Surprise in Sao Paulo

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Coming from a paradise Island and on route to one of the most iconic waterfalls in South America (Iguassu Falls) which is labelled one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, I have to be honest, we saw Sao Paulo as a ‘stop over’ between the two.

As it is South America’s largest City with over 8million in the City and 20+million in the metropolitan area and rich with native, colonial and imperial history, we gave it a gross dis-service. This City is truly unique and surprisingly lush with lush canopies and parks set against European architecture. In fact I kind of wish we had abit longer. At least to witness a Saturday night in the vibrant Vila Madelena district.

We've ot mentioned a hostel yet, but we stayed in the Viva Design Hostel. So far the best hostel we have stayed in. Great facilities, unique concrete block beds, super friendly staff and set in Vila Madelana, a really contemporary area and definitely where I’d recommend starting any Sao Paulo journey.

The Common Room for breakfast, dinner and everything in between

Without any real research, we spent alot of our time wondering the streets in Sao Paulo, which actually is one of the best ways to take in some of this City, especially through Vila Madelana, Pinheiros and Old Town districts.

Starting in Vila Madelana, we visited Beco Do Batman (Batman Allay) which is an ever changing concrete canvas that frames some of the City’s best graffiti. Another highlight close to this area is Praxa Por Do Sol (Sunset Square). On the approach to this park and again with little research, it is easy to doubt the view you can have but once you make your way to the top, the view is breathtaking and really gives you a perspective of the scale of this City... it is colossal! Beers, peanuts and picnic rug are essential ;). We also finally had a great cup of coffee in Brazil. You’d think was a given in the World’s largest exporter of the bean but apparently they export most of the good stuff. So if you’re looking for a cup of caffeine visit Coffee Lab in Vila Madelena... the banana bread is pretty special too!

Our walk down Batman Alley (Beco do Batman) one of our favourite pieces!

Another favourite from Beco do Batman

View from Sunset Square, Sao Paulo

You may have noticed that Stu loves free stuff and Sao Paulo offers array of free activities, so he was happy chappy. Some of the highlights were the Sesc building on Paulista Avenue which provides panoramic views of the Sao Paulo skyline along on of the msot iconic streets in the City. Another must is the Free Walking Tour of the Old Town which you can pick up at Republica Metro Station - also a great way to meet English Speakers! We also kept up our fairly active start to travelling with a bike ride round the 9km bike route around Ibirapuera Park (the bike hire did cost £1 each through the Yellow Bike app which can be used across most of South America).

Our day cycling through the Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo

The panoramic view from the Sesc building, Sao Paulo

There has it! Sorry for underestimating you Sao Paulo but thanks for having us. Now onto Iguassu Falls and last day in Brazil!

Total cost for 4 nts in Sao Paulo - £234

Flight to Foz Do Iguacu = £140 for 2 people

Another place that caught us by it's beauty was Ilha Grande. Probably the best paradise island we have visited! See our blog and get some helpful hints to make the most of your time

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