São Paulo, home to over 12 million people, the 5th biggest city in the world. It wasn’t included in my plans when travelling in Brazil however due to personal circumstances I ended up spending a week in the city at the end of 2020.
Arriving on the plane from Curitiba I looked out the window and there it was, the sprawl of buildings. I felt instantly intimidated by the size of it.
However as always I arrived with an open mind. People had told me that it was unsafe, I also knew that the covid pandemic was really bad there too. I landed into the cities Guarulhos airport and jumped in an Uber to my hotel. The drive took just over 30 minutes and cost 7.50€.
I’d chosen to stay at the Wyndham garden hotel costing 24€ a night with breakfast. I’d chosen the hotel as I planned to spend most of my time in the hotel working on YouTube videos and having some down time. The hotel I couldn’t fault. The room was great, 2 rooftop pools and a really good and well priced restaurant.
The weather during my stay was a complete mixed bag. Twice I got caught in storms with rain like I’d only seen in Thailand. It was always warm though.
During the weekend the city was on a lockdown due to the covid pandemic so I spent the time working in my room.
During the week I went into the city a few times to check out the “must sees”. The metro was around a 15 minute walk from the hotel and cost less than 1€ a ticket. (you can only pay by cash)
First on my list was the cities catherdral, on arrival I became overwelmed. Sadly not by the impressive building but by the many people sleeping rough on the streets. There were hundreds, Ive never seen anything like it in the many cities I’ve visited.
Next up I took the metro to Japão Liberdade. I’ve never been to Japan but São Paulo has the greatest number of Japanese outside of the country.
It was a really cool area with many great food options. I re visited it a second time during my time in the city to visit coffee Selfie, a coffee shop where you could have a photo printed onto you drink!
To bring 2019 to a close I spent it partying in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City surrounded by thousands of people and fireworks. Ending 2020 was a bit different. Room service and a family zoom chat.
I’m a big fan of street art so I took an Uber to batman alley. After checking this place out on Google it was full of incredible artwork. When I arrived I was met with a very different view. All of the artwork had been covered in black paint and political words. It was a bit scary and very quiet.
The same day I also took a walk down Paulista avenue. It felt like São Paulo’s version of London’s Oxford Street.
During my time in the city sadly the town’s market hall was closed due to the virus aswell as most of the museum’s.
The last place I wanted to explore was the Ibirapuera park. The second largest park in South America. For a minute I totally forgot I was in one of the biggest cities in the planet.
In the evenings I chose to eat in the hotel, both from the restaurant and from Uber eats. During my 5 weeks in Brazil São Paulo was my least favourite. It had a complelty different vibe to Rio de Janerio. I wouldn’t have felt safe walking around the city at night.
I departed from the cities Congonhas airport to enjoy my final 3 days back in Rio de Janerio before flying home.