Watch your back!, São Paulo

13 Reviews

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  • Bullet proof glass
    Bullet proof glass
    by MrAviator2u
  • Watch your back!
    by DrLeoLocke
  • When the rain start
    When the rain start
    by Tomtom-Paris
  • Watch out.... this is not a safe city!

    by andrezin83 Written Jun 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sao Paulo is unfortunately a dangerous city. High unemployment rates and social problems have led to very high crime rates, mostly in the poorer areas of the city. However, crime´s all over! But don´t worry, it´s not like you go out on the streets and you´re robbed. Shopping malls, supermarkets, banks and public buildings are safe. If you´re driving, don´t have your windows all open if you´re driving through an area which you might consider kind of suspicious. Public buses are a danger!!!! Subways are very safe. Police number... 190.

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  • esmerkingsland's Profile Photo

    Critically high level in crime activity

    by esmerkingsland Written Feb 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sao Paolo is a big city and lots of tourist come here each year, some people have good experiences and the rest are not lucky. This place has high level of crime activity especially in tourist areas. The area around Se Cathedral is dangerous, be extra careful when stepping out of your car to get a photo of something. Lots of people are already watching you, so take care of your belongings all the time. Police are no where in sight so when you need help, no one will respond.

    Homeless people hang around places like Luz station, Se Cathedral, Municipal theatre, Liberdade Avenue, Sao Bento monastery. Parks are not that safe either, don't stroll parks by yourself. When visiting flea markets be wary of pickpockets.

    When buying bags, they might look like leather but ask first before buying, they would tell you if it's not real leather.

    Taxi drivers don't have change, so carry enough small bills with you. Hire only taxi or tour guides from your hotel don't hail a taxi anywhere.

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  • Always be on alert!

    by djwambeke Updated Feb 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Do be careful. In Sao Paulo, as in many cities, there are many people who will take advantage if given the opportunity.

    I had the misfortune of being stalked during my short visit there, but was lucky to be able to shake my pursuer.

    Standard precautions are a must:
    -Do not travel alone, if at all possible
    -Do not walk about after dark
    -Keep to public places where there are others around

    If you follow these precautions, you will probably have a very enjoyable visit!

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  • Be aware

    by maboli Updated Aug 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, SP has 16 million people, of which about 40% are poor. It means it's a violent city.

    People talk a lot about violence in Brazil.. I have to admit, it's not the safest place to be in the world. Still not the worse one!

    So, what I suggest, specially for typical turists: don't show off your camera(s). Don't talk to strangers, unless it's in a store, etc. People love robbing foreigners because they're nayve, so be aware on the streets and in bars.

    Important thing: DON'T buy drugs in the streets (nor bars). Really. A friend of mine got ripped off by the police in Rio because he bought marijuana from a hippie in a boteco.

    About traffic... well, traffic is BUSY in SP. Be carefull when crossing the streets!

    Oh, and when you arrive in the airport, you can get a special bus to the city or get a taxi. Although, be sure to get a taxi related to the airport, which means you pay for your ride BEFORE (inside the airport). --> this works just in the airport. In the city, you pay the taxidriver like anywhere else in the world.

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  • Shibiru's Profile Photo

    Keep ur things with u!

    by Shibiru Written Jun 27, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's not a new tip for big cities, you have to be careful with your belongings. If you are a tourist and look like one...the best thing to do is wear a moneybelt. backbags are practic to walk around, but are easy to be opened! When u r in malls or restaurants u don't have to be as careful as in the street, bus, walking, in the car...don't wear too fancy clothes to take a bus...
    I used many buses and the subways...I don't look brazilian and well...nothing happened to me...but u have always to be careful, look around...try not to go to dark places alone and so on ...u probably know all this, but being careful is never too much!

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  • DrLeoLocke's Profile Photo

    eyes behind your head...

    by DrLeoLocke Written Sep 12, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    when you are walking thorugh some São Paulo´s streets, you have to be aware...
    folow simple instructions:
    -Never walk with jewelry,watches,notebooks through São Paulo streets, day or night..you can be an easy target for " trombadinhas"
    -when you go to Ibirapuera´s Park hide your money very well
    -inside cars: when car stops, never be distracted...be aware of anything surround you and close the windows..it´s better..it´s a huge city with a lot of social distortion..
    -i prefer to use taxi instead bus...if you want to use São Paulo´s metrô ( subway), if you don´t know it, go there with someone who knows target..São Paulo subway is very good, one of the good things made here...

