São Paulo, Brazil: In an Alternative Perspective

São Paulo

This past long weekend I went to São Paulo, Brazil. I've heard many things about this city and I wasn't really sure what to expect. To Brazil, São Paulo is kind of like NYC to the US. There is even a huge park (Ibirapuera Park) in the middle of the city!

When moving to Brazil, I was told that the place to be was in São Paulo. I was told the city was huge, full of concrete and all about business. I suppose some of that is true. These things I had heard, really put me off from living there.

Being a very visual person, I am constantly looking to my surroundings for inspiration. After spending time in Rio, it is very difficult to compare it to other cities; I haven't yet seen a prettier city than Rio.

On first appearance, São Paulo really isn't a pretty city, especially from a plane's perspective. Even though aesthetics are not the point of the city, there are many gems with which the city has impressed me:

Luz Train Station, São Paulo

  • Luz Train Station:
  • Estação da Luz (or Station of Light) made me reminiscent of Kings Cross St. Pancras in London and evidently had an English architect. If you've looked through my portfolio ,then you've already discovered that I love train stations. The station played an essential role in moving São Paulo's main export, coffee.

    The station also holds the Portuguese Language Museum, which beautifully celebrates the language. I recommend it for all those that are studying Portuguese.

    Luz Train Station, São Paulo


  • The Municipal Market:
  • Upon arriving to the market my friends and I were a little put off after seeing how packed it was. But after we had some yummy food and got into the thick of things, in the middle of the spices section, we were just so happy to have visited this spot. We came away with many herbs that are hard to find in Rio. The market reminded me of the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy.

    Municipal Market, São Paulo, Brazil


    Municipal Market, São Paulo, Brazil



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  • The Graffiti:
  • My favorite part of the trip was visiting all the graffiti in "batman's alley", in the neighborhood Vila Madelena. The graffiti artists in this area are simply amazing. Their vision is so inspiring. With many poor people in Brazil, graffiti is often an outlet of their imagination or a voice of their situation. Many of these graffiti artists are risking their lives and sadly there are cases where they fall to their death trying to display their ideas in the most difficult places.

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  • The Food:
  • The best pizza, with the largest consumption of pizza than any other city in the world (incredible, right?). They also have yummy indian restaurants! Indian food is something I've missed so much since moving away from London. Rio's restaurants need to step up, there aren't too many good restaurants despite it being a big city.

  • The Nightlife:
  • Many options for clubs, bars and live music. They even have English Pubs with Guinness and ciders!
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    In conclusion, São Paulo isn't just concrete and business. It's a huge city, with many cultures and more to offer than on first glimpse.

    We were so lucky to have a couple of Paulistas to host us, and they were excellent hosts! Many thanks to the Rigonati and Molinari families for making us feel so welcome! We will be sure to visit again!



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