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15 Best Things To Do In São Paulo

São Paulo is one of the most exciting cities to visit in Brazil. From its stunning architecture to its vibrant culture, it’s no wonder why Sao Paulo is a popular tourist destination. With so many things to do and see in the largest city of Brazil, it can be difficult to decide which tourist attractions are worth a visit. To help narrow down your choices, this article will provide an overview of some of the best things to do in São Paulo.

1. Museu de Arte

Museu de Arte in Sao Paulo

As one of the top things to do in São Paulo, the Museu de Arte in Sao Paulo is an incredible experience for any art lover. This museum of modern art is one of the most prestigious and oldest museums in Brazil, having celebrated its centennial anniversary back in 1947. It houses a permanent collection of over 8 thousand pieces, featuring works by renowned international artists like Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Picasso alongside a vast collection of Brazilian painters such as Candido Portinari, Emiliano di Cavalcanti and Lasar Segall.

The São Paulo Museum of Art strives to bring culture to the masses through different initiatives such as “open days” where entrance is free or greatly reduced to allow more people access to its collections. the art museum also organizes special guided tours with unique themes every month.


Address: AV Paulista, 1578, 01310-200, São Paulo, Brasil

+55 11 31 49 5959

2. Ibirapuera Park

Ibirapuera Park

Ibirapuera Park is a spectacular, iconic park in the heart of São Paulo, Brazil. Spanning over 390 acres, it is one of the largest urban parks in South America and an important cultural landmark that attracts millions of visitors each year.

The central park was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx, who sought to create a balance between nature and architecture. Visitors can admire beautiful landscaping features such as lush lawns, exotic flowers and trees, winding pathways and lakes with colorful pavilions.


Address: Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral - Vila Mariana, São Paulo - SP, 04094-050, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 5574-5045

3. Vila Madalena

Vila Madalena neighborhood

The Vila Madalena neighborhood in São Paulo is a vibrant cultural hub teeming with life and street art, and one of the best places to visit. From the winding streets of Beco do Batman adorned with colorful graffiti to the buzzing cafés, bars, and restaurants along its main avenues, Vila Madalena is not just any ordinary neighborhood. It has become a hotspot for tourists looking to experience the unique culture of South America.

Beco do Batman (Batman Alley) is one of the most interesting places in Vila Madalena. This narrow street was transformed into an outdoor gallery full of bright murals dedicated to superheroes and villains from the comic books we all know and love. It’s become a popular destination for visitors seeking out unusual experiences while they explore São Paulo’s eclectic neighborhoods, as well as photographers searching for unique backdrops for their photos.

4. Paulista Avenue

Paulista Avenue

Paulista Avenue is a major thoroughfare in São Paulo. Located in one of the city’s most affluent areas, Paulista Avenue is home to some of the world’s biggest companies, upscale restaurants and high-end shopping centers. Constructed over 100 years ago, it has been recognized as a symbol of economic and cultural progress throughout Brazil's history. As such, it is constantly bustling with activity. Every Sunday morning there are also large street festivals that create an even more lively atmosphere throughout the area.

The architectural style around Avenida Paulista reflects varying eras throughout Brazilian history with buildings ranging from classical European styles to modern contemporary designs. The avenue itself stretches for 2 miles, making it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely stroll and take everything in at your own pace.

5. Parque da Independància and Museu Paulista

Parque da Independància & Musea Paulista

Parque da Independência is a well-known public park in São Paulo. It was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Brazilian independence from Portugal and has since become an important part of the city's cultural life. The park consists of lush gardens, a large lake, numerous monuments, and a few museums.

Among the most popular attractions is the Museu Paulista ( Paulista Museum). This museum features some of the best art pieces from Latin American artists as well as exhibits related to Brazilian history. Visitors can also find several sculptures that pay homage to famous Brazilian figures such as Emperor Pedro I and Empress Leopoldina. In addition to its art collection, the museum offers educational activities for kids such as lectures on different topics related to Brazilian culture and history.


