Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sao Paulo deserves a stopover!


We ventured further north last weekend to attend the Sao Paulo Pride, where I was invited to speak at a Forum on LGBT Tourism.

It was my first time at the largest Pride Parade in the world and besides being amazed by the sheer size of it (2 to 3 million attendees, depending on sources), I was pleasantly surprised by the institutional support the event gets from all levels of government. For example, it was the first time I saw a campaign from the Ministry of Tourism targeting the LGBT segment. The slogan of their campaign was even cute: Diversity - Brazil is more beautiful with it.

Apart from the Gay Pride events, I must say that last weekend changed my perception about Sao Paulo- it was never a city I recommended to visitors, but I can see that it has its charm (even if it is quite hidden!).

Sao Paulo is well known in Brazil as cosmopolitan capital, for its great nightlife, cuisine and contemporary culture, but there is also quite a lot of history and beautiful architecture too, especially in the old part of town. Add to that some great hotels and your stopover could be quite enjoyable.

Brazil Ecojourneys tips:

  • The Tourism Office downtown ( in the old Banco de São Paulo building- Rua XV de Novembro), provides good information about places to visit.
  • From the top of the BANESPA building - a Brazilian version of the Empire State Building- you have a 360 degrees panoramic view of the city. Entrance to the tower is free.
  • The MASP Museum has a wonderful exhibition from Vik Muniz , a local artist now internationally renowned that makes amazing portraits with recycled and perishable materials. Entrance is free on Tuesdays.

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