Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (2023)

I had a relative murdered there. Colleagues assaulted. Acquaintances victims of pickpocketing. Many Brazilians moved to Europe due to safety issues. For all those motives, when someone asked me Is São Paulo Safe? , the obvious answer should be a big, bold no, certainly not.

However, this is not my opinion. At least not nowadays.

São Paulo can be considered a safe place. In this article, I will tell you why. Also, in the last paragraphs, I will give you some great tips to avoid thieves in São Paulo.

First things first: São Paulo can be either one of the 26 states of Brazil or the capital of this same state. The city has a population of 12.2 million people. This makes it the largest city of Brazil, and one of the largest cities in the world. There is another article where we wrote about the best Brazilian cities you are interested in living in Brazil.

Only São Paulo state alone has an area equivalent to the entire United Kingdom, and a population comparable to Spain.

It is important to have those dimensions in mind. We must remember that Brazil is a continental country when we talk about violence. While I would classify Brazilian cities like Maceió or Belém as very dangerous, the question is São Paulo safe have a different answer from me:

Listen to “Is Sao Paulo Safe” on Spreaker.

Yes, it is relatively safe to live there, depending on few conditions.

Below I will list the three main reasons.

(Video) How dangerous is Rio and Brazil? Travel guide: the safest places | JUST GOT ROBBED ON THE BEACH 😳
Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (1)

1st – The Violence in Sao Paulo is Very Location-Specific.

São Paulo (the capital city, not the state) has 96 districts. 33 of those districts have a homicide rate smaller than the USA (4.8 per 100 thousand inhabitants).

On the other hand, 28 districts have a homicide rate higher than in Nigeria.

Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (2)

Some districts, like Jaçanã, are more violent than Mexico (although some cities in Mexico, like Guadalajara, are relatively safe). Capão Redondo, a district of São Paulo with 275 thousand people, had 51 homicides in a single year. To put it into perspective, Madrid, the capital of Spain, a city with over 3 million residents, had only 34 homicides in 2021.

On the other hand, however, certain districts of European capitals like Athens may present a prevalence of petty crimes higher than the safe districts of São Paulo. So in the end, location is an important factor.

(Video) Inside Brazil's Most Dangerous Neighborhood (Extreme Slum)

Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (3)

Other districts, like Jardim Paulista, are safer than Germany.

Probably the reader is guessing, correctly, that those enormous discrepancies have their origin in income levels and the presence of law enforcement. This may lead to the following conclusion:

If near one-third of the districts are super-dangerous, then it is dangerous to live there because people need to go to different parts for different reasons!

This is not entirely true. São Paulo has plenty of traffic jams. Enough to rank among the cities with the worst traffic in the world. Over the years, the city bypassed this problem by developing a peculiar way of urban organization.

Every district of São Paulo works like a mini-city, having nearly everything you need. This makes it unnecessary for someone to go out of his neighborhood frequently and face gigantic traffic jams.

I lived in São Paulo, in the western region (more specifically, in the Butantã district). Never had been to any of the violent Zona Leste (eastern zone) districts, except those closest to the center like Tatuapé. I was once in a very dangerous district in the extreme south, but only because I took the wrong bridge when crossing the Pinheiros river.

If you ask people who lived there their whole lives, chances are their stories will be similar. Most of the time they spend in their neighborhood and adjacent districts. I am not saying this is good. This kind of social segregation is bad in the long term. However, I am just stating a fact: You will not need to cross dangerous districts frequently unless you live close to one.

2nd – The Violence is decreasing in São Paulo. Everywhere.

It is a difficult task to define the reasons behind endemic violence in a country like Brazil. It is equally difficult to list the reasons behind sharp falls or rises in criminality across extended periods.

I am not going to do that here, but just state a fact:

Violence is falling in most states of Brazil consistently for already some years. In São Paulo state this delinquency reduction is even sharper.

Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (4)

In 2001, the homicide rate of São Paulo was 33.3 per 100 000 people. Less than two decades later, this number fell to 6.42.

To put this into perspective, in 2001 São Paulo had a murder rate similar to Mexico. Now it is just a little above the USA.

Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (5)
(Video) Women like this is what makes Men travel to Brazil

The fall in criminality is not only about homicides, but in other crimes as well. It is also not restricted only to specific regions, but widespread. The chart above is about the ABC region, metropolitan cities of the São Paulo conurbation. Even though it is in Portuguese, you can see crimes like latrocínio (robbery + murder) decreasing 58% in the first semester of 2019 compared to the previous year.

3rd – There are ways to dodge most of the risks.

While there is not a 100% efficient system to avoid thieves and other crooks, most of the Paulistanos (people from São Paulo) already mastered the daily habit of not becoming a victim.

More details on this can see in one of the chapters of my book Budget Travelers, Digital Nomads & Expats: The Ultimate Guide: 50 Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Ways. You can also check this article I wrote for Medium about some of those tricks.

Things like not exposing cell phones in the central region, not using expensive photographic machines publicly, or having a dummy wallet.

Sadly, many of the historical buildings of São Paulo (like the magnificent Museu do Ipiranga) are located in zones with frequent petty crimes. A common accessory of people in the Sé region (a place ridden by pickpocketers) is the pochette (sort of a money belt). It makes you look fat but is great to keep your documents and cards safe.

Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (6)

Is Uber in São Paulo Safe?

After Uber entered the São Paulo market in 2013, many people expressed concerns about potential safety issues. After all, part of the Uber experience is complete strangers taking you to your destination. Many people are still hesitant about riding Uber in São Paulo. There are some precautions to take, but overall Uber is still very safe.

The bigger problem with Uber there is are the frequent ride-cancellations from drivers, something they do when the course does not pay enough. Cancellations are more common with the cheapest versions of Uber (like UberPromo) and very rare with services like UberBlack.

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro: Which Brazilian city is safer?

According to Atlas da Violencia 2019, Sao Paulo has a homicide rate of 13.2/100 000 inhabitants. This is nearly one-third of the homicide rate from Rio de Janeiro (35.6/100 000). Other violence indicators like robbery, assaults, or kidnappings also show that Sao Paulo is safer than Rio. Sao Paulo, nowadays, is almost as safe as Buenos Aires.

Homicide rate in Brazilian Capitals (2019)
1. Fortaleza (CE) – 87,9
2. Rio Branco (AC) – 85,3
3. Belém (PA) – 74,3
4. Natal (RN) – 73,4
5. Salvador (BA) – 63,5
6. Maceió (AL) – 60,2
7. Recife (PE) – 58,4
8. Aracaju (SE) – 57,4
9. Manaus (AM) – 55,9
10. Macapá (AP) – 54,1
11. Boa Vista (RR) – 48,9
12. Porto Alegre (RS) – 47,0
13. São Luís (MA) – 46,9
14. Goiânia (GO) – 40,7
15. Teresina (PI) – 39,4
16. João Pessoa (PB) – 38,9
17. Porto Velho (RO) – 36,0
18. Rio de Janeiro (RJ) – 35,6
19. Palmas (TO) – 33,5
20. Vitória (ES) – 30,6
21. Florianópolis (SC) – 30,0
22. Cuiabá (MT) – 28,8
23. Belo Horizonte (MG) – 26,7
24. Curitiba (PR) – 24,6
25. Brasília (DF) – 20,5
26. Campo Grande (MS) – 18,8
27. São Paulo (SP) – 13,2

What to Avoid in Sao Paulo

1st – Avoid walking around with your luggage. Wandering around with carry-on luggage, even in the safest districts, is NOT recommended.

2nd – Do not trust anyone offering you a free ride to your hotel. It may be asequestro relâmpago, a modality of crime common in Brazil that means lightning kidnapping. Criminals offer rides to people just to force them to withdraw money from the closest ATM and release the victim in the middle of nowhere. Also, watch out for scammers offering transfer services from the airport.

3rd – Do not walk alone at night in the old center of São Paulo, especially in the Praça da Sé neighborhood. Even during the day, if you want to visit that region, we recommend the assistance of a guide (see where to find one below), since you may turn to the wrong street and fall into risky areas like the Cracolândia-a place ridden by drug abusers, gangs and petty criminals.

