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F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

New York
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F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Hi All,

I am making a quick trip to brazil this weekend. I am going to Sao Paulo for the F1 race. I am staying at the Gran Melia Mofarej Hotel. Is this hotel decent? This is the only one i found at the last minute.

Also, can anyone suggest a nice trendy restaurant where my gf and I can share a nice evening. I would like to see how the trendy brazilians hang out and spend their saturday nights. Also, if there is any cool bar, club, samba bar or an after dinner place to hang out at.

I basically have two full days in sao paulo saturday and sunday, however most of the sunday i will be at the race at the interlagos circuit.

Also, how far is the circuit from the center of the city, what is the best way to get there and how much does it cost by taxi or private taxi?

As you can see, i pretty much have no idea whats going on with my trip, this was a last minute trip for a die hard f1 fan.

Thanks

V

DJ
Princeton, New...
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1. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

I can answer parts of your post.

The hotel is quite good, Pres. Clinton stayed there in 96 or 97. Some say it is dated and has cracking paint, but it is a great structure in a safe neighborhood. There is an AmEx office in the basement, but it might be closed on weekends.

Do be careful if you venture through Trianon park which is a block away. The park is worth going to since it is the only remaining piece of original rain forest still in the city. However, there are muggings and it is a populat pick up spot for men seeking men. During the day shouldn't be a problem, just don't venture off the trail or too far from a street.

A really good restaurant, while not completely trendy is Arabia, about 4 - 5 blocks from your hotel. A trendy restaurant is Skye at the Hotel Unique, a quick 10-15 Reais taxi ride. Call ahead for reservations. The bar on a Saturday night is quite the scene with all of the elite out to be seen. For a nice change, have a beer at Opcao, about 2 blocks away, next to the MASP museum, your hotel can direct you.

I'm not sure about your other questions, others can post responses.

As a final note, make 2 photocopies of your passport and carry one with you and lock your passport in the hotel safe until you're ready to go. Keep it in a closed pouch around your neck or under your clothes, especially at the airport as you will tired and easy prey for pickpockets that operate in the airport. Bring a cheap watch and don't carry wads of cash. Contract a taxi from your hotel, but almost all taxis are safe and honest.

São Paulo
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2. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Hello, V!!

As i said in another topic ( clubs in São Paulo ) it's really really really difficult to say what's the best option to spend a saturday night here. It depends on your age, what kind of people and music you prefeer, how much money you want to spend, etc... in SP we have about 5 different districts with a "famous" nightlife.... so, you must to choose:

-Jardins, Consolação, Paulista Avenue: once in Paulista Avenue, you have 2 options... Center Side and Jardins side...

..Center side is more "alternative". Most of the gay and indie bars and clubs are there... if you go to Augusta Street you will see many cinemas for people who loves "not-hollywoodian" movies... people who likes arts in general and are not so interested about spend lots of money to have fun. Lots of bars for "comoon" people, too, including Opção, as DJ said.

..Jardins side is more... hmmm... "chic". Good and expensive restaurants... and a mix of chic and alternative clubs, too...

-Vila Olímpia and Itaim: is a place for people who don't cares about spend lots of money for a beer... some of them are like Barbies and Kens, with the same kind of clothes, the same kind of hair... many clubs haves DJs playing FM hits or eletronic music... maybe they have other options there... but i don't like the district and never go there... so i think i'm not the right person to talk about it...

-Pinheiros, Vila Madalena: many musicians and people who likes arts in general prefeers to go to this part of the city. Good option for people who likes to enjoy the nightlife and don't spend lots of money... it's one of the places where you can listen good brazilian music, as a good samba, for example... if you don't like samba, you can enjoy other options in the same district... and you don't need to spend 10 hours choosing the right dress or thinking what to do with your hair to go there...

-Bixiga: it's one of the italian districts in São Paulo. Many options of "cantinas", good prices and a lot of bars with live music... rock and roll and MPB.

-Moema: different options of bars and clubs... good places like Bourbon Street ( where you can listen jazz ) or Little Darling ( rock and roll )... there are some nice restaurants there, too...

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About the GP... on sunday, 190 buses will be at some points of the city to make the transportation of people who wants to go to Interlagos. You can take the buses at: Terminal Rodoviário do Jabaquara, praça da República, aeroporto de Congonhas, shopping SP Market, shopping Interlagos and shopping Jardim Sul.

Prices: R$ 10,00 for an oneway ticket/ R$ 15,00 to go and return. I think the best options for you are TERMINAL RODOVIÁRIO DO JABAQUARA ( Take the subway at Trianon-Masp Station, direction Imigrantes... Get out at Paraíso or Ana Rosa station and take other train- Jabaquara direction ) or REPÚBLICA ( go to Consolação Street and take any bus-- center direction... get out at Praça da República- or take a taxi from paulista avenue to Praça da República... it's not so far and not so expensive)...

