Sao Paulo – Brazil’s Melting Pot of Cultures
A global city, Sao Paulo is the capital of Sao Paulo state in Brazil and the 12th largest city in the world. An estimated 11,895,893 people live here, making it the most populous as well as wealthiest city in Brazil. The Sao Paulo metropolitan area is the seventh most populous in the world and second most populous in Americas. The city is at an elevation of 760 meters above sea level and the vast number of Italian, Arab and Japanese migrants that live here make it one of the most popular multi-cultural cities in the world. Home to some of the tallest buildings in Brazil, Sao Paulo has numerous museums, parks and hosts some of the best events from around the world. A cosmopolitan city, Sao Paulo is a center of cultural, economic and political in the country. While Portuguese is the official as well as national language of Sao Paulo; English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Italian and Arabic are also spoken.
São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport and Congonhas-São Paulo Airport are the two major airports and all flights coming to Sao Paulo land at either of the airport. São José dos Campos Airport and Viracopos-Campinas International Airport serve the region of Greater São Paulo and light aircrafts are served by the Campo de Marte Airport. The city is influenced by humid subtropical climate which features warm and sunny weather for most part of the year. During the winter months from December till February the city receives heavy rainfall, therefore it is best avoided. The city can be visited all around the year but the peak tourist season begins from June till Mid December. March to May is the shoulder season. Sao Paulo is extremely popular for hosting multiple festivals and event all the year round but some of the major festivals that draw huge international crowd to the city are - carnival of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Art Biennial (held once every two years), Electronic Language International Festival, Achiropita Festival, Sao Paulo Fashion Week, March for Jesus, F1 Brazilian Grand Prix and world’s largest gay pride parade.
While Sao Paulo is a major cultural and economic center in South America, it is only among the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil. Start your city tour from the Historic Center which is the old part of the city and is filled with numerous historical sites and monuments. Mosteiro de São Bento (having various notable decoration on its wall), Pátio do Colégio (another historical church and museum), Largo de São Francisco (famous for its churches) and the Cathedral are among the major sightseeing places in the old part of Sau Paulo.
Municipal Theatre which was built between 1903 and 1911 is also a major landmark in the city. Itália Building is the place to go if you want to enjoy commanding views of the city. The Nossa Senhora da Luz church is another major draw famed for its traditional architecture that is built entirely of clay. Museum of Sacred Art, State Picture Gallery, Praça da República, Ibirapuera Park, Fernando Costa Park, Jaraguá Park, Carmo Park, Largo do Arouche, Parque Dom Pedro II, Museum of Art, Santa Cruz dos Enforcados and Museum of Japanese Immigration are among the other sightseeing places that you should not miss on your tours to Sao Paulo.
Eating and Shopping
The cultural diversity and vivacity of the city is well reflected in the varieties of food that are available here. The city has more than 12,000 restaurant offering more than 60 cuisine options making it ‘World Gastronomy Capital’. While the city is loaded with fast food chains, fine dining restaurants, cozy eating paces and food tents, a large array of delectable street food is also the specialty of Sao Paulo. Some of the local delicacies one should try here are – Virado à Paulista, Sanduiche de mortadela, Couscous, Virado à paulista, tutu de feijão, Torresmo, Baião-de-Dois, Mocofava, Tacacá, Caruru, Empadas and Pao de Queijo. D.O.M, Habib's, Churrascarias, Restaurante Figueira Rubaiyat, Speranza, Sky Bar, Tenda do Nilo and Dalva e Dito are among most popular restaurants in the city. The Pubs and bars can be found everywhere in Sao Paulo. The city is popular for its nightlife which can be best enjoyed at Vila Olímpia, Vila Madalena, and Barra Funda, Moema, Tatuapé and Mooca, and Santana.
Be it dedicated shopping streets, huge malls, luxury boutiques or branded showrooms, everything in available in Sao Paulo. Considering the fact that Sao Paulo is the 10th most expensive city in the world, you might want to think before going on a shopping spree. Rua 25 de Março, Avenida Paulista, Rua Oscar Freire, Rua Teodoro Sampaio, Brás neighborhood and Rua Augusta are the best places for bargain hunters. Morumbi Market Place, Eldorado, Cidade Jardim and Frei Caneca are also popular malls and shopping areas in Sao Paulo.
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