Published: June 2nd 2008May 31st 2008
The new cable-stayed brigde
Though I was born in Rio de Janeiro and I've lived here all my life, São Paulo (aka Sampa) was always a constant city in my life, since I was a small kid. It's the place I've flew more. I'd guess I went there around 50 times.
Also, I've spent two of the past three years flying there every week. At the beginning it was fine, but after a while it turned out to be extremely boring. I started to dislike the city so much that what I liked the most about it all was to see Rio by the airplane window.
Well... It turns out that sometimes life is a box of chocolates. And that's tasty.
Two weeks ago, I flew there to spend a weekend. And it took only two days to completely change an image built in those two years time.
I know some of you will be surprised with the contend of this entry. Yes, I went to São Paulo and had a really good time there!
The conclusion I've reached is: there are lots of São Paulos. You have to find yours. I've found mine in this weekend. The past years
Benedito Calixto square
Fair with antiques and handcrafts
I was in the “wrong” São Paulo, at least for me.
This entry doens't have the intetion to say all about the city. Sampa is huge and there is loads to see. I just want to share the Sampa that I enjoyed in only two days.
Sooo... If I could give you a tip, that would be: GO! It's worth it. If you're lucky enough to know someone who lives there, don't hesitate to get in touch and ask for tips. Brazilians are friendly and love to show their hometown around.
If you don't know anyone there, well, good news is that acomodation is cheap compared to other cities, such as Rio. Use the money you'd use for acomodation to move around.
The traffic in São Paulo in week days can be tough. If you can, go on a weekend.
Most of the international flights arrive in São Paulo, so it's a good idea to spend some days in the city before heading somewhere else.
The metro covers a good part of the city, but not all of it. Remember, we're talking about the 4th biggest city in
the world. More information here: www.metro.sp.gov.br/ingles
Taxis are a good option for places not covered by metro. Remember to ask the driver to turn the taximeter on.
Be prepared for some walking.
Use common sense. Don't show off, don't walk alone at night... You're in a big city.
• Night life
: Ok, I haven't travelled half of what some of you have, but I have no doubts to say that Sampa's night life and club scene is amongst the best in the world. You have options for all sorts of budgets or tastes. Vila Madalena for example is a neighbourhood that holds some of the nicest bars.
• Benedito Calixto:
Saturdays. Fair of antiques and handcraft. Located in Pinheiros, a nice neighbourhood to walk around.
• Estação da Luz:
The oldest museum in São Paulo. In front of Estação da Luz. Really nice collection and always holds a nice exibition.
• Estação Julio Prestes:
• Mercado Municipal:
Market. All sort of fruits, vegetables, codiments... Cool place to have lunch.
• Bairro da Liberdade:
The japanese neighbourhood.
One of the most important museum
Fortune teller bird
in Brazil. Free entrance on Tuesdays.
• Avenida Paulista:
The most famous street.
• São Paulo Cathedral
• Galeria Ouro Fino:
Stores with cool alternative stuff. Located in Rua Augusta.
• Embu das Artes (aka Embu):
Small city near São Paulo. Famous for arts, handcraft, antiques, furniture. Day trip.
• Banespa Tower:
Skycraper. Free observation deck on the top floor for views of the city.
• Cable-stayed brigde (Ponte Octavio Frias de Oliveira)
: Inaugurated on May 10th, 2008. Some say that it's the city's new postcard.
• Museu do Imigrante (Immigrant Memorial Museum)
• Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park)
• Galeria do Rock:
Tattoo and piercing stores, metal and rock cd's and clothing shops.
• Estádio Morumbi:
For football lovers. The biggest football stadium in town. Also, if you'd like to buy a football shirt from a local team, I recommend you get Palmeiras (it's a green one).
My weekend summary:
(the places are discribed above on highlights)
Benedito Calixto Fair
Estação da Luz
Pinacoteca: saw an exibition about Japan.
FAAP: University that has a cultural center. Saw an exibition about Morocco.
Football match at Palestra Italia Stadium (Palmeiras
2 x Inter 1)
Sampa, we finally made up. I've been unfair to you lately, and I recognize it. "You've forgiven me in a big way ;)
This entry is dedicated to Leo, a paulistano passionated for Sampa, and my touristic/cultural/gastronomic guide there. Thank you sooo much for everything!
He's also a gifted photographer. You can see some of his work at leogetz's photos
If you intend to go to Sampa, I recommend the following blogs: Sao Paulo São Paulo - A Truly Multicultural History São Paulo II
There are more photos below