Address: Av. Nazaré, s/n - Ipiranga, São Paulo - SP, 04263-200, Brazil

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6. Sé (Cathedral)

Cathedral of Sao Paulo

The Cathedral of Sao Paulo, officially known as the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida is an iconic Roman Catholic neo-gothic church located in the center of the city. It was designed by Brazilian architect Edgar Fonceca and created to commemorate the patron saint of Brazil, Our Lady Aparecida. The São Paulo cathedral stands tall at an impressive 130 meters in height and it’s majestic presence can be felt right across the city and beyond.

The external walls of the Catedral da Sé are made entirely from white stone with two intricately decorated spires on either side that add to its architectural beauty. Inside this vibrant and historically significant Church lies a beautiful array of paintings, sculptures, mosaics and stained glass windows that tell stories from many different centuries.


Address: Praça da Sé - Sé, São Paulo - SP, 01001-000, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3107-6832

7. Museu Catavento

Museu Catavento in Sao Paulo

Museu Catavento is a science and technology museum in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, and one of the largest museums of its kind in South America, with over 250 interactive exhibits focusing on topics such as astronomy, biology, physics and chemistry. It also has an auditorium that hosts lectures from researchers across different disciplines.

The Catavento museum is divided into five main pavilions which house permanent and temporary exhibitions about different scientific concepts. Each pavilion focuses on one general theme such as energy, biodiversity, geology or space exploration. Guests can explore these exhibits through hands-on activities, workshops and movies that explain the concepts in more detail.


Address: Avenida Mercúrio, Parque Dom Pedro II, s/n, São Paulo - SP, 03003-060, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3315-0051

8. Teatro Municipal

Teatro Municipal

Teatro Municipal is a stunning landmark and performance center in Sao Paulo. Founded in 1911 and designed by celebrated French-born Brazilian architect Francisco de Oliveira Passos, the theater serves as an important cultural center for the city.

The building itself is striking and beautifully adorned with intricate stonework on both its exterior and interior walls; a reminder of its history of classical theatrical performances from the past century. Inside the impressive theater, one can find two auditoriums: Teatro Dom Pedro II and Sala Sao Paulo. Teatro Dom Pedro II is a traditional horseshoe-shaped room that seats up to 1,500 people while Sala Sao Paulo is much smaller with around 470 seats in total, allowing for more intimate performances.


Address: Praça Ramos de Azevedo, s/n - República, São Paulo - SP, 01037-010, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3367-7200

9. Pátio do Colégio

Pátio do Colégio

The Pátio do Colégio is a square situated in the city center of São Paulo. Located in the historical district of Mocambo, this square holds great importance for Brazil due to its historic significance. On January 25th 1554, it was at this very square that Father José de Anchieta founded the Jesuit mission that would later become São Paulo city.

To commemorate this momentous event a large Cross Monument has been placed in the center of Pátio do Colégio and is an often visited tourist attraction. This nostalgic square measures approximately 90 square meters and is surrounded by trees providing natural shade while cobblestone paths run through its premises.

10. Mosteiro de São Bento

Mosteiro de São Bento

Mosteiro de São Bento, also known as Monastery of Saint Benedict, built in 1617 and restored over the centuries, remains an important site for both religious worship and historical exploration. The building stands out for its impressive baroque-style architecture with two towers topped with tiled domes. Inside the monastery there are fascinating artworks and artifacts, including altars adorned with gilded carvings and oil paintings.

The monastery is renowned for its breathtaking azulejo tilework murals that adorn its walls. These murals tell stories from Portuguese literature as well as depicting scenes from daily life in a vivid way. These works of art reflect their time in history when Catholicism was highly influential in Brazilian society.


Address: Largo São Bento, s/nº - Centro Histórico de São Paulo, São Paulo - SP, 01029-010, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3328-8799

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11. Pinacoteca do Estado (Art Gallery of the State of São Paulo)

Pinacoteca do Estado

When visiting São Paulo, Pinacoteca do Estado is a magnificent landmark that houses some of the most precious artwork and artifacts in the country. It was originally built as a monastery in 1817, but has since been converted into an art gallery. The gallery contains mostly 19th century works from Brazilian artists such as Pedro Alexandrino, Mario Zanini and Candido Portinari.

