Book a window seat on your flight to Sao Paulo and take in the awe-inspiring view of high rises as you approach the Sao Paulo airport. Originally a mission station set up in 1554 by Jesuit priests on the banks of the Rio Tiete, the city of Sao Paulo today is an awesome megalopolis, and the industrial and commercial powerhouse of Brazil. The city grew wealthy on coffee cultivation in the mid-19th century, thanks to the rich soil of the region, and the plantation owners took up residence in the bustling regional center. Today 17-million proud Paulistanosca call Sao Paublo home.
Visitors taking flights to Sao Paulo will vacation in the financial center of Brazil and home to Latin America’s largest stock exchange.
Sao Paulo climate
Sao Paulo is mild year-round. July is the coolest winter month, when temperatures can go down to the 50s (Fahrenheit). February is the hottest summer month with high temperatures in the low 80s (Fahrenheit). Heavy rains are common from November through March, when it rains nearly every afternoon.
Best Time to Fly to Sao Paulo
The business capital of Brazil, 75 percent of the country’s fairs and congresses are held in Sao Paulo so the city is busy year-round.
April through December the city also hosts film and music festivals, and fashion and art exhibits. If you are planning on visiting Campos do Jordao in June or July, book your stay in advance. Sao Paulo flights and hotels book up fast during the summer season so it's a good idea to book ahead.
In summer, also make reservations for beach vacations as far in advance as possible.
Rain is likely during the winter months, but cheap Sao Paulo flights and accommodations can be found.
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Getting around Sao Paulo
Between Sao Paolo’s convenient public transportation and walking, you won’t have any trouble getting around town. The subway can take you almost anywhere on its two main lines between 5am and midnight. For the rest of the town, you can take a bus. They run frequently, so just flag one down when you need to hop on. During the day the city is safe, but you should check with your hotel about where to walk safely at night. Taxis are the safest way to get around at night. Don’t worry about finding a taxi – there are plenty in Sao Paulo, and they can be hailed on the street or picked up at a taxi stand. Traffic is horrible in the city, to the point that Sao Paulo has the world’s largest fleet of civilian helicopters to get commuters to work. In an attempt to help the traffic, cars are restricted from driving on certain days, according to the last digits of their license plate numbers.
Sao Paulo Travel Information
- See the city from the Banespa Tower's observation deck on the 35th floor. The Edificio Italia is said to be the city’s second-tallest building. The Terraco Italia restaurant is on the top floor and offers 360-degree views of Sao Paulo.
- The Parque do Ibirapuera covers more than one thousand miles. The Modern Art and Contemporary Art museum is here, as are the planetarium - shaped like a flying saucer, the first in the Southern Hemisphere - and Japanese Pavilion. See the Monument to the Bandeirantes, who left the city in the 17th and 18th centuries to explore Brazil. Other parks in the city include: Burle Marx, Jardim Botanico and Aclimacao.
- Parque Zoologico de Sao Paulo is one of the largest zoos in the world. There are more than 3,000 reptiles, birds and mammals in residence here. Also Simba Safari offers the chance to see animals including lions, zebras and monkeys roam freely in their natural environment.
- The Mercado Municipal is a large covered market that sells all sorts of food items.
- Cathedral Se is one of the five largest Gothic-style churches in the world, modelled after Notre Dame in Paris. The Metropolitan Cathedral is a mix of Byzantine and High German Gothic.
- The Jardins district is a great place to stroll around. The charming narrow streets boast several cafes and restaurants.
- Sao Paulo’s oldest museum is in Independence Park. Its collection dates from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. There are landscaped gardens modelled after those of the Palace of Versailles in France.
- The Museo de Arte Sacra has a fine collection of wooden and terracotta masks, jewellery, and religious art and objects from all over Brazil from the 17th century to the present day.
- The Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) boasts a great collection of European and Brazilian art from the Renaissance to Contemporary Modern.
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