São Paulo for foreigners: a multicultural city

São Paulo for foreigners

I simply love São Paulo. It´s a multicultural city, with many qualities, a wonderful melting pot. São Paulo is a big city – one of the five biggest in the world. There are places here that suit everyone, despite the amount of money that you have.

Here, we chose 10 of our special places. If you have time, there are much more too see. And if you want some more tips, just ask us here, leaving a Comment.

1.  Paulista Avenue
São Paulo for foreigners

This avenue used to be the economic centre of the city. It´s not anymore, though it continues to be important because it holds many offices buildings. It is also interesting to walk through Paulista Avenue because here you have interesting architecture examples; many movie theaters; nice bookstores, such as Livraria Cultura and Fnac.

This region is well served by subway lines (Green Line – Linha Verde – of the Subway). If you want to go to São Paulo Art Museum, your subway station is Trianon-Masp. If you want to visit Augusta Street (with restaurants, theaters, movie theaters, bars), your subway station is Consolação.

2.  Bixiga
Bixiga is a gastronomic neighbourhood, a nice place to be on a Sunday afternoon. It´s an italian originated region, where there are many italian restaurants, the “cantinas”. You can eat great pasta in these restaurants and try some nice wine.

On Sunday afternoon, Bixiga holds an antiquity fair with some interesting objects, such as “old” cameras, clothes, shoes, decorating objects.

Here, we tell you about some nice cantinas in Bixiga (in portuguese).

3.    Ibirapuera Park
There are not many green places in São Paulo. But people who live in the city are proud of its most famous park, the Ibirapuera. It´s kind of a Central Park to the paulistas and it was elected as the best South America Park by the site TripAdvisor.

Go to Ibirapuera to take a bike ride, walk, enjoy the view of the lake, visit art in the Modern Art Museum. There are everything and all kinds of people in this beatiful place.

4. Vila Madalena
There are many nice bars and restaurants in Vila Madalena (subway station: Vila Madalena, at Linha Verde – Green Line). During the day, it´s nice to take a walk in the streets, full of trees, souvenir shops, bookstores. But Vila Madalena is the place to be at night, when the bars are full of life and people. Here is the place for you to seat, ask for a beer and something to eat (try bolinho de bacalhau – it´s kind of a cake made of fish).

5. Mercadão

São Paulo for foreigners

On the first floor of Mercadão (market), you can try and buy different fruits and fresh vegetables. There are places selling nice cheese and wine as well. On the second floor, completely restored, you can find charming restaurants crowded with people trying cod fish cake and mortadela sandwich.

But the nicest thing to do is to visit the tents, see new kinds of food and contemplate the beautiful building, that was projected by the famous architect Ramos de Azevedo.

Mercadão is located at the Cantareira Street, in Old Downtown. You can look for more information at the site.

6. Pátio do Colégio
This is the place where we can say São Paulo was born. Pátio do Colégio is a museum/church where Padre Anchieta is buried. He was one of the most famous priests that came to Brazil from Europe to catechize the Indians. There are historic information about the city in this place, plus a nice restaurant and café. The region where Pátio do Colégio is located is beautiful and full of nice architecture. Get off at Sé Station subway (Linhas Azul e Vermelha – Blue and Red Lines).

São Paulo for foreigners

7. Fairs
There are so many nice fairs to visit in São Paulo, it´s difficult to tell which one is more genuine. If you want to see a little bit of the “paulista” spirit and try some good food, you can visit Liberdade Fair or Feira da Liberdade. Liberdade is a japanese neighbourhood. In its fair, there are japanese decoration objects and some delicious food. On Saturday mornings, get off at Liberdade Station of the subway (Linha Azul – Blue Line).

Two other nice fairs, where you can find decoration and art objects – some new, some antique – are the Masp Fair (on Sunday mornings) and Benedito Calixto´s fair (on Saturday mornings). The first one takes place below Masp. Get off at Trianon-Masp Station of the subway (Linha Verde). Benedito Calixto´s Fair is in Pinheiros. Get off at Clinicas Station of the subway (Linha Verde) and walk down a few blocks at the Teodoro Sampaio Street.

8. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil  
During your visit to the old dowtown in São Paulo, don´t forget to visit Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. The building is magnificent and inside it you can check nice expositions, music and dance perfomances and film shows.

Read more at the site.

9. Mirante do Banespa
On the top of Banespa Building, you can take a beautiful view of the city, reaching over 40 quilometers in distance. From the top, you can see many buildings, some different architecture, like the interior of Mosteiro São Bento, Catedral da Sé (Sé´s Cathedral) and even Pico do Jaraguá, the highest mountain top in São Paulo. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 10 to 15. If you´re coming by subway, get off at São Bento Station (Linha Azul – Blue Line). The building is on 24, João Bricola Street, Downtown.

10. Pinacoteca
It´s my favourite museum in São Paulo. The building was projected by Ramos de Azevedo´s office. Inside, there are nice expositions, souvenir shop and café. This museum is located in a beautiful (but degraded) park – Parque da Luz. You can take a walk at the park, but don´t go too far from the building, it´s a little bit dangerous. If you have time, try also to visit Museu de Arte Sacra (Sacred Art Museum) and Estação Pinacoteca – it used to be a prison during the Brazilian dictatorship, it´s now a museum. And the neighbourhood Bom Retiro is really close. It´s famous for the nice and cheap clothes stores.

São Paulo for foreigners

Fotos: Divulgação

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Read more about São Paulo (in portuguese):

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