If I were to describe the city of Sao Paulo using the first letters of it two words S&P, I would call it a “Sensational Paradise” or better still a “Statuesque Paradise” thanks to its breathtaking and medieval buildings. The beauty of this city is captivating and one thing I’m sure about is that a visit to this city will forever remain engraved in your memory.
Sao Paulo, or Sampa as it is also often called, is also probably one of the most underrated cities tourism-wise, often overshadowed by other places in the Brazilian sun & beach circuit such as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. It is in fact a great city to explore, with its own idiosyncrasies, the exquisite way of living of its inhabitants, not to mention the world-class restaurants and diverse regional and international cuisine available to all tastes. If there is a major attraction to this city, it is the excellent quality of its restaurants and the variety of cultural activities on display.
The towering landmarks of Sao Paulo have certainly given this city a very unique character and many of its tallest skyscrapers actually date from the middle of the 20th century and often boast a strong Art Deco flavour. Although Brasilia may be the capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo is actually by far the biggest city and plays an integral part in the country’s economy and tourism industry.
The vibrant Brazilian city of Sao Paulo is the world’s third largest city and is quickly rising to become the country’s cultural centre. On the surface Sao Paulo might be ugly, grey and polluted, but within it you can find a huge selection of tourist attractions if you know where to look. Indisputably a vibrant and energetic place, Sao Paulo can be intimidating, but tourists will find it is well worth taking the effort to get to know it and to visit some of its many attractions.
Sao Paulo, Brazil has a remarkable range of activities catering to almost every market segment. There are plenty of family friendly activities in Sao Paulo, and children are never bored when holidaying anywhere in Brazil. For young couples and singles, Sao Paulo offers an exciting and diverse nightlife and is considered one of the culinary capitals of Brazil. Sao Paulo is also a world-class shopping venue for shopaholics.
Below are some activities Sao Paulo has in offer;
Brazilian Art Museum in Sao Paulo
If you like art, you won’t want to pass up a chance to see the Brazilian Art Museum, otherwise called the FAAP. Here, you’ll find works by top artists like Portinari. Additionally, there are many travelling exhibitions.
Fun for the family
Both adults and kids are ensured to have fun by seeing the animals in the Sao Paulo Zoo, in the Sao Paulo Aquarium and riding the roller coasters of the theme park Play centre. Sao Paulo also has educative spaces aimed both at adults and children, including Catavento Cultural and Espaço Ciência. Finally, Mundo da Xuxa is a theme park only for the small ones.
If you are a soccer loving person, then the name Sao Paulo FC sure does ring a bell. Sao Paulo FC is one of the biggest sides in the Brazilian league by no doubts. Football is an inherent part of Brazilian culture, and Sao Paulo is no exception, being home of four football teams that generally run in the 1st division: Corinthians (world club champions), Sao Paulo, Palmeiras and Portuguesa. The four large football stadiums in the city are Morumbi, Parque Antarctica, Pacaembu and Canindé. A new stadium is being constructed in the Sao Paulo/Far East region, and it will host the opening of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Although most matches are safe and fun events, games between the biggest local rivals (Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Palmeiras and, to a smaller extent, Santos) have had episodes of violence flaring up (the majority of cases, such incidents happening outside of the stadium), due to a minority of violent fans (ultras). Going to such games can be a risky proposition.
Sao Paulo is home to a superb diversity of restaurants and cuisines, where you can enjoy typical dishes from literally all over the world. The price range is as wide as the diversity of the restaurants in the city, from cheap snacks and meals in simple and cozy restaurants and food tents in popular markets, to the hugely expensive high end cuisine and internationally recognized restaurants, such as D.O.M, which was (in 2012) elected the 4th best restaurant in the World and the best in South America by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The city is also home to a vast array of Brazilian and international fast-food chains, offering varying options ranging from burgers, to sushi and kebab. The fast-food chain Habib’s, which originated in Sao Paulo, is the favourite of lower class Paulistanos due to its cheap “Arab-Brazilian” snacks.
In Sao Paulo, the ever-present beans-and-rice accompaniment typically involves brown beans instead of black beans, as in Rio. Another typical food in Sao Paulo is the Virado à Paulista, which consists of rice, tutu de feijão (a paste of beans and manioc flour; sometimes made of corn flour, in order to be drier than the manioc flour one), sautéed collard greens (couve) and pork chops, typically bisteca. It is usually accompanied by pork rinds, bits of sausage, a fried egg and a fried banana.
The cuisine of Sao Paulo shows the influence of European, Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants. The majority of immigrants in Sao Paulo arrived from Italy, and other European countries like Portugal, Spain and Germany. There’s also big numbers of Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants from Japan, Lebanon and many other nationalities. Therefore, it is possible to find a wide array of cuisines in the city of Sao Paulo. Pizza is a particularly popular dish, which can be found with and endless range of toppings and Paulistas will swear their city has the best pizza in the country, if not in the world.