Sao Paulo Tourist Information and Tourism

(Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Skyline image, showing the modern high-rise buildingsAlthough Brasilia may be the capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo is actually by far the biggest city and plays an integral part in the country's economy and tourism industry. Many tourists find its a little hard to distinguish the actual city from the Sao Paulo state, since the boundaries of this sprawling city are quite vast, and the Greater Sao Paulo area is actually the third-biggest megalopolis on the planet.

The urban jungle that is Sao Paulo is an exciting place to holiday and relatively easy way to find your way around, thanks to the well-planned and efficient metro train network. The main tourist attractions in Sao Paulo tend to be located within the metropolitan neighbourhood and the areas of Bela Vista, Bom Retiro, Liberdade, the Praca da Sé and the Cerqueira César, which resides alongside the skyscraper-filled Avenida Paulista and boasts an unrivalled cluster of restaurants, bars and nightspots.

Tourist information booths are scattered around central Sao Paulo and can be found on the Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, the Avenida Paulista, the Avenida Sao Luis and in the Praca de Republica. The official state tourist office is situated on the Praca Antonio Prado and within the Banespa building, and features information about both the city and the state.

Aerial view of the Brazilian cityscape, showing historic cathedral

Sao Paulo Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Currently the third-largest city on the planet, the tourist attractions in Sao Paulo certainly compete for your attention and are as varied as they are plentiful. The Zoological Gardens known as the Jardim Zoológico are especially family friendly, as is the Ibirapuera Park (Parque do Ibirapuera), where highlights include aquariums, a planetarium, lakes and even a collection of colourful orchids. Offering a tranquil alternative to the bustling centre of Sao Paulo, the city's beautiful Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botánico) lies on the southern side of the city and is filled with exotic plants and flowers. More information about Sao Paulo Tourist Attractions.

Picture showing the Museo do Iparanga and gardensThe towering landmarks of Sao Paulo have certainly given this city a very unique character and many of its tallest skyscrapers actually date from the middle of the 20th century and often boast a strong Art Deco flavour. This is especially true of the Altino Arantes Building (Banespa Skyscraper), which was built in the early part of the 1940s and remained the city's tallest structure for no less than two decades. The Banespa comes complete with observation deck, and on a clear day, tourists will be able to soak in views stretching for some 40 km / 25 miles. At around 100 years old, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sao Paulo is another impressive site. Do take a stroll along the Avenida Paulista for further high-rise buildings, or head down the Avenida Ipiranga, where the Edificio Itália lives. More information about Sao Paulo Landmarks and Monuments.

Photo of Ibirapuera Park (Parque do Ibirapuera)For a taster of the city's rich Brazilian history, the museums of Sao Paulo offer much in the way of information and exhibits. The Immigrant Memorial Museum offers an insight into the city's diversity, while the city's Museum of Zoology contains a huge collection of stuffed animals, which is amongst the biggest in Latin America. Local Paulistanos certainly enjoy art and many galleries present themselves around Sao Paulo, such as the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, the Estacao Júlio Prestes Gallery and the Museum of Art (Museu de Arte). More information about Sao Paulo Museums and Sao Paulo Art Galleries.

Image of local templeThe very scenic Paulista Coast is only a relatively short drive from Sao Paulo city centre and lends itself as a good destination for day trippers, where the glorious beaches of Guaruja await tourists. Also much visited is the beachfront of Bertioga, the Open Arts Fair of Embu das Artes, the wineries of Louveira, and the seaside attractions of Santos, Sao Sebastiao and Ubatuba. However, it is the Brazilian party capital of Rio de Janeiro that really stands out and although too far to make a day trip possible, really should be experienced in the flesh, particularly during Rio's very famous carnival season. More information about Sao Paulo Attractions Nearby.

More Sao Paulo Information / Fast Facts and Orientation