We left the island life of Florianopolis and headed for Brazil’s biggest city; Sao Paolo. We opted for the bus company Catarinense for the 11.5 hour trip costing us BR$260 (£62) each. We didn’t know what to expect of our first big Brazilian city, particularly in terms of safety. I think our brains had been seriously warped by the media, stereotypes, friends and family’s experiences etc. In reality, we felt really safe in Sao Paolo. Perhaps due to the area in which we stayed; Vila Madalena. It is considered the ‘bohemian neighborhood’ and there seemed to be quite a lot of cafes, hostels and restaurants so we didn’t stray too far from our area given we were only in Sao Paolo for 2 days.
We went to Beco do Batman, a famous alleyway/area full of street art murals. Whilst some artwork was undeniably extremely impressive, we thought it was a bit over-hyped. Also perhaps because we are spoilt and have recently been to Valparaiso, Chile which is essentially a street art city. In the evening we decided to treat ourselves to a fancy meal out. Sao Paolo notoriously has a large Japanese community and thus Japanese food influence – sushi! Though we’re 24 & 26, neither of us had ever properly eaten at a sushi restaurant before! We found a fairly well rated one near us called Tanuki, and we just went all out and got a sharing platter. Whilst we did enjoy the food, I can’t see us rushing back, especially with the sushi price tag.
For our only full day in Sao Paolo, we decided to spend it in the park Ibirapuera. It was a 5km walk from our hostel in Vila Madalena to the park, plus walking round the park and back made it quite a big loop. The park is rated the number one thing to do in Sao Paolo on trusty Tripadvisor. We did really enjoy strolling around the lakes full of bird life and just relaxing on the grass reading our books!
Perhaps we could have done with a day or two more in Sao Paolo to explore further.
Join us next time as we head to Paraty!
Thanks for reading,
Sophie & Dave