São Paulo is a giant of cement. It breathes modernity and continuous evolution. We must look at it with our head held high to see the large number of helicopters that fly over the city and the tallest skyscrapers in the sky. São Paulo is the largest city of Brazil and one of the largest in the world with a population of about 20 million. However, people seem very relaxed. There are no stressed or anxious faces like in other large cities, and despite being very active, the inhabitants know how to enjoy it.
It is characterized for being a city marked by business tourism as it is an important commercial and financial center of South America. But the cultural and leisure tourism has also relevance in the city, especially if one takes into account the major international events that take place here as the “São Paulo Art Biennial”, “F1 Interlagos circuit” and “São Paulo Fashion Week”.
Nowadays, the capital of the State of São Paulo is one of the main poles of irradiation of trends, culture and entertainment of Brazil. They call it the city that cannot stop. It has an infinite variety of options of restaurants, discos, shopping centers, theaters and cultural alternatives such as museums and exhibitions.
Although the first impression is of a grey concrete jungle, soon it becomes clear that the city has a large number of pockets of beauty. Do not miss a stroll by the “Avenida Paulista” at night, where every day thousands of people walk by their long blocks to work. Through its more than 2,800 meters long, the Avenue houses cultural centres, cafés, imposing buildings, a park and the most important Art Museum in South America, the MASP.
Enjoy green areas, especially the “Ibirapuera” park located in the south which is ideal for sports and to watch recitals. Other places you should not miss in São Paulo are the “Mercadão” to taste the best shrimp “empanadas” and the "25 de março" street where everything is very cheap: toys, handbags, dvds, cds, and decorative items.
As the city has an efficient system of public transportation consisting of metro, city trains, buses and trolls, you can go from one place to another in a short time. In the zoo you will meet hundreds of species of animals in Brazil and in the St. Benedict Monastery you can listen to the Gregorian chants, an oasis of calm in the hectic life of the city. Attending a concert at the Municipal Theatre and getting into the paulista nightlife in “Vila Madalena” are also recommended activities.
In addition, as the city has an ethnically diverse metropolitan area with predominant Italian, Portuguese and African influence it is also known for its varied and sophisticated gastronomy. There are approximately 62 different types of cuisines and more than 12,000 restaurants spread throughout the city. Don’t miss going to one of the 6,000 pizzerias in the city at least once and visit the “Liberdade fair” to find the best oriental cuisine as São Paulo has the largest Japanese community in the world outside Japan.