Sao Paolo is big, really big. It has over 22 million inhabitants, and that number is without the unregistered people in the favelas. It has the highest concentration of residential towers in the world. It has over 18.000 buildings with a minimal of 15 stories. There aren’t that much old buildings and it makes the city an impressive city to see.
Coming from Sri Lanka, we searched for the cheapest way to get to Brazil. We used different search engines and found out that flying to Paris or Amsterdam was the best way to do it. So we decided to fly to Paris, stay there for a week, get cold and then continue our trip to Brazil. Our parents and friends came to visit us in Paris and the week was over before we knew it.
The cheapest way from there was to fly to Casablanca where we had a 5 hour layover and 9,5 hours later we arrived in Sao Paolo! Arriving on the airport, we kind of expected there to be a metro, but there wasn’t. While trying to figure out our next step, a girl comes up to us and asks if we need a ride into town. What? Uhm, that would be great! So the first amazing people we meet in Sao Paolo are Bruno and Theresa who were really kind and even brought us to our hotel. They told us that people normally, who don’t get asked for a ride, take an Uber into town which costs about 95 Real.
We started our Brazil trip in style! We stayed at the more than wonderful L’Hotel Porto Bay. After a quick check-in we were guided to our room and it was more than we could ask for after a long day and night of traveling. The first two days, we didn’t do anything except enjoying all the facilities the hotel has to offer. There was a weight scale which encouraged (or maybe forced) us to use the gym and as a treat for all the hard work we relaxed at the hottub, sweat some more in the sauna and finished it with some more relaxing in the pool.
And the breakfast..! That was the best. We read Brazil is big about breakfasts and L’Hotel Porto Bay does a good job on that. They have salmon, al sorts of cheese, ham, salami, fruit, different juices, many sorts of bread and so much more. It was great! One of those moments you hate it when you get full.
Another great thing about this hotel is the staff. You notice everybody is happy in their job and willing to help. As said, great way to start our time in Brazil.
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Before coming here, we read Sao Paolo isn’t that interesting. We even thought of skipping this city. But since we would arrive after quite some hours of traveling, we decided to take our time here before heading anywhere else. And we are glad we did!
BECO DE BATMAN
Street art is always nice to look at. An entire alley, filled with street art, is even better. Beco de Batman is one of those alleys and we saw some really amazing pieces here. It started with a Batman painting around 1980 and since then, local art students started filling the walls with their art.
OCTAVIO FRIAS DE OLIVEIRA BRIDGE
This master piece of a bridge can be seen from far away, but we wanted to see it up close. We wanted to go and see it during sunset, but the weather didn’t help cause it started raining just when we wanted to go. So we admired the bridge during daylight, which doesn’t make it less beautiful. The bridge is unique because of the X-shaped form and gets lit up during special events and around Christmas.
WALKING THE STREETS
Our original plan, was to explore Sao Paolo by bike. This plan didn’t work out because it was hard to find bike rental and after we did found one, it only had 1 bike left. So we decided to take the metro everywhere. Which wasn’t even that bad. The connections are pretty good and you pay 3.80 Real for a single ride.
We got out a few stops before our hotel at Paulista metrostation, because we wanted to explore the streets as well. And this felt good. It’s not extremely beautiful, but it has a nice vibe. We walked the street of Avenida Paulista where you have some holes in the upper deck so you can see the cars rushing by below you.
Besides this we wanted to visit the Cathedral da Se and the Ibirapuera Park, but unfortunately it started pouring down rain again, and we had to spend time in the sauna instead...