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There is no shortage of things to do in Sao Paulo in Brazil, which with 17 million people is the third-largest metropolis in the world. However, there are certain sites that you simply must see if your time in the city allows it.
Things To Do In Sao Paulo
By all means, don’t limit yourself to these activities. They are absolutely wonderful, but so are the many restaurants, clubs, shops and myriad other offerings that Sao Paulo presents. In between visits to these cultural dynamos, simply walk around the city and soak up its vibrant Latin American culture. Most of all, have fun!
This is the public market where the locals enjoy shopping. To really experience Sao Paulo, this is an excellent, tourist-free place to go. You can find cold beer, chickens, exotic fruits and vegetables and a plethora of flowers. This is an authentic sensory experience that should not be missed.
Memorial de America Latina
A huge space with enormous futuristic sculptures scattered around the grounds provides an ambience that is almost surreal. Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil’s most famous architect, designed the building. Be sure to visit the adjoining Popular Creativity Pavilion, which features Latin American crafts for many different countries.
Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP)
This museum is a work of art in itself. Comprised of a great deal of glass, it is suspended in the air by two bright red concrete pillars. Even better, you can view works by Bosch, van Gogh, Degas and Renoir. As an added bonus, you can visit the antique market that is set up every Sunday underneath the museum. Culture, culture, everywhere!
Basilica de Sao Bento
How often do you get to hear Gregorian chants live? This is the spot. Come on a Sunday morning and experience a trip back in time. Enjoy the beautiful stained glass windows that this church has to offer. Built-in 1910, it also houses an organ with over 6000 pipes.
Meseu de Arte Moderna (MAM)
Housing over 2500 works of art, an extensive library, and a sculpture garden, this is a museum that shouldn’t be missed. It is conveniently located in the Parque do Ibirapuera, which is another must-see.
Escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Sao Paulo by visiting this lush garden. Featuring over 3000 plants from over 300 different species, it is a very beautiful, relaxing way to spend part of your day. It also features a greenhouse, aquatic plants and even an orchid house. Orchid lovers put this one at the top of your list!
Parque Zoologico de Sao Paulo
Here is a nature of a different sort. This incredible zoo is over 200 acres and has over 3000 animals of 400 different species. Be sure to bring your walking shoes! This zoo features some endangered species and also has a reptile house that will chill your blood.
This is Sao Paulo’s answer to Chinatown, although, with the largest population of Japanese people outside of Japan itself, it would more accurately be called “Japanesetown.” Perhaps that would not be correct either, as this is the Asian centre of town, and many Chinese and Korean people have also put down roots here.
At any rate, this is a part of town that should not be missed. What a treat, to visit Sao Paulo and essentially get to take a trip to the Far East for the price of a bus fare! Liberdade is known for its shopping and dining experiences.
There are also many festivals that occur on a regular basis. A popular one that occurs every July is the Tanabata Matsuri festival. This lively festival celebrates the birth and fulfilment of wishes. There is also a market in Liberdade every Sunday, which is bustling and exciting.
Represa de Guarapiranga
This reservoir, built around the turn of the century, is now a place where locals and travellers alike gather to windsurf, water-ski and sail. There are three small islands, and fishing and boat tours are also available. It may be best to see this attraction during the week, as weekends are especially crowded. Also, at times the water levels fluctuate, so your experience may be influenced by the amount of rainfall in the past month or so. Regardless, this spot is a major fun spot for many people.
Parque de Ibirapuera
This is the Sao Paulo equivalent of New York’s Central Park. Many of the museums and other attractions are located on the fringes of this park. It offers a playground, jogging trails, a restaurant and a snack bar, as well as the magnificent Obelisk, a 236-foot tall monument that is the tallest in the city. It serves as a memorial for those who died in the 1932 Revolution of the Constitution. Another monument worth seeing is the Monumento de Banderas.
This beautiful piece honours the gold-seeking expeditions that helped to make Brazil what it is today. Not to be missed is the Japanese Pavilion, which is a fine example of Japanese architecture that includes art expositions, a collection of samurai clothes and art objects from several dynasties.