Sao Paulo City, What to do & Tips
Enjoy São Paulo city, the cultural capital of Brazil and for many the gastronomical capital of the world.
São Paulo is the cultural capital of Brazil and for many the gastronomical capital of the world. As our guest at Casa Club, we'll make sure you enjoy every piece of "Sampa". You can choose from thematic guided tours or if you prefer to explore on your own, check the content below for a selection of our preferred sites in the metropolis, organized by neighborhood. A suggestion of an independent tour is given for each and they'll give you a deep dive experience into the Brazilian metropolitan culture. ENJOY!!
Sao Paulo - Downtown (click to expand)
There're a lot of sites of historical and cultural importance in the old downtown of São Paulo. Walking through this part of the city you'll see the metropolis in its essence. Although these sites are within walking distance from each other, using the subway allows you to maximize your visit in just one day. Start your tour taking the subway from Vila Madalena to República Station in the red line. The subway station is in "Praça da República"1. At this site, look for the "Edifício Itália"2. From its terrace you can really get the meaning of "concrete jungle" and admire a lot of São Paulo's 30 Km radius of metropolitan area. Also look for "Edifício Copan"3, the "S" shaped building masterpieced by architect Oscar Niemeyer. Walk east toward Av. 9 de Julho and you pass by "Teatro Municipal"4 which also has a museum inside. Continue east and reach "Vale do Anhangabaú"5, between viaducts "Chá" and "Santa Ifigênia". The Anhangabaú river, which flows in its underground and it is now piped, used to be of great importance for the city when it was founded. The Anhangabaú Valley divides the old and the new part of the city's downtown. Beautiful gardens, works of art (sculptures) and three fountains multiply its beauty. It has a good view from which people can admire both sides, the two viaducts and some of the city's most imposing buildings, such as Martenelli and Banespa6, aside from the post office's old headquarters and the principal offices of BankBoston, among others.
Keep going east and stop at by the corner of Rua Álvares Penteado and Rua Quitanda to visit "Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil"7. The "Wall Street" of São Paulo was in this area back in the 1920's, fueled majorly by the coffee industry. Another short walk east and you'll reach "Praça da Sé"8. This is the ground zero of São Paulo. Visit the beautiful cathedral9 and get ready for your next experience. Walking north about 4 blocks you'll be at Rua 25 de Março10. This human anthill is the paradise for low-budget shoppers. In this street there are hundreds of shops and street merchants selling anything imaginable. An excellent place to shop for souvenirs. Exercise your bidding and you'll get discounts up to 50%. If you walk to the end of this street (about 7 blocks) you'll be really close to another interesting touristic site. Turn right on Rua Paula Sousa and left on Rua da Cantareira. On the next block you see the majestic "Mercado Municipal"11. This market is exceptional in the sense that it brings together merchants from different ethnic groups. Another example of the cosmopolitan atmosphere of São Paulo. Here are some things you shouldn't go home without trying:
- Bolinho de bacalhau (fried codfish croquette, pronounce "boleen de bacaleeaoo")
- Sanduíche de mortadela (Baloney sandwich, pronounce "sandweesh de mortadela")
- Pastel (deep fried flour dough with different fillings)
- Caldo de cana (sugar cane juice. "Puro" or mixed with other fruits)
- Água de côco (coconut water. As fresh as it gets)
These last 3 you can find on the street market in front of Casa Club every Saturday morning. On the second floor of the city market you can find real restaurants and tap beer if you prefer.
If you can still walk after all that food head west about 5 blocks to "Parque da Luz". Here you'll see the beautiful "Estação da Luz"12 and the art gallery "Pinacoteca do Estado"13 (admission fee of R$4). Interestingly, the "Light Station" is inspired in British architecture (not just the clock) and was all built from British material, from bolts to gas lamps. It has been renovated a few times and currently there's a project to link the station to Guarulhos International Airport by subway and to Rio de Janeiro by high speed train. The Station is part of Julio Prestes Cultural Center, which also houses "Pinacoteca" and the modern "Sala São Paulo"14 for musical presentations.
From "Luz" you can catch the subway back to Vila Madalena. Remember to switch to the green line at Paraíso Station. If you still have some energy and want to shop for clothes go to Rua José Paulino15. Be sure to know you measures in the Brazilian scale which is equivalent to the European scale (for shoes, subtract 2 units from the European size). Most stores do not allow trying on.
The red and blue lines of the subway intersect at downtown São Paulo so if you feel like visiting just a specific site or change the order you can plan your own route by using the interactive map of the subway, which gives information about the surroundings of each station.
For more info on each site see also the Sampacentro portal (only in Portuguese).
Sao Paulo City - Downtown Places
1. Praça da República: Take the subway to "República" station on the red line.
2. Edifício Itália and 3. Edifício Copan: Take the subway to "República" station on the red line and walk south to 344 Avenida Ipiranga (Itália) and number 200 (Copan). No admission fee for Itália's terrace and Copan should be admired from the street (not open to public). Phone: 3257-5977 (Edifício Itália).
4. Teatro Municipal and 5. Vale do Anhangabaú: Take the subway to "Anhangabaú" station on the red line and walk north to Praça Ramos de Azevedo. Phone: 222-8698. Free admission for visiting. Check the price of each play at www.theatromunicipal.com.br.
6. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil: Take the subway to "São Bento" station on the blue line and walk southwest to 112 Rua Álvares Penteado (corner with Rua Quitanda). Opens Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 8pm. Check the events listing here. Phone: 3113-3600.
7. Praça and 8. Igreja da Sé: Take the subway to "Sé" station on the blue line.
9. Edifício Banespa: Take the subway to "São Bento" station on the blue line and walk south to 24 Rua João Brícola (corner with Rua Quinze de Novembro ). Opens Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm. There's a museum on the second floor besides the tower (free admission). Phone: 3249-7180.
10. Rua 25 de Março: Take the subway to "São Bento" station on the blue line. Find the exit to "Ladeira Porto Geral" and get ready for the human anthill. The stores usually close around 7pm from Monday through Friday and at noon on Saturdays.
11. Mercado Municipal: Take the subway to "São Bento" station on the blue line. Go northeast to 306 Rua Cantareira. Opens from 5am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday. Phone: 3228-0673.
12. Estação da Luz (also known as Estação Julio Prestes): Take the subway to "Luz" station on the blue line. Opens daily from 4am to midnight. Phone: 3351-8200.
13. Pinacoteca: Take the subway to "Luz" station on the blue line. Opens Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5:30pm. Phone: 3229-9844. R$4 admission fee (Free on Saturday). Updated info here.
14. Sala São Paulo: Take the subway to "Luz" station on the blue line. Go west to 51 Rua Mauá. Check events listing here. Phone: 3367-9500.
15. Rua José Paulino: Take the subway to "Luz" station on the blue line. Go west to Rua José Paulino. Stores usually opened 6pm, Monday through Friday and until noon on Saturdays.
Everyday life in the Vila reflects the harmony among its citizens and in the many neighborhood shops and services, the brazilian spirit of well-being and solicitude. At nightfall the local population is gradually replaced by the bohemians always present in the neighborhood. The bars (over 100 options!!) become filled with cheerful and good-looking people seeking a good time, usually moved by many kinds of brazilian music. There's an array of spots offering from sophisticated and cultural atmosphere to many bars with sidewalks packed with youngsters after the famous chopp and ice-cold beer.
Nightlife starts around 8pm and is usually over by midnight from Monday to Wednesday (except from traditionals, which are quite many). From Thursday to Saturday it goes on until 2, 3, 4am… and on Sundays from around 4pm to midnight.
This neighborhood preserves its identity while inserted in the metropolis. It's accessible by bus corridors at streets Cardeal Arcoverde and Teodoro Sampaio and by the metro (subway). Soon we'll be served by another line by station Fradique Coutinho and Terminal Faria Lima. All these in a walking distance from Casa Club.
