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São Paulo is the capital of the state of Sao Paulo and Brazil's largest city with a population of over 10 million people. It is also the most populous city in South America and the southern hemisphere. Locals go by paulistanos and the stunning architecture, with many skyscrapers, can awe anyone.
São Paulo officially became a city in 1711 and the economy of the area grew fast. The city dealt with many economic changes during its life and continued to thrive, such as the dropping of coffee prices in the beginning of the 20th century. During the early 20th century, countless immigrants from Europe, the Middle East and Japan came to the city in order to find their riches. Today, São Paulo is considered the richest city in Brazil.
Northwest - Another suburban area that contains Parque Estadual do Jaraguá, where the highest point of the city is located.
Sala São Paulo is a beautiful concert hall located in Julio Prestes Station. The station was constructed between 1926 and 1938 and served as a train station for several decades. Then in the 1990s the grand hall of the train station was turned into the current day concert hall. In order to honor the original design of the station even the sand imported in the restoration effort was brought in from the original source when the building was built in 1926. Today the amazing concert hall has amazing acoustics and can seat 1498 people making it a great place to check out a classical symphony or opera.
The Sao Paulo Museum of Art houses a huge collection of Western art, as well as a large collection of Brazilian art and smaller collections of African and Asian arts and collections of Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman antiquities as well as Pre-Columbian artifacts. Since 1969 the museum is located on the present location on the Paulista Avenue. The building itself is considered to be one of best examples of Brazilian modern architecture. Amongst the highlights are piantings by Raphael, Botticelli, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Ibirapuera Park is an amazing park located in the city centre. The park is home to many stunning sights including The Obelisk, a lake and many museums.
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The FIFA World Cup 2014 will be held in Brazil. It takes place from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. The national teams of 32 countries will join the second biggest sports event in the world (after the Olympic Games). A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches will use goal-line technology. Twelve locations will be World Cup host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo. They cover all the main regions of Brazil and create more evenly distributed hosting than the 1950 finals in Brazil provided, when matches were concentrated in the south-east and south. As a result the tournament will require significant long-distance travel for teams. Brazil opens the tournament against Croatia, played in Sao Paulo on the 12th of June, and the final will be played on the 13th of July in Rio de Janeiro.
The city has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. In summer, mean temperatures are between 17 °C and 28 °C, and 32 °C on the hottest days. In winter, temperatures are between 11 °C and 23 °C, and 6 °C. on the coldest days. The highest temperature recorded was 35.3 °C on November 15, 1985 and the lowest recorded was -2 °C on August 2, 1955. Rainfall is abundant, amounting to an annual average of 1,454 millimetres. It is especially common in the warmer months and decreases in winter. During late winter, especially August, the city experiences the phenomenon known as "veranico" or "verãozinho" ("little summer"), which consists of a bout of unusually hot and dry weather, sometimes reaching temperatures well above 28 °C. On the other hand, relatively cool days during summer are fairly common when persistent winds blow from the ocean. On such occasions daily high temperatures may not surpass 20 °C.
|Avg Max||27.3 °C||28 °C||27.2 °C||25.1 °C||23 °C||21.8 °C||21.8 °C||23.3 °C||23.9 °C||24.8 °C||25.9 °C||26.3 °C|
|Avg Min||18.7 °C||18.8 °C||18.2 °C||16.3 °C||13.8 °C||12.4 °C||11.7 °C||12.8 °C||13.9 °C||15.3 °C||16.6 °C||17.7 °C|
|Rainfall||238.7 mm||217.4 mm||159.8 mm||75.8 mm||73.6 mm||55.7 mm||44.1 mm||38.9 mm||80.5 mm||123.6 mm||145.8 mm||200.9 mm|
Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) is the busiest airport in Brazil and located about 25 kilometres from the city centre. This airport is a major hub for South America making it possible to fly almost from any major city in South America and Brazil to and from here. The passenger traffic is split between two terminals and has over 260 check-in counters. Around 40 airlines from this airport serve dozens of cities in Brazil, and countries in South America and beyond. Some of the main international cities served are Buenos Aires, Mexico City, New York JFK, Amsterdam, Toronto, Beijing, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Seoul, Lima, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Chicago, Lisbon and London.
