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Sao Paolo

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Athens, Greece
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Sao Paolo

I'm traveling to Sao Paolo and like to know where is the heart of Sao Paolo and which places are safe to visit...

Also except the restaurants what else somebody can visit..? (recomended museums,galleries,) what is "must" in this city??

Hotel Faria Lima (vila Olympia) how far walking is from the city center??

Coconut Creek...
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1. Re: Sao Paolo

I consider the heart of Sao Paulo to be Avenida Paulista.It is a great avenue with fine shops and restaurants. I felt secure in this part of Sao Paulo. I enjoyed the following museums a lot;MASP(great collection of European paintings,especially their Renoirs,Nattiers,Posts,Frans Hals,and Modiglianis),Pinacoteca do Estado(great retrospective of Brazilian Art,especially their Juniors,Portinaris,and Segalls),Lasar Segall Art Museum,and the Museum of Contemporary Art(fine works by Picasso,Leger,Kandinsky,and Guignard).I also enjoyed Barra Funda a lot for its splendid Niemeyer architecture.I also found the Liberdade neighborhood to be very interesting(Many Oriental establishments).I don't know Hotel Faria Lima. I stayed at Hotel Formule 1 near the Paraiso subway stop and I liked it very much.Overall,I consider Sao Paulo to be a fine city.

Sao Paulo
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2. Re: Sao Paolo

It is very difficult to know how many nationalities make up cosmopolitan São Paulo.

There are about 70 different peoples that coexist harmoniously with the city’s inhabitants, known as ‘Paulistanos,’ forming an incomparable cultural melting-pot fueled by a rich diversity of traditions, religions and customs of the immigrants who have made São Paulo their home.

It is from this mix that São Paulo diversifies and keeps putting on new faces, becoming evermore interesting and unique. It is possible to get to know the world without leaving the city. One has just to take a stroll through traditional neighborhoods like Liberdade, Mooca and Bom Retiro, or go shopping, to appreciate the traditional dishes or take part in an open-air festival like Achiropita.

The faces that make up the city are so numerous that São Paulo keeps changing every day. And this constant change brings color and joy to a city that embraces all who seek it.

This is São Paulo: hospitable, multicultural and in constant evolution.

Sao Paulo
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3. Re: Sao Paolo

Everybody has already heard of São Paulo as the capital for work. But, the city that never sleeps is much more. It's the capital of culture, entertainment and gastronomic pleasure. And Paulistanos know how to enjoy all this like nobody else.

There’s nothing better than a happy hour in the evening at one of the famous São Paulo bars, with a cold beer on tap and hors d’oeuvres, only to continue on for a quiet movie or a lively night out at a club.

On the weekends, after a little exercise in one of the city parks, go to the open-air market to sample a delicious savory pastry, before meeting friends for a traditional feijoada bean stew.

For those who are less sporty, there is always the option of looking for a bookstore where reading a good book and sipping fresh expresso coffee go hand in hand. Later, the stroll can continue with a visit to one of the handicraft or antique fairs dotting the squares of the city’s many neighborhoods.

The night also has options in store for all tastes. Ranging from the pricey and sophisticated to the affordable, the activities are endless, 7 days a week.

After all, this is São Paulo: hospitable, cosmopolitan, sophisticated yet simple, and above all, unique.

DJ
Princeton, New...
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4. Re: Sao Paolo

Since the 2 experts didn't really answer your questions, let me try.

There is no real "city center" in a mass of 18 million people, that is Sao Paulo. Still, there are areas to visit. Like the great review from Florida wrote, Av. Paulista is a great base. There are several reasonable hotels in this area and it is one of the most convenient and safest parts of the city.

Vila Olympia is not the most convenient area, but it's a reasonable taxi ride from other parts of Sao Paulo.

A really interesting area with great bars and non-touristed restaurants is Bixiga, it's easy to get to by taxi (most of which, 99% are honest). Also, Jardims is a nice and safe area of expensive shops if you're in to that. Finally, about an hour outside of Sao Paulo is a small artists colony, Embu, well worth the trip.

The historic center is a nice area to visit to see colonial Sao Paulo, but it can be a bit unsafe, especially after dark.

Enjoy Sao Paulo!

Sao Paulo, Brazil
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5. Re: Sao Paolo

The official center of Sao Paulo is the Lago da Se, the place where the city was founded. But that is history of course. I'll have to agree with the guy that said that Avenida Paulista is the center of the city today.

In any case, both Praca da Se and Avenida Paulista are not in walking distance from Vila Olimpia.

Try visiting the museum MASP and check what expositions will be going on in the Ibirapuera Park, specially at the OCA pavillion.

But mind you that restaurants are actually the must in this city. Don't miss the Fogo-de-Chao restaurant. There are 4 of rhem, all quite close from Vila Olympia, being the one on Avenida BAndeirantes the closest.

Birmingham
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6. Re: Sao Paolo

Sao Paulo has different centres.

The old downtown is where Catedral da Sé is, and the adjacent area, where you will find many lovely sights of old sao paulo.

I know there is a walking tour, but I can't find the website now! There is this one with some good tips on sightseeing:

…terra.com.br/turismo/ingles/dicas.htm. and I found a telephone number for the walking tour: 0/xx/11/ 3241-5822 (ramal 221).

The main attractions there (that you should really look for): Predio Sede do Banespa, (the mini empire state building!) has a wonderful 360 view from the top. If you want a meal with a view, go to Terraco Italia. Good Italian food and a wonderful view, they have an afternoon tea for R$25, which will allow you to not spend much, have a nice tea and appreciate the view. Mosteiro de Sao Bento, for great barroque religious art, and also for a fantastic santa escolastica cake or a bolo dos monges.

The Theatro Municipal is also beautiful architecure, worth seeing. I also love the Mercado Municipal or Mercadão, with all the lovely fruits and vegetables and now apparently they have some nice restaurants there too!

Old downtown is probably around 20 minutes by taxi from where your hotel is, but in sao paulo heavy traffic jams makes it impossible to say how long it might take you to get there!

I dont know exactly where your hotel is, but from the name it must be close to Avenida Faria Lima, which is close to 2 main shopping centres (elegant ones I might add) called Iguatemi (has Tiffany's and Armani's if you like) and Eldorado (on Avenida Reboucas)

It is hard to place this as not downtown, because it is a main hub of avenues that makes the centre of sao paulo. It is pretty close to Av Paulista, where you can go to MASP and the Trianon Park. For a great young funky place try Spot for a meal.

For a typical brazilian, the feijoada, go to Figueira Rubayat, Rua Haddock Lobo, 1738. For more typical food, try dona Lucinha, Av. Chibarás, 399 - Moema.

Must visit Liberdade, the Japanese neighborhood, on sundays there is a street fair, with nice japanese food at affordable prices!

I could go on and on. I just love it there.

If you need more specifics let me know and I'll try to help.