São Paulo is the state of Sao Paulo’s capital and is an enormous city in Brazil, with nearly 20 million people living in the cosmopolitan area. It is one of the largest cities in South America and the 7th largest city in the world. It is well known for its historical landmarks, museums, parks, shopping, and dazzling cuisine.

Plan Your Trip

How To Get Around

On Foot – The best way to explore the city’s different neighborhoods is on foot. Many top attractions in the Old Downtown, Vila Madalena, and Paulista Avenue is walkable between the sights.

Metro – The metro is also a fast, relatively safe, clean, and efficient option and connects travelers to many of the city’s beloved sights. In addition, the city’s metro serves many of the top attractions in the city; tourists widely visit those. 

Taxi – There are many meter taxis broadly available in the city. I have used them on multiple occasions and never had a bad experience. The price is reasonable, and they are reliable too.

UBER – Personally, I prefer using Uber as there is no need to deal with cash or flag down one. It was convenient to make a reservation at the hotel, restaurants, and airports, and they were relatively cheaper than metered Taxi fares. 

Where To Stay

I stayed in the Paulista Avenue / Jardins Area, which is one of the best areas to stay in. There are plenty of good restaurants, bars, shops, and many choices of hotels also close to the Metro stations.

Best Time to Visit

I stayed in the Paulista Avenue / Jardins Area, which is one of the best areas to stay in. There are plenty of good restaurants, bars, shops, and many choices of hotels also close to the Metro stations.

Useful Information

Visa Requirement – Visa is required for citizens from most countries, including United States citizens. Apply your eVisa online

SIM Card – For a smoother and smarter travel experience, I recommend buying a local SIM card soon after landing at GRU Airport in Sao Paulo. It helps me find places of interest when I am on the road and get directions during my walking tours. Getting it is not difficult in Brazil as long as you have an unlocked GSM phone. VIVO is widely popular among tourists. The best uses are for making local calls, receiving calls, and accessing the internet.

ATM – There are Money Exchange places at Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) Airport terminal, but I prefer to get cash from ATMs. There are plenty located throughout the terminals on both levels. To be safe, call your bank before your trip or update the online banking section that you will be using your ATM/Debit Card during your travel. 

Day 1: Sao Paulo Old Downtown Walking Tour

Old Downtown Walking Tour at 11:30 am, for 3h. 30m tour. (Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat). Address for Uber/Taxi – Praca de Republica, 50 – Republica (next to the Tourist Information Center)

Starting Our Walking Tour From Republica Square

It is centrally located in one of the most popular old downtown Sao Paulo areas. This is the starting point for the Old Downtown free walking tour.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Republica Square in Old Downtown Sao Paulo

Visit Italia Building (Edifício Itália)

For one of the incredible views of Sao Paulo, go to the 46-story skyscraper’s rooftop of the Edificio Italia, located in the heart of the historic district.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Italia Building (Edifício Itália), liked the restaurant on the top floor.
Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo walking tour

Quick Stop At Consolacao Church

The historical church of Consolacao with its single clock tower in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A site where São Paulo’s original Jesuit mission was erected in 1554, with an 1896 replica of its chapel.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Church of Consolacao with its single clock tower, Sao Paulo

Passing By Municipal Library

Biblioteca Mário de Andrade is the largest public library in Sao Paulo.

Biblioteca Mário de Andrade
Biblioteca Mário de Andrade, founded in 1925

Municipal Theatre (Teatro Municipal)

Municipal Theatre (Teatro Municipal) was opened in 1911 and is one of the prime architectural treasures and cultural attractions of the city of Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Teatro Municipal is located in the heart of Sao Paulo

Chá Bridge

This viaduct Cha Bridge (“Tea Viaduct”) is located above Anhagabau Park, one of the most visited sites among visitors. It connects the city’s cultural area to the old town. Great place to have a coffee, enjoy the view of the surrounding skylines and relax at the park.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
A view of Cha Bridge viaduct in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
A view of Anhangabau Valley from the viaduct.

Sao Paulo Sé Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of São Paulo is the city’s largest Catholic church located straight out of Se metro station. It’s beautiful inside the cathedral and definitely worth a visit.

