Things to do in São Paulo, Brazil

Every time we think about Brazil we imagine beautiful beaches, like in Rio de Janeiro or Bahia. And sometimes we forget a place that has a lot to offer: the city of São Paulo. Known as the “stone jungle”, the city that never sleeps, it is the largest city in Brazil and the economic capital of the country. Sao Paulo is a cauldron of cultures that offers many things to do, and you should include in your visit to Brazil. Those planning a trip to Sao Paulo can get a little lost in this sea of options, so I have some tips for things to do in Sao Paulo that will help you.  


1- Walk along the “Paulista Avenue”

It’s the main avenue of São Paulo, it’s the financial heart of the city and the main tourist spot. With almost 3km, the avenue offers a huge variety of attractions. From museums, theaters, cultural centers, shops, to cafes and restaurants. Also watch out for the parallel streets, which are full of bars and restaurants On Sundays only pedestrians can walk on it, people go there to ride bicycles, to walk, and enjoy. There are also a lot of shows and a lot of art. Getting to know Paulista is a must-see trip to São Paulo.  

2- Visit the MASP

The São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) its located in the heart of Avenida Paulista. It is one of the main sights of the city. The building has become a postcard for its modern architecture. It also has one of the largest art collections in the country, with many exhibitions.

3- Get to know Vila Madalena and Batman Alley

The Vila Madalena neighborhood is one of the most iconic of São Paulo. The neighborhood is hip, with many shops, thrift stores, restaurants, and art galleries. For those who like street art, that’s where Batman’s alley is. Graffiti is everywhere there, and it’s possible to take amazing photos. There you can also see the art of great artists, like Kobra.

4- Get to know Ibirapuera park and its attractions

The Ibirapuera is one of the favorite places of “paulistanos”. With a large green area and many attractions, people go there for walking, jogging, cycling, picnicking. It is still possible to visit the cultural spaces, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Ibirapuera Auditorium, which are programmed throughout the year and are often free.  

5- Go to São Paulo Municipal Market

Known as ‘mercadão’ the place is for those who like gastronomy, there are so many options that it is difficult to choose. It has snacks, delicacies, cheeses, sausages, fruits, and many other things. Oh and don’t forget to try the famous bologna sandwich, you won’t regret it.  

6- Visit the Sé Cathedral

Regardless of your religion, visiting this place is a must. The architecture is amazing and imposing. The Sé Cathedral is full of beautiful stained glass and sacred art. Also, it is located at ground zero of the city of São Paulo.

7- See São Paulo from above

Sao Paulo is a huge city, and seeing its immensity from above is breathtaking. For those who want to have this experience, there are some options. The first one is in the building Farol Santander, located in the city center. This place has an amazing view, but maybe you are in front a little bit of a queue as there are many visitors. The other option is in the Edifício Itália, the place has amazing views, and you can still enjoy a drink at the local bar.

8- Get to know the São Paulo Pinacoteca

The Pinacoteca is one of the most beautiful museums of São Paulo, its architecture is very rich and full of details, a true delight for those who like art. The museum has a large collection, with many works by Brazilian artists, such as Portinari and Anita Malfatti. To get to the place go by metro and get off at Estação da Luz. Enjoy knowing this beautiful building.

9- Walk along Oscar Freire Street and Augusta Street

Two of the most iconic streets of São Paulo, even though they are very different from each other. Oscar Freire street is a fancy place, and it’s full of luxury brand shops, cafes, and restaurants. People go shopping, having lunch and spending the day there. Different from the other street, Augusta is a trendy place, with many bars and bustling nightlife. Frequented by cooler people, looking for fun.

10- Visit the soccer museum

This tour is for those who like soccer, and also for those who are curious about it. The museum is located at Pacaembú Stadium. And it tells the story of soccer through time and how the sport is related to the history of Brazil itself. It’s interactive, modern, full of curiosities and shows all the important moments of soccer’s history.

11- Visit the Municipal Theater of São Paulo

If you like concerts, then be sure to go to the municipal theater. The place has many free performances, such as dance, ballet, choir, orchestras. But if you don’t want to watch presentations, you can take the guided tour and enjoy visiting this beautiful historic building.

12- Walk around Liberdade Neighborhood

If you like Japanese and Korean culture, then visit the “Liberdade” Neighborhood. It is a large local community with a lot of culture, typical restaurants, and shops of all kinds. The place also has many karaoke bars for those who like to drop their voices.   Of course, a city as big as Sao Paulo offers many options for things to do. It all depends on what you like best and how much time you have available. The options presented show a little of the diversity that the city has. And you can visit these places in a few days. So if you are planning to travel to Brazil, take a few days to know São Paulo and all that this city has to offer. Have you been to Sao Paulo? So comment below and share your experience with us.

Natalia Iannacone

Hi, my name is Natalia, I’m Brazilian, and I currently live in Brazil. Traveling and writing are two of the things I love most. Having the opportunity to know new places and cultures makes me want to explore the World. Whenever I travel I like to share the experience with others, to try to pass a little bit of what I knew and saw for them. That’s why I decided to write so I could share with more people!