Following a very cool week in Curitiba, I jumped on an airplane on Saturday and headed off to Sao Paulo, the epicenter of business in Brazil. After hearing and reading so much about all of the growth and innovation currently happening in Brazil, I was very excited to get into the city and learn a little more about what’s going on.
According to unofficial estimates, the city of Sao Paulo itself has about 10 million people, while the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo itself has approximately 20 million. When you fly into the city, it is really surprising to see the lush green space in the countryside just outside the city; it is also really incredible to see how expansive the city is just before you land.
The city itself is a concrete jungle, with buildings spread out as far as the eye can see, but the city has a real pulse. Part of that pulse is the traffic, people in the streets and general congestion, the other part is that vibrancy that only a big Brazilian city would have.
View from the apartment building I am staying in
The main vein through the city is called Avenida Paulista and I am staying within a few blocks of that street. The main metro line runs right through Avenida Paulista, and there are a lot of shops, corporate offices and restaurants, some open 24/7.
One thing that you won’t find a lot of in Sao Paulo is green space. There is one major park located in the centre of the city, called Parque Iberapuera, and it is supposed to be pretty amazing. Other than that, if you look on a map of the centre of the city, you won’t see many parks.
What will be amazing to watch is how the city transforms in anticipation of the World Cup. They already have certain tourist attractions setup, like a 2014 World Cup interactive space, but I think that they have a lot of work to do in terms of infrastructure and transit. They are supposed to be building a high-speed train between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup for example, but they haven’t started it yet.
All in all, it should be a fun week here in Sao Paulo, they have beautiful museums, amazing restaurants, the world’s largest bookstore and a lot of really cool, innovative businesses. There certainly isn’t any shortage of things to do. 🙂
Sitting in one of the few green spaces in Sao Paulo. Very tropical!