São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, known for its skyscrapers, museums, beautiful parks, restaurants, and nightlife.
And if you are planning a trip to São Paulo, check out in this article a list of the 20 top things to do in São Paulo.
Top Things to do in São Paulo
1. Explore Paulista Avenue
Photo Credit: Raphael Fernandes
Paulista Avenue is a symbol of São Paulo and offers many interesting attractions.
For beautiful views, be sure to visit Mirante Sesc Paulista, a platform located on the 17th floor of the Sesc building.
Also popular is the Japan House, created by the Japanese government, it is a cultural center that hosts interesting exhibitions and also has a café, a restaurant, and shops.
MASP is the most iconic building in Paulista, it is an art museum that houses some of the most important art collections in South America. Close by is the 9 de Julho Lookout, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of São Paulo.
Another popular attraction is Parque Trianon, an urban park in the middle of the avenue with trails and large trees.
It is also worth visiting Casa das Rosas, a gourmet café located in a mansion with a beautiful garden, which hosts events.
If you want to buy some souvenirs, go to Shopping Patio Paulista, where you will find a famous Havaianas store, Brazilian cosmetics brands like Natura and O Boticário, and Brazilian chocolate brands like Cacau Show and Kopenhagen.
2. Visit the Ibirapuera Park
Photo Credit: Jaime Dantas
Opened in 1954 and covering 390 hectares, Ibirapuera Park is an urban park in São Paulo and one of the most photographed parks in the world.
In addition to the beautiful green area with spectacular views of the city, the park has several attractions such as the Afro Brazil Museum (Museu Afro Brasil), the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art (Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo), the Ibirapuera Planetarium.
When visiting the park, buy coconut water and enjoy the view.
Nearby is Vista Ibirapuera Restaurante, an elegant Brazilian restaurant with a terrace.
3. Visit an exhibition at the FAAP Museum and the Sculpture Garden
The FAAP Museum is located in the beautiful building of FAAP University, in the Higienopolis neighborhood.
The museum hosts interesting exhibitions and has a garden with sculptures.
Near the museum, there are good restaurants and cafes, and Vilaboim Square, which is also popular at night.
Parque Buenos Aires and Shopping Higienopolis are just steps away.
4. Visit the Soccer Museum
Photo Credit: Augusto Oazi
Soccer is a Brazilian national passion, and in São Paulo, there is a Soccer Museum at the Pacaembu stadium.
The museum features exhibitions on the history of soccer and also interactive exhibitions.
When visiting the museum, it is also possible to visit the Pacaembu field area.
5. Taste the Delicious Coxinha
Coxinha is a Brazilian snack that you will find in many bakeries and cafes in São Paulo.
The coxinha is made with wheat flour, potatoes, and chicken stuffing. Some are also stuffed with catupiry, a kind of Brazilian cream cheese.
6. Stroll the Elegant Oscar Freire
Oscar Freire is the most elegant street in São Paulo. In addition to luxury stores and charming boutiques, there are also good cafes and restaurants.
It is also where the flagships of the shoe brands Havaianas and Melissa are located.
7. Have lunch at a Brazilian Steakhouse (Churrascaria)
Brazilian steakhouses are famous, and when visiting São Paulo you should definitely try the Brazilian meat, especially the picanha.
In addition to the various types of meat, the steakhouses also offer a salad buffet and an appetizer that usually includes cheese bread and Brazilian pasteis. For dessert try the papaya cream and the passion fruit mousse.
8. Visit the Brazilian House Museum
©Museu da Casa Brasileira
The Brazilian House Museum (Museu da Casa Brasileira) is located on busy Brigadeiro Faria Lima Avenue in a beautiful mansion. The museum houses a valuable collection of furniture and arts, as well as many cultural events. It is worth checking the agenda of upcoming events. Inside the museum, there is a Brazilian restaurant in a beautiful garden with a terrace, Capim Santo.
9. Taste the Famous Pão de Queijo (Cheese Bread)
Brazilians eat cheese bread for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, and can also be served as a starter at steakhouses.
There are also places specializing in cheese bread like Casa do Pão de Queijo which can be found in various parts of the city.
10. Visit the Parque do Povo
Top Things to do in Sao Paulo – ©Parque do Povo
Parque do Povo is another popular park in São Paulo. The park has trails and botanical collections that include species from all the biomes of Brazil, to demonstrate, in a small space in the city, the great diversity of species existing in the country’s flora.
And from the park, it is possible to have beautiful views of the city skyline.
Next to the park is also located another famous mall in the city, JK Iguatemi, where you can find international luxury brands and famous Brazilian brands.
11. Visit the Museum of Image and Sound of São Paulo
©Museum of Image and Sound of São Paulo
The Museum of Image and Sound of São Paulo, located in the elegant Jardins region, has more than 200 thousand items and hosts temporary exhibitions.
The collection includes photographs, films, videos, posters, graphic pieces, sound and image equipment, and sound discs, as well as books, catalogs, periodicals, CDs, and DVDs.
The museum houses a store and the famous Pipo restaurant.
12. Visit the Instituto Tomie Ohtake
©Instituto Tomie Ohtake
The Instituto Tomie Ohtake is an art center that opened in 2001 that hosts national and international fine arts, architecture, and design exhibitions.
13. Take Photos at Beco do Batman
Photo Credit: ckturistando
Beco do Batman is a mandatory tourist spot for lovers of urban arts known as an open-air graffiti gallery, located between the Vila Madalena and Pinheiros neighborhoods, surrounded by bars, cafes, and restaurants.
The drawings are constantly renewed by graffiti artists and the community helps to preserve the walls.
14. Taste the Brazilian Sweet Brigadeiro
Top Things to do in Sao Paulo – ©Brigaderia
Brigadeiro is the most popular Brazilian sweet, and during your visit to São Paulo, you must try it.
You can find brigadeiro in bakeries and cafes, and there is also a specialized place in brigadeiros known as Brigaderia (they have a store at Shopping Patio Paulista).
15. Visit the Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo
Photo Credit: Monique Carrati
Pinacoteca is a museum of visual arts with an emphasis on Brazilian production from the 19th century to the present day and in dialogue with the cultures of the world.
The museum is located in a beautiful building in the center of the city.
16. Enjoy City Views from a Rooftop Bar
Having a drink and enjoying the view of the city from above is another must-do in São Paulo.
17. Taste the Caipirinha National Drink
Top Things to do in Sao Paulo – ©Hotel Unique
Caipirinha is a Brazilian drink made from cachaça, sugar, lemon, and ice. There are also other flavor options including passion fruit, red berries, kiwi, and others.
In the city of São Paulo, it is possible to try this popular drink in several restaurants and bars.
18. Enjoy a Barzinho
©Olivio Bar e Gastronomia
The nightlife in São Paulo is very busy. And visiting a bar in the famous neighborhoods of Vila Madalena, Pinheiros, Itaim Bibi or Vila Olimpia is a must.
19. Taste the National Dish Feijoada
©Consulado Mineiro SP
Feijoada is the most popular dish in Brazil and consists of black beans with various types of meat, rice, and cabbage.
20. Taste the Brazilian Pizza
Top Things to do in Sao Paulo – ©Veridiana Pizzaria
The pizza arrived in Brazil through Italian immigrants and today it can be found in several Brazilian cities.
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