Sao Paulo Travel Guide

One of the biggest and richest cities in the whole of South America]], Sao Paulo stands about 800 meters above sea level and about 40 miles from the Atlantic coast. With its hugely diverse population and sprawling neighborhoods, this is a city that could take months to fully explore.

Navigating this dense urban mass can be a daunting experience so it pays to decide what you want to do and see before you end up flitting around doing and seeing nothing. Vale do Anhangabau marks the spot in which the original city took shape, where the Patio do Colegio forms a triangle along with the Sao Bento and Sao Francisco monasteries; a fitting place to begin any visit. For the artsy side of Sao Paulo, head to Vila Madelena and Pinheiros where you’ll find book shops aplenty and a whole host of coffee shops.

Ibirapuera Park is a perfect place to escape the city bustle, featuring buildings by the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Itaim Bibi is an upscale neighborhood with a strong cafĂ© and bar culture, making it a good place to eat out. Many of the city’s new bars and clubs are also springing up in Vila Mariana and Ibirapuera, two up-and-coming areas.


Sao Bento Monastery: was built at the end of the 16th century when Sao Paulo was first founded, and was only opened to the public in 1999.

Ibirapuera Park: offers wonderful architecture and a green expanse which includes a number of art museums designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and a planetarium.

Se Cathedral: is the most significant ecclesiastical building in Sao Paulo, built in the first half of the last century.

Liberdade: is immigrant central, particularly Asian, making it a vibrant neighborhood full of Chinese characters, Korean kimchi and Japanese sushi bars.

Vila Madelena and Pinheiros: are the places to spot Brazilian celebrities and mix with the local intelligentsia over a coffee.

Sau Paulo Art Museum: offers one of the most important and extensive collections in South America featuring works by greats like Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso.

Edificio Italia: go to the observation deck on the 46th floor of the second highest building in the city for spectacular views. Two floors below is an excellent Italian restaurant.