WELCOME TO THE URBAN JUNGLE A.K.A SAMPATHE LARGEST CITY IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
WHY I LOVESAO PAULO
Livin'the high life! - Living in the urban jungle of Sao Paulo obviously means having access to a few special high up view points (not enough, if you’re asking me though) fantastic to take amazing shots of the crazy unharmonised SP skyline.
Music scene - Samba, drum’n bass, house, disco… Sampa has got a lot to offer and the best parties take place in either the most traditional or the most underground venues!
Que calor! - Let's be honest, Sao Paulo might not have beaches and the sky might be grey quite often, but the warm temperature all year around is a very pleasant characteristic of the city. Havaianas on, sunglasses, sun protector on, and always an umbrella and you're ready to explore the jungle.
24 HRS IN SAO PAULOSEE, EAT & DO
The good thing about Sao Paulo is that it is not a really touristic city (yet) so it is quite easy to be able to mix with the locals, and not feel like you are in the most obvious touristic location.
Go to the Mercado Municipal in the Centre of Sao Paulo (metro Sao Bento) and try the best exotic fruits and fruit juices ever! The market is also famous for its “lanche de mortadela” (a huge mortadella sandwich, and I mean HUGE) – or “pastel” (once again, quite big). Try the “pastel de camarao com catupiry” (prawns with cream cheese) or palmito (palmtree heart) – both delicious.
After that nice (but quite rich) lunch, walk to “Praca da Republica (Republica square) and go to the Edificio Italia. There you have 2 options to be able to access the rooftop: have a drink at the bar (not recommended as extremely expensive and very kitch atmosphere) or pay R$30 (US$9.90 £6.65) to have access to the Terrace Italia (rooftop), but SO worth it. From there, you get the best view of SP – 360 degrees. The best way to describe it? “An ocean of buildings”: can’t see the end of it and can hardly see any green spots from up there! You then realise how BIG and dense this city is.
Next to the Edificio Italia is the Copan building: one of the most iconic architectural masterpieces from a famous Brazilian architect (Oscar Niemeyer 1907-2012). You can access the rooftop for free from Mon-Fri at 10am & 3pm from the Gate F). Really worth it.
Are you a jazz lover or simply a music lover? Go to Jazz nos Fundos: a truly unusual place to hear such a good quality of music. Imagine a car park, go through it until the end, turn left and take the corridor that leads to that quite hidden and so cool jazz bar with very friendly staff who will make you the best caipirinha. Check out their programme.
For a real local experience, head out to the metro “Consolacao” at the corner of the Avenida Paulista and Rua Augusta.
The Avenida Paulista is the business area of Sao Paulo from Mon to Fri, but the avenue and its surroundings turn into a very lively and alternative place where all sorts of Paulistas can go at night and find a spot that will suit them. Go down on Rua Augusta (on the centre side) and have a caipirinha (or 2) in one of the multiple bars on the street.
If you feel like dancing afterwards, go to LAB, one of the best clubs for electronic music: a dance floor and bar on the upper floor, a outdoor space with a wall full of graffiti and a second dance floor in the basement… a bit more underground! Internationally famous, and Sao Paulo native, DJ Marky holds regular and unmissable drum’n bass nights there!
Another option is LIONS, a very stylish club with 2 rooms and a lovely outdoor terrace. Some good electronic music nights happen there. Just be careful when you order at the bar as, like in any other venue in Sao Paulo, you never pay at the bar, but only at the end when you leave and this is not always a pleasant moment 😉 Drinks at Lions are really good but quite pricy!
TOP 5 BESTSPOTS TO EAT
Suri: For ceviche lovers. Fresh ingredients, and very creative ceviches by a Colombian chef and very good pisco’s. Highly recommended!
ADDRESS: Rua Mateus Grou, 488 – Pinheiros, São Paulo – SP, 05415-040
Z Deli: For the best burgers head here. Expect a queue of about 40mn but so worth it.
ADDRESS: Francisco Leitão, 16 (R. dos Pinheiros), São Paulo, SP, 05414-025
Mori Sushi: Some people would say that food should be about quality, not quantity, but when you go to Mori, you not only get to eat some of the best sushi in town (SP has got a Japanese community of over 100 years old!), but you can also eat as many as you want as this is a Rodizio we’re talking about. Expect a queue of about 40mn, but just have an amazing cocktail at the bar while waiting as it is really worth the wait! The bonus at the end of your meal: a free Haagen-Dazs ice cream. How to resist??
ADDRESS: Rua da Consolação, 3610 – Jardins, São Paulo – SP, 01416-000< [/tab]
Fracao da Pizza: Delicious pizza (slices, half pizza or whole pizza – savoury and sweet) and live music at night. A very pleasant and cheap place to have an authentic Italian pizza in Sampa.
ADDRESS: Rua dos Pinheiros, 464 – Pinheiros, São Paulo – SP, 05422-010
Taxi ride: R$ 10-30 (very cheap and safe) Lunch: R$ 25 Dinner: R$ 50 Drinks: R$ 15-25 (cocktails)
A Free Walking Tour: I have done both of the tours and I personally recommend the one in the centre of SP, as there is a lot more to learn about the area than the Avenida Paulista.
Sao Paulo is dense, hectic, lively and simple never stops. My best unique experience: go out from a club at 6am and go to a “padaria” (bakery) open 24h to have a typical Brazilian snack and freshly squeezed fruit juice before going to bed!
The best areas to stay are definitely Pinheiros and Vila Madalena, as you will be at a walking distance from a large selection of places to eat and go out. They are also safe areas to get around.
Metro: Sao Paulo has got a very good metro, but unfortunately not every area has a metro station nearby. Use taxis, they’re cheap and safe and very easy to find. A highly recommend app for your trip to SP is 99 Taxis – very handy to call a quick and safe taxi
If you’re walking at night always catch a taxi even if it’s not late. Safety is a real issue to consider in Sao Paulo. Do not walk at night even if the temperature is lovely. I highly recommend to take a taxi or metro (both safe).
Do not carry your documents (leave them at the hotel or where you stay). Always have a bit of cash (R$ 30 US$9.90 £6.65 ) in your pocket, easy to give if necessary…
Want to access a rooftop that nobody knows?? Go to No 35 of Avenida São João from Mon-Fri (9:30-11:30am & 2:00-4:00pm), a man will open the door on the hour every half hour and will lead you to the rooftop of the Edificio Martinelli – a 360 degree view right in the centre of Sao Paulo. Most tourists go to Banespa – known also as the Altino Arantes Building which is a replica of the Empire state building but you will queue for over an hour, on the viewing platform you are packed in liked sardines and you have a strictly enforced time frame of 5 mins. This secret rooftop is free, is a 2 minute walk from Banespa and you have a better view, and no one will rush you out.