Check the other cities here: Travelling across South America in 15 Days
So this is our first visit to a non-Spanish-speaking country. For the past few days we have witnessed the most amazing place by the Pacific side of South America, now we are going to dedicate the rest of the trip to get to know the best that Brazil has to offer!
Brazil is the fifth biggest country in the world and the biggest country of Latin America. Due to being colonized by the Portuguese (unlike the rest of the countries in the region, under the Spanish influence) the native language of the country is Portuguese. However, the accent and some of the grammar rules are visibly different from the one spoken in Portugal. Apart from that, some of the vocabulary in Brazil stays under the influence of the original indigenous dialects of before the colonization, such as Tupi and Guarany.
Furthermore, due to its size Brazil is probably the most diverse country of its region. If you travel from north to south you will see a lot of changes, from architecture to food, going through accents, clothing styles and weather. And since you are going to see a lot of different cultures, there’s nothing better than to start it with a bang by going first to the biggest city of the country: São Paulo.
Not only the biggest city of Brazil, São Paulo is actually the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere and the seventh largest in the world by population (over 11 million people!). It is also the Brazilian core for commerce, finance, arts and entertainment, with a huge international influence. As any big city, the nicest things to do there involve the main landmarks of the area and some special places known only by the most tuned citizens and smart tourists.
To kick off, pay a visit to the Benedito Calixto Square, where you can hunt for some antiquities on Saturdays and enjoy an open-air food court with items from all over the country, you can try snacks and pastries from all sorts of regions without needing to go anywhere! The local antiquities lovers gather their most qualified items to sell there, and you can get many nice things for good bargains.
For some enjoying of the singularities of the Portuguese language, you can take a subway to the Luz station to the Portuguese Language Museum, that features a whole floor dedicated to the evolution of the language and another one for temporary exhibitions of famous writers – ideal for learning some new words! And since you are near the subway anyway, take a train to the Liberdade station to visit the Liberdade neighborhood – which holds an open air market on Sundays and is the Brazilian heart of Asian culture. I swear that, if you go deep into it, you can almost forget you are in Brazil!
And if you started your day in São Paulo quite early, it means that at this point you are under a very bright sun, so don’t forget to go to the Ibirapuera park, the Brazilian Central Park. Give yourself a few hours to enjoy the trees, lakes and other attractions, such as the art exhibitions that happen in several separate spots due to the biennial arts festival, every even year. And if you’re hungry by the end of the afternoon, hit the public market for the country’s most famous baloney sandwich.
As the night goes down, hit the Paulista Avenue for some window shopping and the Augusta street for the most traditional part of São Paulo’s nightlife – from bars to clubs, it will surely keep you busy! But go easy on the drinks and get a nice night of sleep, because our next trip is to one of Brazil’s most known cities – Rio de Janeiro!