When planning an itinerary to Brazil, most travelers elect to skip over Sao Paulo and head straight to Rio de Janeiro.
But Brazil’s biggest city has so much to offer! With amazing green parks, outstanding international dining, and safe neighborhoods, Sao Paulo is a great introduction to Brazil.
Check out these reasons (and more) you shouldn’t just skip Sao Paulo.
SP is CHEAP
To start, it is often a lot cheaper to fly to Sao Paulo than to Rio de Janeiro for international arrivals. If you’re flying in from the US or Central America, landing in Sao Paulo versus Rio de Janeiro can save you a couple hundred dollars.
You can use that savings to book a cheaper domestic flight from Sao Paulo to Rio, or even a comfy luxury bus.
Everything else in Sao Paulo is a bit cheaper than Rio de Janeiro as well, especially hotels. You can score a great deal on a comfortable, classy hotel for under $50, especially with the current low value of the reais (Brazilian currency).
SP is Samba Central
Especially on weekends, businessmen and women like to cut loose! Sao Paulo has so many nightlife hotspots. If you’re unsure where to start, Vila Madelena is a great place to check out. The artsy neighborhood is known for its samba and nightlife.
If you want to do like the Brazilians do, you’ll show up for a late and light bite to eat, before heading into any of the clubs to dance all night.
SP has tons of Sculptures and Museums
Throughout the city, sculptures from famous artists, architects, and sculptors are placed.
If this isn’t enough of an arty fix for you, you can get your kicks at any of the many Sao Paulo Museums. A few of the top rated ones include the Afro Brazil Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (both conveniently located in Ibirapuera Park), and the MASP (Art Museum of Sao Paulo).
While English signage is rare, you don’t really need words to be able to enjoy the beauty and culture on display. Most of the museums even offer free admission at certain hours or days of the month so be sure to check them out before visiting.