Most people know about the importance of the city of São Paulo and what it represents in the world today: a capital that is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of over 12 million people, different cultures, traditions, a lot of stories, and countless scenarios to discover.
Founded in 1554 by priests, the heart of the city is the Centro Histórico, formed by a “triangle” with three things: Largo São Francisco, Largo São Bento, and Praça da Sé. On January 25th, 1554, one of the oldest buildings in Brazil, Pátio do Colégio, was where history began. The building formed indigenous people on religious and cultural education.
After a lot of transformations and the arrival of immigrants from different regions of the world, São Paulo is currently the financial and corporate center of South America, as well as one of the most globalized cities in the world. The air of São Paulo is also full of charms and places to be explored, with activities for all tastes, ages, and appetites – remembering that it is also one of the capitals of gastronomy. Check below a complete list of itineraries to know more about the city.
São Paulos’ cuisine is among the most diverse and best in the world. There are many restaurants to suit all tastes, including internationally award-winning venues. We separate the best tips for you to delight yourself in the city.
Led by Helena Rizzo – considered one of the best chefs in the world and currently hosts the reality show “MasterChef” -, Maní is a conglomerate with three different fronts: Maní, Manioca, and Padoca do Maní – which boasts a Michelin star. Located in Jardim Paulistano, the restaurant offers experience and beautiful presentation of the dishes to the complex preparation of each food, carefully chosen to delight customers.
Mocotó has 20 years of operation with chef Rodrigo Oliveira on its front. The place is taken root in the Vila Medeiros neighborhood, located in the northern of São Paulo, and is a reference in cuisine, especially in Pernambuco. Among the highlights of the dishes are the baião-de-dois and shredded dried meat.
Alex Atala is charge on D.O.M., place that is knowed by the new Brazilian gastronomy, with refined techniques of the use of typically regional ingredients and others not so well known. It currently has two Michelin stars and was ranked 4th best restaurant in the world by “Restaurant Business”. It is possible to find on the menu from Amazonian ants to foie gras, passing through edible herbs and flowers.
Typical regions for each cuisine – In addition to high-quality restaurants, São Paulo has a lot of regions for specific types of cuisine.
A central neighborhood, has an extensive menu of oriental restaurants, ranging from the most sophisticated to the most unusual food. In addition, on weekends, it hosts a handicraft fair with typical Asian foods that can be eaten outdoors, as well as various decorative objects and specific stores that sell oriental food, decoration, and sweets with the most colorful packaging in the world. In addition to high-quality restaurants, São Paulo has a lot of regions for specific types of cuisine.
Bixiga has a lot of Italian restaurants – traditional and canteens that inspire joy, fun, and hospitality. On Sundays, Praça Dom Orione hosts the Bixiga antique fair, considered an open-air museum. There you can find decorative relics, collectibles, old furniture, vinyl records, clothes, old magazines, and even toys.
The famous Mercadão is also an obligatory stop for those who want to discover a wide range of food options: there are vegetables, fruits, meats, pasta, and many sweets. With almost 100 years of history, the place was completely renovated in 2004 and holds a gastronomic space that offers tastings from the simplest to the most elaborate – precisely the diversity that attracts thousands of people daily to the place.
The city also has a huge itinerary for shopping, with a lot of options at different prices. In addition to having more than 50 shopping malls in all regions, it has outlets, popular commerce, street fairs, and luxury markets.
Rua Oscar Freire is known for being one of the icons of sophistication in the city, with national and international designer stores. The street is well-kept and has appropriate places for those who are “companions” and want to rest.
25 de Março
The 25 de Março is a 60 streets region that serves all consumer segments and receives more than 400,000 people daily. Unlike Oscar Freire, the place is known for its variety of products at a popular price.
The most famous avenue in the city deserves a separate chapter to focus on its history and the current moment. There are many culture, art, and stories which brings together buildings with rich architecture and the main manifestations of the city. In addition, it is the stage for one of the biggest parties at the turn of the year – the New Year’s Eve of Paulista –, the LGBTQIA+ pride parade in São Paulo, and the traditional São Silvestre race.
