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 is among the world's most populous cities. The capital of the state of Sao Paulo, it has a powerful economic influence on Brazil, accounting for more than 60% of the country's GDP.

Sao Paulo has a very vivid culture, having some of the country's best museums and art galleries. 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. Most of the city buildings have contemporary architecture. The city centre has famous tourist attractions such as 17th-century cathedrals that stand in the shadows of modern skyscrapers.

Many tourist sights, hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, nightlife hotspots, etc., are spread throughout Sao Paulo. Following are some important regions of the city:


The city centre of Sao Paulo has a cosmopolitan culture where tourists coming from worldwide 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 fulfil the needs of tourists.


Liberdade is a Chinatown-like district of Sao Paulo city where one can watch oriental-related things all around the district. Initially, 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:

Vale do Anhangabau, is located between the viaducts do Chá and Santa Ifigênia. It is considered as the point separating the Old City Center from the New City Center. This place has become very popular among skateboarders.


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


The south side of the city is famous for leisure activities. Enjoy riding a bicycle in the park, if hungry, taste various menus in restaurants or enjoy shopping at large malls.

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 the nightlife scene. Ibirapuera Park is in this area, which attracts many people on sunny Sundays.


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


The west side of the city is home to high and middle-class residents. The wealthiest region of the city has many cultural establishments. The University of Sao Paulo and several buildings related to the city's historical heritage are present 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, popularly known as Sampa. Sao Paulo is also the capital of Sao Paulo state, ranked the most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among the world's most populated metropolitan areas.

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) How is the weather in Sao Paulo?

Ans: The weather in Sao Paulo is generally pleasant all year round, although the seasons cannot be neatly slotted. Most of the time, 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, as you may experience sudden downpours anytime. If travelling down south and during the winters from June to August, bundle up warm clothing, sweaters, hats 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. At night, 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 transport. Stay safe by not flashing too much 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 to 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

Q.7) Can you provide a list of Emergency Phone 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 Sao Paulo (Polícia Militar do Estado de Sao 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. If you are pleased with the service, complement with a generous tip, service people are always pleased if they receive a tip - a service tax of 10% is included in the restaurant bill. Taxi fares are generally rounded up to the nearest denomination to avoid paying in coins, but no other tip. The bellhop in a hotel that transfers the luggage to your room expects a tip.

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.

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

Ans: The currency in Sao Paulo/Brazil is Real, pronounced as hay-al. One can exchange Foreign currency at banks or shops having "Cambio" signs. Exchange rates for exchanging cash are better than withdrawing cash from ATMs using credit cards. Also, other than the ATMs of HSBC, Citibank, and Banco do Brasil, 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 viz. – 4 is observed in sixteen states from west to east, UTC/GMT – 3 observed in twenty-one states from central to the east, including Brasilia, and UTC/GMT 2 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 advanced one hour forward.

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

Ans: The population of Sao Paulo as of 2020 is 12,325,232 of the Municipality and 21,571,281 of Metro.

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

Ans: Dial the country code of Brazil: +55 followed by the area code of Sao Paulo: 11, followed by the local phone number.

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

Ans: The major attractions in 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.