Local traditions and culture in São Paulo

  • adding depth to downtown
    adding depth to downtown
    by MM212
  • The Three Graces
    The Three Graces
    by schurlif
  • My darling Anna Bianca square dancing
    My darling Anna Bianca square dancing
    by schurlif

Most Viewed Local Customs in São Paulo

  • Elainehead's Profile Photo

    What the hell is Nota Paulista (nota fiscal)?

    by Elainehead Updated Mar 13, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Whenever you go pay something, you will be asked if you would like to have a "nota fiscal", "cpf na nota" or "nota paulista". If you don't have a "CPF" or have no idea of what that is, simply answer "não" (no)...

    Taxes on goods and services aren't so often clear in Brazil, so in order to avoid tax evasion in the state of São Paulo, the government created this "Nota Fiscal Paulista" program.

    This program encourages consumers to demand an invoice (it shows the right amount of tax the consumer is paying), so this way the government will know if the merchant is (or isn't) evading taxes...

    If you can understand Portuguese, you can find all the information here, otherwise
    try this website.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Elainehead's Profile Photo

    Devotion to Saint Jude Thaddeus

    by Elainehead Written Oct 23, 2010

    Patron of Desperate causes, Saint Jude Thaddeus is very popular in Brazil. I've been here twice to thank Saint Jude Thaddeus...

    His feast day is on October 28. If you are in São Paulo on that day, there is a big celebration at the church. There also is a shop there, so you can buy candles and souvenirs.

    The easiest way to get there is by subway. The nearest station is "São Judas". As soon as you get outside, continue on your right side of the sidewalk (I think it's one or two blocks from there).

    Address: Avenida Jbaquara, 2682 - Jabaquara - São Paulo/SP

    Thanking St Jude Thaddeus
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • marakaki's Profile Photo

    FAAP University Location

    by marakaki Written Jul 23, 2009

    Very nice and rich neighborhood in Higienópolis. It´s in central area, near to these places:

    Shopping Higienópolis (http://www.patiohigienopolis.com.br/)
    Mackenzie University (http://www.mackenzie.br/)
    Pacaembu Stadium and Soccer Museum (http://www.museudofutebol.org.br/)
    Besides, it is pretty close to Av. Paulista.

    FAAP has a beautiful building and they are very engaged in arts and culture. I visited some interesting exhibitions there.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    The Colours of Downtown São Paulo

    by MM212 Updated Jun 7, 2009

    Downtown São Paulo is a sad case of urban overdevelopment. The city's large centre has become a concrete monster over the last few decades as concrete towers replaced gardens and small buildings. Yet, some of the old architecture has been preserved, often painted in bright colours to bring life to the streets. Some of the modern construction, particularly any dismal walls, are also often painted in bright colours or graffiti for the same reason. Check out the travelogue "The Colours of Downtown São Paulo" for photos.

    adding depth to downtown
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Disdain's Profile Photo

    Farmers Market

    by Lady_Disdain Written Jul 17, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We like our fruits and vegetables fresh!

    Every neighbourhood, from trendy Jardins to humble Santo Amaro, has a weekly market. A side street is roped off and farmers (or agents) set up their stalls, full of vegetables, fruits, fresh eggs, poultry and herbs. Each one is held on a specific day, both during the week or the weekend.

    Housewives, housekeepers and families can be seen shopping for fresh produce, often pulling wire carts to make things easier. Most things are sold by the bunch, unit or bowlful. Visit every stall - you will soon learn who has the best of each thing you like.

    The stall holders are part of the fun. They yell out slogans to call clients, as well as set lines such as "I don't charge beautiful women - but they can't take anything either!". Bargain, ask for a discount - anything goes!

    After all that - I'm usually starved! So off to the pastel. This is a delicious treat of very thin dought (like a spring roll sheet) but instead of rolling it, it is cut in a large square, stuffed with cheese, chicken, palm heart, mince meat or anything else and fried. A lot of calories, but delicious!

    To go with your pastel, ask for guarapa or sugar cane juice. You can see the guy extracting the juice in a small hand driven mill! It is very sweet, so add some lemon to cut it slightly.

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written May 6, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    São Paulo, a city where I feel at home and where I have many people I love, and secrets places that I like going to!;)

    Morumbi Park - a little green spot in the middle of a pleasant neighborhood of São Paulo. The Official name of this park is Alfredo Volpi, it has 3 lakes with lots of ducks, these lakes a re neturally fed by a natural water spring, very amazing to realize that this very green spot is located in the biggest city in Latin America!

    Rafael at Morumbi Woods by Rodrigo Shikasho

    Was this review helpful?

