São Paulo

São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo’s size earned its reputation as one of the world’s biggest metropolitan areas. It may not be comparable with Rio in terms of natural beauty, Sampa (as its locals fondly call it) but it has a lot of other things to offer. Considered Brazil’s cultural capital, São Paulo has wide array of attractive sights like concerts, theaters, museums, and dance performances. It also boasts of the best bars, restaurants, and nightclubs from all over South America. The city’s inhabitants called Paulistanos have a good balance of work and play. Although they consider street violence, clogged highways and pollution as big “headaches”, they wouldn’t want to live elsewhere.

Being the third most populous city in the world, it’s no surprise that it is the economical capital of Brazil and that its 10 million inhabitants are very busy. Aside from that, it also has many culture parks and museums that are must-see.

A stone mark was built as a symbol of the city’s “point zero” at Praça da Se. Subway system in the city is kept efficient and maintained but it covers a very limited area. Extensions are slowly being made though. Some of the most interesting neighborhoods are that of the Jardins, Itaim and the Ibirapuera Park. Italian, Japanese or Arabic-influenced cuisine are served in some of these neighborhoods. They have their distinct feel and one can enjoy walking in these neighborhoods and going to those nice restaurants drink and dine.

The best food in Brazil probably come from São Paulo and can compete with those in other major capitals in the world. Some of the meat treats you can try is the rodizios (barbecue) or feijoada (pork and beans – served only on Wednesdays and Saturdays). Pizzas in this part of the world are also tasteful. Restaurants are everywhere, from delivery places to high-end restaurants.

Brazil is known to be one of the most festive places on earth and São Paulo is definitely a party venue. Traffic gets congested in the middle of the night after the party rush.

Traffic situation is São Paulo is usually complicated especially in main thoroughfares almost every day and is worsened by rush hours (from 8 am to 10 am and from 6 pm to 8 pm). Regulation is enforced through a law that forbids car to be on the road at certain days depending on the last digit of their license plates. Weekends are a relief for motorists except for areas where shopping places, bars and other attractions are located.

São Paulo also boasts of its underground transportation system which is the largest in all of Brazil. The “Metro” as it is called, is not as comprehensive as the trains in Europe or North America, but it is along most of the important places in the city. Getting around São Paulo is safe and clean through this transport system.