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If Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Brazil, São Paulo is its soul! If you wish to see the most cosmopolitan, artistic and stylish face of modern Brazil, search for cheap air tickets to São Paulo and you won’t be disappointed. Where the East meets the West, the North meets the South and different cultures from around the globe cross paths, there’s São Paulo; the third largest Italian, the second largest Japanese and the largest Portuguese city away from home! Having successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup 2014, São Paulo has gained even more international fame. Now thousands of visitors travel to this Brazilian city and enjoy over 150 museums, 12,500 restaurants and 400 theatres and cinemas, of the highest possible quality. Book your flights and cheap accommodation in São Paulo and you’ll have enough stories to tell your grandchildren!
The largest of South America and the world’s third largest, the metropolis of São Paulo is an internationally favourite travel destination and never fails to impress. The main reason of its tremendous universal fame is its authenticity; a direct result of its “humble” origins.
São Paulo was founded on a hill near River Tietê in 1554, as a small Jesuit settlement. It wasn’t long since São Paulo developed and grew into a major commercial hub. São Paulo’s climate proved to be optimal for growing coffee beans, making the city the third largest coffee exporter in the world.
With the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, a new need for workers emerged, attracting people from all over the world.
Italians, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and Germans relocated to São Paulo, bringing along their culture, tradition and lifestyle. São Paulo has been one the most multicultural societies in the world ever since.
With a population larger than Rio de Janeiro’s, modern São Paulo is a cosmopolitan travel destination, comparable only to the greatest metropolises in an international scale. Gourmet cuisine and top-notch art, first-rate architecture and exquisite nightlife, São Paulo boasts it has it all – and it does; it sure does!
São Paulo’s airport (Governador André Franco Montoro Airport) is located 25 kilometres from the city centre and can be reached by bus.
Getting around São Paulo
São Paulo’s public transportation network consists of railway and buses. Fares start from 3.00 BRL and minimum taxi fare costs 4.20 BRL.
São Paulo Guide
Your day in São Paulo begins at the city centre (Centro), stretching around the Praça da Sé square. This is the historic core of São Paulo, but unfortunately little is left of it. One fine surviving example of the city’s architectural heritage is the Teatro Municipal, the most glorious building in São Paulo. The theatre was built in 1903, encompassing many different architectural styles, from baroque to art nouveau, with interior decorations made of gold and marble details.
The Teatro Municipal remains in full function and hosts many grand concerts, theatrical plays and ballet performances.
South of the city centre, you will come across a series of districts linked to the immigrants that fled to São Paulo during the 20th century. Don’t miss the Liberdade, São Paulo’s “Japantown”.
Named after the liberation from slavery in Brazil, Liberdade (Liberty) now represents the largest Japanese community outside Japan and houses a great variety of restaurants, museums and shops.
Find the Avenida Paulista and follow the way to the commercial part of the city, lined with tall sky-scrapers, business offices and imposing modern buildings.
It is there that you’ll find the Museum of Art of São Paulo (Museu de Arte de São Paulo - MASP), boasting the largest collection of Western art in Latin America. Masterpieces by Rembrandt, El Greco, Rodin, Renoir, Degas, Monet and the rest of the greatest western artists rank among the top highlights, as well as a wing dedicated to national painters and sculptors.
If you found that experience interesting, you can continue to the National Gallery (Pinacoteca do Estado), where you can enjoy some top-notch Brazilian art. Housed in a fabulous neoclassical building, the National Gallery hosts exhibitions with the works of the most notable Brazilian artists of the 19th and the 20th centuries.
Finally, head to the Ibirapuera Park, to see “São Paulo’s Central Park”! The primary green lung of the city, the Ibirapuera Park is ideal for moments of relaxation, long walks, sun-bathing and sports. If you’re lucky, you can catch one of the concerts or other performances frequently being held in the park.
Pay special attention to the Mercado Municipal; housed in a beautiful building made of glass, this is a market that dates back to 1930 and is of great historical value.
São Paulo’s official language is Portuguese.
To enter São Paulo, you need to have a passport, valid up until 6 months after your travel dates. Greek citizens do not need a Visa, for a maximum stay of 90 days.
When to Go
São Paulo is situated in the southern hemisphere where the succession of seasons takes place in the opposite order than what of the northern hemisphere.
Summer in São Paulo lasts from December to May and shows high temperatures and humidity, succeeded by a cooler and more pleasant winter, from June to September.
The best time to visit São Paulo would definitely be during the winter, unless you’re not too disturbed by extra warm days and humidity.