5 Things I Want to Do in Sao Paulo but Don’t

Drink cachaça in the morning with the old men at the botequim.


Buy cake from the kid on the street corner.


Ride the bus.


Figure out a way into this abandoned mansion on Paulista Avenue.


Take my daughter to the top of this hotel to watch the helicopters land…

… then go inside and get a R$700 facial at their spa.

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27 Responses to 5 Things I Want to Do in Sao Paulo but Don’t

  1. Rachel says:

    Take the bus! And buy the cake! The rest is up to you. I think we all may have to intervene if you start drinking the Cachaça 😉

    Do you mind if I do the same thing on my blog but for Rio? I’ll totally link back to you. This is a great post!

  2. ojeitobrasileiro says:

    The bus isn’t too scary, just take it “off hours”
    Funny you mention that mansion, it’s captured my imagination as well.

    • When are the off hours??
      That’s funny you’ve noticed the house too! I wonder what the story is. My husband says there are a lot of properties that families owned but could no longer pay for or are fighting over that just go abandoned.

  3. Sarah says:

    Go for it! If you start drinking cachaça at 10am, you could finish off your list by the end of the day. We dare you!

    (But why don’t you take the bus? I would add bus-taking to my “things I do way too much in São Paulo, and wish I didn’t” list…. 😉

    Great post, and great blog!

  4. Ray Adkins says:

    I like your list, I would totally ride the bus, it’s not bad at all, and buy the cake too!
    That house is actually a PET SHELTER for abandoned dogs and cats, it is managed by a non-profit organization.
    You can take a peak at their huge shaded backyard, there are lots of dogs running around and playing, they look very happy!
    You can adopt a pet while you are at it… 😉

  5. Sarah says:

    You could have a few cachaças and grab the first bus you see, just to see where you end up…..repeat steps 1 and 2 each time you get off the bus. Add toddler to the mix. Now that would be a São Paulo adventure for your blog! 😉

  6. Took me sometimes to read some the comments, however I honestly enjoyed the post. It proved to be pretty useful to me and I am confident to all the commenters right here! It’s always good when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

  7. Zoe says:

    Loved this list! I know the feeling, and I could probably make lists like this for everywhere I go.

    Take the bus (just remember to hold on tight)! I credit riding the bus with really helping me discover Sao Paulo. I remember being so impressed with my mother in law (a big time bus rider) when I first arrived, because she could literally tell me how to get anywhere in the city by bus from her apartment in Perdizes. I wanted to be just like her 🙂 The great thing is the cobrador can tell you exactly where you need to get off, and the driver can tell you if it’s the right line before you even get on. Just avoid Rebouças (actually, you’re better off avoiding that street even in a car) or other big corridors around rush hour(s). During the day it’s a breeze.

    Actually, Ray, that mansion used to house an animal rescue, but they moved to a new location (in the center, if I remember correctly) a few months ago. I wonder if that means anything will be happening with it.

    • Yeah, the house seems pretty empty every time I walk by. There is a sign posted on the gate. I’ll have to take a picture of the sign so I can go home and translate it 🙂
      During most of my travels, I, like you, have taken the bus to explore a city. FYI – this is the absolute best way to see London – sit at the top of one of the double deckers. However, when I was studying in Barcelona, my friend and I got on the bus thinking that we were going to the beach. The bus took us instead to a kind of mountainous area. Ok, we thought, bus routes are usually circular, so we’ll just stay on until we get back home. Unfortunately, the bus made a stop and everybody got off. We just sat there, not sure what to do until the bus driver looked at us in the rear-view mirror, raised his hand, said in English “bye-bye” and made the corresponding gesture. We had no idea where we were… Luckily we found a metro station (which remained our preferred method of travel for the remainder of our time in Barcelona…) So, I think that experienced scarred me a bit. But I’ll get there!

      • Zoe says:

        Ha! Yeah, when I was living and working in France I did something very similar. Took the right bus, but in the WRONG direction. We made it to the very end of the line and the bus driver made us get off, sit at the bus stop for 15 minutes while he turned off the bus, read the newspaper and made a phone call, then he allowed us back on again (paying a new fare, btw) and started the bus up again. In a mere 2 hours we made it to the Carrefour we later discovered took all of 20 minutes to get to normally 🙂

        Riding the bus in Sao Paulo when you don’t have a specific time to be somewhere can be great, though–I’ve taken buses just for the heck of it to see where they go and in almost 4 years no driver has kicked me off like that yet 🙂

  8. I bought the cake!! Thank you for the encouragement and empowerment fellow bloggers and readers. Now, off to guzzle cachaça with the home-boys (um, home-homens)… just kidding.

  9. Peg says:

    Great post! Maybe I’ll do a post like this for my little town too? There are still lots of things I’m not quite ready to try but I’m getting much more adventurous lately. It’s helped a lot that I’m feeling more confident with the language I suppose.

    Glad you got the cake! Now go check out the dog mansion because I’m dying to see photos.

  10. Heitor says:

    Actually that house is open a few weekends a year with some stands selling arts and crafts. I don’t know if there’s some special date for it though. I’ve been to it twice, in one of those time you could enter the house and it doesn’t look as bad as the outside, but it’s not good at all.
    So… maybe some day you’ll catch it open.

  11. Pingback: 5 Things I Want to Do in Rio Das Ostras but Don’t « The Tao of Me

    • Agreed! Love everyone’s lists. It’s also great to see what’s interesting and inspiring in the various cities!! Now if and when I visit these cities, I’ll have my list already started of things to do.

  12. Peg says:

    Posted my list. Thanks for getting me thinking about this!

    Peg

  13. TupiniquimNosEUA says:

    Definitely ride the bus and instead of “cachaça” in the morning, go in and ask for a “pingado”. Then in the evening, go out with hubby to a “cachaçaria” and have fun with all the “cachaças” they have to offer. Oh, btw, take the cab back home.

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