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One Day in Sao Paulo

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If you don't have much time to explore Sao Paulo, follow this guide to the best highlights of the city, and get an early start!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Thrifty Traveller

8 Places

8 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

Parque Ibirapuera

Parks

Paulista Avenue

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP

Art Museums

Italian Building

Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Mosteiro De Sao Bento

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Liberdade

Neighbourhoods

Batman Alley

Neighbourhoods

Augusta Street

Neighbourhoods

Lais G's City Tips

  • Tipping: taxis are not tipped.
  • Sao Paulo is a large city and the distance between places will restrict what you're able to see in one day. Plan transportation ahead of time.
  • From GRU Airport to the city: take a taxi (I suggest you take a prepaid fare), shuttle bus (comfortable and with wifi access) or regular bus (takes you to the subway).
  • Taxis are a good option for short distances and are very easy to find in the city center. Carry cash as many don't take credit cards.
  • The subway is great to avoid the traffic. Be aware that it gets very crowded at rush hours, when people are going to work (9am) and heading home (6pm).
  • Take the precautions you would in any big metropolis: avoid wearing expensive jewelry to walk around the streets and be careful with personal items like laptops and smartphones.
  • Restaurants will already add the tip to your bill (usually 10%).
  • At hotels, it's nice to give a small tip to baggage carriers.
  • Parque Ibirapuera
    Parks
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    This is the perfect place to start your day in Sao Paulo. Opening early in the morning, it is a huge park where you can choose to do what you love most: cycle around its green areas, jog, walk, relax with a book, or visit one of the nice museums on its grounds.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Wear comfortable shoes and light clothing. You will probably be walking a lot (or maybe enjoying a rented bike) around the park.
    • The park contains two important museums: Museu de Arte Moderna (dedicated to modern art) and Museu Afro-Brasil (about African culture). Both are open Tuesday through Sunday.
    • You can easily spend the whole day here, so plan your visit ahead if you intend to explore more of the city on the same day.
    • Famous sights at the park are "Monumento às Bandeiras" (a granite sculpture), "Oca" (a nicely designed pavilion for exhibitions) and the Obelisk of Sao Paulo.
    • Check their calendar for free open-air music performances. These are usually held on Sunday afternoons at "Praça da Paz."
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • A great escape for the weekend 02/07/2022
    • Nice park but not a must see 02/04/2022
    • Parque Ibirapuera
    Address:
    Avenida Pedro Alvares Cabral
    Vila Mariana
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 04094-050
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 5574 5045
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    5:00 am - 12:00 am
    Other:
  • Paulista Avenue
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    One of the most important streets in the city, Paulista Avenue is home to several financial institutions and tourist hot-spots. It's usually busy throughout the day, making it a great place to walk around and get a feel for the local routine whenever you visit. I recommend starting your walk at Consolação subway station, and heading in the direction of Brigadeiro station. The main spots you'll pass along the way are: Conjunto Nacional building (where the biggest bookstore in the country is located), Sao Paulo Art Museum (with its beautiful exterior), Trianon Park (a cool place to chill out), Prainha da Paulista (featuring a few bars offering good street views), FIESP Cultural Center (home to seasonal exhibitions), Itau Cultural Center (another cultural space for exhibitions) and Casa das Rosas (an iconic mansion with a beautiful garden).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Pick up a famous Brazilian "pastel" as you're walking. It's a fried dough snack filled with cheese, meat or other tasty options, and widely available.
    • If you are feeling hungry, another famous Brazilian snack is "pão de queijo." These are baked cheese balls and they are also sold in most snack places.
    • At Christmas time, the buildings are usually beautifully decorated. Don't miss the festive displays at the shopping mall at the corner of Augusta Street and the Trianon Park.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Avenida Paulista Rocks! 15/08/2022
    • Not bad 15/06/2022
    • Paulista Avenue
    Address:
    Avenida Paulista
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01311-200
    Brazil
    Other:
  • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    One of the most important museums in Brazil, MASP attracts hordes of visitors both for its classic-to-contemporary art collection and for its amazing architecture. A large part of the museum is suspended over four main pillars, leaving an open space more than 70 meters in length underneath it. This open floor space hosts an antiques fair every weekend.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check out their restaurant menu; it's a great place to stop for lunch.
    • The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.
    • Free entry every Tuesday, when it's also at its most crowded.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Buy tickets on line 14/09/2022
    • Classic art along with more recent work from Brazil 19/08/2022
    • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Address:
    Avenida Paulista 1578
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01310-200
