São Paulo's very own Central Park boasts over 2 million square meters of green space. The best way to explore it is to hire a bike. On Sunday mornings there are free music concerts in the Praça da Paz; the Museu de Arte Moderna, the superb Museu Afro Brasil and the OCA Auditorium are all at Gate 3.
A museum dedicated to telling the story of Brazil's African-descended population, the largest outside Africa. Here you will find a vibrant and intelligent celebration of the culture and achievements of the African diaspora complete with plenty of art and some stunning photography exhibitions.
MAM in Ibirapuera Park might be small, but it is one of São Paulo's best museums to see modern work by emerging and established artists. Here you will find everything from paintings and sculptures to video installations. Outside is a serene sculpture garden that is perfect for relaxing post-visit.
One of the best-curated art exhibitions in the city, Pinacoteca does an excellent job of displaying some of the best Brazilian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. The centerpiece of the impressive collection of sculptures includes a statue by Raphael Galvez called O Brasileiro.
This imposing 14-tower neo-gothic church in Praça da Sé has a crypt containing the remains of Tibiriçá, a native Brazilian who helped the Portuguese in 1554. True to its colonial roots, the impressive doorway has decidedly tropical details like crocodiles that sit alongside the traditional saints.
The Casa das Rosas, or ”House of the Roses” is a French-style mansion with gardens inspired by the Palace of Versailles. Built in 1935 by famous local architect Ramos de Azevedo for one of his daughters, the building was home to the same family until 1986, when it was made a municipal landmark.
Designed by German architect Richard Berndl, the incredible Mosteiro de São Bento houses an enormous organ with about 6.000 pipes and an image of the Kasperovo Virgin covered with 6.000 pearls. Visit on a Sunday for the 10am mass, complete with Gregorian chants from the monks.
São Paulo was founded by Jesuits José de Anchieta and Manoel da Nóbrega on this site in 1554. The church dates from 300 years later but was built in the same style as the original Jesuit chapel. There are regular exhibits devoted to colonial history and sacred artefacts.
Set in 200-acres of Parque do Estado, the São Paulo Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, many of which face extinction, such as the golden lion monkey. Must-sees include the monkey enclosures, built on small islands in the park´s lake, and the Reptile House.
The local team São Paulo Futebol Clube can draw on their 17 million supporters. Their team's home stadium, nicknamed Estádio do Morumbi, might not be an architectural marvel, but it more than makes up in atmosphere during home games with crowds of up to 75,000.
If you want a great view over this spectacular city you can go to Pedra Grande, in English called Big Stone Cliff. Here you will find tracks, animals living in the wild and try out outdoor activities such as rock climbing. Pictures taken here truly are postcard-ready.
The museum houses an interactive display on the development of the Portuguese language, and hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to writers and important subjects related to the Portuguese language. The museum is housed in the Luz Railway Station building, a landmark of its own.
It is the first thematic aquarium of South America where visitors have the possibility to see and learn about over 300 species of animals at once. It's not just marine creatures that live here, but some land animals as well. Special emphasis is put onto the ethical treatment of animals.
A great museum for all who love soccer - you will enjoy interactive exhibitions, vintage soccer displays and celebrations of World Cup history. At the same time you have the chance to see one of the world's largest soccer stadiums. On most weekends there will be live music in the café of the museum.
The Brazilian biomedical research centre famous for its research in vaccines and snake serums is well worth a visit. In two museums you find historical and modern expositions on microbiology. Permanent posters in front of the museum display the history of the institute itself.
At this charming restaurant you can enjoy French dishes in a cosy atmosphere. Coming here you must try the galettes, a typical dish from Bretagne, consisting of crepes with various toppings, including savory ones like bacon and tomatoes. For a more substantial meal, try the filé mignon.
Mocotó is as local as it gets. For a taste of Northeastern culinary delights, head here and prepare for a short wait to be seated - the restaurant enjoys a rather high popularity. Many of the dishes contain staples like meat, beans and rice in various delicious combinations.
Era uma vez um Chalezinho is known for the sweet and savory fondues it serves. Try elevating the humble broccoli by dipping it into freshly molten cheese, or bathing strawberries in chocolate for dessert. The restaurant's menu bears evidence of Swiss influences and focuses on European flavors.
The mezze are great at this well-priced Middle Eastern restaurant. Signature mouth-watering dishes include Moroccan rice with roasted almonds and chicken or stuffed artichoke bottoms with ground beef. The spacious restaurant is also perfect for spending a few hours with a strong coffee or mint tea.
Moderately priced food served in a lively patio. Seafood is their speciality. Menus include Bahian dishes and national specialities like Feijoada, a stew of pork, sausage and smoked meat cooked with black beans and garlic, garnished with slices of orange. There is an excellent lunchtime buffet.
It might not have a name on the door but you cannot miss the stunning classical building on the corner of Avenida Higienópolis and Rua da Veridiana. Veridiana is a beautiful pizzeria serving delicious traditional pizzas. The grande serves two and you can order different toppings on each half.
A slice of Paris in Latin America, Le Chef Rouge is a São Paulo institution. The menu has a number of delicious salads such as the warm goat cheese salad and beautifully cooked French classics like canard à l´orange, slices of juicy duck served in orange sauce.The wine list is extensive.
