What does the perfect free day in Sao Paulo look like to me? São Paulo is a gorgeous city that boasts great diversity. By blending various styles and cultures, there is certainly no shortage of fine cuisine, entertainment, museums, art galleries, shopping and much more. Whatever you are looking for, Sao Paulo has its pulse on the hottest trends, but also shines proud as a city rich in history.
First, after a leisurely wake up and morning cup of Brazilian coffee, have an early brunch at Skye Restaurant and Bar. Located on the top floor of the Unique Hotel with one of the most incredible views of the capital, this is a must see with a relaxed atmosphere and great food. The buffet-style brunch includes fruits, cereals, yogurts, gluten-free cakes, pies and unique assorted breads – like the guava bread. There are also mini sandwiches, pancakes, french toast, cheeses, cold cuts, scrambled eggs, bacon, natural juices, coconut water, and much more to enjoy while you are overlooking the city.
Then, it’s off to explore the arts! São Paulo, with its 110 museums, is the city with the largest number of cultural options in Latin America. It offers such a wide array of items, which range from classical works of art to art exhibitions with unusual catalogs. Visit MAC (Museu de Arte Contemporânea) which houses items by Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Tarsila do Amaral, Anita Malfatti, and many others. Besides exhibits, the museum also offers courses, lectures, and other activities. Part of MAC’s catalog came from the former Museum of Modern Art (MAM). MAM, which was founded in 1948, has over 5000 items in its catalog. The museum collection portrays works from modern and contemporary art, highlighting some talented Brazilian artists. There is also a beautiful library and an outdoor sculpture garden to enjoy.
Do some damage with afternoon shopping! Walk down Via Madalena where you will find interesting and fun stores by local artists. Or try the West side of the city, where there are several shopping malls: West Plaza, Iguatemi, Eldorado, and Butantã. Plants and fresh fruit and vegetable markets are always available at Ceagesp. On Pinheiros, there are furniture stores. Rua Cardeal Arcoverde has vintage furniture that it showcases. No matter where you shop, you will find something for everyone!
After working up an appetite, have a late lunch or early dinner at Tuju. Having opened its doors in 2014, Tuju provides an urban garden setting in Sao Paulo’s Vila Madalena neighborhood. With an open kitchen, Chef Ralston and his team showcase modern Brazilian cuisine and native seasonal fare by partnering with artisans and small local producers. Chef’s experience at world-renowned restaurants also include Maní, Nihonryori RyuGin, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz – all of which were central to his professional development. He is part of a new generation of Brazilian chefs reshaping the country’s cuisine with respect for tradition but with a modern twist. Menus change throughout the year, and the bar offers a range of delicious wines and unique cocktails to enjoy.
In Sao Paulo, you can find also find some great nightlife, so end the evening at any one of the city’s favorite hot spots. Try Bar Tatu Bola – this bar has a welcoming atmosphere, that celebrates Brazilian culture both in its menu and décor – especially its ceiling. There are 75,000 Senhor do Bonfim ribbon bracelets of various colors, in addition to amazing bronze chandeliers. On the floor, tables made of rustic wood and relics from antique fairs give this venue a warm and welcoming feel. There are more than fifteen flavors of caipirinha alone, all made with fresh seasonal fruits, like the one of Jabuticaba—with Brazilian vodka. As for music, there are live acoustic performances of MPB (Brazilian pop music) so grab a partner and dance!
Sao Paulo is the home to so many faces. With over 14.9 million tourists per year, it is known as the capital of culture in Latin America, and that’s not hard to see why. Its vast history and modern-day entertainment offers a match like no other for guests from every corner of the globe. So, whether you visit for a night, or stay a week or two – there are so many things to see. From cultural attractions, to diverse gastronomy, to exciting nightlife and more, you are sure to make memories to last a lifetime in the breathtaking city of Sao Paulo!