Sé Cathedral - The Metropolitan Cathedral of Sao Paulo
Inside Sé Cathedral - The Metropolitan Cathedral of Sao Paulo

Patio do Colegio

The Metropolitan Cathedral of São Paulo is the city’s largest Catholic church located straight out of the Se metro station. It’s beautiful inside the cathedral and definitely worth a visit.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
The original Jesuit mission where the city was founded in 1554

Monastery of Sao Bento

In downtown Sao Paulo, you can’t miss the monastery of Sao Bento. The beautiful structure was built from 1910-1922 on the original site of the 17th-century chapel, but now it is surrounded by modern-day skyscrapers.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
The monastery of Sao Bento in downtown Sao Paulo

Day 2: Sao Paulo Vila Madalena Walking Tour

Pinheiros Neighborhood

Pinheiros district is the coolest neighborhood in Sao Paulo. Located between the elite district of Jardim Paulista and achingly hip Vila Madalena, the hilly area is well known for its cool cafes, live music, bistros, and gastropubs. On weekends the district hosts an open-air market vending everything from street food to antiques.

Aprendiz Alley (Graffiti Street)

In Brazil, graffiti is a work of art. Walk through the Vila Madalena Graffiti street, and you will hardly find a wall without colorful artistic expressions of talented artists.

Sao Paulo
Vila Madalena Garden Car, Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
I hardly found a wall with any street art by talented artists

Batman Alley (Beco do Batman)

One of the best things you could do while in Sao Paulo takes a walking tour to see the best graffiti and urban art. There are a couple of cafes worth visiting.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Graffiti in Beco do Batman in the Vila Madalena Neighborhood
Sao Paulo, Brazil
A view of Graffiti in Beco do Batman in the Vila Madalena Neighborhood

Climb The Patápio Staircase

The colorful Patápio staircase is only a few blocks from Beco do Batman. Admittedly, it’s not as colorful as Rio’s Selaron Steps, but still it worth to visit this landmark in Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
The colorful Patápio staircase in Sao Paulo

FNAC Pinheiros

FNAC is a French bookstore; since it opened its door in Sao Paulo, it made going to a bookstore a social event and eventually made the stores a meeting place for gatherings, discussions, and readings.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
FNAC bookstore is located in the Pinheiros district of Sao Paulo

Rua Aspicuelta

Rua Aspicuelta is one of the most famous nightlife destinations in Sao Paulo. This area has great little bars serving excellent draft beer and food. Usually, it gets crowded in the evening.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Rua Aspicuelta and the surrounding streets got a lot of bars and restaurants, a great place to hang out!

Hangout in Batata Square

This will be the last stop for the Free Vila Madalena walking tour. From this square, you can walk to Mercado Municipal de Pinheiros.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Batata Square, Sao Paulo

Have Dinner at Italia Building (Edifício Itália)

If you like to enjoy a panoramic view of Sao Paulo from the top, then visit Italia Build; the rooftop observation deck is on the 41st floor; the 360-degree view can be accessed from Terraco Italia restaurant. Get a drink and enjoy the beautiful view of the Sao Paulo skyline; even though drinks and food are pricey, but definitely worth a visit. Just to enter the restaurant and access the observation deck will cost you 35 real, or a drink will cost you about 41 (including the entrance fee), so why not just have the drink and enjoy the view with a couple of bucks extra?

Sao Paulo, Brazil
A view from 41st floor of Italia Building (Edifício Itália)
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Terraco Italia restaurant

Traditional Food and Drinks

Recommended Hotels

InterContinental Sao Paulo, 1123, Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo

Estanplaza Berrini, Avenida Eng Luis Carlos Berrini, 853, Itaim Bibi, Sao Paulo

Recommended Restaurants

A Figueira Rubaiyat, Rua Haddock Lobo, 1738 – Jardim Paulista, São Paulo

It is located in an elegant district in Sao Paulo, so it is undoubtedly overpriced. However, the food is delicious, especially the beef items, and the service is also great. The restaurant is built around a huge fig tree that must be at least 100 years old. Dinner for two costs us about 400 reais; I recommend this restaurant.

Carlota,  Multicultural Culinary, Rua Sergipe, 753, Higienopolis, Sao Paulo. For a Brazilian flavor, Carlota is a must in Sao Paulo

Fogo de Chao, Brazilian Steak House, Avenue Santo Amaro, 6824 | Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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