Sao Paulo, can be included on one of our Brazil tours to give a taste of the country very different to that you will get in either Rio or Iguazu. Located in the south east of Brazil this is the country´s largest and richest city, and one of the world´s biggest metropolis. Despite its huge population the city has the highest number of private helicopters per capita in the world. The city is known as a tourist hub for its varied cuisine and thousands of clubs and lounges.
There are festivals throughout the year, including the Bienial art festival, two world-renowned fashion weeks, and various parades and marathons. Those looking to travel to Sao Paulo can come for the Brazilian Carnival celebrations, or just spend time relaxing at a spot on the nearly 400 miles of nearby beaches including the picturesque colonial town of Parati and the resort of Angra Dos Reis.
The city is named after Saint Paul, and was founded by Jesuit priests in 1554. Sao Paulo remained unexplored for much of its history. It wasnt until the 19th century that the city began to rise from the shadows and brush off its bad reputation. A massive boom in the 20th century brought many immigrants from all over the world to work in the fields, railroads and factory. By 1950´s Sao Paulo steamed ahead and took the lead as the country´s industrial and commercial center.
Now the city of Sao Paulo has a population of 17 million and is Brazil´s most culturally diverse destination. A stroll though the town is to witness shops and restaurants from all over the world.
With one of the best subway systems at your fingertips São Paulo opens up for you to explore, each station offering something new. The Padaria Santa Tereza stop has the oldest bakery in the city, and has been open since 1940 on the Praça João Mendes. The smell of freshly made bread and sweet rolls will tempt you inside for some of the best tasting desserts in the city.
Once your belly is full, make your way to the Igreja De Ordem Terceira do Carmo, the former Mother Church of the São. The outstanding feature is the stunning ceiling of the main hall, painted by the priest Jesuíno do Monte Carmelo in 1798.
Take a ride to Luz station and then walk to the Estação da Luz (Station of the light) where you can visit the museum of Portuguese language. The museum is located above the train platform, where 300,000 people pass each day. The aim of the museum is to educate visitors by the unusual and unfamiliar aspects of their own native language.
Known as the cultural capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo is home to an array of fabulous attractions including museums, art galleries and nightly concerts. One of the most visited and well known museums is the Museum de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP). This has Latin America´s best collection of Western art, with over 7,000 pieces. The museum holds work from some of the masters of the art world such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and the great Brazilian artist Candido Portinari. Even if you are not a lover of art this museum will capture you with its divine artwork and powerful atmosphere. It would be hard not to lose yourself in its magic.
For many people Sao Paolo is principally a transportation hub with a major international airport, as well as being a base for flights to many of Brazil´s top destinations including Rio de Janeiro, the Pantanal, Iguacu Falls, the rainforest around Manaus, Salvador and the beautiful beaches of the North East. All in all however Sao Paolo makes for an interesting stop in its own right for city lovers.