Sao Paulo , Brazil » City Info

Sao Paulo, popularly known as Sampa with its ever-burgeoning population of 19 million people, is the largest city in Brazil and the world’s seventh-largest city by population. The city as the capital of the state of Sao Paulo exerts a strong economic influence on Brazil accounting for more than 60% of the country’s GDP.

Culturally, Sao Paulo is very productive, housing some of the best museums and art galleries in the country. In the contrast, the city lays out a table of endless nightlife options and fine dining venues that sets the city to dizzying heights of modernism.

City regions and districts:

The city of Sao Paulo experienced extraordinary growth during the 20th century. This growth has been reflected in most of the city buildings having contemporary architecture. The city centre is filled with tourist attractions such as 17th-century cathedrals that stand in the shadows of modern skyscrapers.

A large number of tourist sights, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, nightlife hotspots, etc. are spread throughout Sao Paulo city. Following are some main regions of the city:


The city centre of Sao Paulo city has a cosmopolitan culture where tourists coming from all over the world can easily mix up with locals. Due to the increase in police patrolling, this area has become relatively safe even at night. 


Bixiga is famous for being one of the biggest meccas of Italian culture outside of Italy. The city’s most important theatre venues and several energetic nightlife hotspots are situated in the area to fulfill the needs of tourists.


Liberdade is a Chinatown-like district of Sao Paulo city where oriental-related things can be watched all around the district. Originally, it was the settling place for Japanese immigrants. In the last few years, the joint activities of Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans have made this district more vibrant and colourful.

Vale do Anhangabau:

In Vale do Anhangabau, an attractive arranged square is built in the 1980s revitalization works. This place has become very popular among the skateboarders and office workers.


This region of the city is unusual to the style of Sao Paulo. The neighbourhoods having a small-town feel can be watched in the north side of the city. Some important venues like Expo Center Norte, which is one of South America's biggest venues for fairs and exhibitions, Serra da Cantareira State Park and Anhembi Park are situated in this area.


The south side of the city is famous for leisure activities. Enjoy riding a bicycle in the park, if hungry, taste a variety of menus in restaurants or enjoy shopping at large malls. A friendly and high quality of service available.

Itaim Bibi:

Well known for walking, eating, partying and shopping activities. Here, enjoy a large selection of cuisine in some of the city’s best restaurants. Don’t miss a chance of a great dinner at the Itaim Bibi.

Vila Mariana and Ibirapuera:

This residential part of the city has been growing as a popular spot for bars and nightlife scene. The city’s major Ibirapuera Park is located in this area which usually attracts many people on sunny Sundays.


The districts in the east side offered shelter for thousands of immigrants who settled in the city during the 20th century. The neighborhood of Vila Zelina has a strong Lithuanian impact and Mooca has a strong Italian influence.


The west side of the city is home to high and middle-class residents. This wealthiest region of the city has many cultural establishments. The University of Sao Paulo and several buildings related to the historic heritage of the city are located here.

Top Sao Paulo FAQs

Q.1) What is the capital city of Brazil?

Ans: The capital city of Brazil is Brasília. The largest city is Sao Paulo, popular known as Sampa. Sao Paulo is also the capital of the State of Sao Paulo, ranked the most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and the five largest populous metropolitan areas in the world.

Q.2) What is the official language spoken in Sao Paulo?

Ans: The official language of Sao Paulo is Portuguese. But due to the large influx of Italian immigrants, the Portuguese suffers from a considerable influence of Italian languages from the Neapolitan and Venetian regions.

Q.3) What is the weather in Sao Paulo like?

Ans: The weather in Sao Paulo is generally pleasant all year round, although the seasons cannot be neatly slotted. Most of the times, the climate in Sao Paulo is dry and enjoyable with sunny days, but not too hot. The best season to visit Sao Paulo is from September to March when there is very little humidity.

Q.4) What type of clothing should I carry to Sao Paulo?

Ans: Bring along light cotton clothing and rainwear if travelling in the fall from March to June or summers, when sudden downpours are common. If travelling down south and during the winters from June to August, bundle up warm clothing, sweaters, hat and comfortable shoes.

Q.5) How safe is Sao Paulo for tourists?

Ans: Usually, the tourist areas in Sao Paulo are safe for walking during the daytime. In the nighttime, it is okay to roam around the neighbourhoods of Jardins, Higienópolis, and the residential areas of Sao Paulo, but avoid visiting the quiet streets of Centro. At night, travelling by taxi is the safest way to move around the city, rather than relying upon public transportation. Stay safe by not flashing too much of jewellery or cash. There have been incidences of armed robberies.

Q.6) What are the Important Phrases in Portuguese while conversing with locals?

