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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Sao Paulo

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in São Paulo each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

Entry requirements for Chile: São Paulo's carnival (local event)

A major event, São Paulo's carnival remains a truly popular feast, highlighted by the spirit of samba. Local samba schools put on a show for locals and tourists from all over the world, first on Avenida Olavo Fontoura, before venturing onto the other streets of the metropolis.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

May 22: Corpus Christi (national holiday)

This springtime commemoration of the Holy Eucharist was introduced by the Portuguese. This is an all-day affair in São Paulo, with processions of children dressed in white and streets covered in sawdust, leaves, dried flowers, coffee grounds and chalk.

September 7: Independence Day (national holiday)

Brazil's independence on this day in 1822 is celebrated in São Paulo with concerts and other stage shows, street parties, dances and fireworks.

November 2: All Souls' Day (Dia de Finados, national holiday)

On this day, families gather to pay tribute to the departed and decorate their tombs at the cemetery.

December 2: National Samba Day (celebrated nationwide)

This day celebrating Brazil's most popular dance form also marks the official start of the summer holidays. As in other cities across the country, it is celebrated in São Paulo with numerous samba performances, concerts and revellers dancing in the streets.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Sao Paulo

São Paulo has a humid subtropical climate, strongly influenced by the South American monsoon. Summers are relatively hot, but the city seldom experiences extreme heat waves. Winters are very mild and rarely see freezing temperatures. The city receives significant rainfall every year, especially during the summer months (December to February).

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 19/66 27/81 290/11.4 Not the best period to go
February 19/66 28/82 272/10.7 Not the best period to go
March 18/64 27/81 190/7.5 Not the best period to go
April 16/61 25/77 88/3.5 Not the best period to go
May 14/57 23/73 72/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 23/73 70/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
July 12/54 23/73 57/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
August 13/55 23/73 47/1.9 Good period to go Good period to go
September 14/57 24/75 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
October 15/59 25/77 140/5.5 Not the best period to go
November 16/61 26/79 120/4.7 Not the best period to go
December 19/66 26/79 190/7.5 Not the best period to go
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São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport

The airport is located about 22 kilometres (14 miles) north-east of the city centre.

  • Four terminals:
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2
    • Terminal 3 (Air France)
    • Terminal 4
  • Getting from the airport to São Paulo and back:
    • By car
      • Accessible via Rodovia Ayrton Senna and Via Presidente Dutra national roads. Travel time can take from 30 to 60 minutes.
      • Several short- and long-term parking facilities are available, located opposite each terminal (BRL 20 to BRL 22 for up to 1 hour, BRL 58 to BRL 70 for 1 day).
      • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals halls of Terminals 1 and 2.
    • By rail
      • The closest metro station to reach São Paulo's city centre is Tietê (on line 1). It connects the airport to this bus station in 30 minutes for about BRL 4.
    • By rapid transit train
      • Line 13 (Jade) connects the airport with the city centre every 30 minutes with a travel time of 35 minutes. One-way ticket: about BRL 8.
    • By shuttle bus
      • Airport Bus Service operates executive buses (with relaxing seats, televisions, power connections and other amenities) to various destinations within the city centre. The fare is BRL 42 and the trip takes about 50 minutes.
    • By shuttle
      • A shuttle is available at terminals 1 and 2, connecting the airport with the city centre every 30 minutes.
    • By taxi
      • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the arrivals halls at each terminal. The trip to the city centre takes about 30 to 60 minutes, and costs around BRL 100.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +55 (0)11 2445 2945
  • Website: www.gru.com.br

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GETTING AROUND Sao Paulo

Although São Paulo is a sprawling metropolis, its public transport system is efficient and can be used to reach most points in the city. However, traffic can be quite congested, especially at rush hours.

By rail

São Paulo's excellent Metrô system is by far the fastest way to get around the city. There are six main colour-coded lines: Line 1 (Blue), Line 2 (Green), Line 3 (Red), Line 4 (Yellow), Line 5 (Lilac) and Line 15 (Silver). Metrô trains run daily from 4:40 a.m. to midnight (with service extended until 1 a.m. on Saturday nights) except on Sunday. A ticket for a single trip costs BRL 4.30.

Useful tip: The Bilhete Único, a smart card system for public transport within São Paulo, allows you to purchase an integrated ticket, valid for up train, Metro and any of the city's municipal buses.

By bus

Hundreds of bus routes criss-cross the city, operated by both private and state-owned transportation companies. Dedicated bus lanes have been set up in the median area of the city's main thoroughfares, but service can be very slow at times, especially at rush hours. A single ticket costs BRL 4.30.

Important: Bus drivers only stop to pick up passengers if they wave as the bus approaches.

By commuter rail

São Paulo has about 10 commuter rail lines with stations in the city's main districts. A single ticket costs BRL 4.30.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful in São Paulo and especially useful when night falls, not only for their sheer practicality, but for safety reasons as well. A ride in the city centre costs about BRL 20.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in São Paulo, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

São Paulo Convention and Visitors Bureau

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.) as well as brochures and maps.

Further information available online for visitors to Brazil

The Brazilian national tourist board provides a wealth of information on São Paulo.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Brazil is the Real (BRL).

JPY1 = R$0.04

R$1 = JPY25

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home. São Paulo counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

Brazilian authorities require proof of vaccination against yellow fever for travellers arriving from the following countries: French Guiana, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The original of the vaccination certificate must be presented. Booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccines are mandatory. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are few risks of food safety in São Paulo. However, it is recommended to:

  • carefully wash produce before eating
  • avoid eating raw food

Water

Drinking tap water is not safe. It is recommended to drink bottled water.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Brazil

As a general rule, foreign nationals must apply for visas before travelling to Brazil. However, Brazil has entered into visa exemption agreements with a number of countries.

To find out if you will need a visa for travel to Brazil, visit the consular section of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: www.portalconsular.itamaraty.gov.br/vistos

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Useful contacts

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in São Paulo, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Brazilian Portuguese phrases that will make your stay in São Paulo a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bom dia (morning) / Boa tarde (afternoon)

Good evening: Boa noite

Goodbye: Adeus

Yes: Sim

No: Não

No, thank you: Não, obrigado(a)

Thank you very much: Muito obrigado(a)

Please: Por favor / desculpe

I don't understand: Eu não entendo

Could you repeat ?: Você pode repetir

What time is it ?: Que horas são ?

Sorry: Com licença
Excuse me:

Airport: Aeroporto

Train station: Estação

Taxi: Táxi

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Hospital

Bank: Banco

Telephone: Telefone

I'm (…): Eu sou (…)

I'm looking for (…): Eu procuro (…)

How much is (…)?: Quanto custa (…)?

Do you have (…)?: Você tem (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Onde é que há (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?: Onde posso comprar (…)?

I'd like (…): Queria (…)

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Good to know

+55
+ phone number (without 0)
-12 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
Start of daylight saving time: third Sunday in October

End of daylight saving time: third Sunday in February

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
127/220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In São Paulo as in the rest of Brazil, a 10% service charge is included in the bill at bars and restaurants. However, it is not considered out of place to leave the waiting staff a little extra tip if you are particularly pleased with the service. If no gratuity is added to the bill, tipping between 10 and 15% is customary.

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