|Location||Lies 400 km away from Rio de Janeiro and 1,030 km from capital Brasilia.|
|Geographic Coordinates||Latitude 23°32’36? S, Longitude 46°37’59? W|
|Area||1,523.0 square km|
About city :
Sao Paulo is the largest city of Brazil, the capital of the state of Sao Paulo and the centre of the Sao Paulo conurbation. It is one of the largest metropolitan areas of the world and has huge influence on the commerce and culture of the country. It covers an area of 1522.986 sq km and had an approximate population of 11,316,149 in 2011.
The Collegio de Sao Paulo de Piratininga was founded by 12 Jesuit priests including Manuel da Nobrega and Jose de Anchieta on 25th January, 1554. This marked the beginning of the village of Sao Paulo which then developed at a slow pace as a small and poor village. In 1683, it was established as the head of the captaincy of Sao Vicente. Sao Paulo was the only centre of development in the interior. The region began to attract attention after the discovery of the gold mines in Minas Gerais in the 1690s. In 1711, it was declared to be a city. Throughout the history of Brazil, the commercial importance of Sao Paulo continued to grow and today it has become one of the most important cities of South America.
The city is located in south-eastern Brazil. It lies on a plateau called Serra Do Mar which forms a part of the Brazilian Highlands. It lies 70 kms away from the Atlantic coastline and at an altitude of 799 metres. The city is drained by the Tiete River, a tributary of the Parana, and the Pinheiros River which is a tributary of the Tiete. Both the rivers are now highly polluted and a vast cleanup program is under way.
The region enjoys a humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot while winters are mild. Rainfall is abundant while regular breeze from the sea modifies the weather. The city also experiences rapid changes of weather, sometimes within a day.
How to reach (transport) :
You can travel to Sao Paulo in the following ways :
- The most widely used method to reach the city of Sao Paulo is by air. The largest and busiest airport is the Guarulhos International Airport which is located 40 kms from the city. Regular flights are available to various destinations of Europe, North and South America and Asia.
- The Congonhas airport lies 15 kms from downtown and regular flights are available to central and southern Brazil.
- The Viracopos International airport is located 99 kms from downtown Sao Paulo and is generally used if the Guarulhos is out of commission due to bad weather.
- A well developed system of roads connects Sao Paulo with the rest of Brazil. Besides, regular bus services are also available here.
When to visit :
The heat is the main prohibiting factor and the peak summer months are best avoided.The season from January to March receives very heavy rainfall and is not suitable for tourists. April to December is when most of the cultural events take place. June and July are probably the best times to visit.
Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions :
The colourful culture of Sao Paulo is best showcased in its various events. The major annual festivals are as follows:
- The Sao Paulo Carnival – though less flamboyant than that of Rio, is a great time to party with unofficial parades and events spread throughout the city. It is a joyful and colourful time and the best entertainment is to visit the Samba schools and take part in the festivities.
- The Sao Paulo Art biennial is organized every alternate year. It is an international exhibition of art.
- The Festa da Achiropita is a traditional Italian festival celebrated around Bixiga. Traditional foods are tasted.
- The Sao Paulo fashion week is one of the best-known fashion events in the world with top models of Brazil and the world participating in the event.
- The Sao Paulo International film festival is organized for a week with the screening of some of the top films of the world.
- The Brazilian Grand Prix is held in this city and attracts thousands of visitors.
- The Restaurant Week is celebrated twice a year where more than 100 special menus are offered.
- The Virada cultural show is a mega cultural event organized over 24 hours and is free.
- The Gay Pride parade of the city is one of the largest in the world and is celebrated with floats, music, and rave parties.
Points of interest (places to visit) :
Some of the most notable sights of Sao Paulo are :
- The Avenida Paulista is a huge business centre with many shops and eating joints and is the heart of the city of Sao Paulo.
- The Museu de Ipiranga, the Memorial da Ameriuca Latina, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, and Museu de Arte Moderna are important museums of the city.
- The Sao Paulo Zoo and the aquarium is a great place for both adults and children to visit.
As a thriving commercial and cultural metropolis, Sao Paulo offers a vast variety of accommodation options for travelers of all budgets. The five star hotels in the city include Unique, Tivoli, Fasano, and Emiliano, while the four star hotels include Masis, Novotel, Landmark Residence, and Caesar Park. Three star hotels include Cinelandia, Normadie Design, Excelsior, and Maksoud Plaza. A number of budget accommodations are also available.