4rd – Do not take selfies in the Avenida Paulista. There are multiple bicycle-riding thieves around who are experts at stealing cellphones from unaware tourists taking selfies. They will come lightning-fast with their bikes, push the phone from your hand during the selfie, and disappear. If it were not for the fact that they are criminals, I would even clap for such an incredible demonstration of skill.

Is São Paulo Safe? (It is not what most foreigners think). (7)

How to Stay Safe in Sao Paulo

1st – There are plenty of options in terms of luggage storage in São Paulo, so you don’t need to walk around with your carry-on bags. Reliable, convenient, and inexpensive luggage storage services you can find at Radical Storage.

(Video) I Was Kidnapped In The Brazilian Slums (#114)

2nd – Book a transfer in advance (both from the Guarulhos International Airport or from the Tiete Bus Station) to your final destination. You can use Get Transfer for that.

3rd – If you are visiting places like the center of São Paulo (and there is SO MUCH to visit there!) or Cantareira Park, hire a guide. You can find some amazing guides and tours at Viator. Not only they will give you insider information about historical and natural curiosities, but they will also warn you of risky areas and keep you safe.

4rd – Use a money belt to carry your credit card, documents, etc. In your pocket, leave a dummy wallet with expired cards and small money, in case a robber attacks you (something that shouldn’t happen if you follow all the recommendations above).

5th- (Personal opinion) If you are young (or feel young), stay in hostels in regions like Jardins, Pinheiros, or Vila Paulista. People working in these hostels are used to foreign guests and can offer both safety advice and some great tips on places to sightsee. In this link, I have selected the best districts for international travelers to stay in hostels in São Paulo.

6th – Buy travel insurance that alsocovers theft-related expenses. Although it is often very inexpensive to purchase such insurance in Europe (even in the most dangerous cities of some European countries), many people ignore this small precaution and end up disappointed. I recommend the company Ekta, whichprovides some of the most innovative solutions for travelers, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vacation without worry.

7th – Stay in a goodhostel. Hostels are usually in the safest parts of the city (at least in Europe and South America), unlike hotels. Most hostels have private rooms that are as comfortable as a hotel, plus a friendly staff to give information. When looking for hostels,I visit Hostelworld and filter for those above grade 7.

Conclusion: Is São Paulo, Brazil, Safe?

Going against the common belief that everywhere in Brazil is dangerous, I would answer the question Is São Paulo Safe? With yes, it is.

It is safer compared to most regions in Brazil, and even in Latin America. It is also relatively safe if you live in half of the districts and do not wander in the other half. But the best news is: São Paulo is getting safer year after year, continuously, for decades already.

Surely Sao Paulo is not among the best cities for expatriates and remote workers to live in (but Florianopolis, in the state of Santa Catarina, is). Also, if you want to travel to a large, lusophone city to learn Portuguese, maybe Lisbon in Portugal is a safer choice.

Besides, like anywhere in South America, the place has some weird laws. Still, one can enjoy life and take benefit of some things that are cheap in Brazil.

Check also:

Is Rio de Janeiro Safe? The reality about how safe is Rio de Janeiro is not what you imagine.

Subscribe to my articles (for free) and receivethe digital book20 Essential Hacks for Saving Money While Travelling.

If you wish to become a Medium member and have access to articles like this, check this link. It is only $5 per month.

Author:Levi Borba, former RM specialist for the world´s greatest airline, co-founder of Nearby Airport Hostel Warsaw, and author of the book Moving Out, Living Abroad and Keeping Your Sanity. You can check some of his articles here.

(Video) SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL (Biggest City in Southern Hemisphere)

FAQs

Is São Paulo safe to live? ›

São Paulo: Safety Issues

While São Paulo is considered much safer than for example life in Rio, Brazil's megacities do have considerable problems with violent crime, especially homicide, drug-related gang violence, and sexual assault.

Is crime high in Sao Paulo? ›

Sao Paulo: All areas of Greater Sao Paulo have a high rate of armed robbery of pedestrians and drivers at stoplights and during rush hour traffic. The "red light districts" of Sao Paulo, located on Rua Augusta north of Avenida Paulista and the Estacao de Luz metro area, are especially dangerous.

