What to Do During Your 2-Day Layover in São Paulo

Icon Share


Advisor - Carolina Porto
Curated By

Carolina Porto

  • São Paulo

  • Arts & Culture

  • Active Travel

  • City Travel

  • Brazil

  • São Paulo

  • Architecture

  • Local culture

  • Sightseeing

city at night
Curator’s statement

São Paulo might as well not be your final destination but it’s the largest city in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. It's vibrant, diverse, known for its bustling atmosphere, rich cultural scene, and a place you just can't afford to skip when planning your next trip to Brazil.

The Fora Difference

Book with Carolina to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Unlock perks by contacting Carolina to book your trip.

Day 1: Explore São Paulo

The Museum of Art in São Paulo (MASP)  is one of the major works of modern architecture in Brazil.

Brazil is filled with delightful places to explore. From the obvious and popular destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Salvador to the most breathtaking ones like Lençóis Maranhenses, Fernando de Noronha Island, or the charming Inhotim in Belo Horizonte. And that's just to name a few in this stunning continental country.

However, even with an incredible itinerary in hands, when traveling to the most exotic destinations, chances are your international flight will take you to São Paulo first.

A big city with a rich history, renowned restaurants, the birthplace of great visual artists, musicians... but still, a cosmopolitan city much like many you may already know.

Here's a 2-day itinerary in São Paulo that will turn your obligatory layover into a surprising experience.

To make your visit as authentic as possible, let's start the day at a local bakery. Any bakery that offers you "pão na chapa" (toasted bread), black coffee, and a fresh orange juice. If possible, grab some "pão de queijo" (cheese bread) to go.

With all the energy from the bakery, you're ready to start your day at MASP - a museum with a highly important collection and a building that is a symbol of the city and a meeting point for many movements, parties, and parades. Avenida Paulista, where the museum is located, is a commercial center where all kinds of people pass by, confirming that Brazil truly is a cultural melting pot.

Take the opportunity to visit Parque Trianon, relax a bit, and enjoy those "pão de queijo" if you haven't already.

Just a few steps away, you'll find Casa das Rosas, a mansion from 1935 that gives you a glimpse of what the old Avenida Paulista was like during the aristocracy of coffee and agriculture.

If you still have the energy, end your day at Parque Ibirapuera, where many locals go to exercise at the end of their day. Try a refreshing coconut water while walking through the park or visit one of the many museums there, like MAM.

Day 2: Shopping & eating like a local

yellow car on street

For your second day, put on comfortable clothes to explore the Mercado Municipal. Here, you can see the most exotic fruits, learn about spices and traditional Brazilian sweets, and, of course, try a "bolinho de bacalhau" (codfish cake) accompanied by a nice cold beer.

Once your camera roll is well-filled, head to the Pinacoteca, where you'll find a beautiful collection of Brazilian contemporary art.

Finally, cross the street to visit Estação da Luz, a railway station from 1895 where you can conveniently take the yellow line of the metro and get off at Oscar Freire station.

On Oscar Freire, Bela Cintra, and Haddock Lobo streets, you can stroll at ease and discover various local shops and restaurants.

Some tips for this area:

  • If you're into design and architecture, include the multi-brand clothing store NK in your itinerary.

  • The famous Havaianas sandals have a concept store in the neighborhood, perfect for buying souvenirs for family and friends.

  • If you want to eat at a traditional place, try the sandwiches at Frevo.

  • For something more formal and sophisticated, the portuguese restaurant Bela Sintra is marvelous, and if you're looking for more excitement, any restaurant by Chef Renata Vanzetto will serve you well.

This is just a taste of everything São Paulo has to offer. Hope you have a blast!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Diamond Durant’s guide, Things to do in São Paulo.

Advisor - Carolina Porto

Travel Advisor

Carolina Porto

Get in touch with Carolina

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Carolina within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Brazil.