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 3149 5959
    Hours:
    Thu
    8:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Fri - Wed
    8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Other:
  • Italian Building
    Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    The second tallest building in the city, the Italian Building offers a privileged 360-degree view of Sao Paulo from its 42nd floor. There is a very fancy restaurant and bar here where you can have lunch or dinner with spectacular vistas, or you can just enjoy the view for free, from 3pm to 4pm, Monday through Friday.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • While enjoying the view, look out for the Copan Building (right beside the Italian Building). Copan was designed by the famous Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer.
    • The restaurant located here is called "Terraço Italia" and it's possible to book a table online.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #64 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Online payment with CPF number required 20/09/2022
    • Best view in São Paulo 15/03/2020
    • Italian Building
    Address:
    Avenida Ipiranga 344
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01046-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 2576-5666
    Other:
  • Mosteiro De Sao Bento
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    This iconic building, full of history and beautifully decorated, lies right in the heart of the old downtown area. Home to Benedictine monks, the monastery hosts a beautiful singing mass with Gregorian chants and organ every Sunday morning at 10am. Whether you're religious or not, it's a really impressive ceremony and well worth a listen. If you can't make it on a Sunday, weekday masses are also offered (check their website for times), and the building itself makes even just a quick visit on a regular day a memorable stop on your trip itinerary.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Arrive early if you want to get a seat for Sunday mass. It usually gets crowded.
    • There is a store selling fresh cake, bread, jam and cookies made by the monks. I recommend "Benedictus Pão de Mel" if you like sweets or the "Dominus" if you prefer regular bread.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Must visit in São Paulo 18/01/2020
    • Most beautiful church I have ever seen 26/10/2019
    • Mosteiro De Sao Bento
    Address:
    Largo Sao Bento
    Centro
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01029-010
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 (11) 3328-8799
    Other:
  • Liberdade
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    Home to the world's largest Japanese community outside of Japan, Bairro da Liberdade gives you a very different perspective of Sao Paulo. Here, the streets are decorated with red lamps, markets are full of oriental products, and many restaurants offer delicious authentic Japanese cuisine.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • There is a market with crafts and food on Sundays. The yakisoba is especially delicious!
    • Great spots to visit here are the Oriental Garden and the Busshinji Temple.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Great area for Asian food and market 03/08/2022
    • Great Japanese neighborhood in São Paolo 28/02/2022
    • Liberdade
  • Batman Alley
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    Batman Alley is a great place to explore some of Brazil's best street art. This open street gallery says a lot about Sao Paulo's modern culture, and in particular, the neighborhood in which it's situated: Vila Madalena is always full of life, energy, music, art and has a great nightlife scene.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are several art galleries nearby if you want to check out more local creations.
    • Great pubs are also located in this area. If possible, pick one with live Brazilian samba being played while you enjoy your drinks (additional cover charges may apply).
    • The paintings are constantly renovated, which makes every visit unique.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #81 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Meh, okay I guess... 26/08/2022
    • Bao de Batman 03/04/2022
    • Batman Alley
    Address:
    Rua Goncalo Afonso
    Vila Madalena
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 05436-100
    Brazil
    Other:
  • Augusta Street
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Lais G Says:

    The former red light district, Augusta Street has been transformed into a vibrant and trendy nightlife spot, with options to suit all tastes, from movie theaters and comedy, to street pubs and dance clubs. The dinner choices are endless too, with everything from pizza to tapas to hot dogs on offer here.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Augusta Street is busy almost every evening, but it's especially crowded on weekends. Avoid driving there after 9pm on these days or you'll get stuck in transit.
    • There are several vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the area.
    • If you are going to a movie theater, students pay half price with a valid student ID card.
    • Check out Endossa, a collaborative shop that showcases clothes and accessories by several local companies for reasonable prices.
    • Dance clubs usually offer discounts on the entrance fee if you RSVP through their website before 5 or 6pm. Don't forget to bring ID.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #88 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Amazing 08/10/2021
    • Give it a miss 26/03/2019
    • Augusta Street
    Address:
    Rua Augusta
    from Avenida Paulista to Praca Roosevelt
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo
    Brazil
    Phone:
    1130864774
    Other:
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