30 Sep 2016 1812
PortoBay Hotels & Resorts

In the grand metropolis, one of the southern hemisphere's main economic centres, you will be invariably confronted with a dilemma: where to begin?

Latin America's largest city offers a whole arrray of leisure options. Countless alternatives are available for all who want to enjoy themselves, shop and eat well. However, ironically, even if you manage to do a little bit of everything, it is impossible to take in all the opportunities the São Paulo agenda has to offer. Choosing is the problem.

São Paulo is one of the few cities in the world that is home to typical immigrant neighbourhoods such as the Japanese Liberdade, Italian Bom Retiro, extending to the Bolivian and Korean Brás and Bexiga.

This influence of foreign cultures makes for a wide range of activities. Consequently we have selected a few of the best which will allow you to get a taste of São Paulo. We will try to point you in the best direction but be aware: to really get to know São Paulo well you will have to come back again and again. Many times over.
For art and culture the best is to start with a visit to Parque do Ibirapuera where, apart from admiring the natural beauty of the place as you walk or bike around, you can also visit the Planetário (Planetarium) and Museu de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Museum) amongst other attractions.

On your tour don't miss a visit to the city centre with a stop at Marco Zero de São Paulo (geographical centre), Catedral da Sé (Cathedral See) and the Mosteiro de São Bento (Monastery). Other "musts” include the Estação da Luz (train station), Sala São Paulo (concert hall), Pinacoteca do Estado (museum), Estação Júlio Prestes (train station that houses Sala São Paulo) and the very beautiful Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre).

Another of the city's visiting cards is the famous, bustling Avenida Paulista.
Here you can admire the architecture of the high buildings, visit exhibitions at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (museum) and check out the cultural programme at FIESP or Itaú Cultural. While you are in the vicinity, take the opportunity to visit some of the surrounding neighbourhoods such as Bela Vista, Jardins and Higienopolis.
Continuing on your journey of discovery, don't miss the world of fashion. The best is concentrated in five shopping centres; Rua Oscar Freire in Jardins, Shopping Iguatemi in Itaim, Shopping Iguatemi JK, Shopping Cidade Jardim and Rua 25 de Março, where you can find everything.
Another highlight is the gastronomy.
Here is a tempting suggestion: why not try the best "pastel” (pastry) in São Paulo at the fair at Estádio do Pacaembu? Two other São Paulo delicacies are "lanche de mortadela” (mortadela sandwich) and the "pastel de bacalhau” (cod fish-cake) at the Mercado Central (market) where you can also discover all the different types of fruit indigenous to Brazil. And, of course, there is no shortage of  sophisticated, speciality cuisines...
São Paulo's other highlight is its lively nightlife.
The famous "botecos” - bars that open out onto the street – are a good choice, especially those in Vila Madalena. Another tip is to keep an eye on the programme of international shows, events and salons.
São Paulo is like this: it doesn't stop, it never gets weary – you just need to get out and have fun!

Photo Credits Caio Silveira e Wanderley Celestino (SPTuris)

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