  • peace_prevails's Profile Photo

    Portuguese Classes at USP

    by peace_prevails Written Feb 13, 2006

    A good language course I have heard is taught at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) - it is called 'Portuguese for Foreigners'

    See the following website.

    The site is in Pguese but you will get the gist of it. The prices are really reasonable.

    R$340 a semester I believe for the course and materials.

    You will have to check if they will allow you to enrol if you are not a student in Brazil or elsewhere.


    Was this review helpful?

  • schurlif's Profile Photo


    by schurlif Written Oct 24, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is not a LOCAL custom , but definitely a typical Brazilian custom observed as if a religious holiday each month of June across the whole brazilian territory.... The custom has some religious background , honoring some saints but at the FESTA JUNINHA you will not have the feeling that religion is involved.... you will rather have the feeling that all hillibillies of Brazil have gone loose..... The kids dress up as deepest country folks and go square dancing to happy folk tunes... all over the country June fairs spring up with booths selling pop corn , sausages , hot wine and more and others with tricky games for the kids . Kiddie fire crackers exploding at your feet , candy cotton sticking to your hands and face...There's a lot of dancing and disguising at these public Festas Juninhas too but here I'd like to show you some pictures of my daughters Festa Juninha in her school with her friends and teachers , pretty civilized and organized , yet the kids love it !!!
    I haven't too many square dance pictures ( my digital camera wouldn't take any , darn ! ) , but picture # 3 caught Anna Bianca in the act when she for once got close enough to me....
    If you visit Brazil in June , be sure to ask where the next Festa Juninha is and have some hillibilly fun where you probably least expect it....

    The Three Graces Hilliebilly Invasion My darling Anna Bianca square dancing Waiting for the enxt act Watching other kids performing
    Related to:
    • Music
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written Jul 26, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    São Paulo has two great finatial centres, the Paulista Avenue area and the new Brooklyin Area which are hostelling the main banks and consulates in the city!

    The canadian consulate is there!

    November 8th, 2004

    The Brazilian Brooklyn by RTL

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Updated Jul 26, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In a very remote town in the countryside of São Paulo State when we were returning to São Paulo from Iguazu Falls, in a gas station in Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, we stop for shower time!

    Most of the gas station in the road has shower for you to get cleaned.

    One problem, COLD SHOWER, even in the winter!!!!

    November 15th,2004

    A canadian living in Brazil by RTL

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written Jul 22, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    They finally have met!;)))) A brazilian swan saying HOWDIE to his colleague in Canada visiting São Paulo!:))))

    It is a pleasure to see so many birds life in one of the biggest city in the World.

    São paulo is cool!

    November 8th, 2004

    Pierre in S��o Paulo by RTL

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Updated Jul 22, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    First do not think that São Paulo is a chaos, if it is a chaos, I would say it is a pleasant one :) São Paulo is modern and the progress here has no breaks, but we have some green territories here where the birds can swim, where the birs can fly and where the birds can sing!

    I found that interesting chap when I was in Ibirapuera Park!;)

    November 8th, 2004

    Some paulistanos friends by RTL

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written Jul 22, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In a city of 18.000.000 people it is possible to meet people that you had any contact in some previous event. In this case, this very nice lady was in the same flight that Pierre was, and they just met each other in the busiest street of São Paulo, at Paulista Avenue!;)))))

    November 8th, 2004

    Pierre and one very nice brazilian lady by RTL

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written Jun 8, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    They work to keep the piece and the happiness of people who really need, no need for food or money, sometimes poor people just want a single smile and some support.

    For sure they do not like to be photographed, so when I was visiting Aparecida do Norte, our pilgrimage centre in the coutryside of São Paulo, I tried to take this picture, they noticed and smiled at me!

    It was fun, I go to Aparecida do norte evey year to thank god for the great gifts of life He has always given to me!

    January 12th, 2005

    hehehe a funny picture by RTL

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written May 23, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is the industrial centre of the country, it is the finatial heart of Brazil, so naturally the Nature attracts many businessmen and many well off people, and we can have a life of first world here!

    São Paulo is chic, and São Paulo is a cool place to have fun!

    Nothing will make you miss your life everywhere you come from!

    São Paulo has many facilities and it has my most dreamt car! No, this car is not mine!;)

    BENZ...uhh S��o Paulo

    Was this review helpful?

São Paulo Hotels

See all 860 Hotels in São Paulo

Latest São Paulo Hotel Reviews

Hotel Nh Della Volpe
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Hotel Unique
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Sofitel Sao Paulo
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Hotel Caesar SP Int. Airport
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Transamerica Flat International Plaza Hotel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review

Instant Answers: São Paulo

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

37 travelers online now


São Paulo Local Customs

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and São Paulo locals.
Map of São Paulo