Please take all the warnings about Sao Paulo with a pinch of salt. Like all big cities, it has its far share of crime but overall its not dangerous, you just need to avoid the favelas (shanty towns) and dont flaunt wealth. I have been living in Sao Paulo for a number of years, have a family, and have never seen anything to be concerned about. I really doubt the comment below where they say tat they have suffered robberies, three kidnapping and the rest.. if that is true they are really unlucky and this is really not the norm.
IT IS NOT LIKE ANY OTHER BIG CITY! IT IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CITIES IN THE WORLD!!!! IT IS SO COMMON TO BE ROBBED OR KIDNAPPED THAT THERE IS NO "SHOCKED" REACTION WHEN YOU TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT!
I'm from SP - in my family (5 people) there have been 3 kidnappings, 4 armed robberies (while in car), 2 cars stolen and 3 cars broken into. IT IS COMMON TO HAVE THIS MANY OR MORE CASES LIKE THIS IN A FAMILY - and it happens to rich or poor, doesn't matter!!!!!
PLEASE BE ALERT!!!! TAKE PRECAUTIONS!!!!!
Although i know of people that have been robbed or pick pocketed, that has not happened to me. I went to Sao Paulo twice last year, and no close calls. I always watch my purse and make myself aware of my surroundings. If you don't flaunt what you have, you are safe. If you carry a purse, make sure it faces forward and not backwards.
I was just in Europe last month, and met some fellow Brazilians in the metro, one of them got pick pocked the night before...
It's everywhere! Just need to be careful!
There is 2 things you can do to avoid pickpocket in Sao Paulo. One is bring your bazooka with you and have yourself a self-defense trainning from SWAT or you can walk during daylight and dont go to the red light district or buy drugs on the nearest hippie.
In a big city like Sao Paulo it is easy to find some place to hide from the pouring rain,so not a warning really unless you dont like heawy downpours,an umbrella is not so good at stopping you getting wet so be warned..
But one of this days I will not hide and just get soaking wet,always wanted to do this.
I have lived here in São Paulo for 10 years, and never had any problems whatsoever. It is very easy to exagerate these things.
Having said that, the crime rate is high so it is better to remember you are not in Europe. Outside of busy areas, for sure do not go walking at night and do not display your expensive camera / watch / etc. when you are out and about.
Electronic cash machine:
- Do not make cash withdrawals at night.
- Make your cash withdrawals from closed areas such as; Shopping malls, supermarkets.
- Always be alert to any suspicious persons at or near the cash machine.
- If your card is taken by the machine, do not accept the help from anyone.
- Do not use the celular phone of strangers to call for help relating to the cash machine.
- Do not give your PIN code to anyone.
- Remember: Criminals can be well-dressed and have a good appearance.
Day to day:
- Do not go shopping alone or in the hours when there are few people around.
- Do not carry all of your cash in one place / pocket / purse.
- Avoid carrying all of your credit cards on you. Carry only the ones you need.
- Ensure there is a limit on the card for withdrawing cash from the cash machine.
- Get used to paying small bills in cash.
- Always have a list of the telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.
- Get out of the habit of carrying a cheque book full of cheques. Carry only the number required.
- Do not carry all of your documents in your handbag or wallet. Carry authorised xerox copies of your passport or CIC and RG.
- Do not stay in bars beyond one a.m.
There are dangers no matter where you are in the world. All you need is... common sense! If you look for trouble, you'll find it. If you are unfamiliar with a city, don't go wandering around alone. Find out which areas are potentially troublesome from people that have visited there or who live there. Just keep your wits about you and you'll be fine.
I was warned about wandering around the Centro where thieves abound, but nothing untowards happened to me. Maybe because I dressed down and tried to look like a local. The most common trick is the mustard-on-your clothes trick. An unsuspecting tourist gets distracted and the thieves run away with your belongings.
Had to take a picture of this,looks as if the trees are trying to escape from a park in the middle of SP in broad daylight ,at the famous avenue Paulista.
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