But what really stands out are the over 6,000 pieces of artwork from international schools spanning over four centuries. Travelers can admire masterworks from Europe’s great painters such as El Greco and Rembrandt or sculptures by famous sculptors like Rodin and Donatello. The art gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring collections from other significant galleries around the world including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse.


Address: Praça da Luz, 2 - Luz, São Paulo - SP, 01120-010, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3324-1000

12. Museu do Futebol

Museu do Futebol

When you travel to São Paulo, the Museum of Football in São Paulo is a must-see for any fan of the sport. Located in the Pacaembu Stadium, this impressive museum celebrates Brazilian football culture and its importance to the country. It holds an impressive collection of unique artifacts, including jerseys worn by famous players such as Pelé and Garrincha, medals dedicated to significant achievements, signed flags from famous rivalries and even footballs used in important matches.

Visitors can also explore interactive displays dedicated to the history of the game, as well as detailed accounts on key moments that shaped Brazil's footballing success. The Museu do Futebol also provides soccer fanatics with insightful talks from experts on topics such as match tactics, player development and club history. There are also regular events held throughout the year which allow people to share their experiences with other passionate fans of the game.


Address: Praça Charles Miller, s/n - Pacaembu, São Paulo - SP, 01234-010, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3664-3848

13. Museu da Língua Portuguesa

Museu da Língua Portuguesa

Museu da Língua Portuguesa is an incredible museum located in downtown São Paulo. The museum covers the entire history of the Portuguese language and its development over time. It's a great place to learn about the origins of Portuguese during your stay in São Paulo, and how it has changed throughout its existence.

There are many interactive exhibits and displays that provide you with a comprehensive view of Portugal's linguistic heritage. The museum also showcases several artifacts related to Portugal's language, such as ancient manuscripts and other documents dating back centuries. The second floor of the language museum is dedicated to showcasing various aspects of Brazilian culture, including theater, arts, music and literature throughout Brazilian history.


Address: Praça da Luz, s/nº - Centro Histórico de São Paulo, São Paulo - SP, 01120-010, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 4470-1515

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14. Jardim Botânico de São Paulo

Jardim Botânico de São Paulo

Jardim Botânico de São Paulo is an incredible botanical garden that extends over an area of 95 acres of green space and was established in 1810 by the Dukes of Caxias. This amazing garden contains more than 6,500 species of plants from all over the world, with a great concentration of tropical plants. It is divided into various sections that are distributed according to their geographical origin: American, African and Asian collections can be found here.

The botanical garden offers visitors a lot more than just its beautiful landscaping and flowers; it also houses many educational activities such as workshops, lectures and guided tours to help people learn about plants, biodiversity conservation efforts and sustainable development in general.


Address: Av. Miguel Estefno, 3031 - Vila Água Funda, São Paulo - SP, 04301-905, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 5067-6000

15. Paroquia Nossa Senhora do Brasil

Paroquia Nossa Senhora do Brasil

Paroquia Nossa Senhora do Brasil is a breathtakingly beautiful church and one of the oldest religious sites in the city. Built in 1736, this stunning structure stands out among its neighboring buildings with its ornate architecture and intricately detailed façade. Inside, visitors can experience the history and beauty within the walls as they admire the vine-covered columns which line the nave, or central aisle.

The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Brazil and contains an impressive collection of artifacts from around Latin America. The most prominent feature inside is a statue of Our Lady made from cedar that was brought from Portugal by Jesuit priests in 1750. Additionally, guests will find paintings by renowned Brazilian artists throughout the interior of the building that depict stories from various religions including Catholicism, Judaism and Hinduism.


Address: Praça Nossa Sra. do Brasil, 01 - Jardim America, São Paulo - SP, 01438-060, Brazil

Phone: +55 11 3082-9786

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Q: What is Sao Paulo best known for?

