São Paulo – Brazil’s most populous city – is also the country’s financial center and one of the biggest financial hubs in the world. Known colloquially as Sampa, the city is a vibrant mix of cultural attractions and cosmopolitan activities that make for a fun filled trip.
As the unofficial party capital of Brazil, São Paulo has been described by a CNN columnist as one of the ten best places in the world for parties, fun, and nightlife. It is also home to numerous cultural institutions and a rich architectural tradition. With something for everyone we look at five things you can do in São Paulo.
Visit the São Paulo Art Museum (MASP)
If you’re an art lover a visit to the Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, or MASP for short, is a must. Founded in 1947 by business mogul and patron of the arts Assis Chateaubriand, MASP is the most important collection of European art in the southern hemisphere.
It features more than 11 thousand artworks, including paintings, sculptures, objects, photographs, videos and pieces of clothing from various periods, from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Get some fresh air at Ibirapuera Park
As São Paulo’s green lung, Ibirapuera Park offers a welcomed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. Designed by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, Ibirapuera Park is Sao Paulo’s answer to New York’s Central Park.
As the largest park in the city center, Ibirapuera encompasses 13 playing courts, jogging and cycle paths, a lake, several modernist buildings, and two of Sao Paulo’s most significant art galleries.
Eat local food at a street market
Visiting street markets is a popular weekend activity with São Paulo locals and a must for any tourist. Some of the most popular markets are located in the Bixiga and Liberdade neighborhoods.
The one in Benedito Calixto Square and Mercadão (Large Market), the Municipal Market of São Paulo are among the most popular, and visitors will be able to find a little of everything, from antiques to typical local cuisine.
Soak up the spectacular views at the Edifício Itália
The Edifício Itália is one of the tallest buildings in São Paulo. The spectacular panoramic views from the observation deck are the main reason visitors come to the building. You can access the rooftop deck for free between 4 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have an appetite for good food and fantastic views you can visit Terraço Itália which is a restaurant located at the top of the building which offers outstanding cuisine and 360 degree views of the city.
Celebrate Brazil’s love of football
Football is one of Brazil’s most loved sports so it should come as no surprise that there’s an entire museum dedicated to the beautiful game. Opened in 2008 the museum celebrates the history of football and showcases objects like pennants, badges and posters; photographs of “heroes” of the game and videos of impressive goals in big games and World Cup competitions, among other highlights.