Lives in Sao Paulo, SP
Since Jul 2012
25-34 year old male
Landmarks/ Points of Interest
Museums, Art Museums
Flea/ Street Markets
Museums, Art Museums, Gardens
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 ...
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.