Flights to São Paulo (GRU)

Flights to São Paulo are essential if you’re visiting Brazil. This buzzing metropolis is guaranteed to create an unforgettable impression.

Flights to São Paulo

You can't talk about São Paulo without talking about its size. Everything in the city is big, from the sprawling suburbs that seem to stretch out endlessly as your flight to São Paulo lands to the population that extends to 20 million in the greater metropolitan area.

The city is one of those living, thriving, teeming masses of humanity that has the power to leave you marvelling at the sheer magnitude of people. It's the largest city in the country and all of the Americas.

A lot of travellers who head to Brazil think first about Rio de Janeiro, but to overlook São Paulo would be to miss out on a truly exciting destination. Once you become accustomed to the fast pace of activity you'll find an energetic city full of the finer things in life, from luxury hotels and restaurants to cute cafes and all-night lounges.

São Paulo might not have one restaurant for each of its 20 million residents, but sometimes it can seem that way. The city offers nearly 13,000 distinct venues from which to choose, with dozens of international cuisines on the various menus around the city. One of the main local staples is pastel, a pastry envelope stuffed with all types of fillings, and then deep fried in vegetable oil.

You could probably spend the entire trip eating pastel at various small spots around the city but make sure to build in time to eat at one or more of the best restaurants in São Paulo. There are so many but two standouts are Greek-themed Restaurante Acrópoles and D.O.M. – Chef Alex Atala's joint that is unlike anything else on the planet.

There are also world-class museums, parks, memorials, and sporting events scattered throughout. Finding them can be a bit difficult on the winding streets but that's part of the fun. Just bring your sense of adventure.

When it comes to resting after a full day’s adventuring, São Paulo has your accommodation needs covered. Because it's such a large city, spanning a huge area, picking a hotel in an area you want to explore is one of the more important parts of planning your trip. For most tourists, that means Centro, Higienópolis, or Jardins – three centrally located neighbourhoods with plenty to do.

As a rule, São Paulo shines for its excellent service and the fun starts at Hotel Unique, a place whose name says it all. Or you can choose to end the night (and start the next day) at one of the best hotels in São Paulo, The Tivoli.

The city doesn't have the same mass of wandering backpackers who find their way around Rio de Janeiro, but there's still a vibrant, exciting culture that revolves around the city’s many hostels.

There's excitement around every corner, and literally a million nooks and crannies for you to explore. One thing’s for sure – you won't run out of things to do.

Explore Liberdade

The city is home to a thriving Japanese population, and many of them call Liberdade home. It’s a fascinating neighbourhood for a wander around, and you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a different world. Look for the tall red gate – Red Torii – and you'll know you've entered the right place.

Red Torii
Rua Galvão Bueno, 100

Be pampered at Casa Mauro Freire

This is the place to be pampered and combines a salon, spa, lounge, and boutique into one fun location in cosmopolitan Jardins. Whether you're heading down for a haircut or just shopping the local designers, you might never want to leave.

Alameda Jaú, 1580
01420 002
+55 11 3061 5274

Learn about Brazilian history at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

This impressive institution might seem like just a bank, but it’s actually so much more. The CCBB hosts art exhibitions, cultural festivities, and other events that are a great way to learn about the long and varied history of São Paulo and Brazil as a whole.

Rua Álvares Penteado
112 Centro
+55 11 3113 3651

Relax in Parque Ibirapuera

Given the fast pace of city life, you might want a few minutes of peace and quiet. Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo's largest green space and one of the biggest in Latin America, offers a break from all the busyness. Walk or bike on a path, or just sit and people watch.

Avenida Pedro Álvares Cabral
Vila Mariana
+55 11 5574 5045

See the street art at Beco do Batman (Batman Alley)

São Paulo is well known for its vibrant and rapidly developing street art scene and Batman Alley is where the cool kids come to express themselves. Located in hip Vila Madalena, both sides of the meandering street are covered with images that really belong in a gallery.

Rue Gonçalo Afonso
Vila Madalena

Visit the Museu do Futebol

You can't visit Brazil without embracing the country’s passion for football, and this celebration of the sport at the famous Estadio Pacaembu features old items from the archives, interactive displays, and a general excellent ode to the beautiful game. A great place to embrace your inner Pele.

