Brazil’s industrial heart beats to the Samba rhythm
The economic and financial hub of Brazil, São Paulo is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a well-developed art and culture scene and an excellent nightlife. There is certainly no shortage of things to see and do, with plenty of shopping malls and superb international restaurants. Life in São Paulo moves at quite a pace, and there is always some important event going on. São Paulo Fashion Week, established in 1996, has already taken its place alongside London, Paris, Milan and New York as one of the world's foremost events. The São Paulo International film Festival showcases many of the excellent productions that are now consistently coming from Brazil. Of course Brazil wouldn't be Brazil without a carnival and São Paulo's carnival is one of the largest in the country. Usually held 40 days before Easter, celebrations are colourful street parties on an epic scale.
As the industrial and business centre of Brazil, flights to Sao Paulo are often filled with business people. But Sao Paulo still has plenty for the casual tourist to enjoy, with more than 100 museums, 150 theatres and an established gastronomic culture of top international restaurants to rival anything in Europe.
When to Go?
The climate of Brazil varies quite considerably from region to region because of the sheer size and varied topography of this vast country. In Sao Paulo the summer is from mid-December to mid-March when it can get pretty hot and sticky, while winters are fairly cold. The best time to visit Sao Paulo is therefore between March and early June or October to November.
How to get there?
British Airways and the Brazilian operator TAM Airlines, which is based in Sao Paulo, both offer flights to Sao Paulo International Airport (GRU) from London Heathrow. The flight to Sao Paulo takes about 11 hours and 30 minutes from the UK. You can get indirect Sao Paulo flights on Dutch airline KLM from Aberdeen, Liverpool and Leeds Bradford and Manchester via Amsterdam.
There is so much to see and do in São Paulo that you could spend weeks there and only scratch the surface. Landmarks include the Banespa Building, which offers excellent panoramic views of the city. The remarkable São Paulo Museum of Art is an iconic symbol of modern Brazilian architecture that contains a fine collection of paintings, prints and drawings. The beautiful Municipal Theatre of São Paulo has played host to some of the most famous names from the world of opera, dance and theatre, while Brazil’s considerable football talent is showcased on match days.