São Paulo Guide


São Paulo Guide - An Introduction to the City of São Paulo


São Paulo Guide  - In the southeastern region of Brazil's most populous and wealthiest state, the State of São Paulo lays its vast capital, São Paulo. Located on the Sierra de Mar plateau, which is part of the Brazilian Highlands, at the approximate aptitude of 800 meters above sea level, surrounded by low mountains from the west, with three rivers which flows within the city, a humid subtropical climate with no recorded tectonic activities and only 70 km away from Atlantic Ocean.

This huge city is one of the world’s largest metropolitan area, the largest in South America and has  a tremendous influence on the commerce and culture of the country.


São Paulo Guide -A long time ago, on 25th January, 1554, on the lower terraces of the Tietê River Manuel da Nobrega, Jose de Anchieta and the rest of the group of twelve Jesuit priests had found a small village they named São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga, with a mission and school there, which they named the Pátio de Colégio.

Pateo-do-Collegio - São Paulo Guide

Pateo-do-Collegio - São Paulo Guide

By the end of the 16th century, this community’s population progressed so slowly, that it barely reached only 300 of its inhabitants but in 17th century, it’s growth began to move upwards, due to the exploration of  gold, silver and diamonds in nearby Minas Gerais, as well as to slave traders seeking Indian slaves, which attracted also a lot of European immigrants. Sao Paulo became a city in the year of 1711, with the economy mostly based on agriculture.

In the next 150 years, the city’s commercial potential had boomed with coffee exports so much that both São Paulo and its port, Santos developed much further, and immigrants from Europe, Africa and even Japan enriched the population ethnicity of São Paulo city in huge waves. Due to the international coffee trade collapse in the year of 1929, São Paulo suffered from its own economical crisis as well, but starting within couple of years later, the city has grown with industrial infrastructure to this day so much, that it became a one if not the most important industrial city in South America.

After World War II, São Paulo population grew rapidly in numbers, skyscrapers were built, bridges were constructed along with free-ways and industrial economy took place instead of agriculture’s.

General facts - São Paulo Guide

Sao Paulo today proudly bears the title of the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the Brazil’s richest city. São Paulo’s lower terrain is occupied by commercial companies and factories, while higher terrain is reserved for its residents. There are many suburban communities, like Sao Caetano do Sul, Maua, Mogi das Cruzes, Diadema, Santo Andre, Sao Bernardo do Campo, Osasco and Guarulhos.

Intensive market gardening is widespread all across the open spaces of city’s perimeter, while a forest reserve is positioned in the nearby Serra da Cantareira, which occupies an area of approximately 100 km2. There are 12,500 restaurants in Sao Paulo, which makes it the city with the most pizzerias in the world. Sao Paulo is home to 1.5 million people of Japanese origin living in the neighborhood, which looks like a “little Tokyo”, called Liberdade, which makes it the largest Japanese Diaspora in the world. All across the city there a numerous plazas, parks and playgrounds could be found. The São Paulo Zoo, which was built in the year of 1958, is considered as one of the worlds largest.

Landmarks -São Paulo Guide

One of the most iconic São Paulo’s landmarks is the Cathedral named Catedral Metropolitana, which rises over beautiful Praça da Sé square, in the heart of the many historic events in São Paulo. Entirely renovated between 2000 and 2002, this huge place of worship has enough space for 8000 worshipers. Another remarkable landmark is the Church of San Franciso de Assis, or Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis, which is located on São Francisco square, west of the Catedral Metropolitana, represents one of the oldest São Paulo’s churches.

Also, the majestic Theater, known as Teatro Municipal, built in baroque architectural style on Ramos de Azevedo plaza, was inaugurated in the year of 1911, where many big names of the world’s theater and opera names performed with pleasure. One of the most important city’s Benedict churches and monasteries is Mosteiro São Bento, a monastery decorated with astonishing stained glass, which was built in São Bento square. The São Paulo cultural centre, known as Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, is accommodated in a former bank building and one of its offers represents several outings of modern art, like painting, performing arts, photography and film.

One of the tallest skyscrapers in the city, 168 meters high, is colossal Italia Building, known as Edifício Itália was built in honor and commemoration to Italian immigrants. Another important landmark of São Paulo is the “snake building”, known as Edifício Copan, is 140 meters high, 38 story residental building, built in the year of 1966. It was designed by the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer, originally planned to be built in two buildings, one residential and another being a hotel. It is considered to be one of the largest residential buildings in Brazil. The Banespa Building, or Edifício Banespa, is referred as a “mini” Empire State building.

Although it is shorter than the Italia building, it provides the best view of the São Paulo city at the 36st floor during daytime, but it also provides a stunningly beautiful view after dusk. The economic heart of São Paulo and a symbol of power and prosperity for entire Brazil is a remarkable, 2.5 km long, Paulista Avenue, or Avenida Paulista. São Paulo is also well known by its Japanese quarter, known as Liberdade, mostly inhabited by the people of Japanese origin. As an extraordinary cultural tribute to São Paulo, in Japanese quarter are built Japanese Immigration museum, or Museu da Imigração Japonesa, and Busshinji Temple, or Templo Busshinji.

General specifications - São Paulo Guide

Estimated population in São Paulo city is over 11 million inhabitants, with density of 7216.3 people per square kilometer. São Paulo is also referred as the largest health care center in Latin America, which involves 32,553 ambulatory clinics, centers and professional offices, 217 hospitals, with 32,554 beds and 137,745 health care professionals, including 28,316 physicians. - São Paulo Guide.


São Paulo Guide - São Paulo’s prices on groceries and transport are relatively low; prices in restaurants are moderate, while prices of rents, clothing and shoes are relatively high.

Places to go - São Paulo Guide

São Paulo has a nice specter of the places to go. There are numerous museums, such as Art Museum of São Paulo or Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Pinacoteca do Estado, Sacred Art Museum or Museu de Arte Sacra, Museum Ipiranga or Museu Paulista do Ipiranga, Contemporary Art Museum or Museu de Arte Contemporânea, MAM or Museu de Arte Moderna, the Afro-Brazilian Museum or Museu Afro-Brasil and Football Museum Sao Paulo or Museu do Futebol. São Paulo also represents Latin America’s fashion capital, with the best shopping options of the continent.

There are a lot of malls and fashion shops, from the city center to the furthest suburban communities. Good areas for fashion shopping are Rua Oscar Freire, Pacaembu and Vila Madalena while the oldest and most famous mall is Shopping Iguatemi, but there are also Shopping Ibirapuera, Shopping Frei Caneca and Shopping Cidade Jardim. For natural relaxation there is a peaceful Ibirapuera Park or Parque do Ibirapuera, where people like to take a walk, go cycling or jogging.

São Paulo Guide - There is also a beautiful Burle Marx Park or Parque Burle Marx, designed by famous Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. One of the largest green areas is Botanical Gardens or Jardim Botânico, designed in honor of the Swedish botanist Linnaeus and, of course, the famous the São Paulo Zoo or Jardim Zoológico de São Paulo, the largest zoo in Brazil, with a lush setting and numerous different species.

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