Sao Paulo was one of those places I never thought of visiting, but seeing as Matt and I were in Brazil we decided to check it out! A quick Wikitravel and a look through The Culture Trip was enough to give me some good ideas on what to do! Here’s the best of Sao Paulo, according to me, pulled together into a nifty Sao Paulo Guide!
When Anthony Bourdain tells you to try Sao Paulo’s famous mortadella sandwich, you get your ass to Mercadao Municipal and get your mouth around a mortadella sandwich. So first up in my Sao Paulo guide, I went straight to Bar do Mane, as featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover”. What a sanga! Layers upon layers of salty lunch meat, fried up and served on a roll with cheese, I actually only got the half sized sandwich, and shared it with Matt, and it was definitely more than enough.
Beside delicious sandwiches, there are fresh fruit stalls, delicious pastel vendors and a variety of other goodies to check out. It’s a super vibrant place full of friendly faces. Take up the offers to try the fresh fruit, there is absolutely no obligation to buy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you walk away with a small box of strawberries or peaches. It’s open every day from 6am, till about 6pm.
The architecture in Sao Paulo is incredible. So instead of listing out the beautiful buildings one by one, here are some of my favourites, and I’ll let you discover the rest by yourself. You could spend all day exploring and happening upon these beautiful works of art.
The Museum of Art Sao Paulo (MASP) is housed on the popular and busy Avenida Paulista, making it a convenient stop any day of the week (except Mondays when it’s closed, haha). You really can’t miss the building – uniquely elevated off the ground and supported by big red pillars, I’d be worried if you accidentally walked pass it. Multiple levels house a variety of art, my favourite being the top floor, where there is a semi permanent exhibition. They rotate the art every few weeks, so you can visit over and ever again without seeing the same old thing.
Not being very large, you can knock over MASP in a couple of hours, so don’t allocate a whole day to visiting.
Beco do Batman
Located a bit further out of town, Beco do Batman is an open air art gallery, dedicated to huge graffiti murals. Created in the 1980’s by a bunch of art students, the alleyway is a pedestrian only feast for the eyes. It’s popular with the tourists, and open 24 hours, so try and get there a bit early to beat the crowds.
Museu do Futebol
“It’s a must see”. “Even non soccer fans will love it”. “Various other positive recommendations”. Google up the Museu do Futeball (or Football Museum for those of us who are not multilingual) and you’ll see multiple reviews saying how good this place is. Let me tell you – it’s really really average. And while I’m not a fanatic, I’m definitely a fan of soccer. Most of the history is about the Brazilian teams, which is fine, but boring after the first 30 mins.
But because this is a Sao Paulo guide, I’ll give you a bit more detail. If you want to go, it’s less than $30 reals to get in, but remember it’s closed Mondays.
Oh Liberdade. I’m sad to say that Matt and I never made it to Liberdade. We both got really sick. I was so keen to go though, so I couldn’t leave it out of my Sao Paulo guide. So here’s a good article I found about it. Go on the weekend when the markets are on, and then come back here and tell me all about it.
A Bit more about Sao Paulo
Where to stay
We stayed at Novotel Jaragua which was a really really good location, but kinda average hotel for the price. Being on this side of town made it easier to access everything we wanted to see.
How to get around
You can Uber or you can walk. Matt and I walked practically every where, even at night, and it didn’t have the unsafe feeling that Rio de Janiero had. Otherwise we took an Uber, which was super reliable.
Bella Paulista was a fantastic breakfast spot, especially just before visiting MASP. Super busy spot, so be prepared to fight for a table.
Crispiniano Bar e Cafe for Lanches. Lanches is one of my favourite words now. You can get lanches at alot of canteens around Sao Paulo, but this one came recommended, and was really good.
Vento Haragano is a churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ). A bit on the fancy side, it was so delicious, Matt and I almost went back for a second round. Endless BBQ meats, a salad bar and my favourite… cheese bread. No wonder I got fat in Brazil.