Things to do in Sao Paulo – Top 20 things to see in SP

Things to do in Sao Paulo - Top 20 things to see in SP

Sao Paulo is one of the worlds biggest cities, so you wont be short of things to do.

Things to do in Sao Paulo  - Brazil is known in the popular imaginary for its wild nature and wonderful beaches. São Paulo does not fit the stereotype of Brazil to foreigners but has its appeals. More known by those expats looking for jobs, São Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world, it has plenty to offer, from art to the finest cuisine. Get lost in the urban culture of the Latin American most important city and discover the biggest Japanese neighborhood outside Japan and the building that inaugurated the Brazilian modernist architecture, famous through the work of Oscar Niemeyer.

We chosed 20 places in São Paulo to get you started:

 1. Teatro Municipal - Things to do in Sao Paulo



Things to do in Sao Paulo - The City Theatre of São Paulo is one of the postcards of the city. Inspired in the Opera Paris and stage of the São Paulo Modern Week Art in 1922-the mark of the Brazilian culture as disruptive from Europe, projecting the country towards the future-it is an amazing building, mixing different architectonic styles from the beginning of the 20 century. A must go to all arts and music enthusiasts and for those who want to understand what Brazil means.

When: Check the concerts schedule
Where: Praça Ramos de Azevedo, s/n - República, São Paulo
Budget: $$$ (from 80 to 140 Reais) for concerts.  visits are free.

2. Bairro da Liberdade



Things to do in Sao Paulo - When you think about Brazilian cities and culture you think about Japan, right? Although mostly would say no, Bairro da Liberdade is going to break your preconceived concepts about Brazil, providing you a glance of the Japan interpellated by the Brazilian atmosphere. The Japanese, one of the most important ethnic groups immigrating to the country , founded in Liberdade neighborhood a place like home. Know this little part of Japan in the city heart, and take your time to taste sushi and japanese delicacies, visit Japanese gardens and learn martial arts.

When: 7 days a week
Where: Bairro da Liberdade Neighborhood
Budget: Restaurants and bars  $$ (from 30 to 80 Reais)  

 3. Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo - MASP



You may never have heard about it, but this building is important to Brazil not only for the arts it has in its archives, but because it projects the famous modernist architecture to the world. Early in the 1900s Brazil needed to insert internationally and breaks with the European centered culture claiming to make art and science by its own. The MASP is one of the top Things to do in Sao Paulo, the icon of this move, because beyond the architecture project, engineers needed to revolutionize the building techniques to give birth to the ample space with no columns to sustain, disrupting a technology existing since the Ancient Greek.

When: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10h to 18h Thursday from 10h to 20h
Where: Avenida Paulista, 1578
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

 4. Pateo do Collegio - Things to do in Sao Paulo



The city started here. This archeological site from 1554 is the first building of São Paulo,  built by jesuits priests on order of the Portuguese, intended to convert and educate the native, starting the Brazilian architectonic style. It worth the visit.

When: 7 days a week
Where: Rua da Boa Vista with Rua da Sé
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

 5. Mercado Municipal


Fruits at Mercado Municipal Sao Paulo

One of the biggest hits of São Paulo is the food. A melting pot of different immigrant groups and migrants in the country, you can eat food for any imaginable place in the world. In the Mercado Municipal, or City Market in English, you are going to eat as a Brazilian, being able to taste a little bit of the city. The best is the price, so enjoy the restaurants or the barraquinhas, a sort of street food, all keeping your budget.

When:  Mondays  to Saturdays, from 05 am to 16h
Where: Rua Da Cantareira, 306 - Luz
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

6. Vila Madalena

Vila Madalena

Vila Madalena bar scene during world cup 2014

Things to do in Sao Paulo - The up to earth bohemian atmosphere of Vila Madalena neighborhood is perfect for those looking for good options to enjoy São Paulo at night. If you are looking for a place to relax after the office, the region is plenty of bars with good food and affordable beer. It is the place to get to know your work colleagues better while eating honest food.

