24 hours in Sao Paulo
Written by Marilane Borges Illustration by Fernando Volken Togni
São Paulo was initially founded in 1554 as a village by Portuguese missionaries, and by 1711 the city of São Paulo was created.
After the abolition of slavery in 1888, São Paulo started to receive waves of immigrants from Europe looking for jobs, and by 1914 almost two million foreigners had already settled in the state. These new immigrants started to interact with the original Paulista population of that period, which consisted of Portuguese, Indians, and African descendants, resulting in the colourful demographic that is found in São Paulo today. Since the 1950s, factories and industrialised areas have given way to a more service-based society. Industries such as hotels, international luxury stores, and restaurants now make up the city’s landscapes along with highways, large-scale monuments, and skyscraping buildings. From a village to a metropolis, the city saw an enormous increase in vehicle traffic and the population reached over 18 million people. Over the last 458 years, São Paulo has developed in different ways; however, one thing remains the same – it continues to move forward.
São Paulo, Brazil
The best means of transport, but be sure to avoid the infamous São Paulo traffic, which is worst during rush hour: 8–10am and 6–8pm. Taxi hire is 4.10 BRL (standard), 5.13 BRL (special), and 6.15 BRL (luxury).
A great option for those staying near Jardins, which is surrounded by beautiful shops, great restaurants, and very close to the most important street: Avenue Paulista.
São Paulo is a city full of charm and beauty, which is best discovered by foot. The Jardins neighbourhood has a concentration of the best restaurants and international brands, making it an excellent location to get a taste of the most glamorous aspects of the city. Strolling through this area uncovering its attractive storefront displays, art galleries, coffee shops, museums, and side streets with hidden boutiques is the perfect itinerary for a peaceful morning.
Advice: São Paulo is a megalopolis where everything is spread out, so the best way for foreigners to get around is by taxi. Ask your hotel receptionist to write down the names of the places you are visiting in Portuguese and show this to your driver. For those who prefer to walk, Jardins is undoubtedly the best location in town as everything is within close range.