Shopping SP Market: green color ( don't know what it means, but they wrote it at the most famous newspaper in são Paulo... maybe it's the color of the bus??? )

To go: take the bus at Avenida Octalles Marcondes Ferreira or avenida das Nações Unidas (near Jurubatuba station)

To return: take the bus at rua Jacinto Júlio, avenida Interlagos, or rua Antônio Barbosa da Silva Sandoval

Shopping Jardim Sul: orange color

to go: take the buses at rua Itacaiúna, no number...

to return: rua Jacinto Júlio or avenida Interlagos

Jabaquara: blue color

To go: rua Jequitibás, 189 (in front of the terminal rodoviário Jabaquara)

to return: take the bus at avenida Feliciano Corrêa or avenida Rio Bonito x rua Antônio Barbosa da Silva Sandoval

República: red color

To go: take the bus at praça da República, 77 (close to avenida Ipiranga)

To return: take the bus atrua Feliciano Correia, avenida Jangadeiro or avenida Interlagos (gate A)

Aeroporto de Congonhas, red color

to go: take the bus at praça Lineu Gomes, em in fornt of the terminal Aéreo-Rodoviário

to return: take the bus at avenida Feliciano Correia, avenida Jangadeiro or avenida Interlagos (gate A)

Shopping Interlagos, red color

to go: take the bus at avenida Interlagos, 2255

to return: take the bus at avenida Feliciano Correia, avenida Jangadeiro or avenida Interlagos (gate A)

___________________________________________________

If you wanna drink something after the GP on sunday, you can join us at Opção Bar ( Carlos Comenale Street, 97- near Masp ). We are Hospitality Club and Couchsurfing members ( www.hospitalityclub.org www.couchsurfing.com ) and will be there at 6pm for a meeting.

HC and CS are non-profit organizations with volunteers around the world able to host travellers for free and help them to enjoy the countries, giving them informations about almost everything. Our proposal is to show them the "community" spirit and to share our experiences as travellers-backpackers ( most of us are english speakers, so the language won't be a problem for you ). Nice opportunity to know some "paulistanos" and to learn a little bit more about Sampa...

São Paulo
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3. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

A DAY IN SP... just choose your option and enjoy it! ;))))

Credits: www.cidadedesaopaulo.com

These itineraries were developed by Editor Abril and published in "Guia Fique Mais um Dia," (Stay Another Day Guide) distributed with the June, 2006 edition of Viagem e turismo magazine. Its entire contents is the responsibility of Editora Abril. São Paulo Turismo S/A is publicizing its contents with the objective of promoting the city of São Paulo in an independent way and with no connection to the establishments mentioned here in.

A DAY OF CULTURE:

A museum with works of Renoir, interactive exhibition halls, movie houses and theaters refine the range of cultural option in the São Paulo capital.

São Paulo is on the cutting edge. Those who love the cinema, the theater, fine arts and dance will have a ball in the greatest festival and show center in the country. The city has Masp, the most important art museum in Latin America. Musical tours of renowned artists from all over the world come here first. Dozens of cultural centers undergo constant metamorphosis, with exhibitions of themes that range from news from digital world to trends in electronic music. All of this constantly changing with the frequency that lovers of urban culture deserve.

Morning

Avenida Paulista is the cultural birth place of São Paulo. Start your tour at the Consolação subway station. The Bella Paulista bakery serves a hearty breakfast whose main temptation is its brownie. When you're full, move on to the Conjunto Nacional, erected in 1952. Its terrace used to house the sophisticated Fasano restaurant, where artists like Nat King Cole and Marlene Dietrich performed. In the 1970s, the decline of the complex culminated in the fire of 1978. Today, in a completely restored building, the gallery houses the Conjunto Cultural da Caixa, with fine arts exhibits, the Cine Bombril, with two theaters showing alternative films and the Livraria Cultura (bookstore) with four specialized shops. Weekly, on random days, there are free philosophical get-togethers at 7:30 p.m.

Three blocks further on, in front of the Parque Trianon, is the unmistakable Masp (São Paulo Art Museum), unbelievably balanced on top of two columns. Inside Lina Bo Bardi's unique architectural creation you can admire the works of artists such as Rafael, Goya, Renoir, Van Gogh and Portinari. Allow at least three hours for your visit. You can have lunch at the museum's own restaurant or at D.O.M., a more expensive option, but well worth your while. Beloved chef Alex Atala mixes Brazilian ingredients with international gastronomic techniques. To economize, order the executive plate, which is served only at lunchtime (chicken, fish or red meat, accompanied by a green salad, rice, beans and collard greens).

Afternoon

To digest these delicacies, you can visit an art exhibition or see a musical show at Itaú Cultural, at Sesc Paulista or in the pyramid-shaped building of Fiesp (Federation of Industries of São Paulo), whose theater, in addition to presenting plays for children and adults, also has pop and MPB (Brazilian popular music) shows, dance events and classical music concerts. Or you can participate in a soirée or a workshop at the Casa das Rosas, number 37 on the avenue. In the midst of the shadows cast from the tall buildings, the current meeting place for poets is one of the only mansions still remaining in the area from the beginning of the 20th century. The construction was planned by engineer and architect Ramos de Azevedo, who also designed the Theatro Municipal project.

Evening

By this time, a movie would be good to give your legs a rest. There is no lack of choices, even for those who prefer alternative films that don't make it to the commercial circuit. Some examples are the Reserva Cultural, right in the middle of Av. Paulista, Cinesesc and Espaço Unibanco de Cinema, both on Rua Augusta, and HSBC Belas Artes, on Rua da Consolação, which was recently renovated.

For those who prefer a good play, you can go to the theater at the Renaissance hotel. If you're lucky, you'll be able to watch a play with actors from around the world. The Teatro Abril, whose facade and lobby have been designated as an historic landmark, always has musical shows. For dinner, consider Chakras. This restaurant, reminiscent of an Arabic market, also offers courses, exhibitions and open air cinema.

And more...

Culture for children

Along with extensive children's theater programs, the city also has various other options in cultural programming for children. The Livraria da Vila and Fnac, for example, have children's book release events and storytelling on the weekends that children love. Keep an eye on the programming.

A DAY AROUND THE CENTER:

Put on your most comfortable shoes and take a walking tour around the area

History, architecture, traditional businesses. This is the Center of São Paulo. The recent renovations have even brought a certain feeling of a European capital to the region. And to think that for a long time the Center was accused of being dirty, vulgar and decadent! Today there are plenty of antique facades with facelifts, charming cafes, art exhibits and classical music concerts. For longer distances, buy a subway ticket that includes various trips and take a tour around the region, letting your heart beat a little faster when you cross avenues Ipiranga and São João (from

Sampa, Caetano Veloso's famous song about São Paulo).

