São Paulo

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

95 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Sao Paulo

    October 28 in Brazil

    The first stop of our trip, the metropolis of Sao Paulo (Sampa), arriving on the day of the presidential elections - not the smartest timing but to an outsider just seemed like an ordinary day. We stayed in Vila Madalena, which by complete coincidence is one of the hipster parts of the city (I always find them!). We spent our first day on a walking tour of the local area, which turned out to mostly be a street art tour. So we can now identify the styles of a few Sao Paulo street artists, which I'm sure will come in handy...

    The second day we headed into the centre of town before quickly retreating to our Vila via the shops for our first purchase, Havaianas for Kat.

    Always ones to embrace local food we were told to try Sampa's take on Japanese and Pizza. So we gave it a go knowing we won't be short on opportunities to try Brazilian food. English is rarely spoken (at least where we went) and our Portuguese is close to non-existent so there was a pot luck nature to picking off menus but we seemed to luck out and the Japanese in particular was delicious.
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  • Day15

    Back to Sao Paulo

    November 10 in Brazil

    So we are back in Sampa, why you may ask but I'll get to that in a bit. It wasn't the best start as we arrived from the night bus at 7am but couldn't get into our airbnb until midday. However we had a cunning plan to ask a nearby hostel to look after our bags. So we rocked up and Kat in her sweetest voice asked the guy behind the reception. "No" was the response. Now Kat being a pretty blonde woman wasn't used to the word no and her bottom lip started to quiver. So back on to the streets we went to hatch a new plan and whilst Kat recovered and I searched for Starbucks the guy came out to say we could after all - and order was restored to the universe!

    Being back also gave us a chance to catch up with a friend of mine Catherine. We met in a craft beer pub (I know, I'm sorry) and we ended up sitting next to some brewers who were having their beer showcased. They gave us plenty of tips (all their beer unsurprisingly) but as most of them were over 7%, we had to be careful. Croma they were called, you heard it here first!

    Now for the reason we returned, to go to the Brazilian grand prix. Amazingly thanks to Joey we had paddock access, I was so excited! Given the robbery of the Mercedes team last year we were a bit nervous on the way to the track but it was totally fine. An easy metro ride there spotting fellow F1ers (they weren't hard to spot, team baseball cap and sporty top over a beer belly) and walk to the track with enterprising locals selling everything you might need from their garages.

    We went there two days, qualifying on the Saturday and the race itself on Sunday. Kat had been researching F1 all the day before but it clearly wasn't up to much as she spent most of it asking 'who's that?' and was most excited when she saw Steve Jones of T4 fame! Sadly she didn't pluck up the courage to ask for a selfie which she is still regretting but we did get ourselves in the background of plenty of interviews.

    Joey had also kindly arranged for us to get a garage tour of the Williams team. It was incredible how much kit they have, 40 sets of tires for the weekend! We saw all the backstage set up, including an engineer in his pants...

    The drivers themselves were much harder to come by, that was until I went to the gents about 15 minutes before the start and found myself washing hands next to Kimi Raikkonen. From that point Kat and I weirdly found ourselves hanging outside the gents spotting the drivers jog in for their pre race pee.

    Sorry this has been a long post (we had vowed to keep them short) but it turns out we really liked Sampa, not expecting to at all. The city is huge and we only made the lightest of scratches on the surface but it seemed like a really cool city and I was a little sad to leave.
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  • Day108

    Brasilien - Sao Paulo

    October 17 in Brazil

    "Sao Paulo" ist mit einer Bevölkerung von fast 12 Millionen Menschen die größte Stadt Brasiliens und ganz Südamerikas und zudem das wichtigste Wirtschafts-, Finanz- und Kulturzentrum des Landes. "Sao Paulo" hat die drittgrößte Konzentration von Wolkenkratzern in der Welt hinter New York und Hong Kong. Das größte Gebäude in São Paulo ist 170 m hoch. Fast alle Wolkenkratzer besitzen einen Helikopterlandeplatz, denn "Sao Paulo" hat mit derzeit ca. 500 registrierten Hubschraubern die größte Anzahl an Hubschraubern aller Städte der Welt. Es gibt sogar "air taxi" Anbieter, die einen von A nach B bringen wenn man dem Verkehrschaos auf den Straßen entkommen möchte ("UberCOPTER"). Natürlich ist dieser Service den Reichen vorbehalten, ich habe mich also statt durch die Lüfte zu fliegen durch den Untergrund mit der U-Bahn fortbewegt.

    Ähnlich wie in Argentinien sind auch die Einwohner Brasiliens so ganz und gar nicht typisch Südamerikanisch wie ich finde. Durch eine gezielte Einwanderungspolitik bis Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts ließen sich in Brasilien vor allem Italiener und Portugiesen, aber auch Deutsche, Spanier, Libanesen, Türken und Japaner nieder. Das fällt natürlich in großen Städten stärker auf. Die Nachkommen der Einwanderer leben noch heute in eigenen Stadtteilen in Sao Paulo, in „Liberdade“ z.B. die Japaner, in „Bela Vista“ die Italiener und in „Bom Retiro“ die Libanesen. Die japanische Gemeinde in Sao Paulo ist tatsächlich die größte Ansiedlung von Japanern außerhalb Japans!

