Are you going to spend the weekend in São Paulo, but arrived on Friday night and is feeling lost? Don’t know what to do? We made a super list with the best of Sampa for you to enjoy the 48 hours you will spend in the city in the best possible way. Check out our tips and have fun!
If you are near Paulista Avenue, you may start having dinner at one of the beautiful restaurants in Jardins neighborhood, where there are several options, from bistros to star restaurants like D.O.M, elected the sixth best in the world, but there are also cheaper options nearby.
Before you enjoy the hectic nightlife in São Paulo, there’s still time to enjoy a different movie at art movie theaters like Reserva Cultural or Cinesesc or a super production musical in theaters like Alfa, Renault or Bradesco.
Later, you can have fun on Augusta Street, famous for its variety of bars and nightclubs. There are options for all kinds of preference, like alternative rock and soul clubs like Sarajevo, and the electronic music nightclub, like Lab.
Today is the day to get to know a little about the history, culture and art of São Paulo downtown. Start the tour having breakfast at Pateo do Collegio, where São Paulo was founded. There is a small museum and a good coffee shop there. Nearby is Praça da Sé (Sé Square), where you find the zero mile marker of the city and the beautiful Sé Cathedral, built in Neo-Gothic style.
Come back and move on towards São Bento Monastery, where you find Gregorian chants and the store has snacks made by the monks themselves. Nearby you will find BM&F Bovespa building, São Paulo Stock Exchange (the second largest in the world), the Martinelli building, the first skyscraper in São Paulo, and Altino Arantes, also known as Banespão, one of the highest buildings in the capital.
About three blocks down from the monastery, in Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market or Mercadão) you will find lots of fruit, condiments and exotic spicery. Stop for lunch at one of its restaurants on the mezzanine and take a chance to try the classic: the Brazilian mortadella sandwich and the codfish pastel.
Walking a little bit more, if there is still energy, the visitor can still know São Paulo City Hall, on Viaduto do Chá, Vale do Anhangabaú and the Theatro Municipal (Municipal Theater). Near the theater, on Avenida São João, you will find Galeria do Rock (Rock Gallery), with hundreds of music stores, clothing for rockers and other interesting things.
Before nightfall, run to the Museu do Futebol (Football Museum) or to Vila Madalena and visit the Feira da Praça Benedito Calixto (Street Fair on Benedito Calixto Square), full of different art and design objects, as well as antiques. It is open up to 8 p.m. You can have dinner right there and then enjoy the night out. Vila Madalena has many bars and restaurants. On Saturdays, there is Pub Crawl – a tour by bars and clubs: you pay a single ticket that gives you access to three or four different places. During the first hour, the beer is for free and you also get a welcome shot at every location where the route passes. The tour ends at a club. It is a good idea to register in advance at the website for a discount.
If you are feeling fresh, start the day by having a nice breakfast in one of the well-known fancy bakeries close to your hotel. Some options: Bella Paulista, on Haddock Lobo Street, nearby Paulista Avenue; Galeria dos Pães, on Estados Unidos Street, in Jardins; and Villa Grano, in Vila Madalena. All of them are open 24 hours.
Go to Avenida Paulista, São Paulo’s icon and postcard. There are many attractions there. There is a big bookstore named Livraria Cultura, in Conjunto Nacional, which is a nice place for a tour. There are also two parks: Mário Covas, where there is a Tourist Information Center (CIT), and Trianon, in front of one of the best places to visit in the capital, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (São Paulo Museum of Art), or simply MASP, which houses a collection of about 8000 artworks – Brazilian famous painters such as Cândido Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Anita Malfatti and Almeida Junior and international painters such as Rafael, Mantegna, Botticceli, Delacroix, Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Picasso, Modigliani, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Matisse and Chagall.
On Avenida Paulista there are also several cultural centers, such as Itaú Cultural and Centro Cultural Fiesp, always with interesting exhibitions, and Casa das Rosas, which focuses on literature and poetry.
In Liberdade, in addition to Japanese shops, Chinese and Korean restaurants, on Sundays, you can visit Liberdade Fair, with handicraft stands and Asian food.
In the Parque Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park), besides being a place to rest, picnic or practice outdoor sports, there are many cultural attractions, such as Museu Afro Brasil (Afro-Brazilian Museum), Oca (always with good exhibitions), Pavilhão da Bienal (a building for exhibitions usually with big events), Auditório Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Auditorium with Brazilian music performances), Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM – Museum of Modern Art) and Museu de Arte Contemporânea (MAC – Museum of Contemporary Art).
At nightfall, unfortunately, it’s time to go to your room with the feeling of having been through an incredible experience. And, despite this mind-blowing schedule, there is still much more to get to know. So, it’s time to schedule the next trip to this great metropolis!