Morning

Wear comfortable shoes, because the little things are what make a difference on this route that can only be enjoyed on foot. Coming out the Sé subway station, the first stop is the bakery Padaria Santa Tereza, the oldest in the city. Founded in 1872, it has been open since 1940 on the Praça João Mendes. It's impossible to resist the soft rolls and tempting display of sweets. Afterwards, head to the Igreja da Ordem Terceira do Carmo, the former Mother Church of the São Paulo capital at the end of the 17th century. The simple facade hides one of the more interesting interiors in the city. Its outstanding feature is the beautiful ceiling in the main hall, painted by the priest Jesuíno do Monte Carmelo in 1798. Crossing the avenue, head to the Catedral Metropolitana on the Praça da Sé. Admire the stained glass windows and the Italian organ with more than 10 thousand pipes, and if you're fortunate enough to be there at the top of the hour, listen to the sound of the chimes made from 65 bells. A guided tour allows access to the crypt where Jesuit Bartolomeu de Gusmão and Indian tribal chief Tibiriçá are buried. Right near there, at the crossing of Floriano Peixoto and Roberto Simonsen streets, you'll be welcomed by the Marquesa de Santos. At number 136B you'll see the Solar da Marquesa, a rare example of an urban residence from the 18th century. At the end of this street is the architectural complex of the Pateo do Collegio, cradle of the city, founded in 1554. Visit its Museu Padre Anchieta, which exhibits rare pieces such as the first baptismal font of the College church from 1556. On the ground floor, take a break and have an espresso at the Café do Pateo. Then continue on to Rua da Quitanda, visit the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and right nearby, the Torre do Banespa.

Afternoon

A short subway ride to the Luz station will take you to the Greek restaurant Acrópoles. It's worth sampling their mussaka, a kind of pie made of eggplant, ground meat and potato. On your way out, walk toward the Bom Retiro neighborhood and check out the display windows on Rua José Paulino and the surrounding area, with their popular shops and ready-made women's fashions in all styles sold at inviting prices. Take the subway back to the Sé station and continue on to the Largo São Francisco, a symbol of cultural and student life of the capital. At it side are the Convento de São Francisco and the São Francisco de Assis and Chagas do Seraphico Pai São Francisco churches, one of the most significant rococo complexes in the city. Another interesting place is the Galeria do Rock. Famous for its concentration of stores with items related to rock, it also has tattoo parlors, piercing and silk screen ateliers. Make sure to browse for relics among the vinyl records and CDs.

Evening

Happy hour starts with codfish balls and foamy draft beer at Bar Léo, the supreme icon among São Paulo taverns. The evening continues with samba and MPB at Bar Brahma, on the famous corner of Ipiranga and São João avenues. For dancing and a candlelight dinner, the Terraço Itália is on the 42nd floor and has a privileged view of the city. To guarantee a spot at this live music spot, it's a good idea to make a reservation. A less romantic option is the traditional Famiglia Mancini with its tempting buffet of antipastos and generous servings of pasta. After all this, if you still want to dance until dawn, go to the bar-danceterias at the Edifício Copan, designed in the shape of an “S” by architect Oscar Niemeyer.

And more...

Edifício Martinelli

Constructed between 1922 and 1930, it was São Paulo's first skyscraper. Today it is one of the main postcards of the city and plans are underway to construct an observatory on its top floors.

A DAY OUTDOORS

Ibirapuera, Morumbi and Vila Olímpia prove that trees and open spaces are not rarities in this metropolis

Many aerial photos of São Paulo give the impression that the city is limited to the label "stone jungle," crowded with gray skyscrapers. It is true that there are many buildings, and the architecture of the city is a motive for pride. But there are numerous tours for those who don't want to pass nature by. In addition to the parks, such as Ibirapuera and Alfredo Volpi, the São Paulo capital has good restaurants and bars with fewer walls and ceilings and more views of the sky and sidewalk. This tour offers an alternative for those who wish to discover, in one day, that the city offers the best of the outdoors.

Morning

A good breakfast is the ideal plan for those who want to take this tour that involves a good deal of walking. Richard’s Poderoso, 500 meters from Gate 7A of the Parque do Ibirapuera has an assorted breakfast buffet with some different options, such as açai (thick juice of a purplish northeastern fruit) in a bowl. You can have your meal in an outdoor environment of tables on a wooden deck, in the shade of tropical trees. From there, head to the Parque do Ibirapuera. Created in 1954 from an architectural project by Oscar Niemeyer and landscaping by Roberto Burle Marx, the park has become one of the main symbols of the city. Start your visit with the Viveiro Manequinho Lopes. In this space, seedlings of herbaceous and flower-producing species and the bushes used by city administration for public spaces in the city are cultivated annually. Next, visit the collection of the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) or the Museu Afro Brasil. And don't forget to see if there's some interesting fair at the Bienal or if there's an electrifying exhibition being held at the Oca. Between one thing and another, you can enjoy the jogging tracks, luncheonettes, playgrounds and polysports fields at the park.

