Where to go in São Paulo – a small guide

While in São Paulo I took the opportunity to explore some foodie related places and some sites of interest in the city I was born.  São Paulo, Portuguese pronunciation: (sɐ̃w ˈpawlu), the largest city and the heart of financial, commerce, arts and entertainment in Brazil.  The city of São Paulo is ranked among the five-largest metropolitan areas on the planet with a population of about 20 million. São Paulo is the capital of the state of São Paulo, which is the most populous Brazilian state. The city is ranked the 3rd in the world in number of highrise buildings with more than six thousands. The city is considered to be an important node in the global economic system.
If you ever find yourself São Paulo here are my suggestions – What to do and where to go.Street food
A typical street market in São Paulo. This kind of market has been taking place in the streets of Brazil since the 17th century. Selling fresh produce and well as street food,
each district have at least one or more markets happening during the week.  They are  regulated by the town hall. The street markets are great sources of jobs and distribution of production of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the meat and the fish trade.
Feira em Sao Paulo
cart displaying all sorts of coconut sweets for sale (above)

Pastel & sugarcane juice (left) and Tapioca (right) traditional street food at street markets:

Mercado Municipal:
Great place to sample food from all over Brazil under one roof and to stock up on Brazilian essentials products and ingredients from top quality producers.
Underground: Luz or São Bento – 10 mins walk
Rua da Cantareira, 306,  near  Rua 25 de Março and Parque Dom Pedro.

Typical juice bar – all fresh produce (left) and pão de queijo and Guarana (right)

Food suggestions:
Comida for kilo is everywhere in Brazil –
Usually a extensive buffet of hot, cold foods  and deserts.
Your  plate is weighted in and you pay per kilo.

Rodízio the customer pays a fixed price and the waiters bring an offering of food to each customer at several times throughout the meal, until the customers signals that they have had enough. In churrascarias, servers come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, most commonly local cuts of beef, pork, or chicken. There’s always a buffet of hot and cold food to accompany the meats. There are other rodízio style restaurants, for example serving pasta or pizza rodízio (where various pizzas are brought on trays). Its common, also, rodízio style sushi restaurants in Brazil.  

Below churrascaria, Fogo de Chão:


Two fruits to try while in Brazil:

Caju (where cashew nuts comes from) has unique taste and texture

Avenida Paulista – the heart of financial, cultural and business centre in São Paulo, the 2.8 kilometre is home to an extensive shopping area and to Latin America’s most comprehensive fine-art museum – MASP.

MASP – São Paulo Art Museum

Estação da Luz

The station is part of the metropolitan rail system. It houses the Museum of the Portuguese Language, established in 2006. The station was built with materials brought from UK. The station was designed and produced by Walter Macfarlane & Co. Saracen Foundry Glasgow.

Place to stay, eat and drink:
InterContinental Sao Paulo (below)
Located at Jardins district – Upmarket restaurants and shops, near Av. Paulista

Great bar at Unique hotel, the Skye Bar and view over Sao Paulo (below), designed by Ruy Ohtake

Av. Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 4700, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo

Most famous junction of city : Av Ipiranga x Av. Sao Joao – a bit of a touristic point, Bar Brahma. Bar Brahma has been the meeting place of choice for intellectuals, musicians and theatre-goers since 1948. The bar bore witness to key of events in São Paulo’s history, from inflamed discussions about the political repression of the 1960s to the bourgeoning of bohemian samba circles. Great for sampling some of Brazil’s famous nibbles like pao de queijo, coxinha, picanha na brasa etc. The menu is extensive and suggestion is to wash all down with a delicious caipirinha or chop (light coloured beer) served below freezing.

Terraço Itália Restaurant

Panoranic view of São Paulo from 41st Floor from Terraco Italia Bar and Restaurant
free between 3-4pm Monday-Friday – check before you go.

More sightseeing…
Football fans:
Estádio do Pacaembu  

Praca Charles Miller, S/N, Sao Paulo

Museum of football


Pavement outline of São Paulo Map

Postbox (right)


above traffic lights entertainment
The cathedral started as a small church in the 1500’s  and at the time was the main church in the small village of São Paulo . Praça da Sé is the center of this gigantic and complex city.
Neo-gothic architecture, construction started in 1913 and it took 40 years to build

View of the Sé square from the Cathedral

City center architecture

Patio do Colegio – this is where Sao Paulo was founded in 1554, today is part of the city center.
Court of Justice


Praça da Republica – small green square in the heart of the city

Parque do Ibirapuera

The largest green area in Sao Paulo with museums, exhibition spaces, planetary, theater, many cultural spaces, momuments, picnic and sports areas (basketball, skating, soccer, running, cycling to name a few.  The Museum of Contemporany Art, MAM- Museum of Modern Art, Museum AfroBrasil,  in the grounds of this immense park, were  design by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950’s.

More suggestions:  São Paulo off the beaten track
Where to stay in São Paulo?
More pictures: Flickr  and Facebook



  1. January 31, 2012 / 5:45 pm

    I wish I had a chance to go to San Paolo tomorrow! I would be happily ready to leave, what time is the flight? 🙂

  2. February 6, 2012 / 9:00 pm

    Sao Paulo is a very vibrant city. Unfortunately, not many people know what to do and where to go. Hope this small guide is of use.

  3. September 28, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    What a great post! Sao Paulo looks like such a great city! I wish I could just hop on a plane! 🙂