São Paulo

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

82 travelers at this place:

  • Day11

    Oi gente, tudo bem??

    Gestern haben meine Mitbewohner, wie schon in der ersten Woche versprochen, mich mit zum Karaoke genommen. Die Bar war, wie scheinbar alles in Barao Gerald, gleich um die Ecke. Wir sind also zu Fuß losgezogen. Als wir ankamen war ich erstaunt wie riesig die Bar/Restaurant war. Es gab mehrere große Räume mit sehr hohen Decken und zum Teil Ballustraden. Wir hatten Glück und haben noch einen der letzten freien Tische im oberen Bereich erwischt. Als wir die Treppe nach oben stiegen, sah ich die Bühne, die schon für das Karaoke vorbereitet war. Mit großer Überraschung entdeckte ich dort ein Schlagzeug. Auf meine Frage hin, verriet Pedro (mein Mitbewohner) mir dann, dass die Musik für das Karaokesingen von einer Liveband gespielt wird und dass man sogar auch die Instrumente spielen kann, wenn man möchte!!!! Das war super cool und ganz neu für mich!

    Ich konnte es kaum erwarten, dass es losgeht. Wir haben ein paar Bier getrunken und dann kam auch schon die Band auf die Bühne und hat ein paar Lieder gespielt. Kurz darauf ging es mit der Karaoke los. Alle sind ohne Scheu auf die Bühne und haben ihr können zum Besten gegeben. Es war sehr spaßig, da alle mitgemacht haben. Ich war erstaunt wie gut es mit der Band im Hintergrund geklappt hat. Meine Mitbewohner haben einige Lieder gesungen und Pedro hat Schlagzeug dazu gespielt, als Teil der Band. Später habe ich auch noch gesungen, auch mit Pedro als Begleitung. Im Verlauf des Abends wurden mehr und mehr brasilianische Klassiker angestimmt, die ich natürlich nicht kannte, dafür hat die komplette Bar und gefühlt noch das halbe Viertel mitgesungen. :'D

    Die WG geht einmal im Monat zur Karaoke, dass heißt ich werde sicher noch einige vergnügte Stunden dort verbringen und der gestrige Abend war somit nur ein Auftakt...

    Yesterday my housemates took me to karaoke as they've already promised. The bar was just around the corner so we went there by feet. When we arrived I was amazed by how huge the thing was. There were several rooms with very high ceilings and balustrades were even more people were sitting. We were lucky and got one of the last free tables in the upper area. As we went up the stairs, I saw the stage, which was already prepared for the karaoke.
    With great surprise, I discovered drums. Pedro (my roommate) told me then that the music for the karaoke will be played by a live band and that people can even play the instruments if they want to!!!! That was really cool and new to me!
    I could not wait for everything to start. We had some beers and then the band showed up and played some songs. Shortly afterwards, the karaoke started. - Everybody was really into it. It was good fun, because everyone participated. I was excited and surprised by how well it worked with the band in the background. My housemates sang some songs and Pedro played the drums as part of the band. Later I also sang, again with Pedro as an accompaniment. Throughout the evening more and more Brazilian songs were sung, which I did not know, of course. But the whole bar did and was singing along. It was great : 'D

    The people said they go to the karaoke about once a month, which means that I will spend some more fun nights there and that yesterday was only the beginning ...
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  • Day96

    Day 96: Cuzco 》Lima 》Sao Paulo

    October 24, 2016 in Brazil

    The least fun about traveling is the traveling haha. Flights always leave early morning it seems and that means that the day starts with feeling tired. That's not ideal, so a tip for all travelers, if you want to enjoy travelling be rested or don't go in the morning 😉. I woke up at 4:00 as it seems to happen 20% of the time and even more in Peru 😑. I emptied my stomach last night and I couldn't get this breakfast down. So I ate a few bits and bites because I already was wondering where I got the energy from last days. Everything goes slower that's for sure but I still do a lot except for yesterday 😆. Well now I was brought to the airport by the hotel owner, my flight went much better than Max his flight. Mine was on time and not cancelled 😉. I got back in Lima around 8:30 and could already check in for the flight to Sao Paulo which I did. I used the wifi here to update my social life and went to the Starbucks (where I sat before with bro) to continue that. I had to leave my Coca leaves behind since you're not allowed to take them and especially not in my hand luggage 😂. Almost whoops. So the flight to Sao Pualo was on time also but one thing they didn't tell me.... I changed my seat to a window seat since I wanted rest and not people passing you on all sides. So in the back was fine also.... untill there was no window at all damn😡. Ok just sleep some more.... but no.. this was the most turbulent flight ever and without a view that really sucks because you have no reference at all. 4 hours of feeling like I was on a wild safari with to many big bumps didn't make me catch up some sleep or ease my stomach. Finally in Sao Paulo, shuttle bus to the hotel and at 23:30 I found the bed. Didn't even touch my bags, I needed to get up early, wow really? yeah really haha. Always early but for a good cause: Iguazu, hurray😆Read more

  • 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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  • 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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  • Day1

