With the countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup officially over, São Paulo has been catapulted from Brazil’s largest city to a globally renowned destination. Bursting with beautiful neighbourhoods, fascinating markets, incredible architecture and amazing events, there’s an incredible variety of stunning sights and experiences to discover.
Paulistanos (São Paulo locals) are renowned for their welcoming spirit and festive vibrancy which lends to the allure of this bustling metropolis. In a city that comes alive after 8 pm and samba music floats in the air, you know there’s always something exciting to experience around every corner. Start your holiday by cruising around the city on a bike. With Ciclofaixas de Lazer or leisure cycle lanes open on Sundays from 7am – 2 pm, it’s the perfect way to explore various neighbourhoods while getting some fresh air. Stop in at Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) or take a wander through the bustling markets that fill nearby Avenida Paulista. Here you can sample local dishes, shop for souvenirs or just cruise through and check out the action. In addition to being an amazing market, it’s also one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods and a great place to walk around. From here, take it to the Praça da Republica and admire the endless rows of local artisans and food vendors. Or, venture to CEASA. The largest food market in Latin America, here you can shop for an unbelievable variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and spices.
After a day of so much indulgence, spend some time understanding the cultural heritage of this incredible city. Start by seeking out the architectural masterpieces of Oscar Niemeyer. Famed for his beautiful works scattered throughout São Paulo, he contributed much to the city’s public spaces and skyline. The auditorium at Parque Ibirapuera, Museu Afro-Brasil, the Latin America Memorial, as well as the Copan were all designed by Niemeyer and represent some of the finest achievements of Latin American architecture. Visitors can also explore the inspiring gardens of Ipiranga. Built in 1895, it was erected specifically for the preservation of Brazilian history and is home to a number of old documents, art works and furniture. If you can’t tear yourself away from the city’s amazing neighbourhoods, keep an eye out for the innumerable local murals and street artworks.
In addition to the incredible sights and wonderful cultural experiences, there are an awe-inspiring number of events that occur throughout various times of the year. On the Friday to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday each year, Brazilians go all out with colourful parades, samba music, dancing and fanfare for Carnaval, there’s also São Paulo fashion week held twice a year, and São Paulo Art Biennial held every two years. However, for the fans that won’t be able to join the city during the World Cup, you won’t miss all the action. The Soccer Museum is located in the massive Pacaembu Stadium and is home to a wealth of soccer memorabilia from both FIFA and Brazilian sports stars.