This profusion of 2,578 skyscrapers standing side by side can make you start to feel rather oppressed in this megalopolis, with more than 6 million cars on its roads.
Brazil's economic capital city and the world's third largest after Mexico City and Tokyo, Sao Paulo is the city of all excesses. 22 million inhabitants, 6 million cars being the cause of monstrous traffic jams, a swarm of helicopters (a perfectly common-place type of transport here!) hovering over the skyscrapers which stretch as far as the eye can see, this megacity can be a little scary at first, but if you take the time to get to know it, this incredible city will reveal to you its countless treasures! Sao Paulo never sleeps: you can have a pizza 24-hours a day, but also sushi, sashimi, coffee and cakes, etc. Japanese, Italian and Lebanese diasporas have brought their culture and gastronomy with them; Oscar Freire street is a shopping paradise; the Museum of Modern Arts is the best in the country and the ultra-contemporary boutique hotels are quite simply remarkable! As it still isn't part of any tourist tours, the city is as authentic as can be.
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In the evening, go and have a drink or even a meal at the Brahma bar, to the sound of a live samba concert. Have a drink at the pool-side of the Unique hotel, on Brigadeiro Luis Antonio avenue. Stroll around Vila Madalena market, or go for hikes - the city is surrounded by mountains with 4,000 ft peaks, perfect for exquisite walks in beautifully preserved nature.
Oscar Freire street is a chic shopping street with luxury boutiques, art galleries, fashionable restaurants and contemporary hotels. This fashion and luxury microcosm is the world's 8th most expensive street. The Museum of Modern Art exhibits some of the best work in the country: open since 1968, it has Latin America's largest collection of Western works of art, including paintings by Renoir, Picasso, Cézanne, Velazquez, Rafael and Van Gogh.
Sao Paulo is located south of the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere: seasons are reversed, with the months from June to September being the Austral winter months. Moreover, as the city is located on a 2,600 ft high plateau, you will need warm clothing for the evening. If you are meeting up with someone, remember that it is difficult to be on time because of the constant traffic jams, with the notable exception of match days concerning the national football team, when everybody is in front of their television! Incidentally, the city has just acquired 8 bicycle stations twinned with 8 underground stations. Hiring a bike is free for the first half hour and payable after that time. The only problem is: only 80 bikes are made available to the users for the launch... This may not be sufficient to reduce the city's traffic jams!
Favour the underground train for transport as it is fast, modern and efficient, rather than driving, as the road network soon reaches saturation. 6 million cars drive every other day depending on their registration number: odd or even. You will generally spend hours stuck in the city's monstrous traffic jams! Taxis are rather cheap but they are not equipped with GPS systems and they don't necessarily know your destination!
Avoid walking around with jewels or valuables on show, especially in the evening and at night-time. Walking in the favelas is not recommended.
Sao Paulo is the second city in the world with the largest Italian community, it therefore boasts the world's best pizzas. There is even a 'pizza day': July 10th! As the world's second city with the largest Japanese community, the megacity also boasts treasures of Nippon gastronomy, and finally, as the first city in the world with the largest Lebanese community, it serves top Lebanese-Syrian cuisine, including tabouleh and mezzes. All of this, without forgetting the cuisine from all corners of the country. In short, it is a multi-cultural city with unexpected culinary influences! If you want to taste sumptuous Brazilian dishes, we recommend the restaurant Brasil a Gosto, a beautiful place in the city centre, run by two women with character!
The famous Oscar Freire street is abound in designer boutiques where you can find some of the most diverse objects.
The Fasano Sao Paulo is a charming boutique hotel that is both ...
Located on the the famous Oscar Freire avenue, Sao Paulo's main ...
Hotel Unique is a charming and ultra-modern boutique hotel which ...
Located in one of the most exclusive areas of the city, the Tryp ...