Sao Paulo and its rival, Rio de Janeiro, are often compared to New York and Los Angeles respectively. If Rio has gained fame for its striking natural setting, Sao Paulo’s attraction lies in its people and its vibrant cultures.
Brazil’s business capital, São Paulo is the biggest city in the country and the third largest in the world.
Located in the south-east of Brazil, it is nicknamed Terra da Garoa (Land of the Drizzle) after its copious rainfall.
São Paulo’s work opportunities attracted huge contingents of immigrants after the turn of the 19th century. As a consequence, it is by far the most racially diverse city in Brazil, hosting an estimated 100 different ethnicities that have helped put up the country’s major economy, responsible for 12 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
São Paulo - the world’s third largest city
Although it is an inevitable business destination, São Paulo is a high-profile cultural centre that displays a wide range of options, from various top-flight concerts and exhibitions to a thriving gastronomy scene of more than 12,000 restaurants. Sampa is also bursting with tourist attractions that go way beyond its staggering skyline, such as the Japanese district of Liberdade, the Ibirapuera Park, the several high-profile shopping malls and a charming city centre.
It is no wonder, then, that the metropolitan area of São Paulo is the home for the two busiest airports in South America: Congonhas and the international André Franco Montoro Airport – commonly known as Guarulhos Airport or Cumbica – which flies to 28 different countries.
São Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park
The home of Brazilian football
São Paulo is the very birthplace of Brazilian football, as it was the home of Charles Miller, the British descendent who presented the beautiful game to the city in 1894 and helped its swift propagation throughout the country.
The Morumbi stadium will host a number of World Cup games
Three of Brazil’s most powerful clubs are from São Paulo: old-time rivals Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo, who combine for an impressive 14 Campeonato Brasileiro titles. Both Corinthians and São Paulo have lifted the FIFA Club World Club trophy, in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Other traditional clubs like Portuguesa de Desportos and Juventus complete the football-mad panorama of the metropolis.
São Paulo’s home ground, the Morumbi, is the city’s biggest stadium and was one of the venues of the maiden FIFA Club World Club in 2000, while the city-owned Pacaembu, which also houses a phenomenal Football Museum, hosted six matches at the 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
State: São Paulo
Climate: Monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate
Professional Football Clubs: Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo