… probably though, only according to the number of inhabitants.
To be honest, São Paolo does not convince with looks and chances are not very high to fall in love with it at first sight. Therefore, it is not a common backpackers’ destination. However, it still came as a surprise to us that we were the only guests at the hostel we had booked. We have never experienced having a hostel all to ourselves, so for anybody eager to have that experience too, go try São Paolo.
But the city does offer some more reasons to visit: the Mercado Municipal was probably our favorite. Some trustworthy “Paolistas” (that’s how the locals are nicknamed) told us that it is pretty much obligatory to taste one of the famous and frighteningly mighty “Brazucas”. These prize-winning sandwiches are filled with a ridiculous amount of mortadella and are sold by the restaurants on the first floor overlooking the busy market hall. Patrick and I (that is Nicky in this case) shared one of them and could hardly walk afterwards. But this is efficient eating for sure: until late in the evening we did not feel the faintest bit of hunger. In order to recover from this feast, we layed down in the shades of Parque Ibirapuera. By the time we had digested it at least partly, we refreshed ourselves with a “Sorvete”, a fruity popsicle delivered to lazy park visitors by busy sellers carrying around their coolers throuh the park. In the shades of the trees of Parque Ibirapuera we almost forgot for a while that we where in the midst of a city, home to more than 12 million people!
Despite its lack of beauty during the day, São Paolo convinces with a myriad of restaurants, bars and night clubs to choose from. There are so many, it was a hard choice to pick one. But we ended up with a lucky pick, having dinner at Tomyam, a great Thai restaurant.
After one full day in São Paolo, however, we all were not unhappy to leave again to set out for our next destination: Foz do Iguaçu.
When in São Paulo:
Where to sleep: An adventurous backpacker’s option is the Sports Villa Hostel. And for those seeking more comfort and luxury, the Central Park Flat Jardins is a good choice.
Where to eat & drink: Tomyam – delicious Thai food in a stylish atmosphere.
Where to party: D-Edge – the place to be after midnight.
What to do: Mercado Municipal – an experience for all senses.
Here are some highlights captured during our city tour of São Paulo: