Sao Paulo Travel Guide

Tourism and recreation

São Paulo is known for its cuisine, ranging from Chinese to French, from fast food chains to five star restaurants. Restaurants offer approximately 62 cuisines across more than 12,000 restaurants.

Landmarks
Paulista Avenue - an important thoroughfare and the site of cultural centers and museums, such as the MASP and Centro Cultural Itaú).
Brooklin - a financial and residential district.
Banespa Building - skyscraper with observation deck and museum designed after the Empire State building.
Catedral da Sé - the metropolitan cathedral, a symbol of the city.
Edifício Copan, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, in the Centro neighbourhood. Built between 1951 and 1966, its wavy shape gives the building an impression of movement and the integration of small businesses and residential flats are of innovative urbanism.
Edifício Itália - skyscraper with observation deck.
Estação da Luz - historic railway station, built 1895–1901.
Mooca - Italian district.
Liberdade - Asian district.
(historical market place in São Paulo).
Municipal Theatre of São Paulo - mmagnificent opera house built in the early 20th century.
Museu de Arte Sacra - museum of religious art located in a colonial convent.
Museu do Ipiranga - museum built where the Independence of Brazil was proclaimed in 1822.
Pátio do Colégio - founding site of the city, former Jesuit mission-school to convert the natives to Catholicism.
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo - museum of Brazilian art.
Praça da Sé - large square next to the São Paulo Cathedral. Official centre of the city.
Parks
Parque da Aclimação – located in the Aclimação neighbourhood in the central region, it was inaugurated in 1939 and has an area of approximately .
Parque da Água Branca – located at the west side of the city, in the Barra Funda district. It was inaugurated in 1929 and has an area of .
Parque Alfredo Volpi – with an area of, it is located at the south side of the city, in the Cidade Jardim neighbourhood.
Parque Anália Franco – located in the Jardim Anália Franco neighbourhood, has an area of .
Parque Anhanguera – features native Atlantic Forest and is environmentally protected by law. Because of that, most of its area has restricted access. It was inaugurated in 1979 and has an area of approximately . Located in the Perus neighbourhood, it is situated close to the Jaraguá peak, in the city's far northwest.
Parque Buenos Aires – located in the Higienópolis neighbourhood, in the city's central area. It was inaugurated in 1913 and has an area of .
Parque Burle Marx – inaugurated in 1995, it is located in the Panamby neighbourhood, in the city's south side.
Parque da Cantareira – inaugurated in 1963, this park is an environmental protection unit and was listed by UNESCO in 1994. With an area of approximately 7,916 hectares, it covers part of the Cantareira mountains, which is part of the Atlantic Forest. It includes areas of the north side of São Paulo and parts of the cities of Mairiporã, Guarulhos and Caieiras.
Parque do Carmo – inaugurated in 1976, do Carmo is the biggest public park inside the city, with an area of approximately . Situated at the city's east side, in the Itaquera neighbourhood.
Parque Cidade de Toronto – located in the district of Santo Domingo, northwest of the city.
Parque dos Eucaliptos – located in western São Paulo in the district of Vila Sonia.
Parque Estadual Fontes do Ipiranga – also known as Parque do Estado (State Park), it was created in 1991 and extends over 526 hectares. Contains remnants of the Atlantic Forest vegetation.
Parque Ecológico do Guarapiranga – situated on the banks of the Guarapiranga reservoir on the south side of the city.
Parque Guarapiranga – located on the banks of Guarapiranga Dam, in the district of Campo Limpo (south side of São Paulo).
Horto Florestal de São Paulo – located in the northern side of São Paulo, at about seven miles from the center of the city, it occupies an area of 174 hectares at the foot of the Cantareira mountains. It is adjacent to the Cantareira State Park in the district of Mandaqui. Access can be made from the neighboring district of Tremembé and its accecible perimeter is 47,875 meters.
Ibirapuera Park – the second largest park of the city and probably the most popular. It is home to several museums and is known for its buildings designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, such as the Oca and the new Ibirapuera Auditorium.
Parque Estadual do Jaraguá – created in 1961, around the Jaraguá peak.
Parque Jardim Felicidade – located in the Pirituba district, north side of the city.
Parque Luís Carlos Prestes – a small park located in the extreme west of São Paulo, in the Jardim Rolinópolis neighbourhood, near the Raposo Tavares highway and close to another city park, the Parque da Previdência. Opened in 1990, it was named after the political, military and revolutionary Luis Carlos Prestes and has an area of .
Parque Nabuco – located in the Jabaquara district, south side of the city.
Parque do Piqueri – located in the Tatuapé neighbourhood, has an area of .
Parque Previdência – located in the far west of São Paulo in the neighborhood of Jardim Rolinópolis, near the Raposo Tavares highway. It has an area of and was founded in 1979.
Parque Lina e Paulo Raia – located in the Jabaquara district, southern São Paulo, has an area of .
Parque Raposo Tavares – located on the western outskirts of the city, in the district of Butantan.
Parque Raul Seixas – it has and is situated in the district of Itaquera, in the East of the city.
Parque Rodrigo de Gásperi – Located in the Pirituba district, north side of the city.
Parque Santa Amélia – located in the Itaim Paulista district, eastern suburb of São Paulo.
Parque Santo Dias – located in the district of Capão Redondo, in the city's south side suburb.
Parque São Domingos – located in the district of Santo Domingo, west of the city. It was named after the neighborhood, which honors the Catholic saint Dominic Savio.
Parque Severo Gomes – located in the neighborhood of Granja Julieta, south of the city, was inaugurated in 1989.
Parque Ecológico do Tietê – with an area of 12.5 million m², inaugurated in 1982, it is an environmental protection region. Located in the floodplain of the Tietê River, between the cities of São Paulo, Guarulhos Itaquaquecetuba.
Parque Trianon – inaugurated in 1892 with the opening of Paulista Avenue, it was designed by French landscape architect Paul Villon. The name came from the fact that at that time, opposite the park, there was a club named Trianon. In 1924 it was donated to the city and in 1931 received its current name in honor of one of the heroes of the Uprising Lieutenants, Antonio de Siqueira Campos.
Parque Vila dos Remédios – located in the district of Jaguara, close to the confluence of the Pinheiros and Tietê rivers in the city's north side.
Parque Vila Guilherme – opened in 1986, it is located in the district of Vila Guilherme, north side of the city.
Parque Ecológico da Vila Prudente – Located in the district of VilaPrudente, on the city's east side.
Parque Villa-Lobos – opened in 1994, it is located in the Alto de Pinheiros district, on the banks of the Pinheiros River and has an area of .
Zoos