When: after work,  19:00h till late
Where: Vila Madalena neighborhood, check for bars
Budget: $$$ (from 80 to 140 Reais) For typical night of eating and drinking.

7. Parque do Ibirapuera

Ibirapuera Park Lake

Ibirapuera Park Lake

The  paulista Central Park, has the touch of Oscar Niemeyer,  in the heart of the town. It is the most important park in the city, a  green island in the concrete sea   Ideal for cycling, skating and walking, or just to read a book under a tree.

When: Daily from 05:00h am to 00:00h
Where: Av República do Líbano – gate 7
Budget: Free Entry

8. Avenida Paulista - Things to do in Sao Paulo

Avenida Paulista São-Paulo

Avenida Paulista São Paulo by night

Sao Paulo is a wealthy city, and Avenida Paulista is the monument that symbolizes its power. The most famous Avenue in the city, it mixes mansions from the early 1900s with  skyscraper buildings, making it one of the icons of the city.

When: Prefferable during working hours
Where: Avenida Paulista
Budget: $$-$$$$ (from 80 to 250+ Reais)

9. 25 de Março Street

25 de Março São-Paulo

25 de Março busy shopping streets

Things to do in Sao Paulo - The city has the fame of being expensive, after all it produces a third of the Brazilian GDP . If you have spent all your money and is now counting pennies, 25 de Março Street is a good place to buy souvenirs and upgrade your closet. There you can find several popular stores, and Brazilians queue up to shop at affordable prices. If you are a good deal hunter,  you can find high quality items that are sold in the upscale Brazilian malls sold by a tenth of the price. Keep in mind the local is crowded and due the movement, you must pay attention on  your personal items.

When: Monday to Saturdays, from 08 to 18h
Where: Av. 25 de Março
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

10. Estação da Luz

Estação da Luz São Paulo

Estação da Luz São Paulo

The Light Station- Estação da Luz in Portuguese- is more than a train station built in neoclassical style. It holds the Portuguese Language Museum, with an interesting cultural collection about the lusophonie.  As the place links the subway with train stations, aproveite when traveling to  take a look in the place.

When: 7 days a week 24h
Where: Praça da Luz, 1.
Budget: visits are free

11. Pinacoteca

Pinacoteca São Paulo

Pinacoteca São Paulo

Pinacoteca If you like arts, you can not miss the Pinacoteca, part of the art circuit of the city. It is one of the most important space on contemporary art in São Paulo, and that means a lot if you consider the city founded itself as culture on contemporary art. By side of the Estação da Luz, step down the train and lose some hours to know important art pieces.

When: Tuesday to Mondays, from 10am to 18
Where: Praça da Luz, 2
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

12. Copan Building

Copan Building São Paulo

Copan Building São Paulo

Things to do in Sao Paulo - When you think about Brazil, you think about curves. São Paulo also has sinuous curves, but in form of wild nature. This amazing residential building is an art piece of Oscar Niemeyer- if you were not familiar with him, prepare yourself, you are going to hear a lot about the architect that is synonymous of Brazilian contemporary style. It worth the visit and some futurists photos in a 1966 building.

When: You can pass by 24h day 7x week
Av. Ipiranga, 200 – República
Budget: Free

13. Casa Modernista

Casa Modernista São Paulo

Casa Modernista São Paulo

If you were not an architecture fanatic, you became when visiting Brazil. If you want to know what existed before Niemeyer or who created the modernist style, you can not lose the Casa Modernista or Modernist House, considered the first in the style to be built in Brazil. The project was by Gregori Warchavchik, and the gardens were made by Mina Klabin.