Afternoon

After you leave Ibirapuera, you can have lunch in Morumbi. More specifically, at the Casa da Fazenda do Morumbi. The building preserves some stories from the Brazilian colonial period. Constructed by the priest Antônio Feijó in 1813, it was the site of the first tea farm in the country. The restaurant occupies the ground floor of the mansion, which has been restored, and offers sophisticated dishes. After lunch, the best tip is to get to know the Parque Alfredo Volpi in the same neighborhood. Inaugurated in 1971, the area has fountains and lakes as well as birds rarely seen in São Paulo, such as the kingfisher. This natural forest has the most biodiversity of any urban zone in the city, and trails through its dense woods invite a good hike. For the end of the afternoon, the choice is the Fundação Maria Luisa e Oscar Americano, also in Morumbi. A combination park, museum and art study center, it has a collection of 1500 pieces divided among Colonial Brazil, Imperial Brazil, and Masters of the 20th Century. Most of the furniture, paintings, sculptures and silver items used to belong to an American family. At the end of your visit, don't forget to have afternoon tea, served in the English style in a salon connected to the park.

Evening

If it's Monday, don't forget to go to the Jockey Club de São Paulo to watch the horse races, which start at 6:30 p.m. Bets are only 1 real. Choose one of three local restaurants to watch the match. The best view is from the Mercearia, which is close to the finish line of the race. The bar-restaurant, which features parties and thematic shows to attract clientele, also deserves a visit on any other night of the week. With wide verandas and an international kitchen, the Cânter Bar and Charlô are other options at the Jockey to have a carefully prepared meal. For those looking for a cozier atmosphere, the Bar des Arts, located at the Chácara Itaim, attracts a hip and attractive clientele. Inspired by the Province region in France, the location has two covered rooms and an outdoor area with a garden and fountain that create an intimate mood.

And more...

Horto Florestal

In the heart of the Serra da Cantareira (in the North Zone) is the Albert Löefgren State Park, the Horto Florestal. It has 174 acres of diversified flora and fauna and is an invitation to an enjoyable walk. .

A DAY OF FINE ARTS

Unveil facades, concerts and exhibitions, even on restaurant walls

The esthetic of the city is often surprising with its splendidly elegant lines. And it couldn't be any different: São Paulo was the cradle of modernism at the beginning of the 20th century and since then it has been the center and bastion of artists and architects who express their concepts of beauty on its walls and buildings. In Higienópolis, eclectic mansions mix with modernist buildings. Close to the Estação da Luz, cultural centers reveal artistic refinement in restored constructions that unite the historical with the contemporary. Not to mention museums spread out here and there, including one completely dedicated to the Portuguese language, the only one in the world dedicated to an idiom.

Morning

Take a walk through Higienópolis and notice the facades of modernist buildings that sprang at the beginning of the 1950s. Then head toward the Praça Vilaboim, one of the most charming plazas in São Paulo. There you'll find the Barcelona Pães e Doces bakery, where one of the best rolls in the city is made. You can stand at the counter to have breakfast. Right in front is the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado – FAAP, headquarters of the Museu de Arte Brasileira. Its collection contains 2500 works by national artists and foreign ones living in Brazil. The sculptures at the entrance and the stained glass windows in the lobby merit attention. On Rua Bahia, in the middle of dream mansions and luxury buildings, is the Galeria Vermelho. It holds periodic exhibitions of contemporary art that are open to the public.

Afternoon

For lunch, the Jardim de Napoli is a good bet. The polpettone (Italian rolled meat loaf) of this traditional Neapolitan cantina is a masterpiece. Next, take a walk through the Paulo Machado de Carvalho Municipal Stadium, better known as Pacaembu. The setting for classic Paulista championships, it was inaugurated in 1940 by Getúlio Vargas, who spoke on that occasion about the "sober and beautiful lines of its imposing mass of concrete and iron." A few kilometers away is the Memorial da América Latina, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The architect also created the sculpture with the stretched-out hand, with a bas-relief of Latin America in red, like a thread of trickling blood. Another option is to go to the very beautiful Pinacoteca do Estado museum. This unfinished historical building was restored and today its exposed brick contrasts with its bolder elements. The museum's collection, with more than 5 thousand works, includes mostly Brazilian artists, but also has French sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Camile Claudel. The Café da Pinacoteca has little outdoor tables overlooking the Parque da Luz, the oldest park in the city. It's delightful to have a rest there. On the other side of the street is the Museu da Língua Portuguesa, installed in the Luz subway station. This new space is dedicated to Portuguese language, literature and history. In the same area is also the Museu de Arte Sacra, one of the best of its kind in the country. The colonial styled building from 1774 has a thousand pieces on permanent exhibition. It's also worth taking a walk through the Vila dos Ingleses, designated as an historic landmark and the residence of the British men who constructed the train station. Among its 28 small houses built in the style of London workmen's villas is the Yellow Mark Café & Cozinha. With 12 kinds of beer, it's a good choice for late afternoon.

Evening

Set the evening aside to attend a concert at the Sala São Paulo in the Estação Júlio Prestes. Now restored, the hall is magnificent to look at and has become a shrine for classical music because of its acoustics. For dinner, consider Mestiço, close to Consolação. Every three months, the restaurant's walls have a new exhibit of fine arts or photographs. It's not uncommon to see people from the art world there, savoring everything from Thai delicacies to Bahian acarajé (kidney bean paste fried in palm oil). For an appetizer, try the krathong-thong, a basket of crispy dough filled with chicken, corn and spices. End the night with some good live music at Barnaldo Lucrécia, close to the Paraíso subway station. You'll finish your day convinced that this metropolis isn't just made of concrete, but of artists as well.

And more...

Embu das Artes

Only 28 kilometers from São Paulo, Embu has secular houses containing innumerable ateliers, antique dealers and rustic furniture stores. It's delightful to stroll leisurely through its aisles, especially on Sunday when the Arts and Handicrafts Fair is held: www.embu.sp.gov.br

A TRENDY DAY

There are places in São Paulo where everything new happens. Go there and be one of the first to know

Only a city that has no fear of the future and is always reconstructing itself with no preconceptions can be a laboratory for trends. And São Paulo offers varied experiences, from fashion to gastronomy, not to mention style, of course. A stroll around the Vila Madalena and the Jardins neighborhood reveals the unusual colors, tastes and sounds that make "Sampa" a real feast for the senses of the most demanding, tuned-in people.

