Sao Paulo is the largest economy in Latin America and the capital and largest city of the beautiful country of Brazil. With an estimated population of about 11 million people, Sao Paulo has an array of museums, parks, monuments, and restaurant options for the urban traveler. Sao Paulo is seen as the cultural capital of Brazil as it hosts top international events such as the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, The ATP Brazil Open, and The Sao Paulo Biennial Art Fair. While those travelers that visit Brazil often opt for Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is often times an underrated tourist destination but the city is filled with culture and things to do.
Many people think of Sao Paulo as a concrete jungle with a plethora of buildings and financial hubs but the city has a surprising amount of green spaces including Parque do Ibirapuera, which also offers monuments, museums, and cultural activities. For those that prefer an ecotourism park, Parque Estadual da Cantareira or Parque Estadual do Jaraguá are must dos.
Sao Paulo’s Historic Center is filled with cultural and historical activities all in the middle of financial hubs, of course. Important museums in the area include Memorial da América Latina and the Museu do Ipiranga. Art lovers can also visit the Museu de Arte de São Paulo or the Museu de Arte Contemporânea.
Sao Paulo has over 12,500 restaurants and is one of the cities with the most shopping malls in the world. Sao Paulo has very large immigrant communities like the Italian community where pizzerias are ubiquitous. The most well known restaurant in Sao Paulo is D.O.M which offers exquisite Brazilian cuisine but essentially all cuisine can be found in the city. Visitors should not miss local favorites like Churrascaria or Rodíziov -where you just pay what you eat. The city’s central shopping area is located between Parque D. Pedro II and Ipiranga Avenue where great bargains can be found.
The Paulista Coast is only a one hour drive from São Paulo. On the Paulista Coast visitors will find beautiful beaches and delicious seafood. For countryside lovers, Indaiatuba or Campos do Jordão are highly recommended due their proximity and convenient transportation from city to city.
Accommodation in Sao Paulo is normally on the higher end of prices, especially around Paulista Avenue as it's the financial center of the city and the most exclusive restaurants and stores are nearby. Nonetheless, the area is the safest part of Sao Paulo. Other forms of accommodation include vacation rentals, motels, bed and breakfast establishments, and low end hotels.
São Paulo is a city with a high crime rate, so security should be a priority. During the day, the city’s extensive bus and subway system can be used but like any big city, visitors should opt for a taxi in the evenings or late nights. Sao Paulo is also very walkable and visitors are able to walk to their next tourist stop.
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