To/from the airport
Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH) only offers domestic flights with around 5 airlines serving several dozens of destinations throughout Brazil. Taxis are available outside of the airport, keep in mind that not all international credit cards work in Brazil so it's useful to have local currency to pay for your journey when you arrive. A taxi from Sao Paulo Congonhas airport will take around 40 minutes to most hotels in the downtown area.
Taxis are available outside of both airports, keep in mind that not all international credit cards work in Brazil so it's useful to have local currency to pay for your journey when you arrive. Keep in mind that Sao Paulo has very bad traffic and journey times can increase dramatically if travelling to or from the airport in peak hours.
Transport in São Paulo can be anything from complicated to hellish. Peak hours are normally roughly 6:00am-9:00am and 4:00pm-8:00pm, but since city roads are constantly on the edge of their capacity, any little incident can cause major queues and delays. The cheapest way for tourists to get around is to use the subway/metro, trains and trolleybuses as much as possible, and then take a taxi for shorter distances.
Cars are an important tool in the life of every paulistano. By commuting to and from work, one can spend several hours a day inside a car, stuck in the traffic. Some places can be reached only by car, and if you have to travel long distances in town, it is usually the most convenient means of transport. It is also part of the São Paulo's own urban culture.It is common for some middle- and upper-class young people to receive a car from their families if they passed the entrance exams for university.
However, as is true in many big cities, getting around by car is borderline crazy if you're not used to São Paulo. Traffic can be chaotic and parking is a nightmare. It is also not so straightforward to find your way in certain neighbourhoods where streets can get windy. So be warned that visitors to São Paulo don't really need a car.
The city has 61.3 kilometres of underground and light rail systems. With 4 lines operating and 55 stations it is possible to get to many tourist locations in the city by the public metro. Check the Metrô - SP page for more information. The three companies operating the rail network are Metrô, CPTM and ViaQuatro. There are the lines which are more likely to be useful to a visitor:
The Bilhete Único is a transport smartcard that is used for paying fares on buses, subways, and trains. In essence, a single billing of the card grants a person up to four trips in São Paulo's public transportation system with free transfers between the subway system and buses within 3 hours. Fare charging rules are as follows:
Although required by the national transit law, pedestrians are definitely not the priority in Sao Paulo, where cars dominate the streets and roads. Take care whenever crossing the streets, watching out for cars that may come unexpectedly, even if the pedestrian lights are green. Do not try to cross large roads with a high volumes of car traffic: usually there will be a pedestrian viaduct or bridge at some point in the sidewalk. Despite the aggressiveness found in the transit, one can still have peaceful walks across town. The Historic Center area and Avenida Paulista are definitely places to be explored on foot. Check the individual district listings for other nice walks.
Only a few places in the city have segregated cycle facilities.
São Paulo is home to a superb diversity of restaurants and cuisines, where you can enjoy typical dishes from literally all over the world. The price range is as wide as the diversity of the restaurants in the city, from cheap snacks and meals in simple and cozy restaurants and food tents in popular markets, to the hugely expensive high end cuisine and internationally recognized restaurants, such as D.O.M (see below), which was (in 2012) elected the 4th best restaurant in the World and the best in South America by The World's 50 Best Restaurants.
The city is also home to a vast array of Brazilian and international fast-food chains, offering varying options ranging from burgers, to sushi and kebab. The fast-food chain Habib's, which originated in São Paulo, is the favorite of lower class Paulistanos due to its cheap "Arab-Brazilian" snacks.
