São Paulo

This sprawling metropolis is Brazil’s financial hub and most populated city.

São Paulo is huge and its public metro system extensive. If you are comfortable navigating public transport systems in major cities, it will be a piece of cake. Pay by ride (like New York City’s subway) or for a longer visit pick up a Bilhete Único reloadable card.

As with any large city, pickpockets are common. Take care and keep belongings close.


Brazilian food is comforting, dynamic and delicious. A few “must-tries” include the sandwich de mortadela at the Municipal Market of São Paulo, feijoada (black bean stew with chorizo and pork), pão de queijo (baked cheese roll), bacalao croquettes (fried cod sticks) and Brazilian pizza.

The Liberdade neighborhood, or “Little Japan”, has loads of traditional Japanese eats and is home to Brazil’s largest Japanese population.


Açaí berries Try mixed into fresh juices. Vendors are plentiful.

Cold beer Brazilians will tell you this is the only way it should be drank!

Cachaça A Brazilian liquor made from sugarcane. Try it in caipirinha, the national cocktail.


Ibirapuera Park Run or ride bikes through São Paulo’s Central Park,.

Trianon Park This breath of fresh air is a small but beautiful park in the city center with trails, playgrounds and birds.

Vila Madalena Sweet neighborhood known for its hipsters, bohemian shops, good restaurants and bars.

São Paulo Museum of Art You can’t miss the large concrete building with imposing red pillars.


Stay in either Vila Madalena or the city center. We had a fine stay at the affordable, 3-star Hotel Ibis São Paulo Paulista in the center.