The Zoological Park of São Paulo is the largest in Brazil. Located in an area of of original Atlantic Forest, it has approximately of walkway. It is located at headwaters of the historic stream of Ipiranga, on the south side of the city. It hosts more than 3,200 animals, 102 species of mammals, 216 species of birds, 95 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians and 16 species of invertebrates, in enclosures that replicate the natural habitats of these animals. The Zoo's farm of 572 ha produces vegetables used to feed the various animals and provide material to the enclosures where the animals stay.

The zoo also counts a nursery for rejected puppies and incubators for hatching eggs of birds and reptiles. Its library of more than four thousand volumes is open to the public. Its partnerships with other state, federal and foreign research institutions include researches that aim to facilitate the preservation of endangered species.

São Paulo also has a Safari Zoo located in its southeastern side, in the district of Cursino.

Aquarium

The Aquário de São Paulo (São Paulo Aquarium) is one of the largest aquaria in Latin America, with an area of 9,000 square meters and 2 million liters of water. It has approximately 3,000 specimens of about 300 species of animals. It is located in the Ipiranga neighbourhood.

Events

The city of São Paulo hosts approximately 90 thousand events every year, featuring arts, business, fashion and beyond.

Carnaval

Carnaval is a traditional celebration held every year. The parade of samba schools in São Paulo is the Anhembi Sambadrome, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The Special Group parade of samba schools happens on Friday and Saturday of carnaval week. Schools that participated in the carnaval in 2012: Unidos de Vila Maria; Rosas de Ouro; X9; Vai Vai; Águia de Ouro; Camisa Verde e Branco; Império de Casa Verde; Dragões da Real; Acadêmicos do Tucuruvi; Gaviões da Fiel; Mancha Verde; Tom Maior; Pérola Negra; Mocidade Alegre.

Cultural Turn

Virada Cultural (Cultural Turn) is an annual event held since 2005 by the Municipality, promoting 24 hours of non-stop cultural activities held each May. The event was inspired by the annual event named Nuit Blanche in Paris, with many entertainment events held throughout the night. The activities include music shows, dance shows, classical and orchestra presentations, theater plays, cinema, poetry, anime/comics fans meetings and acrobatic performances. The event takes place in several parts of the downtown area, as well as some cultural centers, clubs and selected schools. In 2010, according to São Paulo Municipality, the event attracted around 4 million people.

