When visiting Brazil, don’t miss out São Paulo! It is definitely worth a visit. Whether you’re just passing through or heading to the next football game, there is more to this industrialised city than meets the eye.
Rivalry between Paulistas and Cariocas is fierce. Paulistas will always defend their home city, whereas the Cariocas will claim theirs to be the best. What São Paulo lacks in beaches, it makes up for in great art and a plethora of food options.
Since the city is enormous, traffic wraps its way throughout the whole concrete jungle, creating a tangled web of streets. The smog will have you coughing for days… or maybe that was just me and the common cold.
After a 12-hour night bus, I arrived in the São Paulo bus terminal Tiete and was greeted by an old friend. Having a friend to welcome you to São Paulo, is extremely lucky and makes all the difference. I was taken into her family’s home, given breakfast, a strong coffee, a comfortable bed. They made me feel like I was practically royalty. They had thought of everything and solved any problem and just kept giving. Truly thankful I am.
My trusty friend, a natural tour guide took me to some great places:
- Avenida Paulista
- Café Girondino
- Beco do Batman (Batman’s alley)
- A piece of rain forest in the heart of the monopolis- Siqueira
My favourite place has to be Vila Madalena neighborhood. It is home to Beco do Batman, where walls are covered in street art. There is a very relaxed feeling here and some really nice cafés. Here we had a big piece of cake. There was also a lovely little market, selling caldo da cana and pastel. I had the non meat option and I am in love with the caldo da cana.
We joined onto a free walking tour, whilst in Vila Madalena, which was very lucky. I felt more relaxed taking photos with more people near to me, doing the same thing. I also got to practice my Spanish and meet other travellers. From the walking tour I found out about the great nightlife the city offers, which is famous throughout the world. The phrase “work hard, play hard” comes to mind. This part of São Paulo I was unfortunate not to experience.
Since I caught only a glimpse of what is on offer, I am sure that I will return. After all São Paulo is an international city, connected by international flights and buses, and will soon host the next Olympic football games.