In São Paulo, the ever-present beans-and-rice accompaniment typically involves brown beans instead of black beans, as in Rio. Another typical food in São Paulo is the Virado à Paulista, which consists of rice, tutu de feijão (a paste of beans and manioc flour; sometimes made of corn flour, in order to be drier than the manioc flour one), kale sautéed with garlic (couve) and pork chops, typically bisteca. It is usually accompanied by pork rinds, bits of sausage, a fried egg and a fried banana.
One dish that claims its local character is the bauru sandwich, allegedly created by a druken student from the University of São Paulo's law school at the Ponto Chic restaurant after a long night out. It consists of four types of melted cheese and sliced roastbeef, and it still endures as one ubiquitous snack in padarias (Brazilian-style eateries).
Japanese restaurants of the rodizio style are found pretty much everywhere, but mainly in the past decade, São Paulo became world famous for its excellent Japan-like and fusion restaurants, including ramen and udon shops and exquisite sushi and sashimi sets, which sometimes even come at a reasonable price. Many of these types of restaurants can be found down rua Tomaz Gonzaga in Liberdade, where connaisseurs of good food have already found their way in. On weekends, these restaurants can be packed, so arrive early to avoid queues.
Another typical type of restaurant in São Paulo are the world-famous churrascarias, where an enormous range of meats and cuts comes to your table by the stick; they also offer a range of sides and salads. In those places, you can eat as much as you want, paying a single fee whose price range may vary from R$45 to R$115. This system is called rodízio, and it has been very successful in the city, spreading to other types of cuisine like Italian, where you can find the rodízio de pizza and Japanese, with the rodízio de sushi.
The cuisine of São Paulo shows the influence of European, Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants. The majority of immigrants in São Paulo arrived from Italy, and other European countries like Portugal, Spain and Germany. There are also large numbers of Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants from Japan, Lebanon and many other countries. Therefore, it is possible to find a wide array of cuisines in the city of São Paulo. Pizza is a particularly popular dish, which can be found with an endless range of toppings, and paulistas will swear their city has the best pizza in the country, if not in the world.
When eating out, a tip of 10% on the value of the bill is usually included. Some restaurants don't include this service charge (when you may come across the message "Serviço não incluso" at the end of the bill), but unless the staff are upsettingly rude, do pay the standard 10 percent tip as it is usually part of their wages.
You will have no trouble finding bars in São Paulo, where you can enjoy an ice cold beer, a shot of cachaça or a caipirinha - or anything else for that matter. A chopp (a 300 ml glass of draught beer) will set you back between R$3 and R$10 (in extreme cases), depending on the bar, but anything around R$4, R$5 is fine. Vila Madalena and Itaim have a very high concentration of bars, and are great spots for an all-nighter. For specific suggestions of bars, check the district section.
|3Dogs Hostel||Rua Cel. Artur Godoi 51||Hostel||-|
|4 Friends Hostel||Cristiano Viana , 448 Street Pinheiros||hostel||-|
|Atma Hostel||Rua Leopoldo Couto de Magalhaes Junior, 1195||Hostel||-|
|Beats Hostel Sao Paulo||Alameda Ribeirao Preto 258 Bela Vista||Hostel||77|