Avenida Paulista (click to expand)
Perhaps the most characteristic place of the modern São Paulo, Avenida Paulista is a must see for many reasons. This was the initial site chosen by the "coffee barons" in the early 20th century to build luxurious mansions on this "new" part of town. As the city grew and the coffee industry moved further into the interior, the mansions were slowly replaced by tall buildings and today only a few of the old mansions still stand.
Access to Ave. Paulista is easiest by taking the subway at Vila Madalena and following the Green Line, which lines Ave. Paulista from end to end. Starting at the east side, get off at "Brigadeiro" Station. Three blocks further down the east side you'll see "Shopping Paulista"1. But you probably didn't come here to see shopping malls, right? So if you want to go straight to the good stuff, start your tour at "Casa das Rosas"2, (House of the roses). This old mansion was designed by Ramos de Azevedo in the twenties and constructed in 1935 in the Renaissance style. In the beginning of 1991 the House of the Roses became an Art Gallery of the state.
Going back towards the subway station, see one of the branches of the "São Paulo Commerce Social Service" or SESC3. There are 17 of these cultural centers throughout the metropolis. Concerts, exhibitions, courses… SESC has it all. Just across the street you'll see "Centro Cultural Itaú"4. Itaú is one of the largest banks in Brazil, a fact reflected on the greatness of this cultural center. It offers four auditoriums, exhibition area and a Documentation and Reference Center. Several units and services are integrated, such as the data bank, library, video collection, CD and CD-ROM collection, Internet and an electronic collection of newspapers and magazines. It also includes the Herculano Pires Museum for numismatics, which has a large collection of historical coins.
A couple of blocks further west and you'll see FNAC5, one of the most amazing bookstores in São Paulo. Opposite to this book Mecca is "Gazeta"6, one of the first TV channels in Brazil. The building also has a theater. If you thought this building was cool check out the next attraction. A few more blocks and you'll see the Museum of Arts of São Paulo, MASP7. As the most important museum of art of Latin-America, this museum has a collection of approximately 3,500 works of art, including pieces by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Portinari, Renoir and other famous artists. This extravagant building has a very interesting story that helps to explain its unique design. The creators wanted to keep the view of the downtown area and Cantareira Mountains, a task accomplished by the Italian architect Lina Bo by placing the 74-meter long pavilion on top of 4 huge pillars. On this area beneath the museum there is an arts market every Sunday afternoon. Of course there's a lot of cheap crap, but you can also find exclusive hand-made items. Dig in!
In front of MASP you can visit Trianon8 park, the only reminiscent of the Atlantic Rainforest in the city. It's a great place to chill out in the middle of the metropolis. On your way out pay a visit to our friends at the Tourist Information Center9 just outside the park. They always know about interesting things going on and sometimes have souvenirs available. Keep heading west and make a pit stop at one of the bars for a classic tap beer spot, especially during happy hour. One block further down on Ave. Paulista you'll see the beautiful "Igreja São Luiz"11, which belongs to "Colégio São Luiz", one of the best private schools for teenagers in the country. Around the corner is "Cine Belas Artes"12, now owned by the HSBC bank. This movie theater is famous since the 60's not only for its location but also by the award-winning movies showed, and today still attracts many viewers that seek more than "blockbusters".
Depending on how much time you reserved to explore this part of town, fit in two other attractions, not on Avenida Paulista but also on the Green Line of the subway. One is the São Paulo Aquarium13 on Ipiranga station. It has more than 3,000m2 of space with several thematic aquariums with rare species of the Brazilian fauna, scenery themes that simulates the Amazon Forest, fossil museum, planetarium and valley of dinosaurs. The other is the "Jewish Cultural Center"14 on Sumaré station. In the large premises where it is located it provides a space for events, cafeteria, besides a monthly timetable for speeches, exhibitions, courses, shows and film festivals.
