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24 hours in São Paulo

São Paulo is an important financial, political and cultural centre in Brazil. It is home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the country and is famous for its cuisine, markets and museums. If you are visiting, here is our top pick of places to see.

1. Visit the Ibirapuera Park

This is the best way to spend a day basking in São Paulo's warm climate. The park is the biggest green space in the city and you can easily pass a few hours here. Take a stroll, ride a bike, go to a museum within the park, enjoy the lake or take in the work of famous Brazilian architect Niemeyer.

2. See the São Paulo Cathedral 

São Paulo's Metropolitan Cathedral has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1954 and is a beautiful example of neo-gothic architecture. Situated in a peaceful square in the heart of the city it is São Paulo's biggest cathedral, with a capacity for 8,000 people. The incredible stained glass windows are a highlight.

3. Listen to samba music

On a Saturday night many bars in the city play live samba music, so if you are visiting get involved! Grab a caipirinha, join in and have some fun. You can also enjoy the traditional Brazilian feast, known as feijoada, eaten on Saturdays (a pork, bean and rice stew).  

4. São Paulo Museum of Art

This art museum, also known as Museu de Arte de São Paulo or MASP, is famous for containing the best collection of European art anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. On display include works by Van Gogh, Rafaello, Botticelli, Goya and Monet. The building itself is an iconic modern landmark in the city and was designed by the architect Lina Bo Bardi. Make sure you visit on a Sunday as there is an antique fair, which is held in the open space underneath the museum.

5. Formula 1

Formula 1 motor racing is one of the most popular sports in Brazil, thanks in no small part to Paulista Ayrton Senna and São Paulo is home to the Brazilian Grand Prix.  If you're in the city do check out if there are any races happening during your trip. The next Grand Prix starts place on 9th November 2014 at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace.

6. Go to Sala São Paulo - Julio Prestes Cultural Centre

The Julio Prestes Cultural Centre is based in the restored Julio Prestes train station and houses the Sala São Paulo, one of the best concert halls in the world. It is home to the São Paulo State Symphonic Orchestra (OSESP), one of the top orchestras in South America. It's definitely worth trying to get a ticket to go there.

7. Do some shopping

Since the launch of São Paulo Fashion Week, the city has become a well-known location for haute couture not just locally but internationally. Shop at high-end boutiques in the Jardins district, head to the main shopping area in Rua Oscar Freire and Alameda Lorena or check out the local markets for a truly unique item to take home. 


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