The Best São Paulo Travel Tips From Our Readers

What’s your favorite version of the Ary Barroso song “Brazil”? I have twelve. Listen to them all as we look at the best travel tips for São Paulo that our readers put in the comments this week.Each Monday on Hack Your City, we ask readers for your best tips on a city: driving tips, restaurant…


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What’s your favorite version of the Ary Barroso song “Brazil”? I have twelve. Listen to them all as we look at the best travel tips for São Paulo that our readers put in the comments this week.

Each Monday on Hack Your City, we ask readers for your best tips on a city: driving tips, restaurant recs, things to do, and any other advice for visitors and locals. Then on Thursday, we present the best comments. We’re working our way around the U.S. and around the globe.

Eat and Drink

  • “Make sure you hit the “kilo” restaurants which sell food by weight. A great deal. Tapioca restaurants are a must try also! They take tapioca starch and make this white taco looking thing and fill it with awesomeness.”—AlexK
  • “São Paulo is famous for having lots of immigrants from lots of different countries, and they all brought their foods and snacks. You’ll find fantastic Italian, Japanese, German, Portuguese restaurants pretty much everywhere. But don’t forget our own Brazilian food! You can find restaurants that are specialized in certain regions of Brazil, such as nordestino, mineiro, or gaúcho. Not to mention our world-famous churrascarias with all-you-can-eat meat.”—Henrique Miraldo
  • “If you want a taste of some legitimate brazilian food, go to the Mercado Municipal Paulistano (Municipal Market). Cheeses, meats, indigenous fruits, sweets you never knew you needed until you tried.”—Lucas Pinheiro Silva
  • “Eat pastel! Seriously, it’s the salty cousin of the donut, and it’s awesome. There are several feiras throughout the city (very similar to farmer’s markets), and every single one of them have a pastel hut. Give preference to those instead of eating pastel in a store.”—Tiago
  • “Pinheiros is our Brooklyn. You have a boom of great restaurants and bars opening in this neighbourhood over the last few years mainly around Baixo Pinheiros (lower Pinheiros) and the R. dos Pinheiros street. You can spend a whole month eating in great places and never have to repeat a spot.”—Piochi

Do, See, and Get Around

  • “Probably the weirdest things I like there are Ugra (a grassroots comic shop) and Galeria do Rock (a 3-story tall ‘mall’ for music records and memorabilia).”—Gui Saba
  • “If you are interested in our black, indigenous and colonial history, then there are a lot of unknown and semi-abandoned places to visit (Sítio Morrinhos, Casa Sertanista etc.), but the best of them are probably the Museu Xingú (Xingu Museum) and the Museu Afro Brasil.”—paulistano123
  • “Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in the inner city center. São Paulo is more of a commercial destination rather than touristic, so you don’t really need to worry about common tourist traps, but it’s a big city and we got our share of robberies.”—Henrique Miraldo

  • The cathedral is absolutely beautiful. Close to the cathedral, you will find Liberdade, the city’s Japantown. Go on Sunday for the full experience. São Paulo has the biggest Japanese community outside of Japan in the world. Sushi is ready available and delicious everywhere in the city.”—Lynx
  • “The Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) is great. On a building [designed] by Oscar Niemeyer, seven floors of great pieces from all over the world, some very unique, plus a terrace with a wonderful 360º view of the Ibirapuera area and two restaurants. Free entrance and parking. I like to go in the morning. After lunch I cross the avenue to the Ibirapuera Park to walk a bit and visit the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), where entrance costs R$7 (less than US$2).”—Dri Polacco
  • “Everyone will say [street art mecca] Beco do Batman, which is true. Other places I like are Ibirapuera Park and the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP). Paulista Avenue in generally a great place to go.”—Wernher
  • “Lots of streets are closed on Sunday to make place for bicycles. This is great and you should absolutely do it. (There’s a cyclovia you can use the rest of the week, but it doesn’t always make sense and can be fragmented.) There’s a lot of self-service rental options (most common are Yellow, Bikxie, and Bike Sampa). You need a smart phone app to unlock the bikes.”—Lynx

For more, read the original comment thread, and add your own tips below. Come back Monday when we head to the Midwest.

About the author

Nick Douglas

Staff Writer, Lifehacker | Nick has been writing online for 12 years at sites like Urlesque, Gawker, the Daily Dot, and Slacktory. He lives in Park Slope with his wife and their books.

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