1. Shopping Paulista: 1947 Paulista Avenue, Rua Treze de Maio. Take the subway to "Brigadeiro" station. Phone: 3179-3700. Opens from 10am to 10 pm.
2. Casa das Rosas: 37, Avenida Paulista. Take the subway to "Brigadeiro" station. The museum opens daily from 11am to 6pm, except Mondays. Phone: 3285-6986/3288-9447. More info.
3. SESC Paulista: 119, Ave. Paulista. Take the subway to "Brigadeiro" station. Phone: 3179-3700. Events listing.
4. Centro Cultural Itaú: Opens from 10am to 9pm (Tuesday to Friday) and 10am to 7pm (weekends and holidays). Coin museum from 10am to 6pm. Take the subway to "Brigadeiro" station. Phone: 3268-1700/3268-1950.
5. FNAC Avenida Paulista: 901, Av. Paulista. The book store opens from 10am to 10pm. Take the subway to "Brigadeiro" station. Phone: 2123-2000. Events listing.
6. TV Gazeta.
7. Museu de Arte de São Paulo - MASP: The museum opens daily from 11am to 6pm, except Mondays. Take the subway to Trianon station. R$15 admission. Phone: 3251-5644. More info.
8. Parque Trianon: The park opens daily from 6am to 6pm. Take the subway to Trianon station. Phone: 3289-2160. More info.
11. Igreja São Luiz: 2378, Ave. Paulista. Take the subway to "Consolação" station. Phone: 3231-5954.
12. Cine Belas Artes: 2423, Rua da Consolação. Take the subway to "Consolação" station. Phone: 3258-4092.More info.
13. Aquário de São Paulo: 407 Rua Huet Bacelar. Opens from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10pm to 10pm. Take the subway to Imigrantes station. Phone: 2272-5193.
15. Centro Cultural Judáico: 2500 Rua Oscar Freire. The Jewish Cultural Center opens Mondays from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Take the subway to Sumaré station. Phone: 3065-4333.
Pinheiros Neighborhood (click to expand)
1. Instituto Tomie Ohtake: 201, Ave. Faria Lima. Phone: 2245-1900. Opens Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 8pm. Events listing.
2. Centro Brasileiro Britânico: 741, Rua Ferreira de Araújo. Phone: 3039-0508. More info.
3. SESC Pinheiros: 195, Rua Paes Leme. Phone: 3095-9400. Events listing.
4. FNAC Pinheiros: 34, Praça Dos Omaguás. Phone: 3579-2000. Opens daily from 10am to 10pm. Check events at.
5. Feira da Praça dos Omaguás: Praça Dos Omaguás. Every Sunday from 10am to 6pm. More info.
6. Livraria Lima Barreto: 414, Rua Inácio Pereira da Rocha. Opens weekdays from 9am to 8pm and Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Phone: 3819-6077.
7. Livraria da Vila: 915, Rua Fradique Coutinho. Phone: 3814-5811. More info.
8. Praça do Por do Sol: Rua Des. Ferreira França (upper side) and Ave. Diógenes Ribeiro de Lima (lower side).
9. Feira da Praça Benedito Calixto: Between Rua Cardeal Arcoverde and Rua Teodoro Sampaio, one block after Ave. Henrique Schaumann. Every Saturday from 9am to 7pm.
10. Restaurante Consulado Mineiro: 74, Praça Benedito Calixto. Phone: 3088-6055 / 3064-3882. More info.
11. Caipirinha: Watch a video and learn how to make an authentic "caipirinha" with our barman Rafa.
12. Escola de Samba "Pérola Negra": 51 Rua Girassol. Phone: 3812-3816. More info. Rehearsals will restart in June.
13. Rua Teodoro Sampaio: Exit Casa Club and walk 3 blocks to the right. Stores are open from 8am to 6pm (some later).
Butantan - Universidade de São Paulo (click to expand)
Just on the other side of Pinheiros river from Casa Club, this neighborhood has lots of interesting places to visit. Butantan Institute1 is world famous for its vaccine and toxins research center. The research began in the early 1900's headed by Dr. Vital Brasil. Today, Butantan produces most of the vaccines used in Brazil and ships to many other countries worldwide. The Institute also has an awesome Biology Museum2 that has been recently renovated, where the visitor will see snakes, lizards and poisonous invertebrates, according to the focus of the Institute. Don't forget your camera because you'll have chances to get excellent close-up pictures of these exotic animals. There's also a modern Microbiology Museum3, the first of its kind in Latin America.
