São Paulo

Here you’ll find travel reports about São Paulo. Discover travel destinations in Brazil of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

56 travelers at this place:

  • Day105

    Simply São Paulo

    November 11, 2017 in Brazil

    São Paulo is probably one of the most underrated cities. Before arriving, we were warned about the dangers of the metropolis. Even the Brazilians in Rio didn't have a high opinion of São Paulo. It's just a big, dirty city was the usual response. Perhaps it was the area that we were staying in but we found the city to be vibrant with plenty of culture and great food. As the hotel receptionist proudly claimed: “we don't have the beaches of Rio, but we have culture and food. If you look really hard, you will find the beauty”. True, it is a big city with more than 20 million people in the greater metropolitan area, and parts of the city are dirty, particularly in the downtown area, yet there is still something about the city. All across Brazil there are warnings about the dangers of being robbed or assaulted but in Jardins, a more upmarket suburb of São Paulo, we felt safe. Perhaps we were just naïve.

    We almost didn't make it to São Paulo from Rio. As we were in the line to board the plane, we realised that our flight had changed gates and we were boarding a flight for a completely different city in Brazil. We had to hot-foot it to the correct gate and made it on-board just before take-off. There had been no announcement about the change and a minute or two later we would have been stranded in Rio.

    Once we arrived in São Paulo, we went in search of food and our latest addiction, Caiprinihas. In Rio, we had also acquired a taste for salgados, a salty, deep-fried Portuguese snack, and fortunately for us, they could be found everywhere in São Paulo. At one of the local snack bars, we indulged in a salgado as a pre-lunch appetizer. When paying for our meal, the waiter rattled off something in Portuguese. Still unable to speak much Portuguese, Jason decided that he would respond in Spanish. The waiter assumed that we were Spanish so he replied “Gracias, Señor”. We quickly realised that few Paulistanos could speak Spanish. Later, we finally found our Caipriniha but it was unlike the ones we tasted in Rio. It was straight alcohol on the rocks. And didn't they hit us hard! We rolled out of the restaurant and stumbled back to our hotel. Luckily it was only a hop, skip and a jump away. We swear we aren't alcoholics (but we might need to attend a few AA meetings before returning home).

    Immediately, we noticed that the cosmopolitan city was a melting pot, full of diversity and seemingly tolerant of all kinds of people. In the middle of Jardins, along Avenida Paulista, we stumbled upon a park, which we named “Homo Park” (we never did bother to find out its real name). We named it based upon the large number of same-sex couples inhabiting the area, cuddling and kissing each other. A gaggle of gays in the park, so to speak, and no-one batted an eyelid. It was if we were attracted to the same-sex attracted couples like a magnet. Of course we can sniff out our people anywhere in the world! Maybe it's the inbuilt gaydar. Even with Australia voting “yes” in the postal vote for same-sex marriage, these kinds of public displays of affection are not something that you regularly see around Brisbane. But here, we felt that it was completely acceptable and people felt safe to do so without persecution.

    Like any big city, there are many homeless people on the streets of São Paulo. It's almost as if they live in an alternative reality, invisible to the rest of society, as people go about their lives simply stepping over them on the footpaths, and maybe handing them some change every now and then. Standing on a platform at the top of a building looking down onto the streets, Ricky spotted what appeared to be someone's arse in the air. Then a second later, it was confirmed. Yes, we had just witnessed someone shit in the middle of the street. Pretty certain that wasn't on the bucket list.

    On our second day, Paulista Avenue was closed-off to traffic and the streets turned into a party. There were more gays than a pride fair or a mardi gras. And more eccentric people than a Lady Gaga outfit at the Grammys. It made for a great afternoon of entertainment. As we watched an indigenous group from Ecuador play pan-pipes to music that was a fusion of modern and traditional music, the crowd included a guy doing a two-step shuffle. He stood there with a blank look in his eye, as if he was stuck in a k-hole, whilst wearing a jumper in 35 degree weather. Staring at the band, he swayed back and forth or attempted to imitate them, spinning around to the music. Every now and then, he would return to the sideline and rest. But sure enough, he would be up and ready to go again as soon as a new song commenced. He returned a few days later when it was Republica Day, a national holiday to celebrate the overthrow of the Empire of Brazil. This time, he came with his bag of crackers that he munched on like a mouse all day. He was almost as entertaining as the band.

    Another guy danced like a crazed peacock, throwing his hands in the air. At one point, he hijacked an elderly woman in a wheelchair, took her for a dance and spun around the streets. She lapped it up as if she was the star of the show, waiving like the Queen from her wheelchair. His erratic dance moves were punctuated with a flicking of his head and feathered earring to the beat of the music. He too was almost as entertaining as the band.