Ans: It always helps to know a little bit of Portuguese so that you can confidently converse with the locals and safely travel around the city. Here is a glossary of emergency terms and phrases:



Emergency Phrases

Call the fire services Chamar os bombeiros
Heart attack Infarto
I have been mugged / robbed Eu fui vitimo de um assalto or Eu fui assaltado / roubado
I have had / he/she has had a stroke Eu sofrei/ ele/ela sofreu um aneurisma, ataque apopléctico
I have had a car accident Eu sofri um acidente de carro
I have had an accident Eu sofri um acidente
I need a doctor Preciso de um médico
I need an ambulance Preciso de uma ambulância
I need the police Chamar a polícia
Is there a pharmacy near here? Há uma farmácia aqui perto?
This is an emergency Temos uma emergência
Unconscious Inconsciente
Where is the nearest hospital? Onde é o hospital mais próximo?
Very sick Muito doente

Helpful Phrases

At what time... A que horas...
Entry Entrada
Excuse Me Com Licença
Exit Saída
Good Afternoon Boa Tarde
Good Morning Bom Dia
Good Night Boa Noite
Hi Oi
How do I get.... ? Como eu chego em.....?
How many... Quantos...
How much does it cost? Quanto custa?
How much is... Quanto é...
How's it going? Tudo bem?
I need to go to... Eu preciso ir a ....
I want... Eu quero...
I'm lost Estou perdido
My name is... Meu nome é....
Please Por Favor
Please, I want to go to.... Por favor, eu quero ir a....
Please, can you help me? Por favor, você pode me ajudar?
Sorry Desculpe
Sorry, I don't speak Portuguese Desculpe, eu não falo português
What time is it? Que horas são?
When... Quando...
Where is the toilet? Onde é o banheiro?

Q.7) Can you provide a list of Emergency Numbers in Sao Paulo?

Ans: Here the emergency numbers to call in Sao Paulo

  • Ambulance/Medical Emergency (ambulância): 192
  • Fire Service (Corpo de Bombeiros): 193
  • National Police (Polícia Civil): 197
  • Military Police of São Paulo (Polícia Militar do Estado de São Paulo): 190
  • Federal Police (Polícia Federal): (11) 3616 5000
  • Sea Rescue (Salvamento Marítimo): (21) 2104 6119
  • Report a Crime (Denuncie): 181
  • To find a 24 hour pharmacy: 136

Q.8) What are the Tipping & Etiquette practices followed in Brazil?

Ans: Tipping in Brazil is not customary. Only if you are overtly pleased with the service, complement with a generous tip. Anyways, service people are always pleased if they receive a tip. Service tax of 10% is included in the restaurant bill which is not compulsory but is paid most of the times, unless you have been handed over a bad service. Taxi fares are generally rounded up to the nearest denomination to avoid paying in coins, but no other tip is expected. The bellhop in a hotel who transfer the luggage to your room expects a tip of R$5 to R$10.

Q.9) What is the electric current voltage in Sao Paulo?

Ans: In Sao Paulo, the electric current voltage is 110-Volts and 220-Volts. But it can be different for each hotel. Carry a travel adapter as they may be indispensable for some devices.

Q.10) How do I exchange foreign currency in Sao Paulo?

Ans: The currency in Sao Paulo/Brazil is Real, pronounced as hay-al. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks or shops with “Cambio” signs. Exchange rates for exchanging cash are better than withdrawing cash from ATM machines using credit cards. Also, other than ATM machines of HSBC, Citibank and Banco do Brasil in major cities, not all machines accept international credit cards.

Q.11) What are the Visa Requirements for Brazil?

Ans: Please visit our Visa Requirements page for more details.

Q.12) What is the Time Zone of Brazil?

Ans: Brazil observes three time zones. UTC/GMT – 4 is observed in sixteen states from west to east,   UTC/GMT – 3 is observed in twenty one states from central to east including the capital of Brasilia and UTC/GMT – 2 is observed on islands off the east coast of Brazil. Daylight saving time is observed in the summers from the third Sunday of October until the third Sunday of February when the clock is moved one hour forward.

Q.13) What is the population of Sao Paulo?

Ans: The population of Sao Paulo as of 2011 is 11,316,149 of the Municipality and 19,889,559 of Metro.

Q.14) How do I make a call to Sao Paulo?

Ans: The country code of Brazil is +55 and the area code of Sao Paulo is 11. So if you are dialling to Sao Paulo from another country, you have to enter the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside of your country + 55 which is the international code used to dial to Brazil + 11 which is the area code used to dial to Sao Paulo and lastly xxxxx which is the local number. Example, if you are dialling from United States, New York, dial 011 55 11 xxxxx.

Q.15) What are the major attractions of Sao Paulo?

Ans: The major attractions of Sao Paulo are Municipal Market, Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo Museum of Art, Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Zoological Gardens, State Art Gallery, Banespa Skyscraper, Metropolitan Cathedral, Museum of Sacred Art and Avenida Paulista.