São Paulo: Brazil's Largest City

In 2010, IBM established one of its first research labs in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial center. The lab focuses on industrial technology, science and natural resources. Other U.S.-based global businesses also operate in São Paulo, including The Coca-Cola Company, Time Warner, Lockheed Martin, Nestle, Shell, GM, DeVry, Chevron and many more. Multi-national firms realize economic opportunities are on the rise for companies doing business in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

While the 2014 World Cup Games are a distant memory to Paulistanos (São Paulo inhabitants), Brazilians are preparing for another round of global tourism at the 2016 Olympic Games. Officals are banking on next year’s tourism revenues to surpass those of 2014. They are also hoping business and leisure travelers will come from all over the globe to enjoy the vast culture and cuisine that embodies the largest city in South America – São Paulo.

While not known for its beautiful white sand beaches or 50 shades of blue ocean shores, São Paulo is “ranked #3 for cultural tourism in Brazil.” The skyline reveals an assortment of structures in many phases of completion.

Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development rated Taiwan the 11th most competitive economy worldwide and 3rd in the Asia-Pacific region.

You see classical architecture, modern and mirrored skyscrapers in the heart of the city. Some of the iconic buildings include the Municipal Theater of São Paulo, one of the most revered classical music theaters of the city. Edifício Copan is also a remarkable building that was designed by the world-renowned, Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. He was internationally recognized as a pioneer in developing modern architecture with “audacious forms”.

São Paulo sprawls across some 8,000 square km (3,089 square miles), of which 1,530 square km (591 square miles) make up the city proper. With over 20 million inhabitants and an additional 5 million visitors per year, this megalopolis offers something for every taste, anytime you have a craving.

About São Paulo
Coffee production in the region gave a boost to the economy around the middle of the 19th century. The coffee industry also led to an influx of immigrant workers. A boom in the population occurred during the 1930s and the industrial age was born. São Paulo experienced significant growth and prosperity during this era.

Avenida Paulista (Paulista Avenue)
While Avenida Paulista is not a long street, it is the most famous avenue in São Paulo. It is known as “the heart of São Paulo.” The two-and-a-half kilometer (1.5 mile) stretch may seem ambitious for some to walk, but it is worth the trek. Some of the most recognized companies in Brazil have their offices on Avenida Paulista. You actually can get so distracted by the beautiful buildings and people watching that you won’t even realize the distance.

Paulista AvenueAvenida Paulista is a popular place for many festivals and events. Réveillon na Paulista, one of the largest New Year eve events in Brazil, is held at Avenida Paulista. Also, the largest gay parade in the world and the International Race of São Silvestre, a 15-kilometer race that takes place on Dec. 31 and attracts some of the top runners in the world.

Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera’s Park)
If you are looking for a great place to relax and take in the natural sites, sounds and food of São Paulo, stop by Parque do Ibirapuera. It is a great place to take an outdoor bike ride. The almost 1.5 million square meters (370 acres) park is an oasis of trees, trails, picnic areas, sports fields, lakes and beautiful green space.

The Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Afro-Culture Museum, the Biennial Pavilion and the Japanese Pavilion are also located here along with an auditorium, a planetarium and an obelisk. It is great if place to take a walk and escape the busy city.

Arts & Entertainment
Museu Afro Brasil, The Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Sala São Paulo, which is home to the São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra are great places to learn about Brazilian culture. There are over 6,000 works of art at the Museu Afro Brasil that showcase the important contributions African people made in the formation of Brazilian culture, heritage and identity. Also, it celebrates the art and accomplishments of Africans and Afro-Brazilians.

Brazil is know for its lively samba dance. You have to stop by Vila do Samba to witness it for yourself. Located in Zona Norte – the spiritual home of São Paulo samba, this is one of the most popular samba spots. Zais is also a great lounge for live music and samba.

Dining Out
No matter what you have a taste or thirst for you can find it in São Paulo. Not only will you find the best Brazilian food, but also vegetarian dishes, Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Thai, African and much more. You can enjoy fine dining, cafes and buffet style options at many of the city’s boroughs for a reasonable price.

If you want a variety of choices, the Jardins and Vila Madalena districts are ideal. With plenty of great options for any palette, these areas are always busy. It’s a good place to enjoy the evening and city life in the “city that never sleeps”.