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Explore every corner of São Paulo spending little money

Cruzeiro do Sul Avenue. Photo: Caio Pimenta/ SPTuris.

São Paulo was elected in 2014 as the best Brazilian destination and South America’s third best destination by Trip Advisor. The countless attractions in this metropolis will please those who want to spend little and make the most of their stays! Check out our tips for free or inexpensive cultural attractions, options for cost-free outdoor activities, alternative and modern places to eat on a budget, and cheap and fun accommodation options. However long you stay in São Paulo, it will never be enough to explore everything the city offers. The money? It will be more than enough!

A cultural morning

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

The cultural center offers movie sessions for four reais, theater plays for ten reais, and free art exhibits. Besides all that, there is also a café and a library.

Where is it? Rua Alvarez Penteado, 112, Centro – São Paulo.
Opening hours: Wednesday through Monday, from 9:00 a.m. to 9 p.m..

Pinacoteca

It is a visual arts museum that hosts national and international exhibits for affordable prices. Tickets cost R$ 6. Students pay half of the price and children under 10 years old and free admission is offered to adults older than 60 years old. If you also want free admission, you can visit the museum on Thursdays after 5:00 p.m. or on Saturdays, the whole day.

Where is it? Praça da Luz, 2, near Luz subway station, blue line.
Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Conjunto Nacional (National Building Complex)

Do you want a pleasant space to read without paying any charges? Conjunto Nacional offers the largest bookstore in Latin American – Livraria Cultura! Besides, it also has a cinema, a theater, and places to eat.

Where is it? Avenida Paulista, 2073 – Jardim Paulista, near Consolação subway station, green line.
Opening hours: Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Masp

Masp. Photograph by José Cordeiro/ SPTuris.

The Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (São Paulo’s Modern Art Museum) is a landmark in São Paulo and all its exhibits are free on Tuesday. If you already have other plans for Tuesday, tickets cost R$ 25 on the remaining days of the week and students, retired people, and teachers pay half of this price.

Where is it? Avenida Paulista, 1578 – near Trianon Masp subway station, green line.
Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Museu do Futebol (Football Museum)

Museu do Futebol (Football Museum). Photo: José Cordeiro/ SPTuris.

This museum offers the best opportunity for those who want to know Brazilian football history, its heroes, World Cups, goals, radio broadcast narrations, and Pacaembu Stadium! How much does all this cost? Only R$ 6, with retired public school teachers, students, people over 60 years old, and retired people paying half of this price. Admission is free on Saturdays.

Where is it? Praça Charles Miller (Charles Miller Square), near Clínicas subway station, green line.
Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. People are allowed to stay until 6:00 p.m. There are different opening hours on match days in Pacaembu Stadium.

MIS

Besides the temporary exhibits, such as Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum and others that use items from the museum’s catalog with 200,000 items, the center has a media library for consultation and research with free admission. Exhibits are free on Tuesdays and cost R$ 10 on the remaining days of the week, with half price admission as an option.

Where is it? Avenida Europa, 158, Jardim Europa.
Opening hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sundays and holidays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m..
Media Library: Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

A pleasant afternoon

São Paulo offers many options for outdoor activities! Biking, skating, skateboarding, going on a picnic, walking, playing sports, or simply reading your favorite book under a tree while drinking coconut water! Check out some places:

Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park)

Parque do Ibirapuera. Photo: Caio Pimenta/ SPTuris.

Besides its museums, auditoriums, restaurants, and an ice cream parlor, the park also has bike lanes, sport courts, gym equipment, a playground, lakes, a jogging track… Explore all this for FREE!

Where is it? Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº (Portão/Gate 10) – Vila Mariana.
Opening hours: Daily from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Parque da Água Branca (Água Branca Park)

Here you can find food fairs, reading spaces, children’s parks, several animal species, rest and relaxation. There are also spaces for exhibits, a geology museum, and a Reference Center for Environmental Education. How much does admission cost? It’s free.

Where is it? Av. Professor Francisco Matarazzo, 455 – Água Branca.
Opening hours: Daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Parque Trianon (Trianon Park)

This cozy park has many Atlantic Forest plant species and is a quiet place for those who want to walk, read a book, and enjoy nature in the middle of the famous Paulista Avenue.

