museum (Paranapiacaba Preservation Center)
This is the former residence of the São Paulo Railway’s chief-engineer. Built in 1897, it is the largest house in the village. Its windows provide a panoramic view of the village, and it has railroad pieces on display. It is open for visitation from Tuesday thru Sunday from 9AM to 5PM. R. Caminho do Mendes, s/nº.
In 1894, an SPR employee played his first soccer match in Brazil. His name was Charles Miller. And it gave birth to the country’s national passion, right there in the middle of an English village in the Serra do Mar. Besides the 1st match, this field also witnessed several others between the Serrano Atlético Clube and great teams, such as Santos and Corinthians.
The visitor can enjoy an adventure from the top of the Paranapiacaba trees, enjoying the Atlantic Woods, the scenery and the English village from a bird’s eye view. This circuit was created in the Paranapiacaba Municipal Natural Springs Park. It floats through the trees that are in an environmental conservation unit created by the Santo André City Hall in 2003. The visitor can enjoy one of the few circuits entirely installed in the Woods area with utmost safety.
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