Morning

A trendy day begins at the tables of the charming Deli Paris on the sidewalk of Vila Madalena. The traditional recipes of the French boulangerie range from simple croissants to genuine French bread with butter. If your late night partying made you wake up late, opt for the brunch. At the buffet, in addition to brioches and mini puff-pastries, there are delicacies such as ratatouille (a preserve made from zucchini, peppers, eggplant and hearts of palm) and banana jelly with chocolate or cheese with herbs. A stroll along Vila Madá — as the neighborhood is affectionately called — will help your digestion. Browse through the shops on Harmonia and Aspicuelta streets, where there are clothing, furniture and creative accessories. Afterwards, head for the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, installed in one of the most daring and controversial buildings in the city. Check out the exhibitions on display and have lunch right there at the institute's restaurant. The minced meat with rice, banana farofa (manioc flour), fried quail eggs and little turnovers is one of the dishes customers order most, many of them artists. If you prefer a snack, go to the excellent Ritz in the neighborhood adjacent to Jardins. Reminiscent of the American luncheonettes of the 1950s, it's worth it to go through its revolving door just to settle into one of its numerous red sofas. The Ritz Burger, a hamburger with cheddar or gorgonzola cheese, bacon and salad, is the favorite of the "in" crowd that fills the place.

Afternoon

The Galeria Ouro Fino is one of the shrines for fashion and electronic music lovers. There, from the soles of their platform shoes to the tips of their dyed hair, the hipster crowd does their bargain-hunting at the 100shops featuring a mix of old tailors, alternative fashion and tattoo parlors. The Thaís Gusmão panty-briefs are a hit. Also at Ouro Fino, nostalgists travel back in time at the second-hand store Passado e Presente, which sells clothing from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The more courageous ones leave with piercings ... a block from there is Rua Oscar Freire. Along with the super chic window displays of the best brands in the world, don't forget to watch the delicious fashion show passing by on the sidewalks. You can continue your tour through the Alameda Lorena. There, Café Suplicy is a strategic point to take a break. Special coffees are made there by experienced barmen/women in a modern ambience. If you'd rather have some good ice cream, walk over to Sottozero on Rua Augusta. When night falls, check out the programming at Cinesesc. This official bastion of São Paulo cinephiles was inaugurated in 1979 and still has its original classy decor. It's a delight to watch films outside the commercial circuit from the fumoir — an inside the screening room — while you languidly smoke a cigarette in a nouvelle-vague pose.

Evening

The contemporary cuisine of Spot is another of the city's "in" icons. The oriental penne with chicken strips, vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and peanuts is a good choice.

Extend your night at Skye, a bar on the top floor of the bold Hotel Unique. On the deck of its swimming pool, you can savor a glass of prosecco while you admire the view of the Parque do Ibirapuera. You can count on your fingers the places in the world that are have night life as cool as São Paulo's. You'll find a creative and "with it" young crowd at Vegas and at Lov.E, for example. Saying goodbye to the city will be unforgettable at any of these places.

And more...

Tostex

This sandwich shop in Jardins serves toasted breads and drinks, but its outstanding feature is its modern ambience, with bean-bag chairs where hip people stylishly arrange themselves to listen to electronic music played by DJs.

A BARGAIN DAY

The free shows at cultural centers and the inexpensive stores on Rua 25 de Março are fun activities that don't put a strain on your purse

The most expensive city in Brazil is also the most democratic. Experienced in welcoming immigrants, it also takes care of tourists who don't want to spend too much. Every day there's a free - or almost free - play, concert or exhibition. Visitors can get around without having to rent a car or be stuck with a guide. A subway ticket costs only 2.10 reals, can get you to many of the attractions in the Center and on Avenida Paulista. And there's always a hot dog stand or a shop selling Arabian meat pies when your stomach starts to growl.

Morning

Coming out of the Sé subway station, you'll be in front of the Catedral Metropolitana, one of the five largest gothic temples in the world. Head towards the Pateo do Collegio, where the city's history begins. And you can start your day there, too: have breakfast at the Café do Páteo, in a pleasant outdoor area surrounded by trees. Order a coffee and try the homemade cake of the day, which doesn't cost much. From there, go towards the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB). This neoclassical style building housed the first Banco do Brasil bank agency in the city. There is always an excellent – and free – exhibition there. Films are also shown in the space, and tickets are only 4 reals. Continue your tour in the direction of the Edifício Altino Arantes. From its Banespa Tower, open to the public, you can see a good part of the city. The landscape is prettier on sunny days. Close by is the Ladeira Porto Geral. Follow the street vendors and you'll run into Rua 25 de Março, the main wholesale center of Latin America. Here you can buy everything at minimum prices. Some products can only be found there, such as stones and beads for making jewelry and fine embroidery, specialized sewing needles, silk flowers and wooden furniture for doll houses. To move around, you'll have to dodge walking vendors, pedestrians and chaotic traffic, but it's worth it. Not far from there are the streets Santa Efigênia — specializing in electronics — and São Caetano — where bridal gowns and accessories are sold. If you want to buy warehouse footwear you'll have to go across town to Rua João Cachoeira, at Itaim — one of the many specialized shopping streets spread out through other neighborhoods. But if you want to exchange buying things for bargain cultural events, it's best to get off at the Luz subway station and got to the Consolação station on Avenida Paulista.