Estádio do Pacaembu
Praça Charles Miller, S/N
+55 11 3664 3848

D.O.M. (Modern Brazilian)

Routinely finding its way into lists of the planet’s best restaurants, what started as an industry-defining concept has flourished into a spot so hot, bookings are taken months in advance. Chef Alex Atala makes no secret of his former life as a punk and DJ, and that creativity can be found from the decor to the plate.

Rua Barão de Capanema, 549
Cerqueira César
+55 11 3088 0761

Dalva e Dito (Modern Brazilian)

Dalva e Dito is as casual as the Cerqueira César neighbourhood it calls home. Don't miss the traditional seafood stew known as moqueca, which is a staple of the region, or any number of Amazonian fish dishes on the menu.

Rua Padre João Manuel, 1115
Cerqueira César
+55 11 3068 4444 (Portuguese language website)

Figueira Rubaiyat (Brazilian)

Nestled happily in happening Jardim Paulista with a seating area centred around a giant, 100-year-old fig tree, Figueira focuses on local produce and having a good time. It gets more and more lively as the night goes on – arrive early and plan on staying out late.

Rua Haddock Lobo, 1738
Cerqueira César
Jardim Paulista
+55 11 3087 1399

Maní Manioca (Modern Brazilian)

A shining example of São Paulo’s place as a city of the world, Maní sticks out because of how it combines the traditional with the contemporary. Located in the exclusive Jardim Paulistano, the restaurant sets a new standard in Brazilian dining and is buzzing on most nights.

Rua Joaquim Antunes, 210
Jardim Paulistano
+55 11 3085 4148

Restaurante Acrópoles (Greek)

An excellent option if you want to dine on a budget. You might not think about Greek cuisine when you head to Brazil but the food and service here are excellent, and if you're after a slice of real life in São Paulo, this is the place to go.

Rue da Graça, 364
Bom Retiro
+55 11 3223 4386 (Portuguese language website)

SESC Pinheiros (Brazilian)

Head here for a little bit of Brazilian egalitarianism, with a savoury buffet that operates on a pay per kilo model. You'll dine with SESC members and workers, an organisation dedicated to furthering art and sport in Brazil, and they might have a travel tip or two for curious travellers.

Rue Pais Leme, 195
+55 11 3095-9400 (Portuguese language website)

Bourbon Hotel

As one of the smaller luxury hotels in the city, the Bourbon staff can afford to treat each individual guest as just that – an individual. You'll get all the attention you want and its central location makes travelling to the rest of São Paulo simple and easy.

Avenida Vieira de Carvalho, 99
+55 11 3337 9200

Hilton São Paulo Morumbi

This massive luxury hotel sits a little south of the city with easy access to Congonhas-São Paulo Airport and much of the city's busy Berrini Avenue business district. Its stately rooms make you feel important and there's even access to a heliport, should you need it.

Avenida das Nações Unidas, 12901
Brooklin Paulista
+55 11 2845 0000

Hotel Emiliano

Elegant without being over the top, the Hotel Emiliano is a great find located in the heart of the Jardins neighbourhood. From its pool well above the skyline to its well-appointed lobby and refined rooms, it's a luxury hotel that would fit in in any city around the world.

Rua Oscar Freire, 384
Jardim Paulista
+55 11 3069 4369

Hotel Unique

Locals call it "The Watermelon" due to its unusual crescent shape and green hue, and the hotel in upscale Jardim Paulista is one you won't forget. The rooms offer porthole windows overlooking Ibirapuera Park, and you can check out the view while sipping complimentary coconut water.

Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700
Jardim Paulista
+55 11 3055 4700

Que tal Hostel e Arte

Que tal Hostel e Arte is economical and fun. It's located in the always-busy Vila Mariana district, which is safe and provides plenty of entertainment for tourists wanting to get the full flavour of the city. The handmade art gallery will inspire you to get creative.

Rue Vergueiro, 3393
Vila Mariana
+55 11 2361 0069

Tivoli São Paulo

Paulistanos consider Tivoli one of the city's finest hotels and its Jardins location is a great spot from which to set out exploring. If you’d rather dine close to home, head for the 23rd floor to eat at Arola Vintetres, renowned Spanish Chef Sergi Arola's first venture outside Europe.

Alameda Santos, 1437
Cerqueira César
+55 11 3146 5900

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