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The financial center of South America, Sao Paulo is a mix of Brazilian cultures set in a typical occidental megalopolis. This guide covers the most important tourist places in the city. Don't worry, three days is long enough to see them all!

Good for
  • History enthusiast
  • Art and design lover
  • Food lover
  • Peace and quiet seeker
  • LGBT
  • Trendy traveller
  • Hidden gem seeker

14 Places

6 City Tips

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14 Places

Day 1

Leisure Bike Lane of the city of Sao Paulo

Biking Trails

Paulista Avenue

Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP

Art Museums

Flag Monument

Monuments/ Statues

Ibirapuera Park

Parks

Shintori

Restaurants

Day 2

Luz Railway Station

Architectural Buildings

Luz Square

Gardens

Pinacoteca Do Estado De Sao Paulo

Museums, Art Museums

Bairro da Liberdade

Neighbourhoods

Day 3

Rua 25 de Marco

Shops

Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo

Flea/ Street Markets

Paulista Museum

Museums, Art Museums, Gardens

Restaurante Amazonia

Restaurants

LeandroMontoya's City Tips

  • Cumbica International Airport (GRU) is located 25km from Sao Paulo. Taxis and special shuttle buses will take you quickly to the city center (there are no trains).
  • The subway system is your best choice for moving around the city. For ease, look for accommodation near a subway station.
  • It's possible to cover day 1 and day 2 of this itinerary using a bike, making the sightseeing experience richer.
  • Dining out in the city is not cheap, and a gourmet dinner for two can easily cost more than $100.
  • Tipping 10% in restaurants is customary, and this is usually automatically included in your bill.
  • Keep an umbrella in your bag because Sampa (Sao Paulo) is famous for its strong drizzle or rain in the afternoons.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Leisure Bike Lane of the city of Sao Paulo
    Biking Trails
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    Use the city's dedicated bike lane ('Ciclofaixa') to ride through the heart of the city, and visit the most central tourist places in town with the Brazilian wind blowing in your face! There are 5 circuits to explore, each situated in different zones of the city. I highly recommend starting with the 'Paulista/Centro' circuit, which gives you a chance to visit multiple city highlights in one ride. These include Paulista Avenue (the corporate center), historical train stations 'Estação da Luz' and 'Julio Prestes,' the historical center where you will find 'Mosteiro Sao Paulo' and 'Theatre Municipal,' and last but not least, the Japanese neighborhood 'Liberdade.'

