My latest travels have taken me to Brazil, primarily for Carnival in Rio but also for a chance to see and explore other regions of the country including São Paulo.
With just 48 hours to maximise our time in the city, we enjoyed our first evening by Shopping Higienopolis. Open until 10pm, we had plenty of time to browse the many stores in the deceptively large centre followed by dinner at Rascals, a reasonably priced pizza and pasta restaurant that offered delicious food, excellent service and undeniably good value. This proved to be a great way to spend the first day – calming, relaxed and giving us a great chance to see Brazilian fashion sense in its element.
The following day took us to Ibirapuera Park, a major urban park in São Paulo, Brazil.
With a large area for leisure, jogging and walking, it is of great importance to São Paulo and regularly compared to Central Park in New York City.
The park is also home to the Museum Afro Brazil, a cultural centre featuring over 3,000 works which highlight the importance of black Brazilians in the creation of national culture, heritage and identity.
The museum presents six themes: Africa, Work and Slavery, Sacred and Profane, Afro-Brazilian Religions, History and Memory, and Art. Spread across three floors, the museum is free to access; whilst I enjoyed visiting the museum, I did find it difficult to learn from as the captions and scriptures for each piece are largely in Portuguese.
The highlight of my trip to São Paulo was a visit to the zoo, taking in a chance to get close to the wildlife. I’m particularly a fan of the larger animals that I rarely get a chance to see in real life. Below are some photos of the visit.
Personally, I wasn’t convinced about São Paulo as a destination that I would visit again. Whilst I loved being in Brazil and soaking up the atmosphere of the country, I found it difficult to differentiate the city to any other that I have visited around the world. It felt so built up and congested (which met my expectations) but after two days in the city, I couldn’t wait to get back to the coast.
Have you visited São Paulo or any other cities that left you disillusioned?