What to do in São Paulo
São Paulo has some unusual cultural attractions. It is easy to eat well in this city and take advantage of anything that comes around the corner. We start the day early with bread and coffee at Padoca do Mani to give us energy for the day. A visit to the Museum of Image and Sound will sharpen our senses. It’s useful for finding that unique Brazilian design piece at Loja Diária, that long-forgotten sign at Retrô 63 or some Bossa Nova vinyl at the Praça Benedito Calixto street market, places that help to make Pinheiros and Vila Madalena some of the most desirable neighbourhoods in the city.
For lunch, why not taste organic Brazilian ingredients at Banana Verde? The restaurant has a fresh and inventive approach, with a laid-back atmosphere.
Then a tour of the República district, with a visit to SESC on Rua 24 de Maio to appreciate the architectural turnaround this cultural centre has undergone in recent years, after a wander through the iconic Copan building designed by Oscar Niemeyer, and the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosários dos Homens Pretos.
We return to the centre of the old capital to look at the Japan House, from where Niemeyer looks down at us immortalised in a mural by street artist Kobra. This place is the epitome of Japanese cultural heritage in São Paulo. Here we find the largest community of Japanese emigrants in the world, which becomes obvious when walking through the Liberdade district with its Japanese streetlamps. We end the day with dinner in Ohka, one of the city’s most highly-rated Japanese restaurants. Toro tuna or fusions with foie gras are some of the most popular dishes. The cosmopolitan atmosphere and touch of luxury set us up perfectly for the next day.
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By António Avelar, TAP Cabin Crew member since 2014