Destination Of The Month – Sao Paulo

Now I’m not sure about you, but when the weather heats up, I find myself craving exotic, sultry climes where the people are beautiful, the atmosphere electric and the weather balmy. Brazil might just well be the polar opposite of our own country; bless Britain, it’s wonderful in so many ways, but passionate and exotic – well they aren’t the first words that spring to mind! There aren’t many countries more well versed in the art of pure passion that Brazil. Sao Paulo often gets overshadowed by its more overtly glamorous sisters, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, because unlike Rio it can’t show off splendid beaches and large open spaces – by and large it is admittedly smoggy, busy, polluted and intense – but its actually a highly underrated city with a lot to offer. Give it up for Brazil’s most cosmopolitan city…

What to do

As the cultural capital of Brazil, you’ll find pretty much everything you could ever hope to do in Sao Paolo. There are museums, amazing nightlife and restaurants just about everywhere you look. Many of the wealthiest people in Brazil live in Sao Paolo, and its easy to see why; from luxury boutiques to huge shopping malls, there’s every which way to spend your cash! Paulistanos work hard and spend a lot – there is a huge discrepancy in wealth in Sao Paulo, but where there is money – boy, does it get spent! Here’s just a few things you can do to empty your purse pronto:

Street Eats

From the D.O.M, Chef Alex Atala’s restaurant claimed to be one of the ‘top 50 restaurants in the world’  to street vendors – food in Sao Paulo is a major selling point. Forget everything you thought you knew about what could be sold on the side of the road – from delicious buttered sweetcorn, juicy slices of tropical fruit, coconut water and more, street food is in a different league here. You can get a perfectly delicious snack from R$1!

Image by keetr

Shop till you drop

You’ll find more than 50 American-style malls in Sao Paulo. From the glamour of Daslu where the a-list drop in on helicopters to stock up on designer labels, Cidade Jardim and the oldest shopping centre Iguatemi with its sophisticated and traditional feel – if you want to spend your money on, well, loads of stuff, Sao Paulo is your new friend.

Image by Diego3336


Whether you visit for Carnaval to join the Paulestinos in going mental before Lent, or simply want to vibe out to some amazing music, Sao Paulo can provide. There is a wealth of music on offer; from hip hop to Rio funk, bossa nova, jazz, samba and everything in between.The Bourbon Street Music Club is a great place to catch some of Brazils hot jazz names. For proper clubbing, Sao Paulo can compete with the big boys; there are a range of high profile venues that cater to the glitterati of the city, like Pacha and D-Edge, or for those of a more underground bent, visit Bar Secreto or Audio Delicatessan.

Image by Sailor Coruscant

To market, to market

São Paulo’s three best markets are The Mercardo, which spans all of the city’s most important ethnic cuisines and displaying a colourful range  of fruits and vegetables, an open-air centre with 600 stands and a wide selection of food and local art; and Feira de Arte, São Paulo’s best-loved market with 240 stalls selling Japanese or Chinese fast-food treats, jewellery, bonsai trees, aquarium fish and bamboo kitchen utensils.

Image by Bruno Soares

So there we have it: Sao Paulo; it’s not pretty, it’s certainly not sweet – but it’s more than fascinating, diverse and colourful enough to make up for it!