My husband and I finally made an excursion to São Paulo and I must say the city pleasantly surprised us (we had let the descriptions of others dim our expectations). While São Paulo does not have the spectacular natural setting of Rio, the city itself has so much more to offer. Also, I had heard the Paulistas described as less friendly than Cariocas (Rio folks), but as foreigners, we found the opposite to be true; perhaps it is because more people in Sao Paulo speak English. Although our time was short, we managed to squeeze in a few museums, fun wanderings, and fabulous food.
Skyscrapers line Avenida Paulista
Back when coffee barons amassed great riches, Avenida Paulista was decorated with opulent mansions, such as Casa das Rosas above.
The furnishings are gone but splendid details remain.
Juxtaposition of old and new
Cool reflections. The mural by street artist Eduardo Kobra honors Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Street artist at work
MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo
An unusual way to display – The title and artist info is on the back of each painting so my husband and I made a ‘guess the artist’ game as we wandered through.
Rembrandt – Vestier – Renoir
Van Gogh – Gauguin
O Lavrador de Café (The Coffee Farmer) by Brazilian artist Candido Portinari
Mercado Municipal de São Paulo
City markets are always a must see – this large covered food market with gorgeous stained glass above its doors was founded in 1933
The Portuguese brought their bacalhau obsession with them when they colonized Brazil.
This little guy with his bag of fish made me smile.
NOT my favorites 😝
I had no idea tobacco came in huge coils.
Coffee break at a market cafe before walking to São Paulo’s main cathedral.
Catedral Metropolitana de Sao Paulo (Catedral da Se)
Since 1591, several Catholic church incarnations have stood on this spot.
The current cathedral, one of the largest Neo-Gothic cathedrals in the world, was designed by German architect Maximilian Emil Hehl and took four decades to complete (inaugurated 1954).
São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Tokyo
Is there a bigger Japanese pop culture icon?
We picked up some treats for our teens.
MAC Museu de Arte Contemporânea
MAC is a free contemporary art museum located at the University of São Paulo – there are great city views from its rooftop!
Beautiful green space – the Central Park of São Paulo.
We had some delicious meals while in São Paulo.
For sandwich and milkshake lovers, I recommend Frevo. It was packed for lunch, but we found two seats at the counter and got to watch the parade of food laden plates leaving the kitchen.
In researching dinner options, we were super excited to discover that São Paulo had many Indian restaurants. After living in India for three years, it is one of our favorite cuisines (Rio sadly has NO Indian restaurants). We chose Samosa & Company because it was walking distance from where we were staying – we give it two thumbs up!
Our night ended with Mojitos and music at Qualcasa.
Looking forward to our next São Paulo visit!