Are people in Sao Paulo friendly? ›

São Paulo is a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Brazilians are known to be friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

Is Sao Paulo safe for Americans? ›

São Paulo is a great city

I spent a year in São Paulo in the Jardin neighborhood. Walked all hours of the night and never had an issue. In other areas of the city, of course, there are problems. Stay at the Renaissance off Paulista it's a great safe neighborhood as much as a big city can be safe.

What is the biggest problem in São Paulo? ›

Pollution of air, land and water is a major problem. Air pollution is second only to Los Angeles.

Is it safe to walk in São Paulo at night? ›

The touristy areas and more residential parts of São Paulo are perfectly safe as long as you are aware. It is safe for you to walk around by yourself or with friends during the day. When night falls, Uber or 99s are available if you are travelling far and alone.

How many murders in São Paulo Brazil? ›

According to Atlas da Violencia 2019, Sao Paulo has a homicide rate of 13.2/100 000 inhabitants. This is nearly one-third of the homicide rate from Rio de Janeiro (35.6/100 000). Other violence indicators like robbery, assaults, or kidnappings also show that Sao Paulo is safer than Rio.

Why is crime so high in Brazil? ›

The two largest organized-crime groups in Brazil are known as Red Command and First Capital Command. They dominate the drug trade, and their struggles often play out in Brazil's overcrowded prisons — in which both groups were formed — making them some of the most violent jails on earth.

How do people stay safe in Sao Paulo? ›

Don't hold your cell phone, money or documents in your hand – that's inviting a snatch-and-grab theft. Keep in mind that places with a lot of travelers are perfect for thieves and pickpockets, so downtown, Paulista Avenue, Oscar Freire St. and Vila Madalena are places where you should pay extra attention in Sao Paulo.

Is Sao Paulo good for tourists? ›

Rio de Janeiro is probably the first place on your visit list when planning a trip to Brazil — and with good reason. But, São Paulo is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, as well as where many Cariocas (people from Rio) are moving to instead.

Should I go to Sao Paulo? ›

Sao Paulo is a huge, tall, congested, urban business jungle with a few museums, good restaurants and clubs, and shopping. If that is what you are looking for in a Brazilian vacation, stop. If not, go on to Rio, which has museums, restaurants, clubs, shopping and sights in a uniquely spectacular beachside location.

How safe is Brazil for foreigners? ›

Violent crime, such as mugging, armed robbery and carjacking, is common. It occurs more often in large cities and during festivals, such as Carnaval. Don't go out alone or at night. Avoid isolated areas, including beaches.

Is Brazil the safest country? ›

The State Department gives Brazil a Level 2 travel advisory, which means it's relatively safe, but you should exercise increased caution. What is this? The most common crimes you'll face include pickpocketing and muggings. There is also a lot of gang violence in Brazil.

Which country is safe living? ›

In fact, according to the Global Peace Index 2022, New Zealand is the second safest country in the world, behind only Iceland. There are several reasons why New Zealand is such a safe place to live. For one, it has a relatively small population and a low crime rate.

Why is São Paulo famous for? ›

The city has cultural, economic and political influence nationally and internationally. It is home to monuments, parks and museums such as the Latin American Memorial, the Ibirapuera Park, Museum of Ipiranga, São Paulo Museum of Art, and the Museum of the Portuguese Language.

What is Brazil's biggest problem? ›

In 2022, Brazil's economy will grow by a not-too-shabby 2.7 per cent, but that growth is estimated to decline to around one per cent in 2023. This slow growth occurs in the face of rising poverty, desperation, and food insecurity in South America's largest economy.

Does Brazil have a crime problem? ›

The battle against crime shows its first results

In 2021, Brazil experienced its lowest intentional violent death rates in over a decade. In comparison to four years before, when the South American country reported its most murderous year in history, this sudden drop may appear shocking at first glance.

Is Brazil safe at the moment? ›

Use caution at, or going to, major transportation centers or on public transportation, especially at night. Passengers face an elevated risk of robbery or assault using public, municipal bus transportation throughout Brazil. Use increased caution when hiking in isolated areas.

Can you drink the water in Sao Paulo? ›

Bottled water is a must if you're traveling to Brazil, and even that may be tougher to come by than usual. Even without a water shortage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) always suggests travelers drink bottled water instead of tap or well water when visiting Brazil.