Art Bienal

The São Paulo Art Biennial attracted almost 1 million people in 2004. It represented a wide range of artistic positions. Its aims include an intensification of the North-South dialogue inside Brazil and promoting links between non-European cultures along a South-South orientation.

Fashion Week

São Paulo Fashion Week, established in 1996 under the name Morumbi Fashion Brasil, is the largest and most important fashion event in Latin America. Renamed in 2001, its two annual editions bring almost 100 thousand people to Bienal's building in Ibirapuera Park.

Brazil first entered the international fashion circuit with the increasing reputation of famous Brazilian top models such as Isabeli Fontana, Adriana Lima, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Fernanda Tavares, Ana Beatriz Barros, Izabel Goulart, Brenda Costa, Ana Hickmann and Evandro Soldati and designer Alexandre Herchcovitch.

Gay Pride Parade

The first São Paulo Gay Pride Parade took place in 1987 and attracted 20,000 people, growing to around 3.5 million visitors in 2010. It is opened by the city's mayor, running along the Paulista Avenue, accompanied by several Trio Elétricos.

Since 2002, the Parade has also become associated with a wider long cultural program, lasting at least a month.

Pancake Cook-Off

The São Paulo Pancake Cook-Off is a cooking festival held annually in the city center. Every summer, thousands of amateur chefs from across Brazil come to compete in various competitions and contests centered on the cooking of pancakes.

March for Jesus

The March for Jesus is an Evangelical parade that takes place on Corpus Christi Thursday every year in Zona Norte. It is organized by Renascer em Cristo Church, a Neo-Pentecostal denomination created in the 1980s that grew significantly in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2006, more than 2 million people took part in the event, according to official estimates. Evangelicals from across Brazil go to São Paulo for the annual June march. The event features concerts with 30 Christian bands carried on 17 flatbed trucks performing live as participants march through Brazil's financial capital.

International Transport Industry Show

The Salão Internacional da Indústria do Transporte (FENATRAN) is held biannually in the Park Anhembi, usually in October. It presents new trends for the industry related to transport, such as truck manufacturers, components for vehicles, fuel, motors and services for the industry, such as financial and insurance companies.

International Film Festival

The São Paulo International Film Festival is a film festival held annually since 1976.

Electronic Language International Festival

The Electronic Language International Festival is a non-profit cultural organization, whose purpose is to disseminate and to develop arts, technologies and scientific research, by means of exhibitions, debates, lectures and courses. The festival promotes a yearly meeting.

Festival of Electronic Art

Every two years, Associação Cultural Videobrasil's International Electronic Art Festival brings works by artists from all over the world. In keeping with the constant transformations in media and support, the curatorship has added installations, performances, VJs, CD-ROM art and Internet art to the programme. Art shows, debates and meetings introduce new ideas and artwork, setting new guidelines for contemporary art in Brazil. Exhibitions featuring work by prominentelectronic artists are also part of the Festival. Brazilian pioneers such as Rafael França and Olhar Eletrônico and international guests such as Nam June Paik, Bill Viola and Gary Hill, have featured in the event's past editions.

Other Events
X-Games – Brazilian branch, held in April.
É Tudo Verdade – Documentary film festival, held in March.
Feicorte – Livestock fair.
FIEPAG – International Printing Industry Fair
CIOSP – International Dental Congress
Skol Beats – Electronic music festival, features famous Brazilian and foreign DJs from around the world. Held in May.
Grande Prêmio São Paulo de Turfe – Equestrian competition, held in May.
Expomusic – Music and audio exposition, also features small shows and autograph sessions.
Feira do Circuito das Malhas – Winter clothes baazar.
In-Edit – Music documentary festival.
São Paulo's International Marathon – Held in June.
Saint Vitus Festival (Festival de São Vito) – Italian festival, featuring food and music. Held in June.
Anima Mundi – International Animation Film Festival, held in July.
Batuka! – Drummers festival, featuring workshops, presentations and a national contest.
Brasil Pack – International Packaging Fair
Japan Festival – Held in July.
Brooklinfest – German festival in October (district Brooklin Paulista).
Festa de Vila Zelina – Russian, Ukrainian and East European Festival in the district Vila Zelina.
Bolivian Arts and Culture Festival
Achiropita Festival – Italian festival, featuring food and music. Held in August.
New Year's Eve – Held at the Paulista Avenue, features free concerts and fireworks, usually gathering up to a million people.

source: Wikipedia

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