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Best Cities in Brazil for a Weekend Trip From Rio
Sao Paulo Skyline
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Best Cities in Brazil for a Weekend Trip From Rio

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Whether you're in town for the Olympics or taking advantage of the fact that there's no visa fee, here are seven ways to stretch your Rio trip and see a bit more of the country.

São Paulo

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The sheer scope of São Paulo’s urban sprawl is mind-boggling. The bustling city covers nearly 3000 square miles, which means there is plenty of space for something of interest for every traveler. There’s incredible street food, fresh produce at the Mercado Municipal, and haute cuisine, like chef Alex Atala’s D.O.M. Check out Chef Atala’s suggestions for dining in São Paulo here. There is fine art at the São Paulo Art Museum, the century-spanning collection at the Museu Afro Brasil, and street art lining the avenidas. Souvenir shopping ranges from the Sunday outdoor markets on Avenida Paulista to the luxury shops in the Jardins district. Escape from the concrete jungle by strolling through Parque do Ibirapuera, the largest green space in the central city, or get away from it all by climbing to the top of the Banespa building for a 360-degree view of the city (or just grab a cocktail at Hotel Unique’s Skye Bar).

As with other big cities, it pays to be mindful of crime in São Paulo—avoid wearing flashy watches or jewelry, pay attention to your surroundings, and be aware of anyone getting too close. But don’t let fear stop you from enjoying this urban gem.

Sao Paulo Skyline

Best Cities in Brazil for a Weekend Trip From Rio

São Paulo

The sheer scope of São Paulo’s urban sprawl is mind-boggling. The bustling city covers nearly 3000 square miles, which means there is plenty of space for something of interest for every traveler. There’s incredible street food, fresh produce at the Mercado Municipal, and haute cuisine, like chef Alex Atala’s D.O.M. Check out Chef Atala’s suggestions for dining in São Paulo here. There is fine art at the São Paulo Art Museum, the century-spanning collection at the Museu Afro Brasil, and street art lining the avenidas. Souvenir shopping ranges from the Sunday outdoor markets on Avenida Paulista to the luxury shops in the Jardins district. Escape from the concrete jungle by strolling through Parque do Ibirapuera, the largest green space in the central city, or get away from it all by climbing to the top of the Banespa building for a 360-degree view of the city (or just grab a cocktail at Hotel Unique’s Skye Bar).

As with other big cities, it pays to be mindful of crime in São Paulo—avoid wearing flashy watches or jewelry, pay attention to your surroundings, and be aware of anyone getting too close. But don’t let fear stop you from enjoying this urban gem.

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