In the year of its 4th centenary, the São Paulo city was gifted with an amazing recreation place: the Ibirapuera Park. With an area of 1.6 million square meters, the park counts on museums, monuments, cycling and cooper tracks and sports courts.
In the colonial period, the space that is now occupied by the park was a native village. Ibirapuera, in Tupi-guarani, the early native language, it's called Ypy-Ra-ouêra, which means rotted tree. This is because the area was extremely swampy, with lowland soil. In the early 20, a town hall employee, named Manuel Lopes de Oliveira, started a planting ornamental and exotic trees, in order to end the excess of moisture on the site. The employee's effort is now recognized as a plant nursery that bears his name, the nursery Manequinho Lopes. The area is home to a diversity of plants and greenhouses, and is constantly open to the public.
The initial idea, headed by a committee of city hall representatives, the private sector and the São Paulo State Government, was inaugurated Ibirapuera Park on the city's 400 year anniversary. Despite the efforts, the Ibirapuera was only inaugurated on August 21, 1954.
The project aimed to give the city a space that could unite urban modernity and an advanced landscape plan. Oscar Niemeyer was responsible for the architectural design, and Roberto Burle Marx by the landscape constitution.
Today, the Ibirapuera park is considered by the locals as a point of artistic and cultural attractions, such as the Biennale of Art, the Fair of Nations, the São Paulo Fashion Week and many other important art exhibitions. Source: Prefeitura de São Paulo (Portuguese only).
Don't forget to:
- Visit Manequinho Lopes plant nursery. The collection has more than de 200 different (and beautiful) species;
- Take a look at great brazilian names artworks, such as Portinari, Tarsila de Amaral and Victor Brecheret at MAM - São Paulo Museum of Modern Art;
- Play sports at Praça da Paz, a huge open grassy area, located in the center of the park;
- Lay down on the grass, listen to the birds singing and relax.
Visit the Ibirapuera Park website (Portuguese only).
MASP - Museu de Arte de São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a private, nonprofit museum founded by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand, in 1947, as Brazil’s first modern museum. Chateaubriand invited Italian art dealer and critic Pietro Maria Bardi to serve as MASP’s director, a position he held for nearly forty-five years. Acquired through donations from the local society, MASP’s first artworks were selected by Bardi and became the most important collection of European art in the Southern Hemisphere. Today, MASP’s collection contains more than 8.000 works, including paintings, sculptures, objects, photographs, and costumes from a wide range of periods, encompassing art from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Besides the permanent exhibition of its collection, MASP organizes a comprehensive program of temporary exhibitions, courses, and talks, as well as musical, dance, and theater presentations.
Originally located on Rua 7 de Abril, in São Paulo’s downtown district, in 1968 the museum was transferred to its current building on Avenida Paulista; its striking architectural design by Lina Bo Bardi has made it a landmark of 20th-century architecture. Lina Bo Bardi used glass and concrete to create an architecture of rough surfaces without luxurious finishing but that conveys a sense of lightness, transparency, and suspension. The plaza underneath the building, known as “free span”, was designed to serve as a public square. The architect’s radicality can also be appreciated in the iconic crystal easels she designed for displaying the museum’s collection on the building’s second floor.
In removing the artworks from the wall, the easels question the traditional model of the European museum. At MASP, the vast open space, coupled with a transparent, suspended exhibition design, allows for a closer rapport between the visitors and the collection, one in which visitors choose their own paths, tracing their own histories. Source: MASP.
Don't forget to:
- Spend some time in the free standing space of MASP.
- Visit one of the fairs that take place in the free space.
- Meet some periodic exposure and of course, the permanent works, comming from cities around the world.
Visit the MASP website.
Mercadão - Mercado Municipal
A must go place for tourists from all over Brazil and other countries, the Mercado Municipal de São Paulo (Municipal Market of São Paulo) is one of the most traditional gourmet points of the city. At the Mercadão, as it is affectionately known by the visitors, you can find a wide variety of foods – from fresh vegetables and fruits to meat, poultry and seafood of all kinds, pasta, sweets and top of the line spices from different parts of the world. Not to mention its Gourmet Lounge, which offers the opportunity to try tasty dishes there, while enjoying the architectural beauty of Mercadão.