On Sundays, the avenue is closed to cars and peolple can walk free, enjoy cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, and the MASP – Museu da Arte de São Paulo. With 3km of extension, the address is located in one of the highest areas of the city, on the edge of the central-south and west zones. Other points that stand out on the avenue are Hospital Santa Catarina – with a huge church inside, Sesc, Casa das Rosas, Itaú Cultural, the Gazeta building, the Kiss FM radio station, the Trianon park, and monuments such as Anhanguera, Aretuza, Fauno, Francisco de Miranda and others.
The city has the a lot of museums, with five of them on Trip Advisor’s Top 10 list – which takes into account user opinions. Among these are the Museu da Língua Portuguesa, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Museu do Futebol, Museu do Ipiranga, Museu Catavento, MASP and the Bienal of São Paulo, which takes place every two years at the Pavilhão do Ibirapuera.
In addition to the best-known points, the city has more than 100 cultural spaces spread across all regions, such as 68 Cultural Centers, 17 Culture Houses, 10 Culture Factories and 7 Culture Workshops. Many locations has free access or low price, with scheduled visits or no pre-booking required.
São Paulo also has many places to drink and have a good time, whether to enjoy it in daylight or at night with friends, family, alone, or as a couple. However, there are old places around the city that can be considered heritage. Check out the oldest and most charming addresses in the city below:
Bar do Mané
Founded in 1933, it is located in Mercadão and is famous for its amazing extremely stuffed bologna sandwich, which is a success around the world.
With rustic decor – filled with bottles and mugs hanging around the place – Bar Léo has been in operation since 1940 and is small: it has a capacity of 70 people. However, this does not prevent people from standing around the establishment, with the option of socializing and tasting the delicious canapés, portions of cold cuts, and sandwiches.
Bar do Vito
Founded by a Lithuanian immigrant, the place is known for its numerous references to the former Soviet Republic. Among the items on the menu are the pork and beef jelly garnished with dark mustard and French bread and the meatballs, which have already won over the palates of countless admirers.
- Other places
As well as the gastronomic itinerary, São Paulo has different types of nights: Vila Madalena, Vila Olímpia, and Rua Augusta.
Located in the western region of São Paulo, it has more sophisticated bars for those looking for a night of good drinks, music, and meeting new people. It is considered a place for more “cool” people, with schedule options for those who look for a daily different schedule.
Located in the south of São Paulo, it is full of bars aimed at younger audiences or rich people, but it also has options for happy hours, as it is one of the most corporate areas of the city.
Excellent place in the central region for hipsters who want to drink, Rua Augusta has a lot of priceless options for different tastes: from rock and roll to black music. The experience of going down the street to a place that meets expectations for a particular walk or meeting.
Bars with board games
São Paulo has several places to drink, eat and also play. Ludus Luderia (Bela Vista) is a place where you can do all this and play War, cards, RPG games, Monopoly, and others.
Jardim Zoológico and Jardim Botânico – São Paulo Zoo is the largest in Latin America and receives daily visits from schools, children, families, and even tourists. There you can see different animals, eat, take pictures and have fun. The Botanical Garden is a large park with lakes, green areas, and trees that can be used for picnics.
Rua Santa Ifigênia – is considered the street for those looking for any electronic item, with affordable prices and varied options. But beware: some products are not original.
Cochilo – want to take a nap? You can! The place proposes to “take a break” in the middle of the day and has individual cabins so that people can rest in privacy. There are four types of packages, divided into 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 1 hour.
*For airline tickets from the United States to Brazil or Latin America, custom travel packages, hotels and alternative stays, as well as cruises in the United States, contact our travel agent and tour organizer, Magali DaSilva. Telephone/WhatsApp 1(323)428-1963 — e-mail: magali_at_soulbrasil.com