Come on. What to do in a short time in São Paulo capital? Detail: one day was a national holiday, many places were closed.
Discovering the city
Basic data on the city: global city (14th in the world ranking), is the most populous in Brazil with approximately 12 million inhabitants, according to IBGE data and reaches 20 million when including the metropolitan area. At the same time that is marked by its tall buildings, the city also has diversity of parks, wooded areas and cultural attractions (eg.: Virada Cultural); SP is the headquarters of the Stock Exchange, Commodities and Futures Exchange (BM & FBOVESPA) and has the industry as impeller factor of its economy.
Cheap and free tours
Day 1: The objective of the first day was going to the exhibition Mondrian and the De Stijl Movement (Art, Architecture and Design in the Netherlands Early the Twentieth Century), that took place in Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.
We started by leaving our backpacks at the hostel and then we took the subway to Luz Station (Buba couldn’t believe I had never been there) but the station was being reformed, so we could only see it from the outside. The tour was not lost, we crossed the street (after walking around the station looking for an entry, really big place) and entered in Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. Once we arrived we took a break for lunch in the cafeteria that is within the Pinacoteca, where they usually give three optional dishes. Lunch was a delight!
We saw the exhibits and the place, which is huge. It was on display “Art in Brazil: a history of Modernism in the Pinacoteca de São Paulo”. The tour costs 6 reais each, who is a student / senior / child pays 3 reais.
We continued to the next spots, which would be: Municipal Theater, Rock Gallery and Gallery April 7, all close to each other. Unfortunately, all closed. Actually, the Theater closed 15 minutes before we arrived, because the tours were with reduced hours and we didn’t know. We decided to visit on the upcoming day, if we had the time. If you want to visit, the visiting hours are these:
From Tuesday to Friday: 11am, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Saturday and holidays: 11am, 12m, 2pm and 3pm
The registration is made in the same Theater, from 10 am, in order of arrival, for all times of the day. The capacity at each time is 50 people. The Theater says that the minimum age is 10 years.
Around 4pm we were at CCBB, which was close to the Theater, and it had a lot of people. It is in the city center and we arrived just before the heavy rain (in the summer heavy rains are very common and usually start from the middle to late afternoon). It is important to consider this question of time because depending on the amount of rain you can’t get to the places on foot and the traffic is completely stopped. Anyway … we visited the expo, which had 4 floors and was pretty cool. The neoplasticism movement was an important contribution from the Netherlands to many of the forms we have today, such as furniture. One of its most important members, Piet Mondrian, who was born in 1872, and at the beginning of his paintings was approaching more post-impressionist painters such as Van Gogh, and Picasso’s cubism. After moving to Paris his style began to turn and in 1912 he starred what he called neoplasticism – the “plastic art” which at that time was very different and that today represents the will of a more open society without standards pre-defined, as it was for the Bauhaus.
After that we headed to Praça da Sé (pretty quickly because we were hungry) towards the subway to go to Paulista Avenue. When we got there we had a snack in Augusta and then went back to the hostel, as we were filthy tired. We talked and drank some beers and went to sleep.
Day 2: The goal of the day was getting enough sleep to be able to do all the rides and visit the Instituto Tomie Ohtake. A cool tip to know what’s coming up is to follow in social media the pages of cultural centers, institutes, galleries, etc. I saw on Instagram a photo of the exhibition “Look Moving” and it called my attention.
This day was full of good surprises. We arrived at the institute and the entrance was also frank. We didn’t know they were exhibiting four different expositions, and one of them was very impressive. Normally, I’m not a big fan of contemporary art, but this has changed. We entered the room with works by Lars Nilsson and cringed. The exhibition name was “Ghosts” and according to the own exhibition brochure, the title could not be more appropriate once the image of a ghost is necessarily out of your time, suspended in it.
Brazilian part of the Institute: beyond the permanent room that dates back to the history of São Paulo, the arrival of Japanese colonization and the establishment of Tomie Ohtake, it was in poster “Learning from Dorival Caymmi – praieira civilization.” He represented a part of our culture through paintings and his songs; he was born in Bahia and lived in Rio de Janeiro and its display shows (with the contribution of other painters) and sings about calm and deceleration times which are rare in large cities today.
Finally, the Italian kinetic art of the years 1950-70, “View in Movement”, celebrated the year of Italy in Brazil. The use of lights, shapes and optical illusion left us excited. This is hard to describe because each work really changed according to angle and lighting and the eyes of each person, on purpose. It was incredible.
We entered the coolest bookstore “Cultura”, went to Starbucks and finalized on Oscar Freire for me to know (other place that Buba was in shock I haven’t been there earlier) and to see a bunch of stuff we can’t afford.
Our bus left at 6 p.m. back to Vinhedo, so we took our backpacks, called a Uber (not worth taking the bus /subway) and we only spent 7 reais to get to the Tietê bus station (the same in which we arrived, that looks like an airport) – it was the first time I used it and got the discount of 20 reais.
Where to stay?
Stay where you can and where you want. What we suggest is that you pick a safe region and that is close to strategic points such as subway, bus stops and nightlife points. If you already have your route planned try to centralize your tours in the region with easier access to your hotel, hostel, hotel, etc. and before booking always search on the web about the opinions of people who have stayed in these places. Some safest and nightlife districts: Itaim Bibi, Pinheiros Jardim Paulista, Vila Madalena and Paraíso.
We stayed at The Pod SP, hostel that is very well located, with common recreational areas, Wi-Fi, indoor bar and close to several bars at Rua dos Pinheiros and with a good benefit cost, in addition to providing opportunity to train our English, Spanish, Japanese and many other languages due to the large number of foreigners travelers they receive. There are shared rooms for 6, 10 and 12 people. We did the whole process by Booking, which helps a lot in these hours.
How to get around?
Best options for us: subway, Uber / taxi, bus (we did not use, but it’s ok) and bike (left for another time, when not so warm). As we don’t drive we didn’t have the car option, but it’s common for drivers not using the car because of the jam. Oh, get ready to walk a lot too! Even if the tour is well organized the city is still giant and public transport points are spread with different distances from the city.
Tip: do not go to Sao Paulo expecting to see points away from each other on a visit of a few days or a holiday. It’s way too exhausting to do that. What we did and found a good idea was to select the places we wanted to go the most (the exposure of Mondrian and the Tomie Ohtake, for example) and find other points to visit near these ones. Only these two were already away from each other, that’s why we went to each on different days.
Soon we’ll post a traditional route to know the capital![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]