- 1. MASP - São Paulo Museum of Art
- 2. Pinacoteca do Estado
- 3. Instituto Tomie Ohtake
- 4. Estação da Luz - Portuguese Language Museum
- 5. Rua Oscar Freire
- 6. Edifício Itália
- 7. Copan Building
- 8. Parque do Ibirapuera
- 9. São Paulo Cathedral
- 10. Altino Arantes Building
Latin America’s best museum has an important collection of European art that includes pieces by Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh and Velazquez. It is housed in a concrete building from 1968 on the city’s grandest boulevard, and is also the place to see some of the best Brazilian art plus smaller collections from Africa and Asia.
Official Website: masp.org.br
This “picture gallery” houses a number of iconic Brazilian Modernist artworks, plus 19th-century paintings and sculptures from Europe. It’s the city’s oldest museum, in an elegant neoclassical building from 1900.
Official Website: pinacoteca.org.br
Named after the Japanese-Brazilian artist who created paintings, sculptures and prints, this cultural institution opened in 2001 to present exhibitions of her works and of national and international artists from the past half century. The modern sculptural building itself is worth the visit.
Official Website: www.institutotomieohtake.org.br
This monumental 19th-century train station is home to the Portuguese Language Museum since 2006. Most of the museum was destroyed in a fire in 2015, but has slowly been restored, as its exhibits are mostly virtual, using state-of-the-art technology. Even non-Portuguese speakers will enjoy a visit, learning about the language’s most unusual aspects and about its diversity in the different regions and countries where it is spoken.
Official Website: museudalinguaportuguesa.org.br
This tree-lined street is São Paulo’s most pleasant and where you find the city’s best shops (don’t overlook its side streets either). It’s the destination to discover Brazilian labels (especially casual- and beachwear), often presented in sleek spaces.
Locate it on the map: Rua Oscar Freire
One of the tallest buildings in Latin America, it offers city views from its rooftop observation deck. The restaurant on the 41st floor is in business since 1967, and is also known for its views.
Official Website: www.edificioitalia.com.br
Designed by the great Oscar Niemeyer and completed in 1961, this is one of Brazil’s biggest buildings. Behind its sinuous façade are 1600 apartments, and the top is open to visitors, who can admire a view over the “concrete jungle.”
Locate it on the map: Edifício Copan
São Paulo’s “Central Park” is where locals enjoy the great outdoors, especially on weekends. You should join them, not just for the green oasis in the city, but to also check out Oscar Niemeyer’s music auditorium, completed in 2005 and now one of São Paulo’s architectural highlights.
Tours: Ibirapuera Park
Official Website: parqueibirapuera.org
This neo-gothic cathedral stands out in a city where most buildings date from the last 50 or 60 years. Its construction started in 1913, but was only completed in 1967, as the world’s 4th-largest neo-gothic church. It substituted the original baroque cathedral, built by the Portuguese in the 18th century, and features a large dome and a marble interior.
Locate it on the map: Catedral de São Paulo
One of the city’s first skyscrapers, it was built in the 1940s, inspired by the Empire State Building in New York. Since 2018, two of its floors are used for temporary art exhibitions, and at the top is an observation deck offering 360º-views over São Paulo.
Locate it on the map: Altino Arantes Building