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History enthusiast
    • Adventure seeker
    • Couples
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • On Sundays and holidays, the bike lane is manned by support staff at all intersections and traffic lights.
    • Stick to the lane, and when you stop to rest, keep your bike close to your body, or at least within eyesight.
    • Rent a bike from "Bike Sampa." You can register online and pay by credit card.
    • A map of the "Trecho Paulista/Centro" circuit is available from the official Ciclofaixa website.
    • Use your bike to explore the attractions on day 1 and 2 of this itinerary!
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 246 activities in Sao Paulo
    • A different way to see the city 11/04/2013
    • Best ride in SP 29/01/2013
    • Leisure Bike Lane of the city of Sao Paulo
    Address:
    Parque do Ibirapuera
    Sao Paulo
    Brazil
    Other:
  • Save
    Paulista Avenue
    Landmarks/ Points of Interest
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    Much more than just a financial center built in the nineties, Paulista Avenue aggregates the plurality of Sao Paulo and Brazil. Here, black tie executives, young skateboarders and well-dressed women share space with foreign tourists, beggars, cops, students, street artists, buses and cars ... a lot of cars. All the important public protests happen here, too, with 'Paulista' being one of most tolerant places for alternative lifestyles, artists, LGBT community, and those trying to change Brazil for the better.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Budget traveller
    • Luxury traveller
    • Everyone
    • Trendy traveller
    • Shopping enthusiast
    • Nightlife lover
    Tips
    • Festive decorations take over the buildings here during December, and many choirs hold spontaneous public concerts outside.
    • The most fashionable street in Sampa, Oscar Freire, is just 15 minutes from Paulista! Here you'll find all the worldwide fashion brands. Be ready to empty your wallet ...
    • Some of the best (and most expensive) Japanese restaurants are in this area. Try Shintory at Alameda Campinas.
    • The food is expensive here, but you can find cheaper places on Al. Santos, Av. Brigadeiro Luis Antônio and on many other side streets. Fast food is available, too.
    • Conjunto Nacional (junction of Paulista and Augusta) is one of the most traditional buildings in the city, housing apartments, stores, cinemas and art galleries.
    • The traditional New Year's Eve party happens here, with shows, music, fireworks and 2.4 million people at the count down! And it's free!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    • IT IS NOT ALL THAT IS CRACKED TO BE 17/12/2014
    • Peaceful and classy. 16/12/2014
    • Paulista Avenue
    Address:
    Av. Paulista, 1159-1231
    Bela Vista
    Sao Paulo 01311-200
    Brazil
    Other:
  • Save
    Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    Sao Paulo's masterpiece, MASP, is a must-visit for every culture buff. The Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand is a treasure trove of occidental culture, with artwork dating from 4BC to modern day. With more than 8,000 pieces, it's home to the most important collection from the southern hemisphere. It is also one of the 20 most important museums in the world for 19th century European art, along with the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and the Museu d`Orsay in Paris. Highlights here include paintings by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Delacroix and others. Plus the building itself has its own architectural value, suspended above an outdoor space with its own cultural agenda. It's a popular meeting spot for people from all walks of life, with frequent demonstrations and a crafts and antiques market held on Sundays.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Must see
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • It's forbidden to record videos or use flash in the museum. Photos are allowed for personal use only.
    • The Sunday crafts and antiques fair alone is worth the visit here, with lots of curious things to explore. While it's free to visit, the items sold here are very expensive.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Love it 10/12/2014
    • It was ok 07/12/2014
    • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Address:
    Avenida Paulista, 1578
    Cerqueira César
    Sao Paulo 01310-200
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55(11)32515644
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    10:00 - 7:00
    Thu
    10:00 - 9:00
    Fri - Sun
    10:00 - 7:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Flag Monument
    Monuments/ Statues
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    Built by Victor Brecheret, this epic sculpture is one of the biggest monuments in the world. Situated in front of Ibirapuera Park, 'Monumento às Bandeiras' is dedicated to the Portuguese conquerors, who finally managed to wrestle control of the entire Brazilian territory from the hands of the indigenous population in the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite the morally dubious reason behind the monument, the images depicted in the sculpture make for an impressive sight.