Can you walk in Sao Paulo? ›

São Paulo is one of the world's true megacities, so it would be impossible to see the entire place, on foot, in the space of one day. However, there are some regions of the city which are best explored by walking, a perfect example being the city center, one of São Paulo's most fascinating neighborhoods.

Is Brazil or us safer? ›

In terms of absolute number of murders in a year, Brazil has the most murders of any country by total number (62,318) followed by India (29,000), the USA (25,000) and Mexico (24,576). However, when the populations are taken into account, this translates to a higher murder rate.

Is Brazil a beautiful country? ›

Brazil ranks top among the 40 most beautiful countries in the world and we are the richest in ecosystems.

Where do the rich live in Brazil? ›

In addition to coastal cities such as Florianópolis, Vitória, Niterói and Santos, which usually attract the richest strata of the population since individuals with higher purchasing power usually prefer to live in cities with a higher quality of life, including (but not limited to) more economic opportunities.

What country has the highest crime rate? ›

Venezuela

Is Brazil a poor country? ›

Is Brazil a rich country? Brazil is the eighth-largest economy in the world but is recovering from a recession in 2015 and 2016 that ranks as the worst in the country's history.
...
Brazil Economy Data.
Currency Name and CodeBrazilian Real (BRL)
Population Below Poverty Line21.4%
Inflation Rate8.4%
Labor Force110,400,000
25 more rows

What is the leading cause of death in Brazil? ›

In Brazil, ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of death in 2019. During that year, the condition caused approximately 78.6 deaths per 100,000 population.
...
Leading causes of death in Brazil in 2019 (per 100,000 population)
CharacteristicDeaths per 100,000 population
--
9 more rows
8 Mar 2022

How many murders happen a year in Brazil? ›

Brazil murder/homicide rate for 2017 was 30.69, a 3.38% increase from 2016.
...
Brazil Murder/Homicide Rate 1990-2022.
Brazil Murder/Homicide Rate - Historical Data
YearPer 100K PopulationAnnual % Change
201920.88-21.86%
201826.72-12.93%
201730.693.38%
28 more rows

How many murders are in Brazil? ›

Number of homicides in Brazil from 2006 to 2019
CharacteristicNumber of homicides
201945,503
201857,956
201765,602
201662,517
9 more rows
15 Sept 2022

Is Brazil a nice place to live? ›

Brazil is a beautiful country filled with a rich culture and scenic landscapes. What is this? There is always something to do and see, providing many significant benefits to individuals considering moving to the South American country.

Do they speak English in São Paulo? ›

English isn't spoken widely

As Portuguese speakers on a Spanish continent far from the English-speaking world, Brazilians have been a linguistic universe unto themselves. Not many Brazilians speak English, particularly outside Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo.

Is São Paulo rich or poor? ›

Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest and richest city, has a population of 12 million and generates more than 10 percent of the country's GDP.

What are the four major problems Sao Paulo faces? ›

In Brazil, 87% of the population live in cities. The biggest is São Paulo, which faces major challenges of traffic, pollution, crime, waste and rising property prices as a result of a growing middle class.

Is Sao Paulo or Rio better? ›

The popular cliché says São Paulo is Brazil's New York and Rio de Janeiro is its Los Angeles. São Paulo is the larger business epicenter that runs at a more frenetic pace, and the residents (known as Paulistas) are slightly colder and more hardworking than Rio's Cariocas.

Is Brazil welcoming to foreigners? ›

Brazil is a nation of immigrants, and a welcoming one.

What should I avoid in Brazil? ›

10 Things Not To Do in Brazil
  • Be Impatient. Sticklers for punctuality will have a tough time in Brazil. ...
  • Insist on Speaking Spanish. ...
  • Root for Argentina. ...
  • Flaunt Your Wealth. ...
  • Be Squeamish About Your Meat. ...
  • Be Afraid to Flash the Flesh on the Beach. ...
  • Criticize Brazil. ...
  • Make the “OK” Hand Gesture.
7 May 2014

How can I be careful in Brazil? ›

There are high levels of crime, particularly robberies, within Brazil's cities and the murder rate can be very high.
...
Crime
  1. avoid wearing expensive jewellery and watches.
  2. avoid carrying large sums of money - consider wearing a money belt.
  3. avoid using a mobile phone in the street.
  4. keep cameras out of sight when not in use.