    The eye-candy on the streets was to die for, as hot, shirtless men filled the streets. What better way to spend the day than staring at the abs of an Adonis, along with a cold beverage! But by the end of our stay, Jason's retinas were damaged and he needed an ophthalmologist. He couldn't handle anymore Brazilian beauties. And if Ricky had a dollar for everytime Jason said "hottest men in the world" Ricky could retire. Jason was also struggling with his new look, which made him now look like Ellen DeGeneres with a beard.

    Apart from ogling the men and enjoying the people-watching along Avenida Paulista, we found time to visit some of the museums in the city, such as the Museum of Art São Paulo (MASP), which had an exhibition on the history of sexuality in art. On our last day, we visited the Modern Art Museum. It was hardly worth the $2.50 entry fee. It was literally one large room with questionable “art” and another smaller room with a video installation of a knitting circle, involving a crying nana – we think she may have dropped a stitch. We also visited the Afro Brazil Museum. We were expecting a museum displaying Afro-Brazilian culture, but we were hard-pressed to find many artefacts and instead it seemed to be more dedicated to Catholicism in Brazil. At least it passed the time before we needed to head to the airport (and it was free).

    São Paulo is notorious for its traffic jams, with over six million vehicles on the roads at peak hour. With this in mind, we left for the airport a little earlier, but this did not settle Jason’s nerves as he stressed about missing our flight. Throughout the journey Jason was constantly calculating the estimated time of arrival, in between conversations with the taxi driver using Google Translate. At one point, the ETA was midnight. Fortunately, the predictions did not eventuate and we made our flight, albeit with little time to spare.

    Next stop: Foz do Iguaçu / Puerto Iguazú

    For video footage, see:
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  • Day2

    Sampa streets

    March 23 in Brazil

    Well, actually the pictures don't really show São Paulo (Sampa)'s streets, which is partly because I didn't really feel like pulling out my camera in the crowded city center, and partly because the parks make for much prettier fotos.
    I started of at Parque Ibirapuera, a huge park that's in comfortable walking distance from Felipe's place. Fitness is a big issue here: although it was a weekday and late morning, the park was full of people doing different kinds of exercise. I also visited Museu Afro Brasil, an exhibition about slaves in Brazil.
    When I had finally found out which bus to take, I went to the city center. In between Praça da Sé and Praça da República I allowed myself to get lost in the crowd. As expected, São Paulo isn't exactly pretty, it is rather something like the true face of everyday life.
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  • Day99

    Day 99: Helicopter flight, hell yeah :)

    October 27, 2016 in Brazil

    That's just awesome 😎, flying over such a huge area off waterfalls is the only way to really see and understand how big it is. From the air I noticed for the first time that the geographics are really linear. It all makes sense that this big river drops off a wide cliff and because the river approaches diagonally (seen from above) it spreads out over the whole length of the cliffs. From the helicopter it looked smaller but never small since getting an overview picture was not easy at all.
    I knew that is was going to be good weather so I booked the flight yesterday, I could show up anytime. So I did when the sun did, between 9 and 10:00. I had packed my bags and stuffed the big one in a locker at the Brasilian Iguazu entrance because it would safe me the trip back to the city. The money I saved I used for a Cab, so I would not have to struggle through people to be early at the helicopter. I arrived when I meant to and this guy who promised me a good seat was the salesman I expected, the front seat was claimed by this old lady (let me say this: not all old ladies are nice and friendly 😑) her pushing resulted in better pictures in the end because I jumped in the heli on the right side next to a window that could open also yeah 😊. Since granny was accompanied by 2 others I sure did claim my open window and didn't let them push me away from it. The flight only takes 10minutes anyway and it was awesome, I would never get enough and flying in a Heli is so much different than in a plane, you really float more. Way more natural feeling with less shocking bumps.
    A little adrenaline but more excitement pumped through my body. I left there happy and it certainly was worth the money. Time to see the Brasilian side up close. Actually this side is more the overview side, you can see the beauty of the opposite side (almost the whole line) but only the devills 😈 throat you see up close from underneath mainly. Certainly worth visiting but it's much less as the Argentina side so do the Brasilian side first and with good weather since it's more about distance views. Also the Argentina side is more a tracking area and the Brasilian side gives you the idea of a theme parc where you can go in several attractions (excluded in the entrance ticket) and go by buses.
    So I was done here when the weather turned bad so that resulted for me to have lunch above the waterfalls and be 4 hours early for my flight. I killed this time easily and before I knew it I was back in the hotel in Sao Paulo where I was 3 days ago. It's really nice if you know your way so no problems just be patient and wait for your ride 😆. Good night.
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  • Day6

    São Paulo

    February 8, 2017 in Brazil

    So I am now ready to move on from São Paulo up to Recife. SP has been lots of fun but I am looking forward to going to the beach and getting a tan because I am so pale.

