The great list of things to do in Sao Paulo is a testament to the historical and cultural blend that Brazil’s commercial hub has become. This is a sprawling, lively city, and while it might not have the tourist cache of Rio de Janeiro or the governmental power of Brasilia, it is still at the heart of Brazil and her workings. Sao Paulo attractions, then, include plenty of top tourist spots to fill out any itinerary, and the pictures of Sao Paulo carnival costumes and girls show that the city has the same lively spunk as Rio.
As this is a city that’s often referred to as Brazil’s cultural heart, going to museums is considered one of the top activities in Sao Paulo. Art is at the top of the agenda here, with the MASP (Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo) perhaps the leading name. Housed in a monumental brutalist structure—meaning it's big, bold, angular, and features a lot of concrete—the museum’s collection boasts work by Rubens, Botticelli, Turner, Warhol and Dali, to name a few. Other noteworthy museums include the Pinoteca do Estado and the Museo do Futbol (Soccer Museum).
Walking the entire length—more than two miles—of this massive thoroughfare is considered one of the most important things to do in Sao Paulo if you want to get a feel for the city. If Sao Paulo is Brazil’s commercial and financial heart, then Paulista Avenue is her aorta. Home to a dizzying amount of shopping malls, institutional buildings, and the MASP, Paulista Avenue proves itself one of the unique Sao Paulo attractions.
Sao Paulo Zoo
Families looking for fun activities in Sao Paolo would be well-advised to take a trip to the Sao Paulo Zoo, out in the city’s suburbs. Considered one of the world’s largest zoos and a leading light in animal conservation, it is home to a heady variety of species. The zoo attracts between 1 and 2 million visitors a year, and it runs a well-recognized education center, too.
The bustle of this Brazilian city can be overwhelming at times; consequently, visitors are urged to include some relaxing things to do in Sao Paulo on their itineraries. A good example of one of the Sao Paulo attractions where you can really unwind is Ibirapuera Park, an urban garden that covers a vast 16 million square feet. Walking, jogging, and hiking are favorite activities in Sao Paulo to enjoy here, but if they sound like too much effort, you can always join the hordes who simply take some food—and possibly wine—down to the park’s lake and happily while away the time. Ibirapuera Park also contains some excellent museums, in case you're interested in cultural attractions while you're there.
Get a View of the City
Taking a ride to the top of the city’s skyscraping towers proves to be one of the more interesting and useful activities in Sao Paulo. Not only is the view excellent, it’s also a helpful way for you to get your bearings in this labyrinthine metropolis. Banespa Towers and the Sao Paulo Jockey Club both offer stunning views and are free to climb. One word of warning: Check what the Sao Paulo weather is going to be like the day of your excursion, as clear days are infinitely more rewarding than their cloudier counterparts.