    Good for
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • A night view is more dramatic still, thanks to the sculpture's illumination.
    From the community
    Ranked #82 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting memorial 03/07/2014
    • interesting 07/02/2013
    • Flag Monument
    Address:
    Praca Armando de Salles Oliveira
    Vila Mariana
    Sao Paulo 04001-070
    Brazil
    Other:
  • Save
    Ibirapuera Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    This popular urban park — a green island in the heart of the metropolis — hosts an intense agenda of sport activities, cultural fairs and art exhibitions throughout the year. Here you'll find the Pavilhão da Bienal — one of the most important cultural spaces in the city — and other important entities, including the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Oca do Ibirapuera. Even for a less-intellectual visit, the park deserves a stop on your itinerary.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • LGBT
    • Must see
    • Everyone
    • Art and design lover
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Bring some money to buy fresh coconuts and snacks from the street vendors situated throughout the park.
    • If you're in need of refreshments, there is a small restaurant under the "Marquise do Ibirapuera."
    • There are bikes available for rent close to Gate 3.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place to spend a few hours 17/12/2014
    • beauty in the middle of SP 15/12/2014
    • Ibirapuera Park
    Address:
    Av Pedro Alvares Cabral
    Portoes 2, 3 e 10
    Sao Paulo 04094-050
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 5574-5045
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    5:00 - 13:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Shintori
    Restaurants (Sushi, Asian, Japanese)
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    Shintori is one of the best options for Japanese food in Sao Paulo. Here the fish is fresh, the service is good and the ambience is amazing. This spot is perfect for romantic, professional or casual catch-ups and with good options for lunch and dinner — I've never been disappointed by a meal here. You can choose the 'hot' seating, where the food is prepared in front of you by a fast-handed cook, or dine on classic sushi on a private or communal table. While the prices are rather high, the experience is worth it.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Luxury traveller
    • Everyone
    Tips
    • There is free parking available under the restaurant.
    • There is an "all you can eat" option.
    • For budget-friendly Japanese dining, head to the Japanese neighborhood, "La Liberdade."
    From the community
    Ranked #73 of 8,690 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best Japanese Restaurant in São Paulo 03/12/2014
    • Authentic Japanese Teppanyaki in São Paulo 01/10/2014
    • Shintori
    Address:
    Alameda Campinas, 600
    Jardim Paulista
    Sao Paulo 01404-000 São Paulo São Paulo
    Brazil
    Phone:
    55 11 32832 455
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Luz Railway Station
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    More than a century after its inauguration, train station 'Estação da Luz' is still just as impressive a building. Inspired by British architecture and situated in the heart of the city, it remains one of the most important public transport hubs in Sao Paulo. People from all walks of life come together here, under one magnificent roof, with the characteristic sound of its English-style clock keeping everyone on time.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Budget traveller
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Combine your visit here with Jardim da Luz and Pinacota do Estado. All these places are worthwhile reminders of 20th century times gone by.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Transport and culture 25/11/2014
    • Phenomenal Architecture! 13/11/2014
    • Luz Railway Station
    Address:
    Praca da Luz, 1
    Luz
    Sao Paulo 01120-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    0800-550121
    Other:
  • Save
    Luz Square
    Gardens
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    The oldest park in the city, Luz Square is conveniently located between Estação da Luz and Pinacoteca do Estado, making it a perfect stop-off point between visits to these destinations. Inaugurated as a botanical garden, it was first used as a promenade ground for the rich, before being opened to the public in 1825. Today, its well-pruned shrubs guide the way between its sculptures. The park's peaceful environment, only occasionally interrupted by birdsong, makes it an ideal spot to relax for a while.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • While perfectly adequate for most sports activities, other parks in the city boast better facilities.
    • I highly recommend enjoying the park on a sunny day.
    From the community
    Ranked #124 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    • Greenery!!...so rare in SP!! 13/09/2014
    • It is quite abandoned 24/05/2013
    • Luz Square
    Address:
    Praca Da Luz, S/N - Bom Retiro
    Luz
    Sao Paulo 01122-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    (11) 3227-3545
    Other:
  • Save
    Pinacoteca Do Estado De Sao Paulo
    Museums, Art Museums
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    The oldest art museum in the city, Pinacoteca do Estado focuses on contemporary and 19th century artwork. As with most art institutions in the country, the museum favors Brazilian artists and culture, with the first floor dedicated to traveling exhibitions, and the second to classical. There is also an entire collection for the visually impaired, where every visitor can touch and feel the pieces, experiencing them in an entirely different way!

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • The museum is closed on Mondays, and open late on Thursdays (until 10pm).
    • The museum is free of charge after 5pm on Thursdays and all day on Saturdays. It's also free for kids under 10 and seniors over 60.
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • YOU MUST SEE THIS PLACE 19/12/2014
    • The status of ART ! 04/12/2014
    • Pinacoteca Do Estado De Sao Paulo
    Address:
    Praca Da Luz 2
    Sao Paulo 01120-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 (11) 3324-1000
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    10:00 - 6:30
    Thu
    10:00 - 11:00
    Fri - Sun
    10:00 - 6:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Bairro da Liberdade
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    The biggest Japanese community in the world (outside of Japan of course!) is in Brazil, here at Bairro da Liberdade. The first Japanese ship reached Sao Paulo in 1908, and Japanese immigrants continued to arrive in impressive numbers right up until the 1940s, helping to build the strong cultural and gastronomic influence that you'll encounter in this neighborhood today. Shop here for authentic oriental goods, and try one of the myriad cheap eateries for delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • LGBT
    • Must see
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Shopping enthusiast
    Tips
    • On Sundays, there's a weekly food market next to the metro station, perfect for a budget-friendly lunch. Cooked or raw, you'll find all the Japanese staples here.
    • Today, the neighborhood is home to Korean, Chinese and other Asian communities, so be prepared for a diverse cultural mix!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #51 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    • Nice 30/11/2014
    • Sushi heaven 24/11/2014
    • Bairro da Liberdade
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Rua 25 de Marco
    Shops
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    This street is the most popular market area in the city, selling everything from electronics to souvenirs to household nicknacks, and perfect for bargain hunters. Take a deep breath and dive in among the mass of people coming and going here, always in a hurry!