Afternoon

Walk along Avenida Paulista, noticing the richness and diversity of the buildings and people. Have lunch at the Masp restaurant. The refined sideboard offers a reasonably priced meal. Afterwards, walk over to the Brigadeiro subway station and take a train to the Vila Mariana station to go to the Museu Lasar Segall. This museum operates from the house where naturalized Russian painter Segall lived, and contains 3 thousand of his works. Take note of the modernist houses on Rua Berta, designated as historic landmarks. The Rancho da Empada isn't far from there. Sample one of their 25 stuffed pastries for 2.70 each.

Evening

The various theater presentations are among the best things in the city. The Centro Cultural São Paulo, right next to the Vergueiro subway station, always stages excellent shows and plays at popular prices. The same is true of the Teatro Popular do Sesi in the Fiesp building in front of the Trianon-Masp station on Paulista. At dinner time, some Arabic food might be nice. Baalbeck, on Alameda Lorena, combines a select offering of the good and the inexpensive. If you are a bohemian, you'll invest the money you saved during the day in your evening. Sarajevo (from 10 reals at the door) has live music and cheap beer. Afterwards, you just have to wait for the subway to open at 4:40 a.m., and then it's back to the hotel.

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visit Sesc

Programming for the more than ten Sesc cultural centers is full of shows, exhibitions and free events. Check their schedule: www.sescsp.org.br.

A SOPHISTICATED DAY

After buying some of the finest things in the world, end the night at a danceteria that so chic its headquarters are in New York

Refined restaurants, five-star hotels and even helicopter tours are among the most splendid offerings of the São Paulo capital. For those who aren't afraid to max out their credit cards, there are super chic shops with international labels dotted here and there, most of them in shopping centers like Iguatemi and in Jardins. The neighborhood is also the address of the most renowned art galleries where the work of established artists and new talents is sold. Between one purchase and another, how about a top-of-the-line coffee? Go to Santo Grão. The most expensive cup costs 9 reals. But it's prepared with super-selected beans.

Morning

How about starting a glamorous day with breakfast at the Hilton Morumbi? Voted the best luxury hotel in the last three editions of Guia Quatro Rodas, it has 60 breakfast items at its restaurant Sol & Sombra. It's a comfortable place with traditional decor. Take advantage of your trip there and go over to Shopping D&D, a concentration of the most refined furniture and decorations stores in the capital. The biggest consumers have the option of staying at a hotel in the same complex, the WTC. Afterward, continue along the Marginal Pinheiros heading toward the new Daslu boutique. The store — which is 20 square meters and has patios inspired by Italian villas — mixes modern and classic and has products of the most respected brands in the world, available to anyone who can pay. After this, it's a good time to take a break from shopping and get to know a little of the beauty of the city by taking a helicopter tour — which you can do in two different places: at the Aeroporto de Congonhas or at Campo de Marte.

Afternoon

Does having lunch in the shade of a century-old fig tree sound inviting? Inaugurated in 2001, the restaurant A Figueira Rubayat in Jardins, has a causal feel, but sophisticated at the same time. The menu, inspired by the Incas, has revived the primitive kitchen with clay ovens and iron pots. After lunch, take a walk along the tree-lined streets of Jardins, such as Oscar Freire, and visit the most sought-after brands in the world, located a few meters from each other. There are more than 30, with different items such as cars, jewelry and clothing. Some of the most renowned contemporary art galleries are also there, such as Luisa Strina and Thomas Cohn, exhibiting works of national and foreign artists in their collections. Between one purchase and another, it's worth getting to know Santo Grão, voted in 2005 by the magazine Veja São Paulo as having the best espresso in the city. There are coffees for every taste, including some prepared with super- selected beans, such as the winner of the Cup of Excellence, considered the best in the world, which costs 9 reals per cup. At the end of the afternoon, go to Shopping Iguatemi. With its 330 stores, restaurants and pleasant cafes, it's the perfect place to get to know the sophisticated world of this megalopolis.

Evening

A good bet to start the evening is dinner at Fasano restaurant, in the hotel of the same name. Inspired by the elegant scenario of Milan, the native land of the Fasanos, the restaurant offers the gastronomic standard for which the family's establishments are known, associated with the elegance of chef Salvatore Loi. And the hotel brings back bold memories of the 1930s. Without leaving it, you can stretch out your night at the Baretto bar. There, in the midst of French armchairs and a travertine marble bar, the house band plays fine music -- mainly jazz and bossa nova. Occasionally there are shows by well-known artists. And if you're still up for having more fun until dawn, it's time to go Club Lótus, on the second floor of the Gran Meliá São Paulo hotel. The nightclub is a branch of Lotus in New York. Run by entrepreneurs Marcus Buaiz, Edsá Sampaio, Pedro Paulo Diniz and Mario Bernardo Garnero, it is the bastion of the "well-born" and famous people of the city.

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Day Spa

Those who want to spend a relaxing day can try one of the packages at the Hotel Emiliano spa. The most complete one includes an ofuro Japanese bath, shiatsu, reflexology, aromatic massage, body wrapping and a specific facial treatment. It lasts for six hours and costs R$1,358.

A DAY WITH THE CHILDREN

Your children won't be bored with all the rides, animals and lots of new things to learn

Don't even think of leaving your kids at home when you come to São Paulo. They're going to have a ball with the radical rides at the amusement parks and huge green spaces for running around. And they'll be enchanted with the animals at the Zoológico and the Instituto Butantan, where there are many poisonous reptiles and insects. Both are famous for their scientific work — and will teach your children many new things. They'll even have fun at lunch, because there's a restaurant in the city that looks just like a ranch. With so many attractions, your children will never let you come alone again on your next business trip.