Designed by architect Francisco Ramos de Azevedo’s office in 1926, Mercadão was opened on January 25, 1933. The stained glass windows were created by the Russian artist Sorgenicht Conrad Filho, famous for his works at the Sé Cathedral in São Paulo and other 300 Brazilian churches. In all, 32 panels are subdivided into 72 beautiful stained glass windows.
The building – which occupies an area of 12,600 square meters of built area, on Tamanduateí River’s bank - employs more than 1,500 people, which together handle about 450 tons of food per day in its more than 290 boxes. Source: Portal do Mercadão.
Don't forget to:
- Eat the delicious and traditional bologna sandwich, made with more than 200kg of bologna slices and present in several versions;
- Try the dragon fruit, a red fruit that tastes similar to the kiwi;
- Take home a lot of peanuts, cheese and smoked food that suit all tastes and flavors;
- Complete the traditional experience of Mercadão proving the equally traditional codfish pastry.
Visit the Mercadão website.
São Paulo Aquarium
Considered a reference in the treatment and exhibition of animals, São Paulo Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Latin America. It was opened in 2006, featuring 9 thousand m² and 2 million gallons of water.
The only thematic aquarium in Brazil, this complex induces visitors to feel immersed in the environments, which have approximately 3000 specimens of 300 species of animals. Brazilian forests are portrayed in the first sector, dedicated to fresh water, and which addresses issues such as pollution of rivers and endangered species.
In this wing of 3 thousand square meters, it is possible to see the famous offspring of albino alligators, which made São Paulo Aquarium internationally renowned, since they are the only ones on display in the world, in addition to alligators, lizards, iguanas and snakes.
The Oceanarium is a real dive in the marine world. With more than 1 million liters of water, in this sector visitors embark on a sunken submarine surrounded by sharks and Manta rays. The mangue, the coastline and the oceans species' rich variety of shapes and colours also enchant visitors.
Giant displays feature the Tapajós, a baby manatee that can be seen from a privileged vision above the hall.
Monkeys, toucans, otters and anteater complement this tour which also includes the presence of Thunder, a sea wolf who loves making adventures in the water and waits for visitors in a large pirate ship. This is the São Paulo Aquarium, a complex dedicated to the well being of its animals, the commitment to environmental education and with the goal of providing an unforgettable tour for visitors of all ages. Source: São Paulo Aquarium.
Don't forget to:
- Meet the giant snake, from the species of the largest snakes in the world: Python reticulatus;
- Visit the tank of one million liters and its lovely sharks;
- Playing with the Manatee in the largest Brazilian tank;
- Visit the submarine's interior replica.
Visit the São Paulo Aquarium website.
São Paulo Zoo
Few experiences are so significant for adults and children as a visit to the zoo. Enjoy the diversity of fauna creates a powerful and universal link with the nature. Approximately 10% of world population visit a zoo or aquarium each year. Since its opening in 1958, the São Paulo Zoo has already received more than 85 million visitors.
Located in a 824,529 square area of Atlantic Forest, the park houses springs from the Ipiranga historic creek, whose waters form a lake that welcomes copies of several species of birds, as well as migratory birds. As the lake, the forest houses free life native animals, forming a wonderful parallel fauna.
Through the exibition of more than 3,000 animals, represented by species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, the São Paulo Zoo promotes public awareness about various forms of life on Earth. Source: São Paulo Zoo (Portuguese Only).
Don't forget to:
- Visit the exhibition "The world of Dinosaurs", which has more than 3 thousand square meters and more than 20 giant dinosaurs;
- Taking the safari zoo: With a journey of about 3.9km, the visitor can observe the animals closely and may even feed some species of animals with rations that can be purchased in the Safari Zoo itself;
- Knowing rare species, such as orangutans, the white rhino and lear's macaw.
Visit the São Paulo Zoo website (Portuguese only).
Sightseeing SP bus
The Sightseeing SP was especially designed for you to explore São Paulo in a comfortable and safe way. The possibility of unlimited hop on and hop off throughout the circuit allows you to know the main attractions that the city has to offer. The tour provides information about the history, architecture and culture of the city. While you enjoy the view, you get to know more about the incredible destination that is São Paulo! Source: Cidade de São Paulo website.