When: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00h till 17:00h
Where: Rua Santa Cruz, 325 - Vila Mariana
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

14. Terraço Itália - Things to do in Sao Paulo

Sunset at Terraço Itália

Sunset at Terraço Itália

To contemplate the amazing skyline of the city, go to the Terraço Itália, once the highest building in the city, back in the 1950s. From its terrace you have a 360º view of the city and take a few drinks. Use your time wisely- the Copan Building is a few blocks away.

When: Make reservations in advance at the website
Where: Avenida Ipiranga, 344 - República,
Budget: $-$$$$ (from 1 to 250 Reais) Depending on whether you wish to visit the terrace or eat at the top too!

15. Biblioteca São Paulo

Biblioteca São Paulo

Biblioteca São Paulo

The São Paulo Library is more than a fun place for nerds. Beyond the obvious books, it is beautiful by itself, with wide light spaces.  When tired of the traditionals arts or food circuits, take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee with intellectuals.

When: Daily, from 08h to 22h
Where: Av. Cruzeiro do Sul, 2630
Budget: Free

16. Parque da Aclimação

Parque da Aclimação Sao Paulo

Parque da Aclimação Sao Paulo

Things to do in Sao Paulo - The place did not start very well, it was the first paulista zoo at the end of the 19th century, but nowadays is a good option for those nearby the region of Liberdade and Paraíso. Its lake, japanese garden and gym equipments make the place a good choice for those that want to relax or keep fit. It has volleyball, soccer and basketball courts free for use.

When: Daily, from 06  to 22
Where: Rua do Paraíso, 387
Budget: Free

17. Casa de Vidro

Casa de Vidro Sao Paulo

Casa de Vidro Sao Paulo

Glass House in English, it was built by the modernist architect  Lina Bo Bardi back in 1951, but its contemporary style turns the house in a futurist monument, like a Woody Allen movie from the 1960s, albeit conserving the nature. It has more than  7.000 m² of area in the heart of  the Morumbi, an upscale neighborhood, where you can find fine restaurants and high end shops. It hosts the Institute Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi, with a personal collection of the couple, that consists in arts, furniture, documents and about 7.500 draws of  Lina artpiece.

When: you must schedule in advance the visits at the website:
Where: Rua General Almério de Moura, 200
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)

18. Catavento Cultural

Catavento Cultural Sao Paulo

Catavento Cultural Sao Paulo

The building that was conceived to be the Industry Palace in 1924, it became a space for science expositions. Themes as Universe, Life, Engines and Society are taught in an interactive way, in the most visited museum in the city. Do not miss if you are traveling with children.

When: check the website for  more information
Where: Praça Cívica Ulisses Guimarães, S/N – Brás
Budget: Free

19. Così, in the Santa Cecília region - Things to do in Sao Paulo

Restaurant Così Santa Cecília Sao Paulo

Restaurant Così Santa Cecília Sao Paulo

São Paulo is an expensive city. If you are on a budget, we selected the Cosi, an italian restaurant- the city was mainly formed by Italian immigrants- located in a calm street, with an European atmosphere and that has won prizes in TripAdvisor. Enjoy the promo, if 2 people ask the executive menu, only one pays.

When: Lunch, Mondays to Fridays, from 12h to 15h, Saturdays 12h to 16h, Sunday 12h to 17h
Where: Rua Barão de Tatuí, 302
Budget: $$ (from 30 to 80 Reais)

20. Praça das Artes

Praça das Artes Sao Paulo

Praça das Artes Sao Paulo

Things to do in Sao Paulo - If you love ballet and music, and ARE counting the pennies, take your day to visit the Arts Square, or Praça das Artes. It has an intense cultural agenda, with mainly national concerts, ideal for you to know deeper the country.

When: Check agenda on the website:
Where: Avenida São João, 281
Budget: $$   (from 30 to 80 Reais)

Budget Classification

$ 1 to 30 reais
$$ from 30 to 80 reais
$$$ from 80 to 140 reais
$$$$ from 140 to 250 reais
$$$$$ more than 250 reais

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