Butantan is next door to University of São Paulo (USP)4, the largest university in Brazil. Walking through Butantan and USP will take you away from the metropolis rush. If you enter USP coming from Butantan5, keep walking straight towards the rectangular tower and you'll reach "Praça do Relógio"6 or "Clock Square". Around the tower there's a message on the floor. Enjoy a free caipirinha at Casa Club if you figure out what it means! Next to the Clock Square you can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)7.
How about a journey into the world of crystals, minerals and meteorites? Visit the Geology Museum8 which has over 45.000 samples in its collection, with approximately 5.000 in exhibition. Another short walk and you can visit the Oceanography Museum9 and see aquariums, posters, marine life samples and equipment used in these studies.
A little further into the university, there's another attraction you shouldn't miss, the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology (MAE)10, that illustrates very nicely how South America was originally colonized by man and how later on the different contributions from many parts of the world helped to form the Brazilian people.
If along this way you feel it's lunch time, have an authentic student meal at one of the university's cafeterias11 for only R$7.50. If you'd like an upgrade eat at the "faculty restaurant"12 for about R$15.
How about an outdoor live museum? Visit the Botanical Garden13 at the Biosciences Institute. Enough museums? How about some college life? We'll give you two options: on the first you'll meet some of our best friends at the Student's Center14 of the Biosciences Institute. It is below the restaurant and has a nice outdoor area. Truly a unique place, and also one of the few places inside the university where selling alcohol is still "permitted". If you're lucky you'll experience a musical rehearsal and enjoy the fireplace, and even if you're unlucky you'll meet a lot of nice people. The other option is chosen by many of the students who have lost their drinking places inside the university over the years. It's called "Rei das Batidas"15 (King of cocktails). A cozy place full of students, ice-cold beer and delicious appetizers.
Now continue the party at Casa Club! If you don't get a ride with any of your new friends take the bus "177P-10 PEDRA BRANCA" at 225 Av. Dr. Vital Brasil16 and get off at 2041 Rua Teodoro Sampaio, on the corner with Rua Mourato Coelho ("Pão de Açúcar" supermarket to your right is a good reference) if you're coming from Rei das Batidas or bus "701U-10 JACANA" at Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes17 if you're coming from the Student's Center.
1. Instituto Butantan: Open to public from 9am to 4:30pm. The best access is by bus leaving from Rua Cardeal Arcoverde (2 blocks to the right off Casa Club). Take bus "719R-10 RIO PEQUENO" and get off in front of McDonald's (if you tell the driver "Instituto Butanta" he'll give you a sign). The bus stop is marked with a "0" on the map. Walk one block between McDonald's and the "Ipiranga" gas station and welcome!
2. Museu Biológico: Opens from 9am to 4:30pm except Mondays. R$5 entrance. Phone: 3726-7222. More info.
3. Museu Microbiológico: Opens from 9am to 4:30pm except Mondays. R$5 entrance. Phone: 3726-7222. More info.
4. Universidade de São Paulo and 6. Praça do Relógio: take the bus "701U-10 BUTANTA – USP" at Rua Cardeal Arcoverde (to blocks to the right exiting Casa Club). This bus goes into the university and through Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto and Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes. More info.
7. Museu de Arte Contemporanea - MAC: The Museum of Contemporary Art opens from 9am to 4:30pm except Mondays. Phone: 3091-3538. More info.