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  • AngelaB73's Profile Photo

    It can be dangerous like any other big city

    by AngelaB73 Written Jul 24, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    São Paulo has its problems but is not different from any other big city all over the world... New York has 9/11, London 7/7 bombings, Madrid 3/11... I was born and raised in São Paulo, don't have a bullet proof car and I'm still alive to come here and write this review. If you know where to go, nothing will happen to you.

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  • ONE OF MOST DANGEROUS CITIES!!!!

    by NumaNuma Written Jun 26, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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!!!!!

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  • if you use common sense...

    by miromi Written Sep 7, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    if you use common sense you'll be OK, but be alert. the city is always full of bustling crowds so just go with the flow. i did wander into some seedy neighborhoods alone... and i'm not a large woman, so it was not a good idea. A beggar attacked me, but it wasn't a big deal, just shaken nerves on my part. I normally otherwise have decent street sense, and felt pretty safe during my trip. There are lots of muggings.

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    There are pickpockets in...

    by Elainehead Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are pickpockets in Avenida Paulista and surroundings, so be attentive with your belongings. Another favorite place for pickpockets is in the centre of São Paulo (Praça da Sé and surroundings). Usually nobody helps you when someone is robbing you (if you shout for help or something). If you happen to take a bus or subway in rush hours, keep your belongings in front of you. Pickpockets do a trick when you enter a bus (they are also searching for victims in bus stops) and pretend to get on the wrong bus and suddenly decide to get off when you are entering. At this moment he/she takes the advantage to steal your wallet in your purse. If you decide to rent a car in São Paulo (air-conditioned car is better because you can keep the windows closed, also don't forget to lock the doors), be careful when you stop at traffic lights (at night is even worse that many drivers don't stop at traffic lights afraid of being robbed). Don't let bags or purses on the passenger's seat, try to hide them. If it happens that someone robs you, try to keep calm and give what the robber wants. It's advisable to keep a second wallet especially to give to robbers. If you go shopping, be attentive with your belongings, and when using credit cards keep an eye on them.

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    DO NOT look like the 'typical...

    by brasileira Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    DO NOT look like the 'typical tourist' wandering around, carrying a big camera in places you are not familiar with.
    Do not wear gold, watches, or anything to call the attention. And ALWAYS carry a little bit of money in a separate spot where your documents and real money are (hidden). You'll never know when you'll have to 'give away' $$$. Get smart! Do not react EVER if a bandid tries to rob you - He/ She won't think twice to kill you if he/ she finds him/herself in dangerous.

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  • MrAviator2u's Profile Photo

    Be careful

    by MrAviator2u Updated Apr 25, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bullet proof glass

    Sao Paulo is a dangerous city. Always be in the look out. As traveler we stand out and people may take an advantage. It is very comon for cars to have bullet proof windows wsuch as these Toyota Corolla.

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  • Tomtom-Paris's Profile Photo

    Sao paulo is a big city ... be carefull

    by Tomtom-Paris Written Feb 16, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When the rain start

    Sao Paulo is big city, so like all the big cities in the world you have to be carefull especially at night.

    Other than be cerefull if the rain start, jump on a taxi or find a good area to wait....

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Comments (1)

  • Oct 23, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    Brazil: It was a great experience for me because i was with my husband to a professional course for two weeks organised very well and all the brazilian experience was very well planned, except the last day.
    It was the only date when we left to the airport alone in a taxi, not with the group, everybody having different flight schedule.
    We were on the highway in daylight at 18 pm at not more then 10 minutes to the airport when a car with two 16 years old favelas guys with guns stopped the taxi, threatened us and taking all they could take in 40 seconds, including our money, credit cards and passports!
    We had the worst two days until we managed to solve our provisional living tickets from Brazil, but we had great help from the course organiser, otherwise we would have been in a really bad place because our embassy wasn't in sao paulo, where everything happened, but in rio, and without money, credit card and passport...i don't want to know.
    So, Brazil, is dangerous, no mater what you say.
    It is a country of contrasts with beautiful and great people and places, but with lots of favelas and dangerous people and places.
    It is just a story that must help you to be more careful than us when you will visit Brazil.
    Everybody told us that we were lucky they didn't shot us.

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