Brazil Sao Paulo
Discover São Paulo, one of the largest, most innovative, dynamic and diverse cities in the world.
São Paulo is not often on the radar for visitors to Brazil. But it is one of the largest, most innovative, dynamic and diverse cities in the world and if you love the urban environment you shouldn't ignore it. Founded in the 16th century, this capital of commerce has mushroomed relentlessly and now has a population of over 12 million. But it is not a homogenous metropolis: a city fashioned by immigrants, it is composed of a jigsaw of contrasting neighbourhoods, each with a distinctive cultural or economic identity. Liberdade is the largest Japanese community outside their home country. Bela Vista is a jumble of small lanes lined by homes founded by Italians. Jardins is the posh bit, with leafy residential streets, chic restaurants, designer boutiques and upmarket hotels. The compact historic centre – as recently as the 19th century a rustic core - is dwarfed by modern skyscrapers but defined by the extensive Praça de Sé with its grand, bulky cathedral. The city’s foremost artery, the Avenida Paulista, once beloved of coffee barons with the finest promenade, hosts excellent museums as does the Luz district further away from the centre.
This is the cultural heart of Brazil, overwhelming, yes; but pick out the areas you are interested in and it is well worth a visit. Concerts halls, art galleries, and open spaces – there is a multitude of parks – proliferate. Sport has a high profile too - there’s a Formula One Grand Prix circuit and world class football teams. Paulistas are known for their work ethic and always seem to be on the move: you'll find them friendly and helpful.
Where to go when - our guide to Sao Paulo
The weather in Sao Paulo is wide and varied
São Paulo is one of the largest, most innovative, dynamic and diverse cities in the world. Its summers are warm, muggy, wet, and mostly cloudy, while winters are short, cool, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 12°C to 28°C. The best times of year to visit São Paulo for warm-weather activities are from early April to early July and from late July to mid September.View our Sao Paulo weather guide
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Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
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Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.