São Paulo is a very big city in Brazil! A city that has to offer many things to do: parks, markets, shopping, bars, nightlife and amazing food.
This blog will show you the must do’s you shouldn’t miss in São Paulo.
1. Ibirapuera Parque
The Ibirapuera Parque is one thing not to miss in the city. In Brazil it’s seen as São Paulo’s Central Park of New York- I loved it!
The park is also seen as part of the cultural centre of the city and listed as one of the best parks in the world.
It’s a beautiful and a nice place to get some fresh air and see some nice flora & fauna, a beautiful lake and many sporty Brazilians doing workout in the park.
Try to rent one of the electrical scooters- you can find them everywhere in the park and they are a lot of fun to explore (also the best way to see most of the park for its size).
2. Visit the famous municipal market
At this large public market, they sell a lot of delicious fruits, vegetables, cereals, meats, spices and other products.
The area, where the market is located, is called “Mercado”. You should be a little more careful here with your belongings as it’s not as safe as other areas (don’t show your values or use your phone on the street).
Don’t miss: The market is famous for its mortadella sandwiches- you have to try it!
I’ve never seen so much cheese and mortadella on one sandwich!
3. Vila Madalena
This area of the city is known for its relaxed cafes, nice bars and colourful street-art. It belongs to the most popular and trendy neighbourhoods in São Paulo!
The best way to have a night out is in Brazilian ‘Botecos’, where people come together to watch sports events, have drinks, food and listen to live music, soul, funk and samba.
Don’t miss: Make sure you try real Brazilian caipirinhas tonight!
Brazil is by far the best country to be for caipirinha lovers. The caipirinhas are mixed with true Cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice, which gives the caipirinhas the really good taste.
They have many different variations: lime (the most traditional one), strawberry, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, Caju and many more!
Good to know: Many of the best Botecos in Vila Madalena are located in Rua Aspicuelta, where you’ll find rows of bars crowded with locals and tourists.
4. Avenida Paulista
Avenida Paulista is one of the most important streets in São Paulo. It’s almost 3 km long and known as one of the most important financial centres of the city.
The former avenue shows its importance of the center not only of economy, but also of entertainment and culture.
Check out the famous “Museo de Arte de São Paulo” and grab a Coxinha or Pastel at one of the many snack bars.
Tip: Avenida Paulista is especially good to visit on Sundays. On that day the avenue is closed for cars and many people go to enjoy live music, art, drinks and food on the street.
Skates, bikes and electric scooters are everywhere and it’s a fun day to just drive up Avenida Paulista and feel the cultural vibes!
Sé is the centre of the centre of the city.
At “Praca Da Sé”, you will find the beautiful cathedral of São Paulo (Catedral da Sé). This metropolitan cathedral is an important site as a neo-gothic style building in the city. It’s a stunning building outside and inside and really worth a visit!
From here you can walk to other main spots downtown, such as Liberdade and others.
You can find the neighbourhood Liberdade in one of the busiest and most crowded areas in São Paulo. Liberdade represents Japan’s largest colony outside of Japan and has dozens of sushi places and specialized food stores, where you can find Thai, Japanese and Korean products.
Every year several Eastern culture festivals are hosted in Liberdade, including the Chinese New Year.
7. Beach Getaway
If you have some more time to explore São Paulo and want to include a beach day into your city trip, you are lucky! I will show you the best beachgetaway close to the city.
Santos is located really close to the city and you have public buses going there every day (every 30-60 mins).
Take a 2-hour bus ride to visit the small beach city, Santos. The ticket is 27 BRL one way and the bus is super comfortable.
It’s an awesome place to spend the day at the beach, relax and go for a swim in the ocean.
Santos even has a small island “Ilha Urubuquecaba” located in the area of Praia do José Menino.
It’s a very small island that you can hike to get to the other side. It’s a steep hike and there are almost no tourists here, so don’t expect a prepared safe hiking trail. But you can definitely make it in flip flops and if you don’t mind climbing around a little.
Just consider that the tide needs to be low to be able to get to the island (mostly before 9 am in the morning). If the tide comes up, you might have to get a little wet when coming back to the beach, but the water usually doesn’t get higher than hip height.
After that, you can buy drinks, Açai (LINK) and Pastel (LINK) right on the beach. Enjoy the sun until afternoon. Then, you can a bus back to São Paulo until late evening.
Good to know: Be a little careful before hiking up the island. It’s known that some people use the island to hide or take drugs. If you have the feeling that there are weird people hanging around, avoid the island and relax on the beach.
I visited the island twice: the first time we came back before going up because a drugged guy followed us. The second time was fine and we saw some other families hiking as well. Anyway, if you see some strange people during your hike, don’t take out your valuables and pay attention.
You also have great lunch options in one of the many restaurants in Santos. Choose between Per Kilo Restaurants (serve yourself at the buffet and pay depending on the weight of your plate), pizza places or Japanese food like Temaki and Sushi.
Tip: If you like Japanese food and real Açai Bowls, you should visit D’BOA Sushi. They have amazing Temaki and veeery good Açai Bowls with fruits, granola, milk powder and condensed milk- the full program!
Great places to eat in São Paulo city
I have two amazing places to recommend for eating in São Paulo. Both of them have blown my mind are also really good for the price!
The best Churrascaria in São Paulo, definitely is “Estância Churrascaria”.
For only 14 USD – 19 USD you have an amazing All-you-can-eat buffet including appetizers, salads, delicious and fresh seafood, meats and side dishes.
Besides that, all the churrasco is already included in the prize! You simply choose what you want to eat and how often you want to fill your plate.
One of my best dinners I have had in Brazil so far!
The place is located in Campo Belo.
Monday to Sunday: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Monday to Friday 59,90 BRL per person
Saturday to Sunday 79,90 BRL per person
The best pizzeria in São Paulo is “1900 Pizzeria”.
They have many choices of all kinds of pizzas and you can even create your own pizza constellation!
Furthermore, they have delicious desserts and sell amazing caipirinhas!
You can find this pizzeria in many different locations in São Paulo, as they have various restaurants.
Sunday to Thursday 18:00 pm – 00:00 am
Friday to Saturday 18:00 pm – 1:00 am
Prices range from 49 BRL to 90 BRL per pizza, depending on the kind and size of pizza you want.
→ Read: Your Guide to visit Foz do Iguaçu & Iguazu Falls.
If you liked this blog posts or have any other ideas/suggestions, leave a comment for me below! Make sure, you subscribe for more inspiration!