    Eigentlich bietet "Sao Paulo" mit unzähligen Restaurants, Bars, Museen und sonstigen Freizeiteinrichtungen alles was man braucht, dennoch hat es mir in "Sao Paulo" persönlich nicht so gut gefallen. Die Stadt ist einfach zu groß und zu unpersönlich. Um das beurteilen zu können habe ich mir 3 Tage die Stadt angeguckt und versucht möglichst viele Gegenden zu besuchen. Unter anderem die Altstadt, Avenida Paulista, die Viertel Villa Madalena und Pinheiros, den Ibirapuera Park und das Japanische Viertel. Villa Madalena ist ein richtig buntes und junges Studentenviertel mit viel Graffiti und coolen Bars und Clubs die zum ausgehen einladen. Avenida Paulista ist das heutige (finanzielle) Zentrum der Stadt und der Ibirapuera Park bietet inmitten der Multimetropole ein wenig Grünfläche was zum relaxen und verweilen einlädt.
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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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  • Day11

    Nach São Sebastião

    December 6 in Brazil

    Die Entscheidung wohin es als nächstes hingeht stand noch aus.

    Auf dem Weg zur Ilhabela - portugiesisch für “schöne Insel“ - war erst Ubatuba als Zwischenstopp angedacht. Da die Sehnsucht nach einer ordentlichen Dusche - also einem Wasserstrahl der den Sand aus Körper und Haaren bekommt sowie einem größerem Bett jedoch größer wird, wurde ein schönes Hotelzimmer in São Sebastião gebucht.
    Schnell haben wir wieder alle Sachen zusammen gepackt, gefrühstückt und sind zurück nach Paraty gefahren, um ein Busticket für die geplante Abfahrt 12.30 Uhr zu kaufen.
    Ein letzter Blick auf das Meer und den Strand in Trindade, danach sind wir schon um 9.30 Uhr in Paraty angekommen. Da hatten wir noch genug Zeit, uns um eine Handykarte zu kümmern - deutlich komplizierter als man (oder auch Frau) sich vorstellen mag. Ohne Portugiesisch ist das alles gar nicht so einfach. Spanisch verstehen sie meist, geantwortet wird auf portugiesisch. Dann verstehen wir wiederum nichts 😅 Nach vier Anlaufstellen, in denen wir im Prinzip immer wieder das gleiche gesagt bekommen - aber natürlich nicht verstehen - hat es dann endlich geklappt.
    Mit zwei Stunden Verspätung startet der Bus in Richtung Westen über Ubatuba und Caraguatuba (die vorherigen Möglichkeiten für eine Nacht). Bei der Abfahrt nach Ubatuba steht in der Mitte des Kreisverkehrs das Monumento em Homenagem ao Caiçara.

    Am Abend wurde erneut die brasilianische Küche ausgetestet. Die Bestellung gestaltete sich jedoch mehr als schwierig. Kein Wort Englisch oder Spanisch. Der brasilianische portugiesischsprechende Kellner verstand seine eigene Karte nicht mehr 🙈 Dabei wollte Max nur das brasilianische Äquivalent von Spaghetti alle Vongole... Das Ergebnis war ein Festmahl, die eine komplette Kompanie satt gemacht hätte.

    Am nächsten Morgen geht es dann mit der Fähre zur Insel.
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  • Day14

    Ilhabela Tag 3

    December 9 in Brazil

    Eigentlich wollten wir heute die Wanderung auf den Pico do Baepi aber nach der langen Nacht gestern, war erstmal Erholung angesagt heute.
    Später waren wir noch ein bisschen am Strand, in der Altstadt schlendern und den Sonnenuntergang bei Live-Musik auf dem Steg genießen.

  • Day16

    Der südliche Teil der Ilhabela

    December 11 in Brazil

    Statt einer großen Wanderung entscheiden wir uns in den Süden der Insel zu fahren und eine kleinere Wanderung zu einem Wasserfall zu unternehmen. Weder die unbefestigten Straßen noch die Wanderwege existieren in Google Maps. Lediglich eine Markierung in der Karte ist (sollte) uns eine Hilfe. Straßen- oder Hinweisschilder auf den Wegen gibt es auch keine 🙈; nachdem mehrere Straßen in Sackgassen endeten, fanden wir im Nirgendwo den idyllischen Wasserfall mit einem Naturbad.
    Dort hat Max wieder die Gelegenheit Tarzan zu spielen und den Wasserfall hinabzurutschen 😃. Während die Einheimischen jeden Alters in geübter Eleganz hinabrutschen und sich ins Wasser schwingen, sehen die Max'schen Nachmachversuche eher kläglich aus und sorgen für Belustigung der Umstehenden 😅.
    Nachdem der Bereich im den Wasserfall immer voller wird, verbringen wir den Rest des Tages an einem andern traumhaften Strandabschnitt, bevor es wieder nach Hause geht.
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  • Day12

    Erster Tag Ilhabela

    December 7 in Brazil

    Wir sind auf der schönen Insel bei leider eher grauem und bewölktem Wetter angekommen und konnten erste Eindrücke sammeln. Die Insel ist nur per Fähre (abgesehen von Booten) erreichbar. Für Fußgänger kostenfrei, dauert die Überfahrt knappe 20 Minuten.

    Unsere Unterkunft wird gemanaged von einer jungen englischsprechenden Brasilianerin. Die Beschreibung von passt jedoch nicht zu den tatsächlichen Umständen. Statt einer gesamten Wohneinheit im Erdgeschoss voll ausgestattet mit Küche, erwartet uns eine Art Hostel mit kleiner Gemeinschaftsküche (5 Stühle auf 28 Betten 😉) und Vierbettzimmer, indem wir aber Gott sei Dank alleine wohnen können. Das erste Mal müssen wir uns auch mit Frühstück selbst versorgen und einkaufen gehen. Da lernt man es erneut zu schätzen, wenn dies von der Unterkunft gestellt wird und wir uns nicht um alles kümmern müssen. Dank Max - der darauf bestanden hat, dass wir die Unterkünfte normalerweise mit Frühstück buchen - ist es aber nur in dieser Unterkunft so. Mittlerweile ist auch Lena sehr froh darüber.Read more

  • 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.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

São Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP

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