The largest city in Brazil with the most diverse ethnicity, Sampa or Sao Paulo as we know it is the most under rated city when it comes to travel and tourism. Away from the circuit of beaches, Sao Paulo has its own idiosyncrasies to explore. From the exquisite way of living of its inhabitants to the world class restaurants and the diverse and international cuisines they have to offer, Sao Paulo never disappoints to please of your taste buds.
Living in Sao Paulo does not differ in great deal than being a part of a big carnival. Hosting approximately ninety thousand events every year of fashion, business, and culture and beyond, Paulistan is a big fiesta in itself. A land of possibilities for all the Brazilians, Sao Paulo may seem like an urban jungle at first but it is as vibrant and lively as the rest of the Brazil. The place is happening as ever and, literally, never sleeps. You will find the most happening nightclubs here; people ever ready to teach you Samba. But the peace in the museum never fails to inspire and learn. It also has the most beautiful theatres built in European style, reminding us of the history of colonialism it went through. After the Europeans left, the city experienced flourishing economic prosperity due to trade in coffee plantation, making it the capital of the Southeastern state.
Sao Paulo is a mixture of Milan and New York as described by people. This never stopping city not only appreciates food but food here is a serious business with approximately twelve thousand restaurants. ‘Imigrantes’ or as we say immigrants is the word of the city. It is home to the largest number of Japanese people living outside Japan; and also the largest number of Italian people living outside Italy. Waves of immigration brought a mixture of culture and cuisines: Italian, Arabian, Lebanese, Chinese and just about any imaginable dish on top of the traditional Brazilian cuisine. The city also comprises of more than hundred theatres, seventy museums, thirty two shopping centers and a dozen cultural centers.
Places to visit
This place is the commercial centre of the city; the grandest boulevard which is a mixture of both history and modern buildings. Sao Paulo Museum of Art (Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo), locally known as MSAP and Casa des Rosas (House of Roses) are both located in the avenue and are usually packed with art exhibitions. Further, this is the place where it largest Gay Pride takes place in May/June. Apart from the buildings built in many architectural styles, there is no lack of sights to behold. The streets are filled with people selling their paintings in the local market. There is nothing better than the random street art and decorations. In no time one can notice the phone booths that are functional piece of art; for instance, ‘the brain’ by the metro exit.
Though this place has degraded over the years, it still is home to great architectural masterpieces built by the Portuguese. It represents the cultural and historic value of the city, and is therefore the source of inspiration to many artists and photographers of the city, who can see on it much of the personality of the city.
Rio Pinheiros river area
The shore of the river has the most interesting and beautiful areas. The two sides of the river have totally different aspects of life. The West shore comprises of the numerous skyscrapers that compose the business centers of Brooklyn Novo and Vila Olimpia. This shore also has the longest cycling track which can be taken to enjoy the serenity of the city, away from the bustling streets. The East shore, on the other hand presents a contrast in itself with two different kinds of living. The one side to it is the luxurious apartments and mansions; the other includes the low class suburb and favelas. The magnificent train line Ponte Octavia Frias, runs along the river giving it a majestic look.
It is the green space amidst the concrete jungle. This is a park with many monuments, museum, theatre running and cycling tracks and what not. Designed in 1954, but built in 2005, Ibirapuera is the work of the famous architect Oscar Neimeyer. House to some of the citys best cultural and art establishments, the place has a number of pavilions and halls by the same architect, proving his brilliance. It also holds free concerts on weekends.
Though the place is considered dense and grey, it still has a large area covered by the Atlantic Rainforest. The parks are good for recreational activities but those are limited. Some of them are Parque do Carmo, Parque Ecológico do Tietê, APA Capivari Monos etc.
Museum and theatre halls
Built with absolute brilliance, these places describe the city at its best. Art being the center of the city, the innumerous museums should not be missed, especially Museu do Ipiranga and Memorial da America Latina due to their size and architecture. For the football maniacs, the place has four football stadiums, Morumbi, Parque Antarctica, Caninde and Pacaembu, with soccer museums inside.
The city has its own place for theatre in its heart. Two of the most important concert and opera houses of the city are Theatro Municipal and Sala Sao Paulo. While the language of the play is normally Portuguese, the many theatres of the city have plays in English, Spanish, German and French.
The Streets of Sao Paulo
The streets of SP have surprises on each turn. The city is ever crowded and fun to visit. The street food, local vendors, live musicians and the street art on the walls, the city is gets interesting as you move forward. This everyday carnival gives you the true essence of Sao Paulo. With a ‘pastel’ in your hand, which is the most famous street food, shopping here is an art. You can find almost anything here, with the best places to eat or have a drink. D.O.M, an internationally recognized restaurant was elected the 4th best in the world in the year 2012. With the abundant cultural diversity, places like Liberade, Sao Paulo’s Japanese district have a different cuisine to offer.
The nightlife is just as lively as in the day. If the Paulistanos are not working, they are clubbing.. The clubs are also varied providing entertainment for all tastes; from the traditional samba-rock live music to electro-pop night clubs.
The city is fast and one has to cope up to stay with the flow. With the various wonders it has on store, it also teaches one to dream big, aspire and seek the dream. You find inspiration at every corner of the street. With a large number of cultural activities on display each time of the year, waiting a moment to get your breath back might make you miss out on something large.