Catedral da Sé de São Paulo (São Paulo Cathedral)

#5 in Best Things To Do in São Paulo
Catedral da Sé de São Paulo (São Paulo Cathedral)
Catedral da Sé de São Paulo (São Paulo Cathedral)
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Key Info

Praça da Sé - Sé


Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

This neo-Gothic cathedral may catch your eye with its enormous spires and you'll hear it referred to by many (similar) names, including Catedral da Sé, Catedral Metropolitana and Catedral da Sé de São Paulo. The church is smack dab in the center of the city, near the main square of Praça da Sé. Inside, the venue can hold up to 8,000 people, which means it's the largest church in the city, and visitors can enjoy the intricate details that represent Brazil – from coffee beans to flora to animals – carved into the structure. The church also boasts a beautiful marble interior and colorful stained-glass windows (be sure to snap some photos). As the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo's cathedral, it holds Mass daily; visitors can also tour the tombs within the church (for a fee).

Recent travelers said they enjoyed their visit to this cathedral, which garnered superlatives like "beautiful," "lovely" and "impressive" from patrons. Many said you should plan to visit on a Sunday morning for Mass, as it's an incredible celebration. Several visitors warn, however, that the area surrounding the cathedral is a little dicey, noting you'll likely encounter homeless people and aggressive panhandlers; keep your eyes on your belongings and walk with purpose toward the cathedral.

You can reach the cathedral on foot or via metro (Sé is the closest station). Catedral da Sé is open daily Monday to Friday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours (in English and Portuguese) are available in the afternoon on weekdays and most of the day on Sundays; admission costs 5 reals (less than $1.50). Access (without a tour) is free.

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