Hello my dear readers,
You know what time is? It’s time to discover another piece of our world.
Today let’s discover São Paulo, the biggest orange producer region in Brazil.
As we have discovered in my previous post, despite oranges’s Asian origins, the major producer of this delicious fruit in the world is Brazil, with more than 800 thousand hectares.
Think that about one in three oranges produced in the world is from Brazil, one in three worldwide, that’s a lot!
And everything started from 1960s through 1980s, when top producer of oranges, Florida, struggled with repeated crop failures, and that helped Brazil rise on top position.
One of the greatest Brazilian composers of all time, Tom Jobim, stated that “Brazil is not for beginners”. In fact, São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, in spite of its negative reputation as an ugly city with nothing to see, is a cosmopolitan metropolis which can seem impenetrable and is not used to see many tourists, but definitely deserves a trip and can give an amazing rewarding travel experience.
With immigrants from all over the world, in São Paulo you can feel the diversity of its Portuguese, Italian, Bolivian and Japanese communities. Think that it has the world’s biggest Japanese population outside Japan.
Good to know is that since the locals don’t see too many tourists, English is not very spoken in the city but don’t worry, just some basic Brazilian Portuguese will be good enough, like bom dia which means good day, tudo bem (how are you? everything ok?) por favor (please) and obrigado (thank you), especially because it is a very beautiful and musical language. Let’s not forget to be polite even when we don’t know the language 😉 and try to pronounce it, it really sounds very nice 😉
If you want to move around with public transport, think twice before starting your journey with a metro or a bus in São Paulo, as the trip across the town can be trouble free if you’re lucky but also a nightmare. For Brazil’s biggest city, the subway network is pretty small and the buses can be very confusing for tourists. Is better to stick with taxis for a pleasant trip.
If you are an art lover, São Paulo is the epicenter of Brazil’s best art collection and museums. You may visit São Paulo Museum of Art MASP, one of the most important museums of the Southern Hemisphere and one of the main postcards of the city. Designed by Lina Bo Bardi, with a modern architecture, MASP is said to be the only museum in the world with the main body perched on four lateral pillars, and a free area of 74 meters in length.
Pinacoteca do Estado was São Paulo’s first art museum. Within its exposed brick walls and a large two-story atrium in the middle of the museum, it houses about 9,000 pieces from both national and international artists.
One thing you will may not notice at the beginning in São Paulo is that there are no billboards, as a result of the Clean City Act of 2007, which banned all large scale outdoor advertising. But what you will notice are the huge murals, graffiti, found on street level walls. The Beco do Batman (or Batman Alleyway) was one of the first open-air museums dedicated to graffiti to spring up in Latin America’s largest city.
If you are an history lover, you may visit the wonderful historical museum called Museu Afro Brasil in Ibirapuera, and of you are a soccer fan you may visit the football museum at the Pacaembu stadium.
Catedral da Sé, considered the very centre of the city of São Paulo, is one of the five largest Neo-Gothic temples in the world, and you may enjoy it with guided visits within the cathedral and its crypt, where the imaginary line of the Tropic of Capricorn passes.
If you are fierce enough, you may also enjoy petting and holding a wide variety of snakes at the Butantan Institute, the largest centres of biomedical research in the world, producing more than 80% of the total serum and vaccines consumed in Brazil.
São Paulo has a tropical and temperate climate which means warms summers from December to February and pleasantly cool winters from June to September, the perfect mix. Since the city is located in the Southern Hemisphere, it has opposite seasons. However, does rain pretty often and you can expect a tropical shower anytime, so even if it’s sunny and warm is always good to have a small umbrella with you, you never know…exactly like in Singapore 😉 From when I live here, a small umbrella has become a part of me and is accompanying me all the time😊😉 rain or shine 😊
The best time to visit São Paulo is in spring from October to November and fall from March to May, when the temperature are comfortable and it rains less. In general, year round the weather in São Paulo is pleasant, with temperature rarely going below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
São Paulo, is the third largest city on earth, with nearly twenty million people, so definitely you’ll have plenty of options to choose for your stay, depending on your travel style, budget and interests.
If you are interested in the exciting and dynamic nightlife, best area to stay is Baixo Augusta. If you are a art and history lover, Centro is the perfect neighbourhood, full of architecture and heritage. If you are traveling on a budget, Vila Madalena is the coolest place to stay, and at the same time you can enjoy the graffiti-clad streets, trendier bars and cafes, all alongside artists’ studios and creative spaces.
Brazilian food is well known around the world and in São Paulo, being the largest city in Brazil, you can find the best cuisine the country has to offer, from authentic and traditional Paulistano food to countless international options. To not mention that the locals claim to have the world’s best pizza.
When is time to eat, make sure you find somewhere to sit, as eating on the streets, even a burger is frowned upon. Is true that São Paulo is the most expensive city for eating out it Brazil, but still the prices are affordable for travelers. And the good or not so good part, depending on your appetite, is that the portions are huge and often dishes will easily feed two people, even if is not stated in the menu.
In every neighborhood you will find a padoca, which are massive eateries, something between a bakery, bodega, deli and bar, where you can have an appetizing breakfast, a beer with friends or even your groceries. It is the ultimate one stop shop, serving as a social hub for local communities, where Paulistanos but also tourists end up spending a lot of time.
If you are a foodie lover you cannot miss the Mercadão, the municipal market of São Paulo, where you’ll find a great variety of food and spices to eat or take home.
Important to know is that unlike most of South America, you will not be able to pay in US dollars, so make sure you’ll have the Brazilian currency which is Real.
As you probably know, Brazil is the self proclaimed Country of Soccer, winning more World Cups that any other, but this doesn’t mean that all locals are soccer fans, so don’t be surprised if you will receive some blank expressions when talking with locals about soccer.
Paulistanos usually works long hours during the week and when weekend comes they do know how to make the best of it and they mean it. São Paulo has a unique and incredible varied nightlife with wild parties and spontaneous events around the city. Think that the richness of alternative culture in the city is so vast that one could go out every weekend for six months without ever doing the same thing twice! How crazy is that?
If you’re looking for a nature trip, then São Paulo is not really your place, often being criticized as being a concrete jungle of urban landscape. But don’t listen too much at these critics, yes, the concrete part is true but think at the insane number of high-rise buildings, it is quite a sight to see, especially flying into the city to Congonhas Airport, over the seemingly endless carpet of buildings, what an experience.
However, when you want to escape from the noise and rush, Ibirapuera Park is the answer. It was elected one of the world’s best urban parks by British newspaper The Guardian, and it has over 150 hectares of lush green and lakes, located right in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities.
It is estimated that about 400,000 Japanese and descendants live in São Paulo today, the largest colony outside Japan, so no trip to São Paulo is complete without visiting Liberdade neighborhood, that will make you will feel a part of Japan in the largest city in South America.
Have you been to São Paulo, Brazil? Or planning to go?
This it will be my last post from Discovering our world series for this year. Thank you all for reading and for your support.
I would love to know what do you think of these kind of posts?
Do you like them?
Do you find them boring or do you find them informative? Are they too short or too long?
Do you think is useful to know more about our world, discovering new places?
What would you like me to cover more about our beautiful world?
Let me know in the comments below and I would be more than happy to start my research and take you with me to discover our amazing world, one place at a time.
In the meantime, stay tuned as is time for another delicious and easy recipe.
And if you enjoy traveling as much as I do, you may visit my other posts and discover our world one step at the time.
Bye bye for now
Photo credit: Google Images & Pixabay, edited by Popsicle Society