8. Museu de Geologia: The Geology Museum opens from 8am to 5pm except Mondays (10am to 4pm on weekends and holidays). Phone: 3091-3952. More info.
9. Museu de Oceanografia: The Oceanography Museum opens from 9am to 5pm except Mondays (10am to 4pm on weekends and holidays). Phone: 3091-6587. More info.
10. Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia: The Archeology and Ethnology Museum opens from 9am to 5pm except Mondays. There's a little shop where you can buy hand made objects and museum material. Phone: 3091-4905. More info.
11. Restaurante universitário: The University Cafeterias serve lunch from 11am to 2pm and dinner from 5:30pm to 7:45pm. Each complete meal costs R$7.50.
13. Jardim Botânico - IBUSP: The Botanical Garden at the Biosciences Institute is open to public from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.
15. Rei das Batidas: The "King of Cocktails" bar opens everyday until very late.
Ibirapuera Park (click to expand)
Need a break from the concrete jungle? Enjoy the many attractions at Ibirapuera Park1! Built to celebrate the 400th anniversary of São Paulo, the project was designed by the icon architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx. We highly recommend you to rent a bike at the park entrance to maximize your experience. Once you go in, to your right you can visit one of the city's plant nurseries3. You'll see many species of the Brazilian flora.
Take your time and enjoy the bike routes. It's hard to imagine that below the peaceful park there's a massive tunnel named after our F1 racing idol Ayrton Senna. When you get to the other side of the park, note a long rectangular-shaped building. It's called "Pavilhão da Bienal"5 (Pavilion of the Biannual International Arts Fair). Mentored over 50 years ago by the Matarazzo family, this major cultural event (now in its 28th edition) has placed São Paulo in the major circuit of international art exhibitions. The Arts Fair alternates every year with the International Architecture Fair and twice a year the Pavilion also holds São Paulo Fashion Week (winter and summer editions) among many other renowned fairs and congresses.
Linking the Pavilion to other museums is another of Niemeyer's extravaganzas, known as the marquise6. This skater's paradise will lead you to the Museum of Modern Art (MAM)7, established in the 40's in the same context as the Pavilion and MASP. In the first public exhibition, back in 1949, MAM displayed the works of Jean Arp, Alexandre Calder, Waldemar Cordeiro, Robert Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky, Francis Picabia and Victor Vasarely, all abstractionists.
Just beside MAM you'll see "Oca"8, another site of amazing exhibitions, including dinosaur fossils and recently the world famous "The Human Body". Although it's hard to resist, don't attempt to climb this inverted bowl, please. Next to the "Oca" you'll see another unique building, the Ibirapuera Auditorium9. Although also projected in the 50's (by Oscar Niemeyer of course), it was only opened in 2005. Excellent presentations here!
By the lake you can visit "Pavilhão Japonês"10, one of the Japanese Cultural Centers in the city. This one has arts, colored carps and a huge Japanese garden. Don't miss it! By now you've probably noticed the tall obelisk11 just outside the park. This monument is in honor of the fighters who took part in the 1932 revolution. It is divided into four big panels in Italian mosaic. Another famous monument just outside the park is "Monumento às bandeiras"12, in memory of the Portuguese pioneers that together with Native Americans and Africans built the foundations of the Brazilian society.
If you're still in the neighborhood after dusk, don't miss the light show13 over the major lake of the park, usually around 8pm. Currently, Ibirapuera Park is the most visited of São Paulo and has the greatest number of attractions. Around 20 thousand people enjoy it during weekdays, 70 thousand on Saturdays and a record of 130 thousand on a Sunday!
1. Parque do Ibirapuera: Open to public from 5am to midnight. Directions by bus: Walk to Rua Teodoro Sampaio and catch bus "6250-10 TERM. BANDEIRA". The fare is R$2,30. About 10 minutes later, get off at Guianas square (Praça das Guianas), with Ave. Nove de Julho as the reference. Walk a block to 138 Rua Canada and take the second bus line "509J-10 JD. SELMA". This second bus is for free.