At Due Cuochi Cucina-Itaim Bibi you can try different Italian dishes in a lively, yet romantic, atmosphere. Choose between meat dishes, fish, tasty pastas and appetizers. The menu fatures a number of Italian classics, such as risotto, ravioli, caprese and more.
This authentic steakhouse offers one of the best BBQ-experiences according to its guests. Fogo de Chão offers a tasty, varied buffet and Brazilian side dishes accompanied by an award-winning wine list. This one is an international chain with multiple locations around São Paulo.
A Bela Sintra is an elegant restaurant specializing on Portuguese cuisine. This stylish restaurant offers an exclusive and cosy atmosphere, with a menu heavily focused on seafood and meat. Enjoy an impressive selection of Bacalhau dishes and a rather extensive international wine list.
The ice cream shop, whose branches have now spread all over town, is currently San Paulo's favorite gelatteria. Although their ice creams tend to be on the pricey side, the impeccable quality and variety of flavors is definitely worth the cost. Lactose-free and vegan options available.
If you'd like to plunge into the Japanese world in the middle of Brazil, you will be right in at this old-school karaoke bar in the heart of Liberdade. Next to singing there are pool tables and big screens for watching soccer - all kinds of entertainment guaranteed to keep you busy for the night.
Famous both for serving the city's best coxinhas and for their bartender competitions, where participants try to come up with the most innovative caipirinha using all manner of exotic fruits and inventive combinations, Veloso gets quite busy, so be sure to arrive early enough to get a table.
This hotel bar is, as the name suggests, unique in Sao Paulo, offering an impressive panoramic view over the city, which can be enjoyed alongside some fabulous cocktails. Even the prices for drinks are a little higher than average, but you should still definitely give it a try.
Bourbon Street Music Club's great atmosphere complement the high-level live musical performances that take place every night. Artists are mainly jazz and blues musicians, as the name would suggest, referencing the legendary Bourbon Street in New Orleans, perhaps the most important centre for those genres in the United States.
With a lounge, a large dance floor and stage, two bars and an excellent sound and light system, Caravaggio Club is the ideal place to have a great party. Located in the bustling Álvaro de Carvalho street, the house is open on Friday and Saturday for the Trash 80's party - a success in São Paulo nightlife for over ten years.
Looking for a place to enjoy the night with good music, dancing and the chance to meet new friends? Then Diquinta is the ideal location in São Paulo. Located in Vila Leopoldina, near the Villa Lobos Park, from Thursday to Saturday the dance floor is always full and the mood is festive and relaxed.
The Week is one of the city's premier electronic music clubs in Sâo Paulo, boasting two main dance areas and a large outdoor courtyard, offering its visitors a lot of possibilities to enjoy the evening. The club tends to attract large crowds, but this club will exceed expectations.
Jardins District is home to several international boutiques, cool restaurants and cafes, which makes it an interesting spot for both luxury and window shoppers. The streets to go for are Oscar Freire Street with chains like Adidas or Versace and the flagship store of Havaianas. You can find other popular brands in Haddock Lobo Street with stores like Armani and Cartier.
Galeria Do Rock offers around 450 shops across its five floors, located in the downtown area. Music lovers should especially go and visit since most of the stores in the building are devoted entirely to particular music styles like rock and roll, punk, heavy metal and hip hop. Beatles fans in particular must visit the store "Beatles 4ever".
Retailers like Chanel, Dolce & Gabana, Prada and Topshop are located in this luxury mall. With a modern and clean design its great to come here and shop. Do not forget to go up the rooftop terrace and enjoy its view of Parque do Povo, a nice green area in the neighborhood.
Manga fans and anyone curious about the fascinating world of Japanese cultural items must visit this place. All over the shops you find a wide range of accessories, gifts and toys. If you are hungry, there are several restaurants specializing in oriental food on the top floor of the building.
This three-stores-in-one bookshop in the Cojunto Nacional building is the biggest one in the country, offering a variety of books in Portuguese and English. Just take time with your favourite book you are planning to buy and explore the theatre offering lectures and live music throughout the year.
A huge shopping centre with five floors offering everything you expect from a great mall: high-end shops like Burberry and Kate Spade, a fabolous food court and a cinema on the top floor. What is more, there is a beautiful atmosphere and it is just wonderful spending your time here.
High-end department store DASLU is a São Paulo institution with female assistants in little maid outfits serving a who's who of the city's socialites. There are espresso bars throughout this huge store to keep you going as you peruse labels including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior and Chanel.
The city is served by São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, sometimes called Cumbica, located 30 kilometres northeast of São Paulo. Blue air-conditioned EMTU buses operate between the airport and the city centre. The buses stop at Tietê bus terminal, Praça da República, the major hotels along Avenida Paulista, Brooklin Novo, Barra Funda and Congonhas. The journey to Avenida Paulista takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. The buses leave every 30-90 minutes. A cheaper option is to take a bus to Bresser metro station (5 am-11 pm) and then take a train to the city centre. www.airportbusservice.com.br At the airport you will also find transfer companies. You can also take a blue and white taxi. Aeroporto Congonhas is located 14 kilometres south of Centro (a 30-minute drive) serving regional airlines.
São Paulo has an extensive public transport system. Bus services are frequent and cover the entire city, but congestion can sometimes make travelling slow. With stops clearly marked, bus routes are easy to find. There are different tickets to suit your needs. Enter at the front of the bus, and pay the cobrador (fare collector).