Sao Paulo or as locals call it “Sampa” is the most populous city in all South America – about 12 million people. The city is economic and business center, lot of Brazilians told me that there is nothing particular to see here, but we had our flight back to Europe from Sampa so we decided to dedicate at least two days for this huge city.
Sao Paulo is located south of Rio, you can reach the city by bus or by plane. The bus trip takes about 6 hours and the ticket is 30 euro. If you fly during the low season (not New Year or Carnival, you can find a plane ticket almost the same price like the bus ticket, around 35 euro.
Look for accommodation near the metro station, the city is huge and everything is really far. Recommended neighborhoods are Vila Madalena and Avenida Paulista, we were staying in Hostel Alice, Vila Madalena. The neighborhood is known for its nightlife, variety of bars, restaurants and cafes. The hostel had very good position, it was clean and not noisy, and people who work there speak English.
During our stay in Sao Paolo we weren’t so lucky, because it was raining almost all the time. Summer season in Brazil is something like this, lot of rain!
The first day we walked down to Avenida Paulista, a big boulevard with many modern buildings, the business center of the city. The boulevard has several shopping malls and nothing else, buildings, and only buildings.
The second day was dedicated to the park Iburapuera where you can find the Iburapuera Auditorium designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the Afro-Brazilian Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The park is really nice and you can have a nice view of the business part of the city and the huge buildings from all the sides, but still the view is more beautiful during sunny days.
The ticket in the Afro-Brazilian Museum was 7 reais, we didn’t enter in the Museum of Modern Art because they were doing some work inside. Every Tuesdays the entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art is free. With that rainy weather we had time also for that museum. There is a really nice panoramic view of the city from the rooftop of the Museum.
When it stopped raining we headed down to Liberdade neighborhood. The biggest Japanese community in Brazil. The place was full of Japanese – Chinese shops and restaurants with Japanese and Chinese food. One hour for us was enough to see what is happening there and to eat something
From Liberdade we decided to visit the downtown and the Cathedral. Before we get off from the taxi, the driver warned us to be careful. There were some policemen around, but it’s good for you to be careful and to not go around with the phone / camera in your hand. Around the Cathedral there were several pedestrian streets with shops, but nothing special. In the evening we went out in some of the local bars in Vila Madalena with my local friends and had also a really nice rainy sightseeing tour of Sampa by night.
Uber from Vila Madalena to the international airport GRU will cost you about 70 reais.