Morning

With its imposing architecture, the Galeria dos Pães, on the corner of Estados Unidos and Haddock Lobo streets in Jardins, is a great choice for breakfast with the whole family. With two floors, it houses a bakery, luncheonette, wine cellar, a cheese and wine exhibit and a self-service buffet. Afterwards, head to the Instituto Butantan, responsible for the production of more than 80% of the serums and vaccines used in Brazil. The Biological Museum has plenty to teach about snakes, serpents, scorpions and spiders. The world of microorganisms is unveiled at another museum, the Microbiology museum. And the History Museum tells how research about vaccines was done in the past until arriving at today's techniques.

Afternoon

The name may sound a little strange to an uninformed parent, but the Restaurante & Choperia Cachaçaria Pompéia (The Pompéia Cachaça Bar Restaurant & Beer House) is a ranch in the middle of the city. Installed in an area of 12,800 square meters in the middle of extensive greenery, it has a mini zoo with domestic animals. The restaurant offers the best of Minas Gerais cuisine, and its attached bar boasts more than 14,000 brands of cachaça, which means that dads will also enjoy the place. On weekends, a recreational tram organizes games and rides in horse-drawn two-wheeled and farm carts. After lunch, your kids deserve still more fun. One option is Parque da Mônica, named after the cartoon characters created by Mauricio de Sousa. The space occupies an area of 10 thousand square meters inside the Shopping Eldorado. The public interacts with all the attractions, from the puppet theater to participative rides. But the park can be a bit boring for children who are already pre-adolescents, older than 7 or 8. In this case exchange the Parque da Mônica for the Playcenter in Marginal do Tietê. Inaugurated in 1973, the park has more than 30 attractions, many of them quite radical. For those who prefer a nature walk and want to learn a little about animals, a good tip is to go to the Zoológico de São Paulo. Created in 1957 by then governor Jânio Quadros, the zoo has more than 3.2 thousand species distributed over a 824,529 square meter area. There are mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, all living in environments that resemble their natural habitats. Right next door is one of the largest preserved areas of the Atlantic Forest in the city (500 thousand square meters), the Zôo Safari. There visitors enter by car to go on a safari and see animals up close in the wild, such as deer, lions, tigers and jaguars. If you have time, visit the Jardim Botânico, where children can have fun learning a little about native flora — and can also run around in its vast green area. It is very close to the Zoológico.

Evening

If your family still has enough energy for some evening entertainment, go to TGI Fridays, a typical informal American restaurant. The USA chain was installed in Brazil in 1995. With its concept of elegant disorder, it has a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. On the menu there are grilled meats, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and of course a special menu for children. They deserve it.

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Hopi Hari

The world of fantasy in the city of Vinhedo (72 km from São Paulo), has more than 30 rides, circus and musical shows, and plenty of adrenaline: www.hopihari.com.br

A TYPICAL SATURDAY

A lazy day of fairs and lengthy lunches

Just like the paulistanos, wake up late to relax and enjoy, without rushing around, the antique and handicraft fairs as well as the very trendy stores of the Vila Madalena. Afterwards, devour (guilt-free) some barbecue or pasta at one of the Italian restaurants. When the sun is down, the pilgrimage to small bars in the popular neighborhoods begins. It's a warm-up for the night, which is always at fever pitch until dawn on Fridays.

Morning

The St. Etiene bakery on the Vila Madalena is famous for its hot rolls, cakes and sweets. But the best thing there is its ample breakfast buffet, which includes brioches, croissants, profiteroles and other delicacies, ideal for beginning your Saturday. After these reinforcements, there's nothing better than to get lost among the stalls at the antique fair on the Praça Benedito Calixto without having to leave the neighborhood. The fair has a mix of old and new items in the best "flea market" style. Take advantage and go into the crowded decoration stores that surround the plaza, like the Benedixt, that sells national and imported design pieces. Walk through the Vila and check out the bookstores and art and furniture ateliers. If your stomach is growling, sample the specialties at the Italian cantina Buttina, featured in the Guia Quatro Rodas. which serves excellent gnocchi with braciola.

Afternoon

If your preference is for meat, São Paulo has plenty of barbecue restaurants (churrascarias) and star-rated a la carte options, such as the Bassi restaurant in Bixiga, specializing in special cuts. It's worth your while to cross the city to this bohemian area of Bela Vista, of Italian origin and famous for its pastas from traditional cantinas such as Capuano and Conchetta. If you're not hungry enough for a meal, snack on some delicious Italian bread with sardelo relish and a glass of wine. The Saturday tumult begins early at the traditional Café Pupil, which attracts fans of traditional rock and blues. Also in Bela Vista, the Gloria club, with electronic music, is exploded as the Mecca of the city's cool crowd. Known as the Brazilian Broadway because of its many theaters, the neighborhood has Teatro Abril, located in the historical 1929 Paramount movie house/theater. Restored especially to receive international musicals such as The Beauty and the Beast and Phantom of the Opera, it has a 250 square meter stage. If you prefer to wander from one bar to another, like the paulistanos do, go back to Vila Madalena and start from the section between Fidalga and Girassol streets. If you're not sure, reserve a table at Salve Jorge, voted the best bar for happy hour by the magazine Veja São Paulo, or at the Astor, which is almost always full.

Evening

In this same region is Jun Sakamoto, a Japanese restaurant that garnered two stars in the 2006 Guia Quatro Rodas. There, a dinner loaded with sushi and sashimi costs no less 100 reals per person. The cuts of the sushi chef the restaurant is named after are served at the counter. A more economical option, although no less interesting, is the Moroccan Tanger, with couscous and goat cooked with spices. After dinner, it's party time at the Na Mata Café bar in Itaim. Always filled with beautiful people, it features shows and a discotheque that mixes soul, black music and MPB. Anyone over 40 who likes MPB and pagode end their night at Passatempo, where the tables are full until 5 o'clock in the morning.

