I had an opportunity to travel to São Paulo on the way back from Pantanal. In fact it was a brief stopover on the way to Buenos Aires, so I had less than two days to explore the city. Luckily, I had some advice from a friend who is from there. He gave me a list of the top places to see and eat.
- Batman’s Alley, Beco do Batman with its colourful street art
- Ibirapuera park and the museums around it
- São Paulo Museum of Modern Art
- Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – aka the floating art museum for the unique way the paintings are displayed
- Paulista Museum and gardens
- Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo
- Aquário de São Paulo
- Japanese food and culture
- Jardim Botânico de São Paulo
- Live music – unfortunately the place I went to Ao Vivo Music is closed down and became a butcher shop! But there are many places to chill out and listen to local music
Before you go
- There are two airports so ensure that you are heading to the correct one for your flight
- Walking around at night in the city is not advisable, but during the day in the centre is okay. At night take official taxis or Uber
- There are mosquitos so take or buy repellent
- The weather is warm all year round, and hottest from November through February
- People speak English at the tourist places like museums, but many people did not so having a translation app for Portuguese is useful
- There is a large Japanese population in São Paulo, so there are some great places for Japanese food including sushi
- Brazilian Carnival is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and São Paulo has a big celebration
- The main international airport is São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) Airport. There is also a regional airport closer to the city, Congonhas-São Paulo Airport
- Walking around the central areas during the day is safe
- There is also a metro system though I didn’t use it while I was there
- However, for further distances or at night then I recommend to take taxis or Uber
- I stayed at the lovely Hotel Landmark Residence in São Paulo
- It was very central and had comfortable, clean rooms
- However, the bedroom had a sliding door to the living room and had no windows
- There is a pool and a fitness room
- Breakfast buffet had a great selection
During my short stay in São Paulo, I had sushi twice. My favourite and by far the best place was one recommended by my friend. Nagayama is located in the Itaim Bibi area not far from Ibirapuera park
Near my hotel was Hakka sushi and it was tasty, but not the same quality as at Nagayama. Also, there is an all you can eat option if you are feeling very hungry.
For quick snacks, I tried Madureira Sucos Itaim Bibi juice bar (healthier) and Pastel Da Maria (not healthy). Both were good for quick snacks or lunch.
The only other food I tried was the breakfast buffet at the Hotel Landmark Residence. It was really good and had so much food. I especially liked that they had a tapas table for breakfast.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, you don’t need a tour guide to see the city
Q: Do people speak English?
A: People speak English at the tourist places like museums, but many people did not so having a translation app like GoogleTranslate for Portuguese is useful
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: Yes during the day you can walk around the city, though it is quite large. There is also a metro system or you can use taxis
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