With-in the state of Sao Paulo lies its capital and largest city Sao Paulo City. It is also the largest city in Brazil and the second largest city in the world! With over 20 million inhabitants or Paulistas as they are known, Sao Paulo City is the antithesis of Rio de Janeiro. With its canyons of high rises lunging upwards to the sky and its cosmopolitan atmosphere, trellises of subways and ethnic communities, comparisons are often made to that of New York City. Rio, by contrast, and although significantly larger would liken more to a New Orleans.
Rio means fun but Sao Paulo means business. And though locals here in this financial hub of Brazil pride themselves on their work ethic and savvy monetary acumen Sao Paulo is not without its own cultural and recreational acuity. Excellent and historic museums notably the Ipiranga Imperial Museum, the Pinacoteca Museum or the Masp Museum hold safe some of the greatest art collections, sculptures and furnishings to be found anywhere in the world. Museums can also be found at Ibirapuera Park along with many attractions, a sports complex, planetarium, beautiful shrubbery and vegetation around the lakes and cafes for refreshments.
Since the early 1900’s immigration from all over the world primarily Japan, Italy, the Middle East and Eastern Europe has concluded in the forming of many consequential minority communities. Each of these cultures has held in place their time honored traditions of culinary uniqueness thus encasing dining experiences unequaled to anywhere else in Brazil. And Brazilian beef is internationally famous.
Travel to the business district (Jardines) and come face to face with infinite choices of exotic and delightful cuisines. Here also is found a healthy night life. Bars, clubs, and social endeavors for all tastes and lifestyles often attracting top shelf entertainment from all over the world. Sao Paulo much like New York is a city which rarely sleeps. It is not uncommon to find merchants and commercial establishments open 24 hours a day.
Intermingled amongst the city are shops, malls and boutiques featuring designer labels and street fairs for those travelers looking to fill a special spot on their mantle. Neither do you have to look far for exciting daytime activities. Racetracks (both horse and auto), soccer stadiums holding over 100,000 people, historical venues, dozens of parks and world renowned zoos are but a few of the many leisure’s available.
If riding subways (though they are nice subways) and surrounding yourself with twenty million people and uncountable yards of concrete begins to wear thin, then head for the coast. It’s only an hour away, roads are good, scenery spectacular, beaches plentiful and the escape refreshing. But don’t stay too long there are many more treasures to uncover in the great city of Sao Paulo.