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“Take the hassle out of getting to know this mad city”

Rent a Local Friend
Ranked #8 of 78 Tours in Sao Paulo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Explore the local Sao Paulo, behind the touristic scene, with a Local Friend.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Windhoek, Namibia
Level Contributor
105 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Take the hassle out of getting to know this mad city”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

I was on a business trip with a few hours between flights to kill and wanted to explore Sao Paulo a bit. With limited time and no idea where to start tackling a city of 19 million people Rent-a-local-friend was a great option to try out.

After submitted my request I got an e-mail from Steffen and we quickly arranged the details. He was promptly on time at my hotel and we headed off into the city with a walking tour tailored to what I wanted to do. Steffen speaks German, Portugese and English all fluently with a good knowledge of the city on all aspects from sights to see and where to eat. A great way to explore the city!

I'll probably make use of the service again when visiting Sao Paulo

Visited February 2013
Thank ColdAvis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Asuncion, Paraguay
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Rent a Local Friend is a Good Bet!”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Traveling solo, I decided to try out this service. I was paired with Polyana, who is friendly, knowledgeable about the city, and very down-to-earth. She arranged my day based on my interests. We visited museums, parks, and had lunch at a local eatery. While yes these things could be done without the help of a guide, it was nice to have someone to show me around the big, unfamiliar city which is Sao Paulo. Doing that then gave me more confidence with venturing further into the city during my remaining days there.

The only downside to this service is the price. For about $200 US for a full day tour, that is steep, but Sao Paulo itself is expensive, so I guess everything´s relative. I highly recommend Polyana She helped to make my time in Sao Paulo great!

Visited January 2013
Thank Morazan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“See Sao Paulo Through the Eyes of a Local”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

My girlfriend and I recently did a tour of Brazil and Argentina visiting a few cities along the way. We started our tour in Sao Paulo and not knowing much about the city, we hired Nathalia Pires Souto to be our local tour guide. Leading up to our arrival, Nath kept in touch with us through email and we let her know what we were interested in seeing and doing. She had an amazing itinerary planned out for us for the 8 hours we "rented" her for. She met us promptly at 10AM.

We learned to take the metro, she showed us all around down-town, and brought us to the local markets and we even had a tasting trying out all different fruits which I have to say tasted way better than the fruits in the US. The mango was my favorite - so ripe and sweet! But there was this other fruit which I can't remember the name of, but it's an amazon fruit which was amazing! We had lunch at the market where I tried Brazil's famous mortadela sandwich (which I recommend trying) if you ever go.

After lunch we took a cab to Vila Madalena which is such a cool and hip town. There's a bunch of restaurants and its just a cool vibe. My favorite part of the area was the graffitti alleyways. Those artists have talent. We spent the rest of our afternoon in Vila Madelena entering local shops, eating and drinking along the way (well I was) haha!

But overall great experience! I highly reccomened hiriing Nath to show you around Sao Paulo. She even reccomened things for us to do the next day that we were on our own and gave us a map and outlined everything out for us. We got around just fine taking the metro alone and even finding a shopping area by foot which she explained how to get to.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Edwin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, NJ
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lots of walking to see Sao Paulo with RALF - and that's how it should be done!”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Date: Wednesday, December 26th, 2012.
RALF Guide (Sao Paulo): Nath Pires Souto

While we were planning our trip to Sao Paulo and Rio in December 2012, I accidentally bumped into RALF on Trip Advisor. With no idea of the concept, I read up reviews on the site and sounded very promising. So my wife and I decided to try this out and chose Nath as our rent-a-local friend. And I am extremely happy to say that we were more than impressed!

We are a married 30-yr old couple of Indian origin living in New York. We travel a fair bit and our idea of traveling always involves learning more about the place - its history, culture, small lanes, lesser-knows facts, off-beat paths and alleys. When we decided to choose Nath, I sent her an email letting her know what we wanted to do in SP. Nath was very quick to respond to my mail and she drew up a plan letting us know what she intended to show us. As we came closer to our meeting date, we checked in with her and fixed the time to meet (10 am). Nath was there on time and we all took no time to click. We first took the metro to Liberdade and then spent a lot of time walking in downtown SP. Nath has lot of knowledge of SP and explained everything as we walked along - the history of the city, economic conditions, demographics, local Brazilian culture, family traditions, etc, etc. She then took us to the Bohemian art district - which was the highlight of our trip. We got to see the most interesting cemetery, local graffiti alleys and a very cool shopping district. Though it was a hot day, we would highly recommend exploring the city on foot as much as possible. That is how you learn a new place the best.

We concluded our 8-hour tour at 6 pm. We had some snacks and chilled drinks back at our hotel club lobby where we all chatted up about our day and our lives back in the US. By the end of it, we all became more like friends and had a great time laughing and gossiping!

Overall - I HIGHLY recommend Rent-a-Local-Friend. We did the same thing in Rio and rest assured, it was 10 times better than a local city tour that we took. Be ready to walk a lot. Keep loose cash with you for the metro, small cab rides and meals. I would say it is customary to pay for your local friend's metro, cab ride and lunch - but I did not feel obligated or pressured to do so. Nath speaks absolutely fluent English and you will absolutely need that support in Brazil where very few people speak English.

Hope this information helps folks!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Roy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience!”
Reviewed December 27, 2012

I did a 4-hour walking tour with Nathalia this November. Before I went to Sao Paulo I had an image of a not-so-interesting, chaotic and dangerous city in my mind. By exploring the city with Nath I was proven totally wrong! SP turned out to be a wonderful, beautiful and peaceful city with many interesting spots, a pretty laid-back place with old buildings, an awesome skyline and much more. Nath was a perfect tour guide, very caring, friendly and relaxed, a local who knows the city very well. She took lots of time in advance to find out what my interests were. Her english is perfect and I felt safe and comfortable at all times. I totally recommend rent a local friend.com and hope many others will leave SP as happy as I did. Many thanks!!

Visited November 2012
Thank feldhase_27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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