Saturday, July 13, 2024

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The Game-Changing City: Sao Paulo

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Welcome to Sao Paulo, the most cosmopolitan and populous city in Brazil!

As soon as I got off the plane, the colorful city of Sao Paulo, aka Sampa, whispered in my ear; “You will be full of fun and get lost in the wide streets between skyscrapers with the smell of coffee! Let’s go if you are ready!”

Whether you are interested in exploring the museums and parks or discovering the culinary world, you’ll find out that this cosmopolitan city with more than 21 million people has something for everyone!

So, what’s the first thing to do? Go to the top of Edifício Itália, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of this bustling city. That’s what I did first thing and I was mesmerized! This bright city is hypnotizing with its high energy!

Then, on recommendation, I went to the Mercado Municipal de São Paulo, the historic City Hall, which has stalls selling rare fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, as well as a food and drink section. Here you can browse gourmet food and have a bite to eat, while the view from above tempts you again! I recommend trying the pastel filled with shrimp at Mortadela Brasil on the 2nd floor of the market. I really couldn’t get enough of it.

Also, in this neighborhood, the neo-Gothic Catedral da Sé de São Paulo may catch your eye with its huge spires or the magnificent Theatro Municipal de São Paulo with its elaborate facade. Take lots of photos and collect beautiful memories.

Next, I head to Avenida Paulista for a stroll, one of the city’s premier avenues filled with shops, hotels, and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, home to the collections of artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso and Degas! Avenida Paulista can be reached by taking the metro to Paulista, Consolação, Trianon-Masp, or Brigadeiro stations, depending on where you want to start your journey.

Avenida Paulista is one of the city’s main avenues, full of shops, hotels, businesses, cultural institutions, and restaurants! Skyscrapers fill this avenue, many of them with interesting architecture. Strolling down this avenue is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of São Paulo! It’s a convenient transit point to see some of the city’s other major sights, such as the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Shopping Cidade São Paulo, and Parque Trianon!

Walking down this wide street you can feel what life is like in the city!  If you happen to visit, I recommend planning your visit for a Sunday when the street is closed to vehicular traffic and there are vendors, live music, and lots of people watching. I also highly recommend spending some time in the adjacent Parque Trianon, which offers walking paths and impresses tourists with the city center’s density of trees and greenery.

You can’t come to Brazil and not talk about coffee. At the Coffee Museum (Museu do Café) in the port of Santos, visitors can experience the world’s favorite caffeinated beverage through history and, of course, taste. The Coffee Museum is housed in the building that used to be the Coffee Exchange, where Brazilian coffee was weighed and traded before being shipped overseas from the Port of Santos. The Coffee Museum Shop was also opened to offer coffees from different regions of Brazil as well as sophisticated beverages to contribute to the promotion of Brazilian coffee to visitors, especially gourmet coffee. If you don’t have time to visit here, you can take a virtual tour on its website to see this historic building where art and coffee meet. No one can leave the Museum’s Café without trying Jacu Bird, made from coffee beans produced in Espírito Santo, which comes second only to Kopi Luwak, produced on the island of Bali, the five most curious coffees in the world. That’s what I’m doing. It tastes amazing so you’d better put it on your must-see and must-try list.

When you tire of the concrete jungle, head to Parque do Ibirapuera, which offers a relaxing escape from the hectic streets and skyscrapers of São Paulo. This is the second-largest park in the city! The park includes entertainment, jogging and walking areas, a pond, and a meeting hall! The choice is yours!

For a short afternoon break, I ordered the most famous drink Caipirinha at Guilhotina Bar, the best cocktail bar in Latin America. Although wine and champagne are popular in Brazil, Caipirinha is the most consumed local drink! The original is made from Cachaça, which comes from sugar cane.

The word Caipirinha comes from the word Caipira (peasant) and as a whole means ‘little peasant’. It’s a drink that suits this tropical climate! An original Caipirinha is made with Cachaça and lime. If you want to add this drink to your favorites and try an original recipe at home, buy Cachaça in Brazil and take it with you ?

On a side note: if you are a soccer fan, here is an address just for you. Museu do Futebal! Brazilians love soccer. This fun museum proves it to you! For the curious ones!

Beco do Batman (Batman Street) is a colorful street full of graffiti. Creative street paintings by famous artists always change on the walls, and special tours are organized for this street. It can be a different experience. Stop by if you are interested!

Vila Olimpia, Jardims, and Vila Madalena are the streets where the heart of fun beats! Take note ? Sao Paulo is one of the best addresses in the world for nightlife. Let’s see if it is! The bars and nightclubs with samba parties are open until the first light of the morning.

You are at the right address for crazy parties! You can let yourself go to the rhythm without missing the dose of fun. Have fun!

There is food for every budget in Brazil. There are options for your taste buds. Bauru; a sandwich prepared with roast beef and melted cheese. Mocoto; a stew with vegetables and meat. Pastel de Bacahau; prepared with potatoes and cod fish and fried. Bon Appetit! Here you are to choose ?

It’s hard to say goodbye to this city full of surprises, 24 hours a day, enthusiasm and joy…

I wish our paths cross on colorful routes,

May the sunshine be in your heart forever,

See you in the blues,

Banu Demir

Editor & Poet

Instagram: bluevoyage_blueroute

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