    After my first day which was a bit of a shaky start, I met my Brazilian friend who took me to a pre-Carnival pool party. This was really fun although most of the songs were in Brazilian so I was just pretending to singalong. A couple of drinks in though we started making loads of friends and it was a really good evening. Except being the clumsy idiot I am I fell over and twisted my ankle and now it's a little bit swollen 😖

    The next day I met Mariana again and we went for sushi at one of SPs many Japanese restaurants. We went to Tekemaria e Cia which did really good sushi for a fairly reasonable price. We then walked to Ibirapuera Park which is huge and we ended up walking around it nearly 3 times, walking about 20km in one day. When I got back to the hostel the English girls who I met were there and we went out for dinner in Vila Madalena. We ate at this really good place that did the best roast beef with mozzarella, tomatoes and olives. We also got this pulled beef joint which was incredible. Brazil does good meat.

    The next day we made banana pancakes for breakfast with chocolate and mango and went to MASP which is the must see art museum in SP. I do not think we were that impressed with it tbh. After that we walked round the shopping malls, had some lunch and walked to Ibirapuera Park again and this time there was a band playing, I'm guessing they were practicing for Carnival. After Lucy and I came back to the hostel because we were tired and ended up getting some amazing ice cream in Vila Madalena. We were planning on going to a hip hop night but in the end we just stayed and drank in the hostel.

    All in all, I really can't make my mind up about São Paulo. Half of me thinks it's a really cool city with amazing restaurants, nightlife and shopping, especially in Vila Madalena. The other half thinks it's a big anonymous concerete jungle with not much to do in terms of sight-seeing. I am happy I can tick SP off the list but not sure it is somewhere I will return.
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  • Day10

    Municipal market

    June 23, 2017 in Brazil

    When you are in Sao Paulo...the Municipal market is a must! It is a traditional gourmet point of the city. We went there for lunch to get a mortadella sandwich, which is on the second picture. Just coming inside the building I was overwhelmed by all the different stands, especially with fruits. The sellers stop you and give you to try some with expectations that you buy something in return. I tried some kinds of fruit that I have never heard of before. Of course a brigadeiro for a sweet tooth like me could not be missed as well. Brigadeioro is a common brazilian delicacy from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and chocolate sprinkles to cover the outside layer, also on the second picture.

    In the afternoon, we wanted to go up Banespa skyscaper, Brazil's version of The Empire State Building for one of the best panoramas of the city. Unfortunately, it is under reconstruction at the moment. So we came up with a plan B and went on a tour through a city hall, which was probably really interesting, unfortunately just in portuguese. However, the tour ended on a beautiful rooftop with a tropical garden and views of the city. So it was really worth it.
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  • Day15

    Let's pack!

    June 28, 2017 in Brazil

    Sasa oficially finished her exchange semester with her last exam and we are ready to travel again! So today was just a packing day. So far, we have covered Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the Iguazu falls.

    Now we have a 2 weeks adventure ahead of us. Tomorrow we head to the northeast to the state of Bahia, our first stop is going to be Salvador, the so-called Afro-Brazilian jewel. From there we go to a national park of Chapada Diamantina, to explore the crystal blue pools, rushing waterfalls and rugged hiking trails. Afterwards we fly more to the north to get some sun tan as the north is famous for the most beautiful beaches of Brazil. We will move down the coast spending some time in Pipa, Joao Pessoa and Recife. From Recife we take a flight to a last point of our trip...park Lencois Maranhenses where we plan to do a 3 day trek right across a desert. We are sooo excited to start our travels. Hopefully everything will work out as planned and we will have an amazing time.Read more

  • Day3

    São Paulo die Vierte

    September 4, 2016 in Brazil

    Heute probieren wir das U-Bahnnetz aus. Es ist sehr übersichtlich und wir finden unsere Ziele problemlos und auch das Bezahlen ist einfach. Zuerst geht es zur 10 Uhr Messe in die überfüllte Basilica Sao Bento, um die gregorianischen Gesänge der Mönche zu hören - sehr beeindruckend und ergreifend. Könnt ihr hier anhören:!AiUv8teodO-rn1pEK4PU0BaH304w
    An der Fülle in der Kirche können wir selbst erkennen, dass Brasilien die größte katholische Nation ist. Übrigens wurde die eigentliche Klosterkirche von Benediktinermönchen aus Süddeutschland vor gerade mal 100 Jahren erbaut. Sie macht irgendwie einen maurischen Eindruck.
    Weiter geht es zu den markanten Hochhäusern der Stadt, dem Estificio Martinelli (rosa und erster Wolkenkratzer Brasiliens) und dem Torre do Bradesco.
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  • Day110

