Sao Paulo – travel tips

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  dubtraveller 11 Jun 2011
at 20:02

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  • Anonymous


    Off for a week here on business – first timer here.
    Whilst local Office staff will have plenty of information, I would also be grateful for any insights, things to do (and watch out for!), restaurants, tipping practices, currency (or cards) – the usual advice – from the forum! Have the Sunday free – staying in Faria Lima.
    Thanks everyone.


    The beach – the beach. The “views” are spectacular.


    Although as Sao Paulo is about 75km from the coast you will need to be a genius to see it.

    I came back from SP last week. Much depends where you are staying (Paulista?) as it is a big place and with bad traffic can take ages to get around. Cards accepted in the bigger outlets although there are plenty of smaller bars and restaurants that don’t take them. Plenty of exchange outlets at Guarulos airport although ATMs accept most UK cards. Most restaurants include 10% service, no tips required in taxis, small change in other places. If you are arriving at Guarulos you can take the bus into the city, a lot cheaper, buy your tickets from the bus office on the service road outside the terminal. As you probably know crime can be a problem so best not to wander around loaded with valuables, however I walked quite a bit in the central areas and it is perfectly safe with some very pleasant family run bars, restaurants etc a couple of blocks back from the main drags. Final thing, SP is generally expensive.


    I often fly into SP but my business takes me out to Campinas etc so I never stay in the city.

    my advice, traffic traffic traffic.

    twice I have almost missed a flight, and once i did. that was despite planning to arrive at airport at least 3 hours before a flight.

    getting around, as I have to go to several towns then a taxi is out of the question, private hire is astronomical…hiring and driving isnt so easy unles you are good at portugese. I have a friend who drives me around, I pay for the hire car, she drives it and I pay her 100 bucks a day for all day and evening. nothing like having a local take you around!


    – Ibirapuera Park (aka Parque Ibirapuera) before noon. Nice place to people watch on Sunday morning
    – head over to Mercado Municipal de São Paulo. Be sure to try a Mortadela sandwich w/ chopp

    I was there in early April and I loved the vibe of SP.

    I highly recommend an alfresco lunch at Capim Santo, Al Ministro Rocha Azevedo 471, tel 3068 8486 which serves a yummy buffet lunch of local favourites and desserts to die for. A friend took me to dinner at another restaurant which had a huge fig tree in the courtyard – very atmospheric and the food wasn’t bad too.

    If you are a Havaiiana fan, there’s a big emporium for these flip flops on the swanky shopping street of Oscar Freire, but if arts and crafts are your bag, then head for the flea market on Placa Benedito Calixto which takes place on Saturdays. Have fun!


    Thanks to all of you for the advice – staying the Sun night in the Renaissance, and then in the Blue Tree, Faria Lima for rest of week. Will report back. Anyone caught a game of soccer there? Next thread to be started for Buenos Aires (which seems to be particularly popular with everyone I know)!


    Renaissance I think is in Jardins (Sao Paulo version of Polanco or Beverly Hills – Nice). Blue Tree Faria Lima will be a disappointment. It is opposite the offices of my old company so avoided traffic but not exactly top of the range. A lot of the business hotels Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton are out in Morumbi which invlves Berrini Avenue which is a four lane parking lot. They have removed the favella in the last 3 years so it feels safer.
    I was in Sao Paulo for a year in 2008, have to say good restaurants but city is all about commerce not fun. I really enjoyed my three side trips all of which I would recommend if you have weekend. Iguazu Falls, short plane ride on TAM makes Niagra look like a broken pipe. DO Brazilian and Argentinian side and stay at Hotel in Park on Brazilian side, waking up to noise of falls is amazing. Paraty, UNESCO site not far from RIo, a 3 hr car ride. Beautiful preserved town from Portuguese Gold days with nature trails as well on ocean, Spectacular and htere is a small hotel on one of the islands – awesome and finally Rio (or Hio as they pronounce it). I staye dtwice at Ceasr Park (Brazilian chain) on Ipanema Beach – just sit in the sun, drink the Chop and watch the scenery (as they walk by). Ahhhh memories. remember Southern Hemisphere so entering WInter now.
    Just saw your comment on soccer. The Corinthians (Sao Paulo team) stadium is just past Morumbi.
    PS Unless you are lucky be prepared for long wait in Immigration, evryone seems to arrive together from Europe.


    RichHI1 – just catching up on that whilst waiting to board (at CDG). Now at Blue Tree for entire stay. I am not expecting much (but am used to that)! Looking at the arrival timings there, it does sound like I am in for a long arduous morning…similar to what many have experienced (including me) in the US (Miami thread resonates here). Thanks for the suggestions, which sound great.

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