Safety Tips in São Paulo

  • Marginal Tiete during rush hour
    Marginal Tiete during rush hour
    by Elainehead
  • The Great escape.
    The Great escape.
    by benazer
  • Rafael in trouble by PV
    Rafael in trouble by PV
    by RafaelTheSecond

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in São Paulo

  • Elainehead's Profile Photo

    Beware of Card Cloning

    by Elainehead Updated Mar 13, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be extra vigilant when using your credit card in Brazil because card cloning is more common than you may think.

    NEVER lose sight of your card during a payment transaction!!!

    If you have to type your PIN code, check if there's nobody hovering over your shoulder and cover the keypad to prevent from "indiscreet eyes".

    If you need to withdraw money from an ATM, choose one inside a bank (preferably with traffic - making it more difficult to bad guys install their cloning paraphernalia) during banking hours.

    Always check your bank account online in order to check any unusual movement/withdraw.

    A good idea is having 2 cards, one with less money and another one for emergency purposes.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Black market near SÉ

    by victor.arakawa Updated Apr 4, 2011

    If you go to the Sé Cathedral, walk to the main door and look at the square. At your left you may see a bunch people just hanging out and staring at each other. If you pay attention they are trading with each other used stuff, from used watches from stolen objects. Don´t go near them, even if there is a cop nearby. I saw once an opld man trying to sell his own shirt there. xD

    Was this review helpful?

  • Elainehead's Profile Photo

    Prices have skyrocketed: forget shopping here

    by Elainehead Written Oct 23, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A few years ago (maybe 4 years ago), you could buy a lot of clothing and shoes without spending a lot, but since the local money Real got stronger, prices have skyrocketed. It's as expensive (sometimes even more expensive) as in Europe.
    To give you an idea, T-shirts at C&A are about 15 €. Good luck finding bargains.
    You won't find leather shoes under 42 € (US$ 60). Not too mention some Havaianas flip-flops prices which are outrageous.
    So disappointed that I didn't buy many stuff/gifts.

    Was this review helpful?

  • finawf's Profile Photo

    Centro is not all that great...

    by finawf Written Mar 7, 2007

    Just be aware of surroundings, don't give money to beggars, if you want buy them food and hand it to them...look at the streets, Sao Paulo, has alot of unlight small side streets to avoid...

    The centro seemed particulary sketchy to me...especially at night.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Disdain's Profile Photo

    Getting money

    by Lady_Disdain Written Jul 17, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The ATM is probably the best way to get money in São Paulo - there are a lot of ATMs, the exchange rate on the cards are usually good and fees are not too high.

    But take a few precautions to make sure that you keep the money!

    1- avoid ATMs that are way out in the parking lot, very isolated or that someone could hide nearby.

    2- there are plenty of ATMs inside shopping centers, supermarkets, bank agencies and other safe places - use those!

    3- at night, the amount of money you can get is severely limited (around R$ 200) - plan around that! I avoid the ATM in gas stations, as it is obvious I was getting money and easy for someone to follow me.

    4- do all the same safety procedures you use at home (hide pin numbers, etc.)

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Disdain's Profile Photo


    by Lady_Disdain Written May 19, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A motel in Brazil is not exactly a cheap hotel near a motorway, but the favourite place for illicit (ok, and licit as well) encouters.

    Instead of an unconfortable bed, you are quite likely to find a mirrored ceileing and round bed, payed for by the hour.

    Was this review helpful?

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo


    by RafaelTheSecond Written Jul 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The finantial centre around Avenida Paulista, the Jardins, Brooklyn and the main streets of the old downtown where you can visit the Cathedral of Sé, and also the japonese neighborhood of Liberdade are very safe areas, and the police is very present in the city!

    In the main cornes of the streets you can find this little POLICE CABINS!

    The police woman were not so happy that I took this picture!
    November 8th, 2004

    Rafael in trouble by PV

    Was this review helpful?

  • burger's Profile Photo

    Sao Paulo and 'safe' behaveiour

    by burger Written Nov 21, 2004

    Yo can be easily percolated, no matter what is you dress. When you talk, do it silent and nobady won't know that you are not resident. US residenst can be easily recognised by the very selfconfident and usually too loud talk.... Avoid looking into the map all the time ...try to memorise the route. Check the map inside the restaurants or malls.
    Take just the sum of money you need for a hike to town - have two pockets - one with the small sum...
    During the day it is like in all other big cities ... very normal.

    Police officers on the evry corner

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoucoSP's Profile Photo


    by LoucoSP Written Oct 24, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be Careful your stuff here when you are walk on the street there are pickporcket in downtown, Special care with your mobile. Dont show off your stuff.
    If you need information try to ask to police your some store, call the police the number is 190(free call).

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • bubblex's Profile Photo

    Keep assemble don't go away alone

    by bubblex Written Sep 9, 2003

    We suffered a robber in the city center of Sao Paulo. There are many old archtactures like post offfice, opera and first sky scraper standing around. We were following the guide except one of our members fall behind and suddenly we heard a shout then we saw the bag in his hand was broken and something like bank paper dropped everywhere BUT the robber is disappeared.

    Was this review helpful?

  • janaina's Profile Photo


    by janaina Written Sep 15, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As I told before,the nbr of guys who got lost or feel sufocated by some kind of claustrophobia in it are huge,you need to be sure you have the shape for it,it's not easy to move inside the caves,lower back problems guys must think twice,again,always register your tracks with the guides,it's VERY IMPORTANT and they keep remind you again and again you should do it!
    Once lost,just wait,as this guy we found on the way!

    Was this review helpful?

  • AndreasK's Profile Photo

    The Butanta Institute in Sao...

    by AndreasK Written Sep 7, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Butanta Institute in Sao Paulo is one of the world's leading centers for the study of poisonous snakes. At the research center, poisonous snakes are milked of their venom for serum. Although this process is itself no longer open for visitor observation, there is still plenty to see at this truly unusual place, which holds tens of thousands of snakes. The picture shows an Anaconda, the Amazon's biggest snake, spends most of its time in water, where it lies in wait for prey.

    Was this review helpful?

  • TWINE's Profile Photo

    As indicated in the...

    by TWINE Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As indicated in the introduction - Sao Paulo is save! I lived in the city for one year, and nothing ever happened. Public transport works,and food is always good.
    One problem is that speaking english is not common, so be aware of the language barrier. If you speak some spanish, you can manage.
    (Photo: Chinese temple in Liberdade)

    Was this review helpful?

  • mmanchack's Profile Photo

    Sao Paulo is a beautiful city,...

    by mmanchack Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sao Paulo is a beautiful city, but possibly dangerous if you’re not careful! Make sure to ask the clerk in your hotel about the surrounding neighborhood and specific dangers; do not walk alone at night – use taxis! Keep any precious jewels and watches at home or keep a very close eye on them. I’ve heard that pickpockets are slick in this area. I had no problems with pickpockets or thieves, but I was just aware of my surroundings and made sure to take precautions. Avoid favelas, or slums, which are run-down neighborhoods with shanty houses – this is a target zone for lost tourists!

    Was this review helpful?

  • wmmiller's Profile Photo

    Always have a map that you can...

    by wmmiller Updated Aug 24, 2002

    Always have a map that you can use to show taxi drivers where you are trying to go. Even if you speak Portugues the problem is that Sao Paulo is so big the drivers don't know where every specific street or building is.

    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
Ibis Sao Paulo Paulista
Poor (1.5 out of 5.0) 1 Review

Instant Answers: São Paulo

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

24 travelers online now


São Paulo Warnings and Dangers

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