A sprawling city, truly gigantic, difficult to find superlatives to describe the excess of Sao Paulo. The largest agglomeration in Brazil, encompassing nearly 20 million inhabitants. We enter a kind of forest of buildings in the district of business, one of the most dynamic in the world. All sectors are represented there, and multinationals from all over the world establish themselves there.
Sao Paulo is therefore the real economic center of the country. Even if it is not the political center, located in Brasilia. This modern architecture has been added to other older districts, such as downtown Sao Paulo.
The contrast is striking between the opulent neighborhoods in the west of the city. With its major shopping streets, and the neighborhoods where the most egregious poverty reigns. The wealth gaps within the Brazilian population remain among the largest in the world. So, whenever you are planning to explore this place? No worry! Stop thinking, start planning, book avianca airlines reservations in any class, and save up to 50% off on round trips on every flight. To help you out, below we’ve mentioned the best things to do in Sao Paulo for a perfect getaway on weekends.
Parque Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park) is the largest green space in the city. And one of the largest urban parks in Latin America. The real lung of São Paulo allows many activities: walking or cycling, people watching from the lawns, visiting museums, admiring the architecture of Niemeyer, strolling around the lake, and much more.
Dancing the Samba on Saturday
An experience to live! Samba music is played live in many bars in the city on Saturdays. Having lunch, having a drink, and dancing to Samba is a way for Paulistano to unwind after a busy work week. The best place to eat and hang out listening to and dancing the samba is Bar Samba in Vila Madalena. It opens in the early afternoon and is a great place to enjoy a feijoada (traditional Brazilian dish) and meet the locals.
Antiques, crafts, and street food
On Sundays, the surroundings of MASP come alive on Avenida Paulista where two large open-air markets are organized. The space under the museum becomes a huge antique market, and across the street is an artisan market where excellent street food is sold.
MASP (Sao Paulo Art Museum)
São Paulo has many great museums, but the MASP is the best art museum in the city. It holds the finest collection of Western art in Latin America and houses fantastic temporary exhibitions. Tuesday is free for the public, but it’s more fun to come here on a Sunday as you can see just below.
Discover the most beautiful architecture in the city
One of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Oscar Niemeyer, was Brazilian. There are several places where you can see his work in São Paulo (and Brazil ). The most striking features of his works are the curved lines (which he compared to the female body) and the creation of the defiant effect of gravity. These interesting buildings are a pleasant change from the endless apartment towers of São Paulo. In addition to some examples of modern architecture, the city also has some examples of colonial and historical architecture.
Latin America Memorial
The Memorial da América Latina is a complex designed by Oscar Niemeyer to honor the struggles of Latin American peoples and host festivals or public events. The complex includes a library, a research center, art exhibits (including popular Latin American art), and the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies. It’s a nice place to walk around and observe the interesting architecture. Try to get inside buildings, if possible.
The Afro Brasil Museum
It is one of the most beautiful museums in the city, which is saying something, as São Paulo has several excellent museums. It is inside another building designed by Niemeyer. Inside, the information may still be only in Portuguese, but even if it is, the exhibits on the history of African culture in Brazil are fascinating.
Local street art
São Paulo is considered one of the best cities in the world for street art creativity. The streets of the city are filled with wonderful examples of street art, especially in the city center. To admire the most beautiful frescoes, go to the Vila Madalena district, in particular, the Beco do Batman (Batman Alley), close to Rua Harmonia, just before Rua Luis Murat.
The Paulista Museum (Ipiranga) was built in 1895 to preserve 400 years of Brazilian history and it houses old maps, photographs, paintings, and furniture. It is located inside an impressive neo-classical palace with European-style gardens. Unfortunately, Ipiranga is located far from the center but is accessible by bus and metro. (As I write this article, the museum is closed for renovations. To find out more, visit the official website ).
Museu do Futebol
The Museu do Futebol is located in the Estadio Pacaembu (which was used until 2013 by SC Corinthians). One of the biggest football stadiums in the city. If you love football, you’ll definitely enjoy watching vintage videos and seeing interactive exhibits and documents from the history of the World Cup and Brazilian football stars. The museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Monday.
One of Niemeyer’s many famous designs. The Edifício Copan is a known landmark in São Paulo due to the skyscraper’s characteristic curve. Many artists and wealthy people from Sao Paulo used to live here. But the building has become a bit dilapidated over the past two decades. It’s worth a visit, but you can do even better by visiting the nearby Edifício Itália. Climb to the top floor where the Terraço Itália restaurant is located for a panoramic view of the city (and of Copan), especially at sunset. Access is free from Monday to Friday from 3 pm to 4 pm. But you will have to pay something or buy a drink if you go there at any other time.
One of the largest biomedical research centers in the world, the Butantan Institute was founded in 1901. It is open to the public and is enjoyable to walk around, see snakes in the serpentarium, and learn about the development of vaccines and anti-venom.
Local flavors at the market
There are several markets in Sao Paulo (that’s Latin America!) and visiting them is a great way to discover the local atmosphere and flavors. Of all the markets, the one I recommend is the large municipal market, the “Mercado”. There is a wide variety of exotic fruits from all over Brazil, spices, meats, vegetables, etc. and it is the ideal place to taste some specialties at attractive prices. The classic: the big mortadella sandwich. Address: Rua de Cantareira 306, Centro, Sao Paulo (metro Luz).
Sao Paulo is a city full of cultural events of all kinds. If you are a fan of music in general, you will be pampered because the music scene in Sao Paulo is very active. Whether at the level of small concerts or major international events. By the way, did you know that it hosts Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, and Sonar? But if you prefer something more classic, don’t miss the magnificent Sala Sao Paulo. Located in an old train station. Which hosts many concerts and is the seat of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Know that it is possible to get last-minute tickets at only 10 RS!
Try the local specialties
In the many markets of the city, some of which are mentioned here, you will find a wide choice of local specialties, typical fruits, and many other things. Do not hesitate to venture into one of these markets. what out of curiosity.
A stay in São Paulo and even in Brazil would not be complete without eating in a churrascaria: expect to eat really a lot (do not eat lunch in anticipation). The price of the meal includes all the dishes at will except drinks and desserts. The meal usually starts with various appetizers and side dishes (I advise you to reserve the meat). Soon after, waiters often dressed as gauchos and known as passadores, come to your table regularly with different cuts of meat on giant skewers. You need to indicate where you want them to cut the meat. On the menu: chicken hearts, sausages, beef, lamb, pork, but also grilled pineapple, grilled fish, etc.
Be aware that despite the excellent meat served in restaurants in Sao Paulo, there are many vegetarian restaurants with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Sao Paulo, Brazil, is South America’s most populated metropolis. You already know about the aforementioned interesting places to see and activities to take part in are the outcome of this. Most of the city’s main attractions can only be seen in depth over the course of many days for tourists. Distances in the city of Sao Paulo may be rather long, which is why it is important to plan ahead. Getting from one place to another might take up a large chunk of your day so plan accordingly.
The city of Sao Paulo is really one-of-a-kind due to its rich cultural heritage and lovable personality. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next international trip with AirlinesMap to experience a soothing holiday in this scenic land!