|Casa Club Hostel Bar||Rua Mourato Coelho 973 - Vila Madalena - Sao Paulo||Hostel||75|
|Gol Backpackers||Rua Sao Carlos do Pinhal, 461||Hostel||-|
|HI Praça da Arvore||R Pageu 266, Chacara Inglesa||Hostel||84|
|HI Sampa||Rua Girassol, 519||Hostel||85|
|HI São Paulo Downtown||Rua Barao de Campinas, 94 - Centro||Hostel||-|
|Hostel Alice||Rua Harmonia, 1275||Hostel||87|
|Hostel Bem te Vi - Brazil||av.Benedito J. da Silva 840 Sertaozinho Santo Antonio do Pinhal||hostel||-|
|Hostel Vergueiro||Rua Vergueiro.434||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Rojas All Suite||Av. Sao Joao , 1399||Hotel||84|
|LimeTime Hostels Sao Paulo||Rua Treze de Maio, 1552 Bela Vista||Hostel||79|
|Loisuites Belgrano Hotel||Rua Marques De Paranagua 88 Consolacao||hotel||-|
|Ô de Casa Hostel||Rua Inacio Pereira da Rocha, 385 Vila Madalena||Hostel||85|
|Oca Hostel||Manuel de Paiva ,147||Hostel||88|
|Okupe Hostel - Jardins||Avenida Rebouas, 990 So Paulo - SP||HOSTEL||83|
|Okupe Hostel - Vila Mariana||Rua Sud Mennucci, 159 Vila Mariana||Hostel||-|
|Olah Hostel||Alceu Wamosy, 40 Vila Mariana||Hostel||84|
|Pauliceia Hostel||R. Herculano de Freitas, 250 Bela Vista||Hostel||84|
|Pousada dos Franceses||Rua dos Franceses, 100||Hostel||-|
|Pousada e Hostel São Paulo - Jardim América||Rua Cristiano Viana, 448||Guesthouse||-|
|Pousada e Hostel São Paulo - Jardim Paulista||Avenida Reboucas, 1015||Hostel||-|
|Pousada Paulista||Av Helio Lobo 450 Campo Belo||hostel||-|
|Saci Hostel||Verissimo Gloria Sumare||Hostel||-|
|Santana Gold Flat||R. Dr Olavo Egídio, 170 Santana||hotel||-|
|Sao Paulo Global Hostel||Rua Ea de Queiroz 560 - Vila Mariana||HOSTEL||82|
|Starlight Hostel||Rua Alberto de Oliveira, 62 Bela Vista||Hostel||-|
|Telstar Hostels||Rua Capitao Cavalcanti, 177 Vila Mariana||Hostel||82|
|Tu Casa Hostel||Rua Eng. Joao Monteiro da Gama, 92||Hostel||-|
|Vila Bonita Hostel||Rua Franca Pinto, 978, Vila Mariana||Hostel||-|
|Vila Madalena Hostel||Rua Francisco Leitao, 686||Hostel||-|
|155 Hotel||Rua Martinho Prado, 173||Hotel||-|
|Santa Maloca Hostel||Rua Rodesia, 140 Vila Madalena||HOSTEL||-|
|Escambo Hostel||Rua Coronel Oscar Porto, 33 - Paraiso||HOSTEL||-|
|Flat Central Park Jardins||Alameda Ministro Rocha Azevedo, 523 Jardins||HOTEL||-|
|Uvaia Hostel||Rua Morgado de Mateus, 273 - Vila Mariana||HOSTEL||77|
|CityLights Hostel||R. Padre Garcia velho, 44, Pinheiros||HOSTEL||93|
|Dom Hostel||Doutor Marrey Junior, 127||HOSTEL||-|
|Hey Hostel||Rua Bartolomeu Zunega, 43 - Pinheiros||HOSTEL||81|
|Giramondo Hostel||Rua Girassol, 471, Vila Madalena||HOSTEL||-|
|WE Hostel Design||Rua Morgado de Mateus, 567 Vila Mariana - São Paulo||HOSTEL||84|
|Nahu Hostel Butanta||Rua Marinha de Moura Pimenta, 354||HOSTEL||-|
|Green Grass Hostel||Rua Herval , 427 Belem||HOSTEL||87|
|Easybed Hostel||Rua Barata Ribeiro 96, Bela Vista||HOSTEL||-|
|Guest 607||Rua Joao Moura, 607 Pinheiros||HOSTEL||-|
|Pousada Perdizes||Av Pompeia 1408D||Hostel||-|
|Mi Casa Su Casa Aero Hostel||Rua Tapes 740 Campo Belo||Hostel||-|
|Friendstel||Rua Dr. Penaforte Mendes, 228 Bela Vista||HOSTEL||-|
|Sao Paulo Lodge||Rua Sena Madureira 42||HOSTEL||85|
|Vila Rock Hostel||Rua Cardoso de Almeida, 2277||HOSTEL||87|
|Casarao do Bixiga||Rua 13 de Maio, 734 Bela Vista||HOSTEL||-|
|Palacete dos Ingleses||Rua dos Franceses, 04||HOSTEL||-|
|Alto do Ipiranga Hostel||Rua do Lago, 22 - Ipiranga||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel Jardim São Paulo Airport||Rua Visconde de Itaborai, 245 Tatuape||HOSTEL||-|
|Tah! Hostel||Rua Sud Menucci, 159 Vila Mariana||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel Casa Branca||Rua Raul Pompeia, 887||HOSTEL||-|
