How to Spend 3 Days in São Paulo
With three days in Brazil’s biggest city, you’ll have ample time to see the sights, delve into the local art or food scene, and head into the countryside for a glimpse beyond the skyscrapers. Here are some ideas for your São Paulo itinerary.
Day 1: Get Acquainted
Get your bearings in one of the world’s largest cities on a walking or biking tour through downtown, stopping by prominent landmarks like the neo-Gothic Sé Cathedral, the Centro Cultural Banco, and Ibirapuera Park. At lunchtime, do as the locals do and grab a mortadella (bologna) sandwich at the Municipal Market—then wander around one of the city’s excellent museums, such as the Art Museum of São Paulo, the Catavento Cultural Museum, or the Museum of Image and Sound. Wind down the day with cocktails and a bird’s-eye view of São Paulo from a rooftop bar in the art deco Banespa Building or the soaring Itália Building.
Day 2: Explore Your Interests
Today is about discovering the city through the lens that most interests you. Foodies might start with a morning food tour of the Municipal Market, followed by an afternoon cooking class featuring Brazilian culinary techniques. Art lovers should hit the streets in search of the city’s best street art in bohemian neighborhoods like Vila Madalena. Soccer fans can go behind the scenes at the Allianz Parque, home of the Palmeiras football team—while families make their way to the São Paulo Zoo or Botanical Garden. No matter how you choose to spend your day, end it with a guided bar hop to some of the city’s hottest spots.
Day 3: Get Out of Town
It’s easy to get city fatigue in a metropolis of 20 million residents, so escape the concrete jungle with a day trip into the Brazilian countryside. One destination option is Campos do Jordão, a little slice of Switzerland in Brazil, with chalet-style architecture and Swiss and German culture. Or, join an excursion into the Brazilian rain forest, and learn about the country’s indigenous cultures. If you’re ready for some relaxation, settle down for a day of sun, sand, and sea at the beach in nearby Santos. Finish your stay with a quiet dinner back at your hotel.