Where is it? Rua Peixoto Gomide, 949 (Near number 1700 of Av. Paulista, near Trianon Masp subway station, green line).
Opening hours: Daily, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Horto Florestal (Forest Garden)

Exercising while contemplating nature and breathing fresh air is always more motivating, isn’t it? The garden has a jogging track and fitness equipments. After exercising you can also drink from freshwater springs there!

Where is it? Rua do Horto, 931, Tremembé.
Opening hours: Daily, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Parque do Carmo (Carmo Park)

It has an area for picnics and barbecues, where you can enjoy a beautiful sunny day! It is a great option for gathering friends and playing football, riding bikes, or simply relaxing!

Where is it? Rua Afonso de Sampaio e Souza, 951 – Itaquera.
Opening hours: Daily, from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Praça Pôr do Sol (Sunset Square)

São Paulo is also a romantic city. Praça Pôr do Sol offers a stunning view to those in love or to those who simply want to relax while they enjoy nature’s spectacle.

Where is it? Rua Desembargador Ferreira França, S/N – Alto De Pinheiros.

Parque Villa Lobos (Villa Lobos Park)

Parque Villa Lobos. Photo: Caio Pimenta/ SPTuris.

This park pleases both who want to relax and those who want action! Villa Lobos has tracks leading to its main woods, plants and birds of several species, “Ruth Cardoso Orchid Park”, and “Ouvillas”, a place with benches and loungers for visitors to listen to musical performances.

Where is it? Avenida Professor Fonseca Rodrigues, 2001, Alto de Pinheiros.
Opening hours: Daily, from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

How about at night?

Don’t worry! CNN this year elected São Paulo as the city with the fourth best nightlife in the WORLD!  If excitement is what you want, Madalena Avenue and Augusta Street are the places to go to!

Where to eat?

São Paulo offers alternative and modern places that are major hits! Food fairs and food trucks sell everything from fast-food to natural and organic products! Check it out:

  • Panela na Rua (Pan on the Street) 

Where is it? Praça Benedito Calixto (Benedito Calixto Square)
Opening hours: Sundays, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • Feirinha Gastronômica Jardim das Perdizes (Jardim das Perdizes Food Fair) 

Where is it? Avenida Marquês de São Vicente, 2301 – Várzea da Barra Funda.
Opening hours: Saturdays and Sundays, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where to stay?

According to São Paulo City Tourism Observatory, the city has 70 hostels with 2,200 beds available. This kind of accommodation offers shared bedrooms, which makes your trip cheaper and way more fun! Please click here or check out the booking section in order to check out some of São Paulo’s hostels.

You have some money left and want to buy someone a gift?

SP is also great for going shopping. Besides its 53 shopping malls, the city also has street vendors, shopping galleries, fairs, and outlets

that sell a wide range of products for inexpensive prices. Check it out:

  • 25 de março – Rua 25 de março, centro (downtown) – near São Bento station.
  • Opening hours: Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Take the chance to also visit Bom Retiro and Brás. These neighborhoods are close to each other and famous for the clothes and fabrics they sell.
  • José Paulino– Rua José Paulino – Near Luz station.

Avenida Paulista. Photo: José Cordeiro/ SPTuris.

  • Avenida Paulista (Paulista Avenue) – São Paulo’s most famous avenue has several shopping galleries with stores that sell electronics, cosmetics, accessories, among other items, at inexpensive prices. In order to find them, you can get off at Brigadeiro, Trianon Masp, or at Consolação station. 
  • Outlet Premium – Rodovia dos Bandeirantes, km 72- Access through the entrance to Shopping Serrazul (Serrazul Mall), HopiHari, and Wet’n Wild. Here you will find discounts of up to 80% on clothing items from the best national and international designers! Opening hours: From 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Praça Benedito Calixto– Praça Benedito Calixto, 158/162 – Vila Madalena, at the same place where there is an antique fair on Saturdays. Opening hours: Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
How to get around?

The city has 59 subway stations and 150 trains according to São Paulo State Metropolitan Transportation Secretariat. Besides, there are approximately 15,000 buses in operation in the city. (Please call 156 for information on routes). You can also use 200 kilometers of bike lanes implemented in the city, which have been widely supported. The Economist, one of United Kingdom’s major magazines, has positively compared São Paulo to the capital of Denmark, which started implementing its bike lane system 30 years ago, and now its citizens use these lanes in over 30% of their commutes.

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