|Morumbi Hostel||Av. Padre Lebret, 822. Jardim Leonor.||HOTEL||-|
|Bella Paulista Hostel||Rua Maestro Cardim, 1260 Bela Vista||HOSTEL||-|
|Girassol Hostel Vila Madalena||Rua Purpurina 199 F, Vila Madalena.||HOSTEL||-|
|Mooca Atlantica Hostel||Rua Padre Raposo, 563||HOSTEL||-|
|El Visitante Hostel||Rua Humberto I, 486 Vila Mariana||HOSTEL||-|
|Aquarela SP Hostel||Rua Jose Antonio Coelho, 504 Vila Mariana||HOSTEL||83|
|Hostel Jardim Paulista||Al Joaquim Eugenio de Lima 180||HOSTEL||-|
|Paradiso Hostel Sao Paulo||Rua Chui, 195 Vila Mariana||HOSTEL||-|
|Pousada Leste||Rua Henrique Lindenberg, 28 Tatuape||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Pousada West||Rua Cristiano Viana, 188 Pinheiros||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Gorgeous Penthouse With Private Pool||Av Prefeito Fabio Prado, 110 Apt 121||APARTMENT||-|
|Uvaia Hostel||Rua Morgado de Mateus, 273 Vila Mariana||Hotel||-|
|The Hostel Paulista||Rua Pamplona, 793 Jardins||HOSTEL||83|
|Que Tal Hostel e Arte||Rua Vergueiro, 3393||HOSTEL||-|
|Don Valente Pousada||Rua Capote Valente, 696 Pinheiros||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Che Lagarto Suites Sao Paulo||Rua Humberto I, 745||HOSTEL||-|
|Brazilodge All Suites Hostel||Rua Rio Grande, 167||HOSTEL||87|
|Mama Brasil Hostel||Rua Itapeva, 88||HOSTEL||-|
Internet cafes (Lan houses) are increasingly common, and even small towns often have at least one spot with more or less decent connections.
An increasing number of hotels, airports and shopping malls also offer hotspots for Wi-Fi with your laptop computer or of course smartphone. Sometimes it is free, sometimes you need to register and there is a time limite and sometimes you need to pay a small amount for (day) use.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Brazil is: 55. To make an international call from , the code is: 0014. All cities use the following emergency numbers: 190 (police), 192 (medical) and 193 (fire department). However, if you dial 911 or 112 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police.
Brazil uses two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones.
Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 credits. The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them.
Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo (Telefónica Group), Claro (Telmex/América Móvil Group), OI and TIM (Telecom Italia Group), all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks. Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc.
Correios is the national postal service of Brazil. It is a government run postal service and overseen by the Brazilian Ministry of Communications. Post offices are generally open from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 5:00pm, although post offices located in shopping malls have their own opening hours, usually from 10:00am to 10:00pm. There are no set opening hours at weekends and as post office owners can choose when to open and close. More and more post offices are open until 1:00pm on Saturdays though. You can check things at the nearest post office.
Sending postcards, letters and parcels is a rather straightforward process and services are reliable, though not overly fast when sending post internationally, mostly taking about a week to the USA and Europe, and there is a track-and-trace service for this as well. Domestically, there are both next day as well as more expensive same day delivery options. Stamps are available at post offices, as well as some kiosks or other places where they sell postcards.
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