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Top 7 Things to Do in São Paulo

When travelers first step out of the plane into the sprawling Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo, it’s easy for them to quickly get lost in this city of 20 million people. There are so many things to see and do that it’s hard to pick.

However, if you really want to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture and the rhythm of São Paulo, here are the top activities you must try after booking your choice of São Paulo hotels.

1. Take a Walk Down Avenida Paulista

Avenida Paulista is the central avenue of the city and one of the busiest districts in São Paulo. If you really want to soak in the hustle and bustle of the city’s residents, take a stroll down this street and marvel at the intersection of old and new between the modern business skyscrapers and the street’s historic homes.

2. Learn to Samba

You can’t say you’ve experienced Brazil until you’ve had a samba lesson or two. Let your inhibitions go and learn this native Brazilian dance. Then try out your skills in almost any bar in the city during Samba Saturdays; a good recommendation is Bar Samba in Vila Madalena.

3. Visit Ipiranga and Explore Parque da Independência

Ipiranga is a beautiful historic district in São Paulo that houses the Parque da Independencia. This park is where Emperor Pedro I proclaimed Brazil’s independence from Portugal. The park itself includes some gorgeous gardens and the famous Paulista Museum, built in 1895 to showcase over 400 years of Brazilian history, including paintings, furniture, old maps, and plenty of other artifacts from the country’s diverse history.

4. Try Delicious Meat at a Churrascaria

Brazilian cuisine relies a lot on meats, rice, and beans, and there is no better place to get a taste of the country’s wonderfully prepared meat dishes than in a traditional churrascaria. For one set price, you will have waiters continuously coming to your table with huge skewers of different meats for you to try. Get there hungry!

5. Visit the Museu do Futebol

To say Brazilians are soccer fans is an understatement; their national team is one of the best in the world, and most Brazilians are raised playing soccer. São Paulo’s incredible soccer museum, the Museu do Futebol, gives you a glimpse into Brazil’s World Cup history and the lives and careers of many international Brazilian soccer superstars. Admission is only $3, and the museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays.

6. Admire São Paulo Street Art

Graffiti in São Paulo is more than just scribbles on a wall; the city has some of the best and most beautiful street art in the world. The best neighborhood to find these creative murals is Vila Madalena, particularly in Beco do Batman – Batman’s Alley.

7. Go Food Shopping at the Praça da Republica Market

Every Saturday, Praca da Republica hosts a huge outdoor market offering freshly made food and crafts at the stalls. Pick up some traditional Northeastern Brazilian cuisine, sit at one of the available tables, and snack as you people watch and enjoy local street bands.

In a city as large and diverse as São Paulo, immerse yourself in the local culture, food, history, and art by taking a chance on these wonderful local activities.

Photo by Anudath Brahmadathan via


Profile photo of Joanna Kalafatis

I'm an actress and travel blogger in Los Angeles. Activites: Writing, taking photos, traveling, exploring, getting in trouble. Addictions: music, coffee, Greece, road trips, the ocean, steaks. I have not yet heard of a single place in this world I didn't want to travel to and explore immediately.

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