    Die große Reise nach Fortaleza

    September 13, 2017 in Brazil

    Was sagte ich, ja kiten jipee. Vorher noch einen Ellen langen Flug über Sao Paolo nach Fortaleza. Auf der Karte betrachtet Irrsinn, wird aber nur so angeboten und is recht günstig. Wir fliegen nur in Brasilien durch 3 Zeitzonen - ein Land so groß, dass ein Jahr reisen nicht genug wäre.
    Wir beschränken uns aber auf den legendären, windsicheren Norden Brasiliens. Unsere Kites liegen in Pipa nahe Natal und wir sind erstmal in Fortaleza, hmm. Gut das unsre Verabredung Kitemeister-Andy schon da ist (er ist ein Brasilien- und Kitesurfkenner der uns den Kontakt nach Pipa gegeben hat). Wir verabreden uns für den wohlklingenden Ort 'São Miguel do Gostoso' und er versprach, unser Kitegepäck mitzubringen - top. Also müssen wir nur gut durch Fortaleza kommen, einen Leihwagen greifen, mit einem Stop runterfahren und die Party kann beginnen.
    Es bietet sich an, also bleiben wir gleich für 2 Nächte in Canoa Quebrada (danke an Markus Ofner für die Empfehlung). Netter hippieangehauchter Ort auf Sand gebaut. Unglaublich schöne Küste mit türkisem Wasser, roten Klippen, weißen Dünen und einer leichten Brise. Heutzutage eher brasilianisches Publikum was interessant anzusehen war.
    Ein paar Kitesurfer spielen in den Wellen und es kribbelt uns in den Fingern. Sonst wird hier auch sehr viel Gleitschirm entlang der Klippen geflogen. Wir nächtigen bei drei alten brasilianischen Omis und gehen morgens drauf an den Strand (Samstag, der Partytag der Woche), daher sind die Barracas morgens schon gut besucht und eiskaltes Bier oder härtere Drinks werden verköstigt. Abends tummelt sich alles auf dem Broadway und Locals verkaufen Cocktails auf der Straße, überall Musik und Tanz. Das Dorf hat seinen Scharm, wir bleiben noch eine Nacht und genießen bevor es in das nächste urige Örtchen geht.
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  • Day2

    São Paulo, was für eine Stadt

    September 3, 2016 in Brazil

    2Tage in der 12-16 Millionen Metropole (es können auch 20 Millionen sein) stehen uns bevor. São Paulo ist die größte Stadt auf dem amerikanischen Kontinent und die drittgrößte Stadt der Erde.
    Pünktlich 4:50 Uhr Ortszeit landen wir auf dem Flugplatz Guarulhos. Nach dem Erhalt des Gepäcks und Verlassen des Gatebereichs bekommen wir den ersten Schreck. Trotz entsprechender Anzeige am Bankautomaten, verweigert er den Dienst mit unserer VISA-Karte. Nach ergebnisloser Suche nach anderen Automaten ein neuer Versuch und siehe da, es klappt. Eine Grundregel in Brasilien sagt: Rege dich niemals auf, bleibe immer freundlich, dann findet man auch in ausweglosen Situationen gemeinsam eine Lösung. Das scheint hier auch für Bankautomaten zu gelten 😜.

    Dann suchen wir den Bus, der uns direkt ins Zentrum der Stadt bringen soll. In einem der zahlreichen gelesenen Blogs, oder einer Planungs-, oder doch Buchungsapp? stand da was. Natürlich finden wir das nicht. Die Apps verwirren mehr, Google Maps verweist auf ein nicht vorhandenes Terminal, die deutsche Flugzeugcrew kennt sich nicht aus und die Beschilderung ist nichtssagend - da in portugiesisch. Also zurück zur Flughafeninfo und nachgefragt. Der junge Mann spricht gutes Englisch und wir laufen zum Nachbarterminal 2, denn dort fährt tatsächlich ein Bus des EMTU Airport Busservice direkt ins Zentrum zum Praça Republica, nahe unserem Hotel Boulevard Inn. Schnell das Ticket gelöst, denn 2 Minuten später ist Abfahrt.

    Die Fahrt dauert 30 Minuten und langsam wird es hell. Bereits jetzt ist zu erkennen, das ist nicht die Stadt, die zu unseren Favoriten auf dieser Erde zählen wird. Unzählige Obdachlose, Dreck und heruntergekommene Häuser bergrüßen uns. Eins vorab, es wird sich nicht grundsätzlich ändern, aber es wird besser werden.