Ride for another ~10min and get off at 570, AVE. REPUBLICA DO LIBANO. You'll be at landmark "0" on the map.
Phone: 5574-5505. More info. To return to Casa Club walk to Ave. Brig. Luis Antonio (next to landmark #12) and take bus "846M-10 JD. MARISA". In about 25 minutes this bus will pass in front of Casa Club.
3. Plant nursery.
5. Pavilion of the Biannual International Arts Fair: More info.
7. Museu de Arte Moderna - MAM: The Museum of Modern Art opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Tickets for R$5.50. Phone: 5085-1300. More info.
8. OCA: always a renowned exhibition. Opens from 9am to 7pm on weekdays and 10am to 8pm on weekends. Tickets for R$30. Phone: 6846-6000.
9. Auditório do Ibirapuera: Check the website for events listing, tickets and more info.
10. Japanese Pavilion: Opens on weekends from 10am to 5pm. Tickets for R$5.50. Phone 573-6453.
11. Monument to 1932 revolution heroes.
12. Monument to pioneers.
13. Light show over the lake.
More Places to visit in Sao Paulo (click to expand)
Liberdade is a neighborhood known for its strong oriental influence, another facet of Sao Paulo's cosmopolitan ambiance. Originally home for the Japanese immigrants in the early 20th century, Liberdade now also has large Korean and Chinese communities. It is the largest Japanese community outside Japan! The oriental influence can be appreciated on street parades, ideograms on street signs, street lamps and gateways, oriental shops and of course, gastronomy!
It's very easy to reach the Liberdade using public transportation. There is a subway station ("Liberdade" Blue Line) at its main square. Remember to switch from the Green to the Blue Line at "Paraiso" station.
Museu do Ipiranga
Since the proclamation of Independence from Portugal in September 7, 1822, there was an intention of building a monument at the site of proclamation, the margins of Ipiranga creek. Only in 1890 the efforts result in the opening of the museum. Back then Sao Paulo's population was only 70,000 and since then the museum has been a reference in the city. The large collection of items that tell the history of Sao Paulo will take you on a journey through the development of this metropolis.
There are also live music presentations every first and third Sundays at 4:30pm.
Open to public from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Ticket: R$4 (free every first and third Sundays of each month). Phone: 6165-8000. More info.
Directions: Take the subway at Vila Madalena and go to "Alto do Ipiranga" station (also on the green line). Exit to your left and on 254 Ave. Dr. Gentil de Moura take bus "375V-10 METRO STA CRUZ" to Ave. Nazaré (the bus stop is 3 blocks from the subway station. You'll see the museum/park to your right (~7 minute bus ride).
To return take bus "4706-10 JD. MARIA ESTELA II" at 900 Ave. Nazaré and getoff at subway station "Alto do Ipiranga" (watch for the green totem). Getoff at Vila Madalena station.
The Botanical Garden of Sao Paulo has an amazing exhibition with emphasis on Orchidaceae and Bromeliaceae. It is part of a complex that also has a research institute and a park great for hiking and picnics.
Open to public from Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Ticket: R$3. Phone: 5073-6300 ext. 225. More info.
Directions: Take the subway at Vila Madalena and go to "São Judas" station (change to the Blue Line at Paraiso station). Exit at Ave. Jabaquara and take bus "4742-10 JD. CLIMAX" to 3031 Ave. Miguel Stefano. You'll see the Botanical Garden to your left (about 15 to 20 minute bus ride).
To return take bus "475R-10 TERM. PQ. D.PEDRO II" at the entrance and get off at subway station "Saude" (watch for the blue totem on Ave. Jabaquara). Get off at Vila Madalena station.
Sao Paulo Zoo
Located in one of the few remaining areas with native Atlantic Rain Forest, Sao Paulo Zoo has over 3200 animals. An excellent choice for the biodiversity enthusiasts.
Open to public from Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Ticket: R$12. Phone: 5073-0811. More info.
