Essential Sao Paolo

Tour Creator

Juliana is a longtime Sao Paolo tour guide and former Tokyo tour guide, who has a deep knowledge of design, architecture, and Portuguese language literature. She has a Master of…Read More Bio »

Sao Paolo


Remote Tour Included



On our Essential Sao Paolo tour, we’ll explore one of South America’s most dynamic, diverse and vivid cities. We’ll examine everything from its foundation as a Jesuit village to the luxurious bourgeoisie life of its 18th century coffee barons. You will see on our tour what makes Brazil and its people so special.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Created by an exceptional local tour guide

Written by a longtime Sao Paolo tour guide, who has a Master of Architecture

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Monastery of Sao Bento, Se Cathedral and Paulista Avenue

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home


Essential Sao Paolo: Extended

  1.  Municipal Market - Even if you cannot go to all the five regions of Brazil, in the Municipal Market you can taste all the flavors of this huge country. While you delight yourself with Brazilian coffee and fresh fruits, take a look at the market’s architecture and its colorful stained glasses pieces!
  2. Monastery of Sao Bento - The monastery, known for being the South American reference in Gregorian Chanting, is also the core of the old downtown and the gateway to the new one through Ifigenia Bridge. The neoclassic facades around it will take to another century!
  3. Martinelli Building - Take your selfies with Sao Paulo’s first skyscraper, built by a millionare Italian immigrant at the beginning of the 20th century. As your eyes goes from top to bottom, you will notice that you are in a really charming street. Indeed, Sao Bento Street is easily the most charming street of the old downtown!
  4. Pateo do Collegio This is the place where everything started! However historically important, you will find this foundation site quite laid back in the inside: a relaxing coffee shop with a cute patio, perfectly shaded with centenary trees and surrounded by minimalist colonial walls.
  5. Solar of the Marchioness of Santos - The Solar of the Marchioness is the last remaining example of residential architecture from 18th century in the city of the São Paulo, and with it you will get to know more about Domitila de Castro, the woman who had it her way in a conservative sexist society.
  6. Se Cathedral - The biggest church of the city, with its 800 tons of Italian marble and a marvelous Belgium organ. Don’t forget to go down in the beautiful crypt and find out which founding fathers of the city rests there.
  7. Sao Francisco Churchyard - Ready to know how leadership and Baroque met at Brazil and resulted in one the oldest superior education institutions of the country? Go to Sao Francisco Churchyard and learn more about it.
  8. Anhangabau Valley - Is it a river? A park? An expressway? Oh wait, it is all the previous alternatives, it is Anhangabau Valley! The connection between the old and the new downtown and the most recent line of access to blooming cultural institutions.
  9. Municipal Theater of Sao Paulo - A symbol of urban progress and refinement, set for the entire new downtown that was rising after the construction of Cha Bridge, the Municipal Theater gives you international stars, ballet, orchestras, plays and art revolution.
  10. Rock Gallery - A place for the counterculture of Sao Paulo to gather, share and grow. From rock to reggae, the gallery is reference in tattoo, alternative hair stylists, accessories, rare vinyls and other collectables.
  11. Republica Square - Ever since 1956 the plaza hosts the largest arts and crafts fair of the city, which started as a stamp collector point, and now it counts with more than 600 stands with products coming from the North and Northeast regions of Brazil.
  12. Italia Building - Ready to take the elevator to the place with the highest rate of proposals in the city? Well, the statistics are not official, but people do love to propose in the fancy restaurant on the top floor of Italia Building. Romance is definitely in the air!
  13. Municipal Library Mario de Andrade - Recently renovated, fresh, beautiful and hosting of the biggest collections of the country, the municipal library will awake in you the curiosity about Brazilian Literature, just like Mario de Andrade wanted.
  14. Copan - Have you ever wondered what would look like a small city within the city of Sao Paulo? Not only Copan delivers it to you, but delivers it wrapped in iconic architecture shaped by the hands of the renowned Oscar Niemeyer.
  15. Parish of Nossa Senhora da Consolação - You have seen that Sao Paulo is all about mixes, but the Parish of Nossa Senhora da Consolação will take this characteristic to the next level in a pot of architectural styles and reflections of religious syncretism.
  16. Augusta Street - Everything so far has been about the city in broad daylight, but when the sun goes down, where do the lights shine more glamorous? Attracting the youth of every generation ever since the 1960s, Augusta Street is the place to go!
  17. Conjunto Nacional - Do you want to know when and how Paulista Avenue became the newest financial and cultural core of São Paulo? The answer is in Conjunto Nacional, the multipurpose complex that started the verticalization race in the avenue.
  18. MASP - The absolute sweetheart of Brazilian museums, MASP gives you astonishing art pieces in groundbreaking exhibition projects, all wrapped in the revolutionary design of Lina Bo Bardi. On one side, the 9 de Julho Valley, on the other, original Atlantic Rainforest fabric!
  19. Paulista Avenue - The financial core of the city turns out to be one of the most democratic and lively public spaces of São Paulo! Come as you are, and it will offer whatever is up on your mind: art, technology, shopping, cafes, history, classy and popular.
  20. Santa Catarina Hospital - And were you thinking it was just a hospital? Santa Catarina is also charming centenary chapel, the second largest greenery of the avenue, Italian frescoes, statues and bronze panels with wholesome messages.
  21. Sesc Paulista Avenue - Are you asking yourself how would this nice avenue look like from above? Go up to the observation deck of Sesc and have the best view for free! But before that, stop on some of the thematic floors to enrich your day.
  22. Casa das Rosas - You started your way into Paulista Avenue with the building to set the modernization race, but there, on the opposite side you can still find a relic from the times where this avenue was a residential boulevard for the rich and famous of the 19th century.
  23. Japan House - Wait, a Japan House in Brazil? Exactly! And it couldn’t be in a better place, reaching out to the largest Japanese community outside Japan that is settled only few kilometers away. Enjoy the minimalist architecture and have a new view from the avenue.

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