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Praça do Pôr-do-Sol (Sunset Plaza)

Dogs, kids and couples meet in the late afternoon at this plaza in Alto de Pinheiros to enjoy the ball of fire setting behind the buildings and the trees near the Cidade Universitária.

A TYPICAL SUNDAY

Mass with Gregorian chants set the tone for a day that includes shopping and pizza

Not even on the day of rest do paulistanos abandon their shopping. The open space at Masp fills up with antique stands and Liberdade is the stage for a handicrafts fair and typical Japanese food. As a matter of fact, there is no diet that can resist these offerings, since even a simple mortadella sandwich has a special meaning. But save a space in your stomach, because Sunday always ends with pizza.

Morning

Start the day in the Center sampling the delicious omelets of Café Girondino, in front of the São Bento subway station. But you have to finish your meal before Mass begins at Basílica de São Bento on the other side of the street. On Sundays, it is celebrated with Gregorian chants, always at 10 a.m. Even those who are not Catholics enjoy the program at the church, founded by Benedictine monks 1598, and which conceals relics such as the tomb of explorer Fernão Dias. Next to the sacristy, be sure to buy some delicious breads and cakes baked by the friars. Leaving by the Largo de São Bento, to your right, follow along Rua Líbero Badaró to the Viaduto do Chá, inaugurated in 1892 – when a toll had to be paid to cross it. From there, you can see the Vale do Anhangabaú and the imposing building of the Theatro Municipal. Open in 1911, it is a smaller scale copy of the Paris Opera, and has crystal chandeliers and balconies decorated in gold leaf.

From there, walk to the Mercado Municipal Paulistano, where the custom is to buy food, experimenting delicacies from boxes of fruit, olives, cheeses and crystallized sweets. Recently restored, the neo-classic building, erected in 1933, has beautiful stained glass windows depicting coffee farmers. Try the famous codfish turnover at the Hocca Bar, or the rolled mortadella sandwich at Bar do Mané.

Afternoon

Sunday is the day of the classic fairs, such as the antiques fair at Masp. One that is typical of São Paulo is Liberdade, the Asian neighborhood founded by Japanese immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century. It is next to the subway station where Chinese and Koreans also live. Its streets with lanterns, restaurants and shops with Asian products are the charm of the region. On Sundays, the fun pastime is the fair on the Praça da Liberdade, with typical foods and handicrafts. Those looking for a more refined meal can try the specialties of Sushi-Yassu, a restaurant highly rated by the Guia Quatro Rodas that serves one of the best gyozas in the city. A must visit is to the Museu da Imigração Japonesa, which tells the story of the Japanese immigrants. On weekends in July, the neighborhood is the stage for the Festival das Estrelas (Tanabata Matsuri), when nearly 100 thousand people order food and assist typical dancing and singing shows.

Evening

Sunday gives signs of coming to an end when competing bars, such as Pirajá in Pinheiros, lose part of their clientele to theater presentations. This is because these start earlier on the first day of the week — between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. A good choice is to see a play at the Teatro Cultura Artística in Consolação, followed by the traditional Sunday pizza. Try the Braz pizzaria in Pinheiros. The most requested pizza of the house is the one bearing its name, with sautéed zucchini and buffalo mozzarella au gratin, covered with grated parmesan. If you're still up for enjoying the rest of the night, the place to go is Vila Madalena. Or, more precisely, its bar, Filial, which is always packed. Besides draft beer and snacks, you can also order an welcome bean broth to help you face Monday morning.

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Memorial do Imigrante

Objects, furniture, vehicles, documents, photos and journals testify to the stories of a country constructed by immigrants. Visitors can consult records of their ancestors on computer terminals. On Sundays, this trip back in time also has a trolley that goes through the Mooca neighborhood, and a steam locomotive that goes around the inside patio: www.memorialdoimigrante.sp.gov.br

DJ
Princeton, New...
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4. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Holy sheeeat!

I cannot think of a better summary to Sao Paulo that what was just posted, absolutely amazing!!!!! I've never seen this before and will definitely copy it for colleagues who travel to Sao Paulo.

Are you around in November? I will buy your group a cold Bohemia for the fine work you're doing.

Not to keep my boca fechada, I will add that the MASP is not the "best" museum for Brazilian art. It is a great museum and has great art, but it mostly European. Going to other museums, like some of those mentioned, give you a better overview of Brazilian art. Still, you can't beat the location of MASP, especially when staying around Av. Paulista.

São Paulo
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21 posts
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5. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Sure we will be here in november! We must to work... this city never sleeps, remember??? hehehe

Well... i don't drink alcohol, so i prefeer a good juice... but i'm sure my friends will be happy with a bohemia!

Join HC or CS ( or both )... and let me know when exactly you will stay here...

DJ
Princeton, New...
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3,479 posts
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6. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Estelitas, I'll check out the sites and get back to you. In the meantime, I will only be in Sao Paulo por um noite, seria a terca feira. Preciso encontrar un grupo por jantar, mas despois eu gostaria ir para un dos clubes que me falaste. Talvez podemos encontrar no meu hotel e sair de la. Ate mais, DJ

Newcastle upon...
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490 posts
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7. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Wow! What a great post Estelitas!

I would love to visit SP for the GP, but now that I have read your post, I think I could stay there a month!!

My Italian friends and I have always said that we will get there one day! It must have been great to see Massa win at home. F1NYC- have you posted a trip report? Please let us know how it went.

In the meantime I'll check out CS and HC!

Thanks Estelitas DJ and F1NYC

nini ♥

8. Re: F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

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