    Brasil, São Paulo

    July 29 in Brazil

    São Paulo é uma cidade de muitos contrastes. Viajámos como sempre: transparentes nas nossas calças de ganga e t-shirts sem marca. Ninguém te incomoda quando viajas assim. Muito ouvimos falar sobre a segurança na cidade e a violência que nos podia esperar. Não sofremos dela, mas compadecemo-nos com ela. Ao caminhar pelas ruas laterais à belíssima Estação da Luz - projetada por um arquitecto inglês, construída na Escócia e expedida peça por peça para ser montada em São Paulo - vemos a degradação humana numa escala que nunca tinha visto. A pobreza extrema aliada à alienação que o álcool e as drogas trazem, a prostituição descarada com seios de fora e a transação a céu aberto dos pequenos furtos praticados por adolescentes que reportam a homens de ar suspeito, choca a nossa mentalidade europeia. Mas esta é uma visão de fim de tarde, em que o acabar do dia e do fim de semana revelam todos os excessos.
    De manhã bem cedo caminhámos pela Avenida Paulista, onde as famílias de São Paulo, de todas as classes sociais, se passeiam de forma alegre. A avenida fecha por completo a partir das nove até às quatro da tarde. Há muitas artérias da cidade que têm faixas exclusivas para ciclistas ao domingo. Mas aqui, na Paulista, tudo acontece. Desde pequenas manifestações contra testes a animais, a demonstrações de academias de kickboxing ou ginástica, passando por grupos de batuqueiros ou os famosos camelôs, vendendo todo o tipo de itens, tudo é possível. O MASP, com a sua presença forte, tem ao domingo uma feira de antiguidades por baixo da sua imponente plataforma e o moderno IMS, de entrada gratuita, alberga uma bonita biblioteca e várias exposições de fotografia. Vale a pena subir para ter uma visão panorâmica da Avenida no seu fervilhar de gente. Os ciclistas têm uma faixa só para eles neste dia e há várias companhias para alugar bicicletas. Patins em linha e skates são também muito populares por aqui.
    Ao fim do dia Vila Madalena abriu-nos os braços com a sua arte de rua de qualidade e os seus bares e restaurantes descontraídos, de uma decadência propositada e muito trendy. É um bairro jovem e animado com música na rua que pode saltar rapidamente da bossa nova ao pop europeu e americano, mas onde se sentem essencialmente os ritmos do Brasil.

    Caímos de cansaço às nove da noite depois de um dia longo e de 17h de voo que o anteciparam 😇.
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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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  • Day1

    Quick update

    March 22 in Brazil

    Mc current trip through Brazil starts off in São Paulo, where I'm visiting my friend Felipe. We were studying our master's degree together, but he already got back to work in his home country.
    As the picture shows, the weather didn't look very promising in the morning, but despite rain and thunderstorm forecasts, it turned out to be mostly sunny.

  • Day83

    Off The Beaten Track

    February 19, 2016 in Brazil

    Today we head out to a place called Penha, another local bus trip that takes a 20 minutes to get to. We get off the bus and take a short 5 minute walk to a stunning waterfall. There is a huge boulder that has formed part ot the waterfall and people are queueing to slide down it into the pool below. It looks really dangerous so Mark and I climb a little further up and just watch as the young ones compete with each other for who can stay on their feet the longest . There is a young guy who is fantastic and as much as anyone tries , noone is beating him. We decide we ar going to give it a go aand climb down to point where the queue is. My heart is pounding and my knees knocking together( does my insurance cover me for this?) and i take my position on the rock. I am going for the easy route and going down on my backside , the young guy gives me a heling hand (not that i wanted it) and before i know it im in the pool at the bottom. It gave me a good adrenalin rush, but i wont be repeating it. there is a bar at the waterfall and we head over to take a small refreshment. The prices here are quite high so we opt to share a beer and grab a bite to eat later. There is a guy laying acoustic and the waterfalls in the backdro make this jungle setting perfect, but as the day goes on it becomes very busy. Mark and I take a brasilians advise and walk a little further down the road where there is just a random gate he tells us to go to. We enter and make a 10 minute trek down the path. We cant see a way through and I shout through to the family on the rock to ask how we get there. Im sure theyre dead chuffed (not)at the fact the gringos have found the hidden secret but we erch on the rock and start a very broken Portuguese chat. The Brazilians are such kind people and we joke about Mark drinking too much Cerveja, within seconds she returns with a can of ice cold beer for us both, absolutely perfect. We stay here for quite a few hours as you can just sit and watch and listen to the surrroundings. I then get some eye candy (this is allowed if we are wearing sun glasses) , and i just lie on my rock sunbathing (sunglasses on ) admiring the view and of course the waterfall. I knew how beautiful Brazil was from when I visited 8yrs ago but the best part is it never stops surprising me . They're are hidden treasures around every corner and it just keeps getting better and better.Read more

  • 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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  • Day2

    Vila Madalena

    February 4, 2017 in Brazil

    When I arrived in SP I got the bus from the airport to the metro and then three different changes until I got to Via Madalena. It was exactly like using the London underground but i was still super impressed with myself 😏 ...although it did take nearly two and a half hours to get there!

    I'm staying in Cafe Hostel in Vila Madalena. After settling in I decided to walk round the neighbourhood. It is such a cool part of SP and has a bit of a surfer/ bohemian vibe to it. It doesn't feel dangerous at all or like the concrete jungle I have heard SP be described as. Whilst exploring I stumbled across Baco de Batman or 'Batman's alley' which was full of some incredible street art.

    When I got back to the hostel I just chilled for a bit and read my book until I met three English girls. We chatted and cooked dinner together, spaghetti bolognese. By that point I was completely wiped out from the days travelling and headed off to bed although it took forever to actually get to sleep because of how noisy it was.
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São Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP

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