We’re big fans of travel, but we get even more excited when it’s time to talk about cities that might not always get the first ink. We’re talking about thinking about Reno instead of Las Vegas, of Aberdeen instead of Glasgow, and of Florence instead of Rome. There are plenty of cities that might not get your attention at first but trust us — they’re worth falling in love with.
The winter months are terrible, but you might remember from geography class that the Southern Hemisphere enjoys summer at the time where most of us in the Northern Hemisphere sludge through winter. So if you really want a great experience, it’s going to need to be traveling south for the winter, like the birds do.
But you definitely want to think about Brazil, as you begin planning. Rio de Janiero is the first city that pops into mind for a lot of people, but it’s certainly not the only thing that Brazil has to offer. It’s time to think about Sao Paulo, or Sampa as it’s affectionately called.
Why are we crazy about Sampa right now? Because it’s big. Really big. Huge. Like, 11 million people huge. And that’s the core city — if we go by metro stats it’s nearly 20 million. With so many people, you know that there are plenty of things to do. The food, the nightlife, the shopping… Sampa attracts a lot of people from all over the world. The people are warm and friendly and laid back, which are all great characteristics for a city.
Getting into the city is easy by plane. There’s a large airport to accommodate flights, and finding transportation is easy. For a city like Sao Paulo, we definitely recommend that you stick to public transportation. The traffic is absolutely insane and tourists can find themselves very frustrated with the local residents of the city. They know the traffic pattern; you don’t. Why put yourself through stress if you don’t have to. There are plenty of options when it comes to public transportation, so don’t try to skip over them. They are quite important indeed. Be prepared for delays though — with so many people, it goes without saying that things can be pretty complicated!
If you go nowhere else, you have to go to Paulista Avenue within the city. This is really the heart and soul of the area, which plenty of shops, art galleries, theaters, movie theaters, and even pubs and coffee shops. Bookstores, hotels, and gourmet restaurants also reign supreme here. If you want to figure out a great place for your accommodations, it’s probably going to be somewhere around Paulista Avenue.
The shopping options are just right in the city — you will find plenty of great deals if you look around. Specific interests are catered to in the city, and can you blame anyone? Most business owners will eventually get a profit if they work hard enough here in the city.
There are plenty of food options in Sao Paulo to choose from — trust us, you are definitely not going to be hurting for options. It’s just a matter of thinking what you want to eat. There are a few restaurants that are catering to tourist tastes, but if you really want to say that you experienced the best that the city has to offer, it’s all about going to get authentic Brazilian cuisine done Sao Paulo style. There are brown beans and rice, as well as rice, collard greens, and pork chops. Pork is definitely a local staple, and you’ll see plenty of it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good steakhouse hiding out there!
Like with food, you’re going to find a lot of options on sleeping accommodations. Of course, with so much to offer, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll do a lot of sleeping. Now is just the right time to really make sure that you get everything in order when it’s time to get your trip underway.
Since this is still a popular destination (though not as popular as Rio), you want to book in advance. Last minute trips can be done, but why put yourself under stress you don’t need. Just don’t forget your travel insurance and you’ll be just fine — try it out for yourself!