What to do and see in Sao Paulo, Brazil: The Best Places and Tips

July 24, 2017 Malia Yoakum

The largest city in South America, Sao Paulo’s cuisine and art is as multinational as its diverse population of 10 million. With the restaurants of the Jardins district serving every food imaginable to diners from around the world, you wouldn’t be out of place going to Sao Paulo just for the dining. But you’d be missing out on world-class museums, diverse and vibrant neighborhood tours, and crazy-good shopping.
Restaurants in Sao Paulo

1. Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo

Praca da Luz 2, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01120-010, Brazil +55 11 3324 1000
Excellent
69%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo

Pinacoteca is a museum of visual arts, with emphasis on Brazilian production since the nineteenth century. It belongs to the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture. It was founded in 1905 by the State Government of São Paulo and it is the oldest art museum in the city. It is installed in the old building of the Arts and Crafts College, designed in the late nineteenth century by the architect Ramos de Azevedo. In the 1990's it underwent an extensive renovation with the architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha's project. Pinacoteca hosts about thirty Exhibitions and receives about 450,000 visitors yearly. The museum's main focus is to promote to general public a better experience with visual arts with its collection, building and historical relevance.

Reviewed By Nelson C

Whenever I’m at São Paulo Pinacoteca, Emanoel Araújo always comes to my mind. He was crucial to turn this museum into international standards. I love the Pedro Américo canvas, Ernst Papf children depiction, and the whole ensemble of painting illustrating Rio. The building itself is a masterpiece. Pay a visit if you like history of art.

2. Ibirapuera Park

Avenida Pedro Alvares Cabral | Vila Mariana, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 04094-050, Brazil +55 11 5574 5045
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 32 reviews

Ibirapuera Park

The Emerald heart of an oftentimes gray city, São Paulo's Parque do Ibirapuera offers respite from the urban madness among cool, shady trees and mentally-stimulating structures. Running trails, bike paths, and yoga and capoeira sessions let locals and visitors alike keep fit, while a clutch of museums and galleries — such as the museums of Modern and Contemporary Art, all designed by master Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer — gives the brain a good workout. The impressive Museu Afro Brasil and fiery Auditório Ibirapuera are two of the park's treasures.

Reviewed By Mark E - Denver, Colorado

I paid two visits to the park during a recent trip to Sao Paulo. The first visit was on a Sunday afternoon, and the second visit was a weekday morning. I am an avid runner so I ran in the park both times.
Ibirapuera is a very nice park; clean, with lots of paved as well as unpaved paths. There are vendors selling coconut milk and other goodies, and there is also a constant police presence to help keep things safe. The park was pretty crowded on Sunday, as one might suspect, with lots of families having picnics, volleyball games, bicyclists and runners. Getting a good run in was a bit problematic on Sunday mainly due to the sheer number of people in the park. The paths were pretty crowded so I had to run around a lot of groups of people while avoiding cyclists.
There are a number of restroom facilities spaced throughout the park, although I did not use them so I can't comment on their quality.
For cyclists, one nice feature are dedicated bike lanes through much of the park, although on Sunday it would have been difficult to get a good ride in because there is so much pedestrian traffic constantly crossing the bike lanes.
During the week, the park was very mellow and uncrowded and I was able to get in a nice 4 mile run with minimal distractions.
My only real criticism of the park is that the network of paths and trails aren't well marked, and even using Google Maps, it was hard to figure out a good running route. That said, it wasn't a huge deal since it's fairly easy to just set off and run in the general direction, finding your way around by dead reckoning with occasional help from Google. There is a path that runs around the outside of the park, more or less, but it's not continuous so you wind up running on the outside sidewalk for a bit. Again, not a big deal but it does take a little more thinking as you're running so that you choose the right way to go.
One more tip. I was staying at the Grand Mercure hotel, which advertises itself as being adjacent to the park. Technically it is, however actually getting from the hotel to the park is not terribly straightforward, You wind up having to cross several roads while following pedestrian paths that are not marked at all. There is a nice bright yellow pedestrian bridge that, once you spot it, helps with figuring out which way to go, and once you've figured it out the first time, it's not hard. Unfortunately the hotel personnel were no help whatsoever in finding the park, actually sending me the wrong direction when I asked for directions. Google Maps to the rescue!
All in all, Ibirapuera is a very nice, clean, safe park in the middle of very busy Sao Paulo. If you're looking for a nice place to relax, unwind, and get in some exercise, I highly recommend it.

3. Paulista Avenue

Avenida Paulista 1159 1231, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01311-200, Brazil
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Paulista Avenue

Reviewed By Fabi0Oliveira - São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

During the week avenida Paulista is a traffic jam avenue in São Paulo but on Sundays the avenue is closed for traffic and dedicated to people. There you will find lots of attractions with live music, street food, hand made items and much more. It is a must for those who are looking for a authentic Sao Paulo experience.

