View of Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Itineraries for Your Trip to Sao Paulo

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2 Days in São Paulo for First Timers

Curated by Lydia SchrandtLydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

São Paulo’s a massive and overwhelming city with loads to see and do. With two days to spend in Sampa, you’ll have time to explore the city’s art and architecture, wander its atmospheric neighborhoods, sample Brazilian cuisine, and enjoy its nightlife. Read on for ideas on how to spend two days in São Paulo.

Day 1: Morning

Get your bearings in this city of 20 million people with a morning sightseeing tour. Options abound, from walking and cycling tours of downtown to more comprehensive bus tours that take you through several of the city’s most important neighborhoods. You could even tour by vintage VW bus.

Day 1: Afternoon

After lunch, take the afternoon to experience the vibrant arts scene in Sampa. Prebook your admission ticket to the São Paulo Art Museum for skip-the-line access to the most important collection of Western art in Latin America, or hit the streets by bike or on foot in search of the city’s best street art.

Day 1: Night

Now that you’ve seen São Paulo from street level, get above it all with an evening cocktail on the rooftop observation deck of the Itália Building (Edifício Itália)—one of the city’s tallest and most photographed landmarks.

Day 2: Morning

Start your second day by putting your finger on the pulse of modern São Paulo with a morning stroll along Paulista Avenue. Explore this cultural and financial district solo or with a guide who can point out important landmarks, such as the Japan House and House of Roses. Be sure to sample some local snacks along the way.

Day 2: Afternoon

São Paulo enjoys one of the most diverse food scenes in South America. This afternoon, treat your tastebuds to a foodie tour through the Municipal Market or one of the city’s best culinary neighborhoods, such as Pinheiros or Vila Madalena. If you’d prefer to get hands-on, opt for a Brazilian cooking class instead.

Day 2: Night

This evening, party like a Paulistano during a barhopping tour through the city. Enjoy caipirinhas or beers at nightlife hot spots while you learn more about local drinking customs. At the end of the night, you’ll have a safe ride back to your hotel.

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