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São Paulo

Farmers' Market of Sao Paulo Farmers' Market of Sao Paulo View of Sao Paulo at the top of the Banespa Building View of Sao Paulo at the top of the Banespa Building

The numbers are just crazy in this immoderate city. The Paulistanos have great ambitions and the city well reflects it. The third biggest city in the world, after Tokyo and New York, bigger than Bombay and Mexico, São Paulo is the model of an urban jungle. Three times larger than Paris, a concrete forest of buildings, mostly 50 stories high spreads endlessly. Some old skyscrapers inevitably resemble Al Capone's Chicago, some are hideous, others elegantly ultramodern. The survivors of this gigantic city slip between them. There are even some colonial houses from the coffee era on the Avenida Paulista, which is the local equivalent of the Champs-Elysées. This avenue is a good representation of the city, a mixture of styles which is what makes it unique and very Paulistana. A bit further, the Praça da Republica, at the limit of the old São Paulo counts buildings from the beginning of the century like the very beautiful Hotel Rivoli, and more modern concrete buildings, certainly worth the detour, such as the Niemeyer. Apart from the buildings and the grayness, some green oases can also be seen, like the Ibirapuera Park or the sublime Trianon, or other tree areas such as Alameda Santos or Morumbi. This South American New York is the most cosmopolitan and modern city on the continent, with very wealthy higher class population as well as thousands of slums. Industrial, financial, cultural and gastronomic capital of the country, the city is greatly animated night and day. The party is even more important in Vila Mariana, with something for every taste, but more sophisticated. If you are looking for something even more exotic, you should visit Liberdade, the Asian quarter (predominantly Japanese). With their red lanterns, the houses decorated with tiles and calligraphy, you will feel in a new world at every street corner.

 

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