    Unser Hotel ist über einen kurzen Laufweg schnell erreicht. Wir können bereits unser Zimmer beziehen, uns umziehen und frühstücken. Danach geht es auf die Suche nach einer brasilianischen SIM-Karte. Gleich vor unserem Hotel auf den anderen Straßenseite gibt es einen Kiosk, der alle örtlichen Mobilfunkprovider anbietet. In leidlichem Englisch kann uns der junge Verkäufer helfen und die Karte auch gleich auf unserem Handy freischalten. Ohne die Landessprache zu beherrschen fast unmöglich. Wir haben uns für den Anbieter Oi entschieden: Brasilienweite 4G-Abdeckung und günstige Preise für 500 MB pro Woche, wiederaufladbar.

    Wir sind für die kommenden fast 4 Wochen internettechnisch gewappnet - jetzt kann der Stadtrundgang beginnen:

    Die markanten Sehenswürdigkeiten haben wir per und Reiseapp ausgesucht und werden zu Fuß abgelaufen. Wir sehen viele Hochhäuser, einige schöne Gebäude aus dem 19. Jahrhundert, Märke, Verkäufer auf den Straßen, Shoppings, Parks und überall Polizeipräsenz.

    Das haben wir gesehen:
    • Praça da Republica mit Freiluftmarkt (Süssigkeiten, bahianische, chinesische und japanische Gerichte, Halbedelsteine, typische Kleidung, Briefmarken, Gemälde und Arbeiten aus Holz)
    • altes Zentrum mit Banken, Börse und Bürohochhäusern
    • Igreja Nossa Senhora da Consolação
    • Edificio Copan
    • Biblioteca M. de Andrade
    • Catedral Metropolitana (Orgel mit 10.000 Pfeifen sollte zur 12 Uhr Messe spielen - heute leider nicht)
    • Theatro de Municipal
    • Rua Direita (Einkaufsstraße)
    • asiatisches Viertel Liberdade, wo wir gegrillten Hähnchenspieß und den Saft der Kokosnuss probieren - sehr lecker.
    • Estação da Luz - alter Bahnhof
    • Estação Júlio Prestes
    • Praça de Luz

    Die Stadt ist laut, denn an jeder Ecke wird andere Musik gespielt, entweder handgemacht oder von der Konserve - aber immer seehr laut. Das setzt sich übrigens bis zum Abend hin fort, dann allerdings mit Livebands oder spontanen Jamsessions an den Kneipen und Bars. Bei einer sind wir gleich Gäste in der Bar. Sehr einfach, aber urig zwischen den ganzen Einheimischen. Das ist keine touristische Einlage, das ist echt. Hier kommt man aus Spaß an der Musik zusammen und macht einfach mit. Seht es euch an:
    Dann Big Party vor unserem Hotel - gleich 3 verschiedene Gruppen. Wir gehen hin und tanzen ein bisschen. Sind dann aber doch zu müde und gehen für einen Absacker in die plüschige Bar in 165 m Höhe im 42. Stock des Edificio Italia - mit tollem Blick über das nächtlich São Paulo.
    Fast müssen wir noch abwaschen, da wir die 30 R$ Eintritt pro Person übersehen haben und das Geld nur für die Cocktails reicht. Aber alles lässt sich wortreich klären und wir werden in die Nacht entlassen 😊.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Сан-Паулу, ሳው ፓውሉ, ساو باولو, ܣܐܘ ܦܐܘܠܘ, San Pauluw, Сан-Паўлу, Сао Пауло, সাঁউ পাউলু, সাও পাউলো, San Paulu, ސައޮ ޕައުލޯ, Σάο Πάολο, San-Paŭlo, سائوپائولو, 聖保羅, San Paulo, סאו פאולו, साओ पाउलो, São Paolo, Սան Պաուլու, SAO, San Paolo, サンパウロ, sankt. paulos, სან-პაულუ, ಸಾವೊ ಪಾಲೊ, 상파울루, Urbs Paulistana, San Paulas, Sanpaulu, Сао Паоло, സാവോ പോളോ, San Poulo, ဆောပိုလိုမြို့, San Pàul ëd Brasil, ساؤ پولو, Сан Пауло, Сан Паулу, San Paulu dû Brasili, சாவோ பாவுலோ, శఒ పౌలొ, Saun Paulu, เซาเปาลู, San-Paulu, San Pawlo, ساؤ پالو, San Poło del Braxil, Sawo Pålo, סאו פאולא

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