4. Mercadao - Sao Paulo Municipal Market

Rua da Cantareira 306, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01024-000, Brazil +55 11 3313 3365
Excellent
53%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Mercadao - Sao Paulo Municipal Market

Housed in a stunning example of eclectic industrial architecture, the Mercado Municipal de São Paulo — nicknamed the Mercadão — has thousands of food items on offer, literally from soup to nuts. Lush tropical and temperate fruits from every season, choice cuts of meats and fish, and hearty prepared foods,such as the renowned and enormous mortadella (bologna) Sandwich, complete the market's catalog of wares, all for sale in a boisterous, welcoming atmosphere. The surrounding area can be a bit sketchy, but the sights and flavors more than make up for the journey downtown.

Reviewed By Fernandoreiff - Sao Paulo, SP

Despite having the mortadella Sandwich as one of the main appeals for Mercadao, try the codfish Sandwich also. If you don’t mind having fried food every now and again, Pastel (a typical fast food Brazilian dish) de Bacalhau (codfish pastel) is also a must.

5. Liberdade

Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil 1132095465
Excellent
46%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Liberdade

Reviewed By TravelingCat22 - Tucson, Arizona

The interesting thing we found is that the street lights have a pagoda turning green instead of a pedestrian, then turning red instead of a stop sign: cute. We went to eat at Lamen Kazu which is a good address.

6. The Julio Prestes Cultural Center - Sala Sao Paulo

Praca Julio Prestes 16, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01218-020, Brazil +55 (11)3367-9500
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

The Julio Prestes Cultural Center - Sala Sao Paulo

Reviewed By SandraBezerra - Sao Paulo, SP

It's a beautiful place in the center of São Paulo to visit , the sound is amazing and they have a great number of spectacles.

7. Corinthians Arena

Avenida Miguel Ignacio Curi 111 | Itaquera, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 08295-005, Brazil +55 11 3152-4001
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Corinthians Arena

The Corinthians Arena was inaugurated in May 2014. Built for the World Cup, the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista stadium hosted the opening ceremony and 6 games of the main soccer competition on the planet. In 2016, it returned to be host of international games, receiving 10 matches of the soccer tournament of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Corinthians home hosts the official club games, social and corporate events. The tour to know the stadium, called "Casa do Povo", runs from Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., and costs R $ 40 in weekdays and R $ 60 at weekends, with a 20% discount for fans. Students, the elderly and children from 3 to 12 years old will be entitled to half-entry, and children under 3 years old will not pay admission. Come and visit one of the most modern stadiums in the world, the House of the People!

Reviewed By darosbruno - Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

This construction represents everything which is wrong about Brazil. The stadium and surroundings are an absolute disgrace.

8. Solo Sagrado De Guarapiranga

Avenida Professor Herman von Ihering 6567 | Jardim Casa Grande, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 04870-901, Brazil +55(11)59701000
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Solo Sagrado De Guarapiranga

Reviewed By Marcia S - Sao Paulo, SP

beautiful, clean, flowery, quiet ,, wonderful view, difficult to access because it is far and has traffic.

9. Catavento Cultural e Educacional

Praca Civica Ulisses Guimaraes | Palácio das Indústrias, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 03003-060, Brazil +55(11) 3315-0051
Excellent
71%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Catavento Cultural e Educacional

Located in a Victorian-era structure reminiscent of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Catavento Cultural is chock-full of interactive, hands-on exhibits and educational activities for children. Subjects covered include space, wildlife, geography, the human body and society. They are presented in action-filled, engaging fashion for the little ones. The surrounding neighborhood can be a bit sketchy, so taking a cab is recommended.

Reviewed By Andrey W

It is a place to go with kids, they will teach about light, sound, quimic and physic curiosity, humam vody, animals and more.
There are antigue things as fisrt airplane manufactured in Brazil, horse cart and more. You can stay by 3 - 4 hours there.
Kids love it.

10. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Sao Paulo

Rua Alvares Penteado 112, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01012-000, Brazil +55(11)3113-3651
Excellent
69%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Sao Paulo

Occupying the historic headquarters of Brazil's largest bank, the CCBB features an ever-changing program of art Exhibitions, photography, theater, documentaries and feature films, and other engaging cultural manifestations. The building itself is a Baroque jewel, situated in the old financial district of São Paulo, and avant-garde events, such as a recent blaxploitation film retrospective, keep the CCBB on every hip Paulistano's cultural agenda.

Reviewed By Deni_KF - Sao Paulo, SP

Magnificent architecture, near to Sé subway station, improved their services after implementing booking system in their site. Before it, we had to face lines and lines to visit their Exhibitions. Visiting the place is a timetripl to the past. A good idea for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and then, a coffee at Cafezal, inside the building. But as there's no many seats, usually is crowded.

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