What is the top 5 safest countries? ›

  • Switzerland. #1 in Safe. #1 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Denmark. #2 in Safe. #10 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • New Zealand. #3 in Safe. #11 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Norway. #4 in Safe. #13 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Sweden. #5 in Safe. #5 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Finland. #6 in Safe. ...
  • Canada. #7 in Safe. ...
  • Netherlands. #8 in Safe.

What are the 5 safest country in the world? ›

Top 20 Safest Countries in the World (2022 Global Peace Index — lower is better):
  • Iceland — 1.107.
  • New Zealand — 1.269.
  • Ireland — 1.288.
  • Denmark — 1.296.
  • Austria — 1.300.
  • Portugal — 1.301.
  • Slovenia — 1.316.
  • Czech Republic — 1.318.

Is Brazil or Mexico safer? ›

Even for tourists, the danger areas of Brazil are limited, known and stable. Mexico has violence that can erupt without warning all over the country.

Which country is safest for girls? ›

Scandinavian countries dominate this 2022 list of the Best Countries for Women. Scandinavian countries dominate this 2022 list of the Best Countries for Women.
...
  • Sweden. #1 in Women Rankings. ...
  • Norway. #2 in Women Rankings. ...
  • Finland. #3 in Women Rankings. ...
  • Denmark. #4 in Women Rankings. ...
  • Switzerland. ...
  • Canada. ...
  • New Zealand. ...
  • Netherlands.

What is the cheapest country to live in? ›

10 Cheapest Countries in the World to Live In
  • Vietnam.
  • South Africa.
  • Ecuador.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Malaysia.
  • Mexico.
  • Indonesia.
  • Bulgaria.

Which country is the easiest to live in? ›

  • Countries with the most comfortable conditions for foreigners.
  • Singapore and it's high standard of living.
  • New Zealand — friendly atmosphere.
  • Switzerland has best salaries.
  • Germany provides quality education.
  • Spain — opportunities for investors.
  • Countries with a high quality of life.

What is the safest place to live in Brazil? ›

The safest cities in Brazil 2021 are:
  • Florianópolis.
  • São Paulo.
  • Rio de Janeiro.
  • Belo Horizonte.
  • Natal.
  • Blumenau.
  • Joinville.
  • Porto Belo.
1 Jul 2022

Is English widely spoken in São Paulo? ›

How to communicate with the remaining 98%… ? Communication is the base of everything ! However, you will quickly come to notice that few Brazilians speak English (more precisely 2% of the population). So, if you want to chat with the remaining 98%, you're going to have to learn Portuguese.

Is São Paulo safer than Chicago? ›

Among what are considered Alpha world cities, Chicago has the highest murder rate -- higher even than the Third World metropolises of Mexico City and Sao Paolo.

How do people stay safe in São Paulo? ›

Don't hold your cell phone, money or documents in your hand – that's inviting a snatch-and-grab theft. Keep in mind that places with a lot of travelers are perfect for thieves and pickpockets, so downtown, Paulista Avenue, Oscar Freire St. and Vila Madalena are places where you should pay extra attention in Sao Paulo.

Do they talk English in Brazil? ›

Is English spoken in Brazil? English is still not a popular language in comparison to Spanish, German, Italian and Talian. According to the British Council, only 5% of the Brazilian population could communicate in English in 2019 (about 10,425 million speakers from a total of 208 million).

What is the safest Latin American city? ›

According to the Global Peace Index for 2021, Uruguay ranks top in South America for safety, so where better to start than its capital, Montevideo. Montevideo, Uruguay, one of South America's safest cities.

What is the nicest part of São Paulo? ›

Pinheiros — Pinheiros is the most-loved neighborhood of São Paulo. It's a great area for tasty food and a vibrant nightlife, and it's much cheaper than Vila Madalena.

Is São Paulo good for tourists? ›

Rio de Janeiro is probably the first place on your visit list when planning a trip to Brazil — and with good reason. But, São Paulo is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, as well as where many Cariocas (people from Rio) are moving to instead.

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