Rua Araujo 141 Consolacao, Sao Paulo, BR, 01220-020
- Phone: (55) 11 21374600
- Fax: (55) 11 21374601
Brazil's largest city, São Paulo is also the financial and economic hub of the country. The city is often referred to as "Brazil's locomotive" because of its highly specialized global workforce, which makes it Brazil's richest city as well. The main tourist attractions are Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo Zoo and the São Paulo Museum of Art. Truly cosmopolitan, one can enjoy events all year around like the São Paulo Fashion Week, São Paulo Gay Parade and the March for Jesus. The Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix, held annually in the city, is an added attraction. This vibrant city offers its visitors a variety of entertainment and recreational options. Those who are not inclined towards art and culture can indulge in the eco-tourism that São Paolo offers you with its lush forests, beaches, flora and fauna, caves, islands, natural reserves and ecological parks. The multicultural cuisine here caters to every palate, be it Vietnamese, Scandinavian, Moroccan, Arabian, Jewish or even good old McDonald's!
Vale do Anhangabaú is a major hub of Sao Paulo. Before the proper formation of the city, Sao Paulo only consisted of the Monastery of São Bento, Pátio do Colégio and the Monastery of São Francisco. Through this triangle ran the river Anhangabaú, which was later developed into canals, no longer existing in its original state; Anhangabaú Valley, however, still exists as one of the most popular spots in Sao Paulo, where residential and commercial areas have been developed.
The Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil is located in the heart of the city at the corner of Quitanda street. The building was bought by the Bank of Brazil which has another cultural centre such as this is at Rio De Janeiro. Some elements of the original architecture of the building have been retained but the five storeyed building is registered with the Archaeological Heritage Protection and Tourism of São Paulo. The centre houses restaurants, auditoriums and classrooms. In areas such as literature, cinema, dance etc the cultural center holds programmes for the development of the people.
The magnificence of Catedral Metropolitana de São Paulo, or Catedral da Sé, overpowers the commercial establishments that share space with it on Cathedral Square. Founded in the 16th Century, its construction began in 1912, and over the years, numerous restoration programs have been implemented to retain its original character. Flanked by gigantic towers on either side, the majestic dome is inspired by the Cathedral of Florence's Renaissance minaret. The interiors boast intricate marble sculptures, stained glass panels and breathtaking architecture that's true to the Neo-Gothic school of design. The crypt houses tombs of archdiocese luminaries and the organ is one of the largest in the continent.
Visit the oldest skyscraper in Brazil, completed in 1934. Designed by Giuseppe Martinelli, the building is home to numerous commercial establishments. If you'd like to see the great view from the 30th floor, you'll need to call ahead or make an appointment on the website.
The Pátio do Colégio is the location where São Paulo was established back in 1554. The Colonial-style church and school demonstrates remarkable influences of the Jesuits that were at the helm of the foundation. Today the square is a center for cultural activity with an array of performing arts and exhibitions taking place. The Anchieta Museum, in honor of priest José de Anchieta, is housed within the premises. It showcases an unique collection of paintings, sculptures, original altarpieces as well as a modular display of the city in the 16th Century.
Edifício Altino Arantes, named in honor of the first president of the national bank, is also known as Edifício do Banespa. Towering over the city at 161 meters (528 feet) from ground level, the 40 story concrete structure provides a vertigo-inducing upward perspective. The architecture displays a deliberate resemblance to New York's Empire State Building and is the emblem of São Paulo. Construction began in 1939 and the establishment has exchanged a number of corporate hands over the years. Today, it features in the top five list of Brazilian highrises, but it once held the tallest building title for two decades. The state flag is hoisted atop the tower and the highest visiting point brags of panoramic views and city vistas including the Municipal Market and Sé Cathedral. It houses a museum showcasing an array of photographs, furnishings and memorabilia that are dedicated to history of the majestic building.
This historic monastery is a well-known landmark in the city of Sao Paulo. Still a functioning monastery today, visitors can observe the monk's way of life. Make sure you pay a visit to the old library which is full of rare, old books.
By taking tourists around the city's historical center, the SP Free Walking Tour - Old Downtown provides an important insight into São Paulo's culture. There's no need to make a reservation; all you have to do is reach Praça da República 15 minutes before the beginning of the tour. The four-hour journey covers important landmarks like the Martinelli Building, Edifício Altino Arantes and Pátio do Colégio, among others.
Rua Vinte Cinco de Março is home to one of the most popular markets in São Paulo. Located in the São Bento neighborhood of the city, a few blocks away from the metro station, it is infamous for being a hub of pickpockets and crooks. It features many obscure shops where you can get anything from a fake iPods, shoes and accessories to plasma TVs. Although a lot of products here may be illegal and smuggled, the place finds a lot of takers and its always busy with locals and tourists.
A popular feature on most tourist itineraries, Mercado Municipal or Municipal Market, is a symbol of São Paulo. Beneath the majestic dome of the 20th Century architectural marvel and surrounded but 32 glass-stained panels, lies the bustle of daily barter. On sale are fresh produce, organic fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, local delicacies, sweets and spices from across the globe that make for great gifts and takeaways. Browse through the varieties of authentic gourmet specialties while soaking in the colors, textures and flavors that truly exemplify the country's signature cultural diversity.
The beautiful architectural structure of the Estação da Luz railway station is a picturesque example of São Paulo's historical center. Designed by English architect Charles Henry Driver, the building pioneered the use of iron which provided a touch of glamor to the whole structure. The station and the railway between Santos and Jundiaí were an important milestone in the development of São Paulo. Luz Station houses Museu da Língua Portuguesa.