A: Sao Paulo is best known for its vibrant culture, sprawling urban landscape, and thriving economy. As the largest city in South America and the cultural capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo has a rich history that is reflected in its diverse architecture and museums. One of the city's most iconic landmarks is Paulista Avenue, a bustling street lined with towering skyscrapers that symbolizes Sao Paulo's economic prowess.

In addition to its impressive skyline, Sao Paulo is renowned for its culinary scene. The city boasts an array of restaurants offering mouthwatering dishes from around the world, making it a food lover's paradise. From traditional Brazilian feijoada to gourmet pizzas inspired by Italian immigrants who settled here in the early 20th century, there is no shortage of delectable options to satisfy any palate.

Moreover, Sao Paulo is celebrated for its lively festivals and events throughout the year. The annual Carnival celebrations bring together thousands of locals and tourists who revel in colorful parades filled with samba dancing and music. Additionally, art enthusiasts flock to the Bienal de São Paulo, one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions in Latin America held every two years.

Q: Is São Paulo good for tourists?

A: São Paulo has a lot to offer for tourists looking for an exciting and diverse experience. The city boasts numerous museums such as the São Paulo Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art that showcase both local and international artists.

In addition to its cultural attractions, São Paulo also offers a variety of entertainment options for visitors. The city is home to several theaters where visitors can enjoy world-class performances ranging from musicals to ballets. For sports enthusiasts, watching a football match at one of the iconic stadiums like Arena Corinthians or Morumbi Stadium is an unforgettable experience.

Furthermore, shopping lovers can explore the upscale boutiques on Rua Oscar Freire or visit bustling street markets like Mercado Municipal de São Paulo.

Q: Is it expensive in São Paulo?

A: Overall, São Paulo can be quite affordable if one knows how to navigate the city wisely. Accommodation in São Paulo ranges from high-end luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses. While luxury accommodations may come with a hefty price tag, there are plenty of more affordable options available.

Additionally, dining in São Paulo can also vary greatly in terms of cost. From upscale restaurants serving international cuisine to local street food vendors offering mouth-watering snacks at affordable prices, there are options available for every budget.

Transportation costs in São Paulo can be another consideration when determining whether visiting the city is expensive or not. While taxi fares may add up quickly due to traffic congestion and distance traveled, using public transportation like buses and metro systems offers a more economical option for getting around the city. Furthermore, many attractions in São Paulo offer free admission or have low entrance fees compared to other major cities worldwide.

Q: Does São Paulo have a beach?

A: Yes, São Paulo does have a beach, despite being located inland in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The city is situated about 50 miles away from the Atlantic Ocean and can be reached by car or public transportation in just a couple of hours.

One of the most popular beaches near São Paulo is Santos Beach. Known for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters, Santos Beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or even taking a leisurely stroll along the shore.

Another stunning beach near São Paulo is Guarujá Beach. Located on an island accessible by ferry or bridge, Guarujá Beach enchants visitors with its breathtaking natural beauty. This picturesque destination features several different beaches within close proximity to each other, allowing visitors to explore various settings ranging from secluded coves to more lively areas with bustling seaside resorts.

Q: Is São Paulo a walkable city?

A: São Paulo is not known for being a walkable city. With its sprawling urban landscape, congested traffic, and lack of pedestrian infrastructure, navigating São Paulo by foot can be quite challenging. The city's infrastructure is largely designed around cars, resulting in wide avenues with few sidewalks and limited crosswalks. This makes it difficult and sometimes dangerous to traverse on foot.

However, recent efforts have been made by local authorities to improve walkability in certain parts of São Paulo. The revitalization projects in downtown areas have led to wider sidewalks and more pedestrian-friendly spaces. Additionally, initiatives like CicloFaixa (bike lanes) encourage alternative modes of transportation that complement walking.


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Want More Information on Brazil:

Be sure to visit our Brazil Travel Guide for even more planning tips.

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