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Sao Paulo is a town with so much to offer in the way of physical activities and sports, whether it’s in its public parks, plazas, public fields and courts or clubs and gyms. There are also plenty of green areas for those who like to get out for some outdoor exercise.
For a more customary approach, there are public parks such as Ibirapuera and Villa-Lobos with their running tracks, multi-sport courts, soccer fields and areas where skateboarders and rollerbladers have ample space for practice.
Here’s a list of public parks around Sao Paulo and their main attractions:
A refuge for nature-lovers in the middle of town for anyone who wants to practice outdoor sports like jogging around the lake or even yoga.
Located in the East Zone, this is another great option for those who appreciate its forested areas and ample sports infrastructure. Another reason why people love this park is the public BBQ grills, which are great for firing up after a morning of working out.
It’s also where the Festa das Cerejeiras or “Cherry Blossom Festival” takes place every year for a period of one week when the trees are in full bloom, and where the public can just enjoy the scenery and rest after practicing sports.
In the north of the city, located where the famous Carandiru prison once stood, Parque da Juventude offers multi-sport courts, two tennis courts and an impressive skate park.
Parque do Trabalhador
Located in the East Zone, the park has an excellent sports structure. In addition to all that the park already has available, a partnership has also been made with local sports academy Clube Escola, which teaches various sports including soccer, basketball, rugby, karate, among many others.
Parque Villa-Lobos and Parque Cândido Portinari
One of the most famous parks in the city, with several courts and different areas for those who want to bicycle, skateboard or go roller skating. There is also a space for dogs, a bicycling track and an orchard.
The Parque Cândido Portinari is practically an extension of Parque Villa-Lobos, with more sports courts, gymnastics equipment and an exclusive skate park.
Parque Zilda Natel
A stronghold for skateboarders and rollerskaters, this park located in the West Zone has three specific skate parks for practicing this radical sport. A small basketball court and some gymnastics equipment are also available to the public.
Praça Victor Civita
Located in Pinheiros, this famous plaza offers lots of cool attractions. In addition to its extensive cultural lineup, daily sports activities are offered free of charge, including Pilates and yoga classes.
For bicycle lovers, the city currently has more than 400 km of bicycle paths and permanent cycle routes, as well as leisure bicycle paths that are open on Sundays and national holidays. More information can be found on the Bike SP website.
There are also different ways to enjoy the city on two wheels:
Bike Tour: promotes free guided tours with English audio that visit different tourist attractions around the city. Participants can learn about fascinating historical facts and curiosities while still getting in a good bike ride.
Sampa Bikers: promotes different types of tours around the city. There is the Night Stroll, with different routes around the city during nighttime. There are ecological themed tours, tours for the more adventurous, thematic tours based on each of the four seasons, an exclusive tour for women as well as the many others that take place during the daytime.
Sao Paulo also has plenty to offer those who enjoy more daring activities. One of the most recommended places for these adrenaline seekers is the Centro de Esportes Radicais (Extreme Sports Center), located near Marginal do Tietê in the downtown area.
There are three “pump tracks,” which allow skaters, cyclists and rollerbladers to generate speed using only body movement. There are also a skate park area, mini-ramp and bowl, which is basically an empty swimming pool used for performing radical tricks by experienced riders.
Another novelty is the exclusive parkour area, a sport typically for urban environments where athletes negotiate city obstacles like walls and gaps by running, climbing and jumping. Here, structures are used that have been designed specifically for the sport.
The capital of São Paulo can also be considered a major sprinting capital of the world, as different races take place almost every weekend in different parts of the city.
They include sprints for beginners with short circuits, intermediate sprints between 5 and 15 kilometers long, and even challenges for experienced long distance runners, such as half marathons and complete marathons—with distances of 21 km and 42 km, respectively.
Other race modalities have also come into play, such as obstacle races, night races and many other options for all different types of athletes.
For those who like to try new things, there are projects available that promote various types of physical activities, such as yoga, bicycle tours around the city, Pilates, rugby, basketball and other sports. The best part: most of the classes are free.
Add.: Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/n° – Vila Mariana – zona Sul – São Paulo.
Open hours: daily, 5am to 12am.
Tel.: (11) 5574-5505.
Parque da Aclimação
Add.: Rua Muniz de Souza, 1.119 – Aclimação – Centro-oeste – São Paulo.
Open hours: daily, 6am to 10pm.
Tel.: (11) 3208-4042.
Parque do Carmo – Olavo Egydio Setúbal
Add.: Av. Afonso de Sampaio e Souza, 951 – Itaquera – zona Leste – São Paulo.
Open hours: daily, 5:30am to 6pm.
Tel.: (11) 2748-0010.
Parque da Juventude
Add.: Av. Zaki Narchi, 1.309 – Carandiru – zona Norte – São Paulo (close to Carandiru subway station).
Open hours: from Monday to Sunday, 6am to 6pm (the courts are open from Monday to Saturday, 6am to 12am; Sunday, 6am to 10pm).
Tel.: (11) 2251-2706/ 2089-8600.
Parque Esportivo do Trabalhador
Add.: Rua Canuto de Abreu, s/n° – Tatuapé – zona Leste – São Paulo.
Open hours: From Monday to Friday, 6am to 10pm; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 6am to 6pm.
Tel.: (11) 2671-8788.
Add.: Av. Professor Fonseca Rodrigues – 2.001 – Alto de Pinheiros – zona Oeste – São Paulo (close to the Villa-Lobos/Jaguaré da CPTM subway station).
Open hours: daily, 5:30am to 7pm.
Tel.: (11) 3021-6285.
Parque Zilda Natel
Add.: Av. Dr. Arnaldo, 1.250 – Sumaré – zona Oeste – são Paulo (in betwen the Sumaré and Clínicas subway stations).
Open hours: daily, 9am to 9pm.
Tel.: (11) 3862-2921.
Praça Victor Civita
Add.: Rua do Sumidouro, 580 – Pinheiro – zona Oeste – São Paulo (close to the Pinheiros subway station).
Open hours: daily, 6:30am to 7pm.
Tel.: (11) 3031-3689.