Sao Paulo is Brazil’s largest city and is home to 11 million people. It is the hub of the south-eastern region of the same name and is extremely culturally diverse. It is one of the world’s most colourful cities and has attracted a huge number of immigrants from around the world – the city truly is a melting pot. Sao Paulo is unsurprisingly packed with accommodation for visitors coming to see the city. There are plenty of hotels, apartments, villas and accommodation rentals all over the city. Sao Paulo, or Sampa as it is often called, is unfairly underrated as far as tourism goes and the city is often overshadowed by its more glamorous and recognisable city counterparts such as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. It is a fun and interesting city to visit with many amazing restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines, fun and diverse activities on offer and an extensive cultural history to investigate.
- Sao Paulo is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan!
- Sao Paulo is the third largest city in the world!
- Paulistanos, residents of Sao Paulo, consume 1 million pizzas per day!
- Virada Cultural, held in May, is a 24 hour celebration of culture organised by the local government!
Villas, Apartments and Accommodation
As mentioned Sao Paulo is packed with accommodation for tourists, but hotels can often become overpriced and overcrowded in during peak seasons. Wimdu offers a great range of villas and apartments to suit all types of travellers and budgets. Choose from seafront villas with panoramic views of the coast, some even with their own private swimming pools. Or check our spacious inner-city apartments, there is enough room for family and friends!
What to see and do in Sao Paulo
Visitors to Sao Paulo will find Avenida Paulista is the best place to navigate the city from. From here it is easy to reach all the sights of interests for tourists in the city. Avenida Paulista is in Bela Vista area of the city centre and it is well connected with the bus and subway systems. The parks Centro and Ibirapuera are also located nearby. Be aware that Sao Paulo’s centre is very large and it can take time to get from one side to the other, it is advised that you choose your accommodation based on which part of the city you want to experience the most. Apartments in Sao Paulo vary in price, but the most important factor due to the sheer size of the city, is certainly location. This is also the same with other accommodation options, take a bed and breakfast closest to your main points of interest otherwise you can lose much of the day on travel. What do we recommend you do in the city? We suggest you start your sightseeing with a panoramic view of this huge and sprawling city. Head up to the viewing platform on the 34th floor of the Banespa Tower, located at Sao Bento metro station. Sao Paulo is a beautiful city to see from above and the view from this tower, especially at sunset is stunning!
Sao Paulo is the art and cultural centre of Brazil and there are plenty of museums and art galleries in the city. Two of the biggest museums that are really worth checking out are Museu do Ipiranga and Memorial da America Latina. The building that houses the Museu do Ipiranga was built in the style of the grand palaces of Versailles and features exhibitions on the history of the city. Memorial da America Latina is an underrated museum and deserves your time. Set in various pavilions and galleries are paintings, sculptures and folk art from Brazil’s past.
What else is there to do in Sao Paulo? Well if you happen to be in the city on a Sunday then we recommend you cycle through the streets using the Coclofaixa de Lazer. This is a 45km route (not used by traffic on Sundays and holidays) that passes through various areas of the Sao Paulo and through several parks. Bike rental is free and the route is almost entirely flat - it’s a great way to see the city! Bike maintenance groups and stewards are provided to make sure you enjoy yourself!
Sao Paulo’s rich history is worth investigating whilst in the city. We recommend you take a tour with a tour guide – they’re very informative and helpful. Take the ‘Sao Paulo historical city tour’, a panoramic tour which covers the history, culture and life style of this huge city. The tour lasts for 3 hours and passes through the Old Centre where historical buildings of significance such as the Cathedral of Se, Patio do Colegio and Monastery of Sao Bento are located. It is easy to miss out on some of these great attractions and a tour such as this one insures you’ll not miss anything!
The Sao Paulo Carnival, which occurs at the end of February/beginning of March is the biggest of the 90,000 events held in the city each year. The carnival takes place at Avenida Olavo Fontourna and is huge in scale and heaps of fun! There’s a parade, plenty of food and drink and an abundance of music and dancing! The carnival happens on a bank holiday and the city literally goes crazy for a day!
Sao Paulo’s has three airports, the two biggest being , Guarulhos International Airport, and Congonhas-Sao Paulo Aiport. Most commercial passengers arrive into the former which is located to the north east of the city. Getting from the airport into the city centre is straightforward – take one of the regular buses that are bound for the centre – the journey takes 30-40 minutes. Transport within Sao Paulo certainly doesn’t have the best of reputations! The streets are often heavily congested meaning public transport is about as slow as every other form of transport in the city. For tourists visiting the city the best way to get around is via the metro system. The metro is clean and safe and serves all the major tourist areas. Metro trains can be quite packed but are the quickest way to get around. Taxis are good for short distances outside of peak times. It is worth considering this when you book your villa or apartment accommodation in Sao Paulo to avoid travel problems.