    Good for
    • Budget traveller
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • Couples
    • Shopping enthusiast
    Tips
    • The closest metro station is São Bento on the blue line.
    • Most vendors don't speak English, so having at least one native speaker in your group will come in handy.
    • For shopping, arrive early and always haggle.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 84 shopping in Sao Paulo
    • Lots of people 14/11/2014
    • Mixing with the crowd 23/10/2014
    • Rua 25 de Marco
    Address:
    Centro
    Sao Paulo
    Brazil
  • Save
    Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo
    Flea/ Street Markets
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    This historical building, dating back to 1933, is a prime example of modern-day 'Paulistano' life and the perfect place for lunch! The stalls on the first floor, selling everything from spices to fresh produce, are a riot for the senses, where you'll find yourself trying desperately to stay out of the way of hasty locals attempting to move through their shopping in a hurry. For a more formal meal, try the restaurants on the mezzanine floor.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • Among the tastiest authentic snacks are "bolinho de bacalhau" (fried cod balls), "pastel" (thin savory pie) and "virado a paulista" (dish with rice, beans and pork).
    • A good place to find typical Brazilian fruit, even out of season. Explore the first floor and taste it for free!
    • Getting here: Exit at São Bento Metro Station, take Florencio de Abreu Street, then Constitution Street. Once you reach the street 25 de Março, you're there.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 84 shopping in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A good place to visit in day-light 19/12/2014
    • Good and cheap food 19/12/2014
    • Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo
    Address:
    Rua da Cantareira 306
    Centro
    Sao Paulo 01024-000
    Brazil
    Hours:
    Sun
    6:00 - 5:00
    Mon - Sat
    6:00 - 7:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Paulista Museum
    Museums, Art Museums, Gardens
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    A landmark monument to Brazilian Independence, Museum Paulista — the beautiful building in which the Independence Act was passed in 1822 — is a mix of exhibition venue, park and grave! Its impressive collection includes two major highlights: the painting 'Independencia ou Morte' by Pedro América and the 'Bandeirantes' sculptures in the main lobby. Outside, enjoy a picnic or stroll through the French-style gardens, or bring your skates and try out the ramp just in front of the museum. The graves of Dom Pedro I, hero of Brazilian independence, and his two wives, Imperatriz Leopoldina and D. Amelia, are at the end of this ramp, in the Monumento à Independencia. Through a slit in the base of the monument, you can spy a small flame which burns eternally in their memory ...

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Must see
    • Luxury traveller
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • Hot dog and other snack vendors are dotted around the grounds. The best ones are at the exit just next to the Monumento à Independencia.
    • The University of Sao Paulo curates the museum, and the exhibition in its right wing is dedicated to educating visitors on "how to enjoy the art properly."
    • Skaters, boarders and rollerbladers are allowed on the ramp only after 2pm.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 295 attractions in Sao Paulo
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Closed until 2022 27/10/2014
    • Beautiful gardens... only 16/09/2014
    • Paulista Museum
    Address:
    Praca da Independencia
    Ipiranga
    Sao Paulo 04263-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    011/215-4588
    Other:
  • Save
    Restaurante Amazonia
    Restaurants (Brazilian)
    See more photos
    LeandroMontoya Says:

    This simple restaurant brings the delicious traditional cuisine from the north of the country right to the heart of Sao Paulo. While the menu probably won't help you much (while it's available in English, the names of ingredients are all indigenous!), don't feel intimidated — simply ask the helpful owner for guidance on what to order and you won't be disappointed.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Everyone
    • Hidden gem seeker
    Tips
    • Cachaça (sugar cane liquor) and Brazilian premium beers are available.
    • The restaurant is a good choice for lunch or dinner.
    • My recommendations are "Pato a Tucupi" and "Sorvete de Tapioca."
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2,116 of 8,690 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    • you need to be tolerant of very different tastes 27/04/2014
    • Um pedacinho de Belém 15/12/2014
    • Restaurante Amazonia
    Address:
    Rua Rui Barbosa, 206 - Bela Vista
    Sao Paulo 01326-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    11-3142-9264
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 5:30
    Mon
    12:00 - 4:00
    Wed - Fri
    12:00 - 4:00
    Wed - Sat
    19:00 - 12:00
    Other:
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