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BRAZIL, SOUTH AMERICA - TRAVEL & LODGING GUIDE
HOTELS & RESORTS IN SAO PAULO

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City Cathedral, Sao Paulo, Brazil, South America
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Paulista Avenue, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Sao Paulo, Brazil: A Traveler's Guide   by BCD Travel

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The glamorous industrial powerhouse

Sao Paulo is the world's third largest city and the largest in South America. Described as a "concrete jungle" the city is in constant growth, particularly upwards. The fast-paced cosmopolitan metropolis may not be the prettiest of cities, but offers plenty of glamour and tons of South American flair. There's ample to see and do with top-rate nightlife, restaurants and impressive cultural and arts scenes.
As a major business hub, Sao Paulo hosts over 90,000 events every year - largely conventions, conferences, and trade shows accumulating about R$8 billion (US$ 4.5 billion) in revenue for the city each year.

The country's official language is Portuguese but, with its multi-cultural community, many people also speak English, Spanish, Italian and French. In fact, Brazil is also home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. This diverse cultural mix has definitely left an impressive mark on the city's dining scene.

As in any other big city, it is important to take simple precautions to ensure your safety. Keep your belongings close to you in public places, avoid wearing expensive looking jewelry or watches and don't carry large sums of money while walking around the city - there are many pickpockets operating in the area.

Getting to and from the airport:

Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Sao Paulo's international airport is Guarulhos Airport (locally known as Cumbica), approximately 25 km northeast of the city. Travelers can either take a taxi or a bus to the city center. The cheapest option is to take the airport bus service at R$24 (US$13) per person, which operates dedicated services to the central Tietê Interstate Bus Terminal, Congonhas (the domestic airport) and major hotels. Prepaid taxi fares to the center of Sao Paulo are approx R$66 (US$36). A regular metered taxi can be a little cheaper; unless you get stuck in one of the frequent traffic jams.
Avenida Sao Joao, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Getting around Sao Paulo:

The Metro is the easiest way to get around the central districts of Sao Paulo, although it does not cover the rest of the city. Metro tickets cost approx.R$2.55 (US$1.40) for a single ride. The city's buses are plentiful and frequent, but unless you know the city the system can be hard to navigate. Routes are usually displayed on the front and sides of the buses and cost approx. R$2.55 (US$1.40). Note that bus drivers generally won't stop unless you flag them down.

At night, taxis are the safest mode of transport. Owner-driven taxis known as taxi Comun are generally well maintained and reliable, as are radio taxis. Note that fares will increase 25 percent after 8:00 p.m. and on weekends. A tax is also applied to taxis leaving the city. Good radio-taxi companies usually accept credit cards, but you must call ahead and request the service.


Places to visit:

Jahy Carvalho, BCD Travel's regional sales manager for Latin America, lives in Sao Paulo and recommends a trip to the centrally located Ibirapuera Park - a welcome retreat from the smog-filled chaos of the city. The park has beautiful lakes, fountains, bicycle paths and a Planetarium. The nearby sites of the Bienal, the Museu de Arte Moderne and the Pavilhão da Oca host many of the shows that come to São Paulo.
The Teatro Municipal is located in the Old City Center and is one of the city's most important cultural landmarks. Made from sandstone and sculpted red marble, with lavishly decorated interiors, the theater plays host to numerous operas, concerts and ballets.

The Pinacoteca do Estado is a beautifully restored museum displaying the works of some of the best Brazilian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. During the museum's 1997 renovation, the roof and much of the interior were replaced with glass latticework and open spaces.

Visit the Vila Madalena neighborhood, where the main streets are bustling and full of affordable clubs with live music. If you're into samba (or simply curious about it) then pop into Salve Simpatia, an energetic Rio-style club, where you can watch the crowd from the balcony.

Business District, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Jahy also recommends the Espirito Santo Bar on Avenida Horácio Lafer, which is a good place for happy hour with a typical São Paulo atmosphere and authentic Portuguese influence.
Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Eating in Sao Paulo:

The city's diversity of peoples and cultures has engendered restaurants spanning more than 50 different types of cuisine, making São Paulo a paradise for adventurous, globe-trotting gastronomes. Try the traditional feijoada, a dish made of black beans, pork and dry steak. Wash this down with a caipirinha - a cocktail of sugar, lime and cachaça (distilled sugar liquor).

Shopping in Sao Paulo:

With more than 50 shopping malls and plazas, numerous artisan fairs and art galleries, plus 42 commercial blocks, São Paulo is a shopper's paradise. The most popular fashion spots are Centro Atacadista; Rua Oscar Freire, and Bela Cintra which offer haute couture on par with Paris' Champs-Elysées or Rodeo Drive in the USA. Moving away from the high-end market, you can find street sellers and a Sunday's Art and Crafts Fair in the city center, offering everything from vintage records to hand beaded flip-flops.

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About the Author: BCD Travel is your all inclusive corporate travel agency offering competitive ongoing corporate travel management solutions to companies across Australia. We do more than simply organise your corporate travel, we also coordinate conferences and incentives and assist staff with personal holiday planning to any destination worldwide. 

FEATURED HOTELS IN SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

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Caesar Business Sao Paulo International Airport
Relaxed and casual, the Caesar Business Sao Paulo International Airport Hotel is the perfect place for business or large events, with the ability to hold meetings for up to 1200 people. The friendly, multilingual staff will be more than happy to help you plan tours around the large and cosmopolitan city. Make sure that you take a break from the hustle and bustle by checking out Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo's version of Central Park, which offers more than 2 million square metres of green space. The informal Amaranto Restaurant cooks up an extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner. The more elegant and refined Galani Restaurant is perfect for the business crowd or private gatherings. You can enjoy a glass of wine or a nightcap in the hotel lobby while listening to piano music.
Estanplaza Ibirapuera Sao Paulo
Estanplaza Ibirapuera offers a rooftop pool, free parking and air-conditioned rooms with an outdoor balcony. Ibirapuera Park, which has the Sao Paolo Museum of Modern Art, is 2 km away. Restaurant Surui serves a traditional Brazilian breakfast buffet and offers all-day dining. Estancafé, the Estanplaza Ibirapuera’s café, features weekly live music.  Guests can enjoy Estanplaza’s rooftop swimming pool and Jacuzzi. There is also a dry sauna unit and a fitness centre. Shopping Centre Ibirapuera is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The local bars and restaurants of Sao Paolo’s Moema district surround the hotel. This hotel is a 10-minute drive from Congonhas Airport.
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