São Paulo Travel

São Paulo is a cosmopolitan megapolis that heaves with culture, green parks and night-time hangouts.

It may not be the country’s capital (Brasilia), nor tourists’ favourite city in Brazil (Rio), but São Paulo – one of the world’s biggest urban centres – has its own attractions that can be discovered if you look hard enough. There are art galleries galore, vast green parks and gardens, bustling restaurants and hidden clubs, all converging in one huge, sprawling and surprising metropolis.

Don’t underestimate São Paulo – a city of almost 22 million, unfolding for mile upon mile just inland from the Atlantic Ocean. Beneath its somewhat ramshackle exterior, there are beautiful parks to stroll through, fascinating art galleries to explore and a clubbing scene that never sleeps. São Paulo’s cultural identity is shaped by the many ethnic groups that, over the years, have flocked here: from Italians to Germans to Japanese; in fact, São Paulo is home to the largest community of descendants in the Japanese diaspora. These are just a few of the many faces of São Paulo, creating a decidedly diverse and cosmopolitan culture that makes it all the more appealing.

Culturally, this Brazilian city has more than enough to keep you busy. Peruse exquisite artworks at the Museum of Modern Art, or admire graffiti from the likes of Daniel Melim and politicised pixação artists, their work emblazoned on the streets of São Paulo. Sit side-by-side with local Paulistanos in any of the city’s 15,000 bars, or hit up cosy, hole-in-the-wall restaurants for delicious cuisine. All in all, whether stopping by on the way in or out of Brazil, it’s well worth taking the time to get to know the intricacies and highlights of São Paulo.

Highlights of São Paulo:

Sé Cathedral

A walking tour of São Paulo will bring you to the elegant Sé Cathedral in the heart of the city. This striking, neo-Gothic monument was hewn from 800 tons of marble, sitting atop an underground crypt, and fronted by tall palm trees – though these are nowhere near as high as the towering church itself!

Museum of Modern Art

The MAM is São Paulo’s brilliant contemporary art gallery, established in 1948 and exhibiting superb works by the likes of Picasso, Joan Miro and Jose Antonio da Silva, among many others. After browsing some 4,000 pieces, take a wander through the Ibirapuera Park in which this fantastic museum is located.

A taste of Japan in Brazil

With the biggest immigrant community living in São Paulo, you can enjoy a flavour of Japan right here. Head to Liberdade, known as ‘Japantown’, to buy Japanese sweets, feast on delicious sushi and look out for typical decorations like street lanterns. If visiting during one of Japan’s traditional festivals, you can celebrate here in Liberdade with the locals!

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