Directions: We highly recommend taking the subway to Jabaquara station (switch to Blue Line at Paraiso station) and from there taking the direct bus to the zoo, "PONTE ORCA - JABAQUARA" at platform A. You'll also purchase the zoo admission ticket at the terminal, all for R$15.30 (including both ways transportation).
Memorial da America Latina
The Latin American Memorial was established in 1989 as a center for diffusion of Latin American knowledge and creativity, always integrating cultural, political, economic and social relations. Another masterpiece of architect Oscar Niemeyer, the memorial has different components, including the famous "big hand" symbolizing the blood shed by Latin American peoples in the struggle for freedom. There is also a library (the largest collection on Latin American culture), a museum and an auditorium where leaders such as Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez have given speeches.
Open to public from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm. Free. Phone: 3823-4600. More info.
Directions: Take the subway to Barra Funda station (switch to Blue Line at Paraiso station and to Red Line at Sé station). Alternatively take the direct bus (non-stop) "PONTE ORCA" at Vila Madalena station that goes straight to Barra Funda station, Monday thru Friday, from 6:30am to 9:30am and from 4:30pm to 8pm.
The "Company of Warehouses of the State of São Paulo" (CEAGESP) has the mission to receive fresh food that will be consumed in thousands of restaurants and sold on the nearly 10.000 street markets of the metropolitan area and help to feed over 10 million people (and many more throughout the state). Although we also have main stream supermarkets in town, most people rather buy vegetables, fruits and produce at street markets due to its freshness and good prices. It's part of the "Paulistano" culture.
Open to public on weekends from 7am to 12:30pm and Wednesday from 4pm to 12pm. Phone: 3643-3700. More info.
Directions: Take bus "846M-10 JD. MARISA" in front of Casa Club and get off at 1249 Ave. Gastão Vidigal. You'll see the huge complex. Approximate ride time of 30 minutes. To return go to 1250 Ave. Gastão Vidigal and take bus "917H-10 METRO VILA MARIANA". Get off at 1754 Rua Heitor Penteado (about 25 minutes) and take bus "847P-10 ITAIM BIBI" and get off at the corner of Rua Fradique Coutinho and Aspicuelta. You're a block away from home.
Pico do Jaraguá
Known as the highest point of the metropolitan region, Jaraguá State Park has several trails that lead to the Peak at an altitude of 1,135 meters and to the lookout platform, where the privileged view of the city and surroundings already makes the outing worthwhile. Visitors walking along the trails can observe ponds and springs as well as wild animals in their natural habitat.
Directions: Take bus "847P-10 TERMINAL PIRITUBA" in front of Casa Club and get off at 1610 Rua Heitor Penteado. This part takes less than 10 minutes. At the same bus stop take bus "8047-41 JARAGUA" that will take you to the park. This part takes about an hour. To return go to 1159 Rua Antonio Cardoso Nogueira and take bus "8040-10 LAPA". Get off at 657 Rua Doze de Outubro. Walk 2 blocks to 236 Rua Monteiro de Melo (the next after Rua Ns. da Lapa) and take bus "847P-10 ITAIM BIBI". Get off at the corner of Rua Fradique Coutinho and Aspicuelta. You're a block away from home.
As you know, soccer (futebol) is a national passion. Sao Paulo has the best state championship, with three team from the city of Sao Paulo also playing the national championship (Palmeiras, São Paulo and Corinthians). Each of these teams has its own stadium, where spectacular games are guaranteed. Ask the front desk for more info if you want to go to a game.
At the following links you can see what's coming up: FPF for the state championship; CBF for the national championship and national team matches.
If you would like to learn more about the history of soccer, visit Museu do Futebol at Praça Charles Miller. They have a nice shop for souvenirs. To go there, take bus 6232-10 METRÔ BARRA FUNDA at Av. Teodoro Sampaio. It's about 20 minutes from the hostel. To return, take bus 6232-10 PINHEIROS/VILA IDA.
Thank you for your preference. Cheers from the Casa Club team!