How to get in some São Paulo sightseeing when on business?

Explore this iconic city in Brazil the next time you find yourself there on business. Get ready to enjoy culture, city strolls and a night on the town.

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With its 11 million inhabitants, São Paulo is the biggest city in Brazil... and in the whole of Latin America! As a cultural capital, financial centre and industry hub, the little village founded by 12 Jesuits 450 years ago has since grown into a key megalopolis for international business. 

Business: Brazilian subtleties

Having long-term career plans is well thought of, as is being flexible at work.
  • Appropriate dress is expected for work-related meetings, as well as for everyday business. 
  • Don't be surprised by the fierce competition between companies in different regions. This is normal. 
  • Although São Paulo doesn't have its own transport network like New York, the metro does link the business districts with the various residential and tourist areas rather efficiently. If you want to avoid the city's chaotic traffic, this is the way to go.  

Health and safety

When you're heading to São Paulo, it's understandable to worry about safety. The city isn't known for being the safest, so it's a good idea to follow a few basic rules, just as you would in many other big cities. It's a great way to make the most of the places you visit.

  • Avoid walking around alone in the city at night and opt for a taxi or an Uber to take you to a restaurant or back to the hotel. 
  • Be vigilant at all times, whether you're on the street, in the metro, on a bus or in the business district. 
  • Try not to appear vulnerable by looking lost, or as though you're trying to find an address. 
  • Don't wear valuable branded items that are too conspicuous, such as jewellery, luxury watches, branded clothes, etc. In short, dress down and keep it simple.
  • Carry around your work-related equipment discreetly and avoid using laptop cases that are too noticeable. 

With regards to vaccinations, if you plan to stay in São Paulo, you'll need to comply with the following health obligations:
  • An up-to-date vaccination schedule.
  • The hepatitis A vaccine, 15 days prior to departure.
  • The vaccine against yellow fever (which is prevalent in Brazil) is to be administered at least 10 days prior to departure. 
  • Preventive treatment for malaria is also required, as well as effective protection against mosquito bites. 

How to fill your mornings:

  • Take in São Paulo's exotic landscapes at sunrise; they're exotic and simply breathtaking. For great views, head up the Edificio Italia, a 168m-high skyscraper that overlooks the city. Looking to get some fresh air on a morning stroll? Make your way to the Ibirapuera Park or Villa-Lobos Park; these attractive areas combine urban design and nature in one place. 
  • Treat yourself to a local breakfast: Brazilians love sweet and savoury flavour combinations. Start your day like the locals and head to a bakery: ask for a "pingado" (coffee with milk), which will likely be locally produced, and a "pão na chapa" (bread toasted on a grill, which they generously top with ham or cheese). 
  • Pay a visit to the astonishing Mosteiro de São Bento, which is both a monastery and a spiritual and cultural centre. What makes this place so unique is that, not only does it serve up breakfast and brunch, it also holds a different exhibition every month.

Where to go when business is done

  • Whether you fancy going out for drinks or dinner, the perfect place to do it all is on Avenida Paulista, the longest avenue that crosses São Paulo's bustling centre. Here, you'll be spoilt for choice in terms of restaurants and bars. Although you might prefer the Vila Madalena, a bohemian party neighbourhood that's well known for its trendy bites and nightlife. 
  • Go on, have a pizza. It's a lesser-known fact in the rest of the world that São Paulo is famous for its pizza, which is said to be just as delicious as Italian pizza. It's hardly surprising though, seeing as nearly everyone here has Italian ancestors. 

published_by Magali on 10/04/2018 photo_creditwsfurlan

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