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Catedral da Sé de São Paulo (São Paulo Cathedral)

#5 in Best Things To Do in São Paulo

Catedral da Sé picture in São Paulo
Praça da Sé picture in São Paulo
Catedral da Sé de São Paulo picture in São Paulo
Catedral da Sé picture in São Paulo
Praça da Sé picture in São Paulo
Catedral da Sé de São Paulo picture in São Paulo

Key Info

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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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#2 Pinacoteca do Estado This art museum is the oldest in São Paulo and houses an extensive collection of Brazilian art from the 19th century through today. Established in 1905, Pinacoteca do Estado (the ... Read more » Felipe Lange Borges / Flickr

Eli K Hayasaka / Getty Images

#4 Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo Most major cities have impressive markets filled with fresh produce, meats and fish, unique crafts and local treats. In São Paulo, that vibrant, aromatic market is the Mercado Municipal, known ... Read more » Adam Hester / Getty Images

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thiagogleite / Getty Images

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#8 Edificio Italia Towering 46 stories above central São Paulo, Edifício Itália is one of the tallest buildings in the city. The building itself is a sight to behold – it's narrow and ... Read more » Aziz Ary Neto / Getty Images

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# Museu de Arte Contemporanea da USP (Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Sao Paulo) Read more » Alfribeiro / Getty Images

# Jardim Botanico de Sao Paulo (Botanical Garden of Sao Paulo) Read more » Zenco Heshiki / Getty Images

# Liberdade Read more » wsfurlan / Getty Images

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Pinacoteca do Estado picture in São Paulo
Theatro Municipal de São Paolo picture in São Paulo
Mercadão picture in São Paulo
Catedral da Sé picture in São Paulo
Museu de Arte de São Paulo picture in São Paulo
Avenida Paulista picture in São Paulo
Edifício Italia picture in São Paulo
Museu do Futebol picture in São Paulo
Museu Afro Brasil picture in São Paulo
MAC picture in São Paulo
Botanic Garden picture in São Paulo
Liberdade picture in São Paulo
Parque do Ibirapuera picture in São Paulo
Pinacoteca do Estado picture in São Paulo
Theatro Municipal de São Paolo picture in São Paulo
Mercadão picture in São Paulo
Catedral da Sé picture in São Paulo
Museu de Arte de São Paulo picture in São Paulo
Avenida Paulista picture in São Paulo
Edifício Italia picture in São Paulo
Museu do Futebol picture in São Paulo
Museu Afro Brasil picture in São Paulo
MAC picture in São Paulo
Botanic Garden picture in São Paulo
Liberdade picture in São Paulo

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Stroll through the Mercado Municipal de São Paulo – also known simply as the Mercadão – to see (and sample) the variety of fruit, vegetables, cheeses, spices and meats. Adam Hester / Getty Images

This neo-Gothic cathedral is home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo. It's characterized by its tall spires and interesting architecture. Willbrasil21 / Getty Images

MASP can easily be spotted from Avenida Paulista, thanks to its bright red coloring and large windows. The art museum features more than 10,000 pieces of artwork. thiagogleite / Getty Images

Avenida Paulista is one of the city's main thoroughfares. The wide avenue is home to many businesses, restaurants and hotels. wsfurlan / Getty Images

The soaring Edifício Itália is one of the tallest buildings in the city, offering sweeping views of São Paulo from its observation terrace. Aziz Ary Neto / Getty Images

The Football Museum celebrates one of the country's most cherished sports: football (or soccer to Americans). The museum is located inside the Estadio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho. Wally Gobetz / Flickr

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Alfribeiro / Getty Images

According to past visitors, the city's botanical garden is a great, peaceful place to visit with kids. Zenco Heshiki / Getty Images

Liberdade is Sao Paulo's Japantown, and a great place to stroll according to past visitors. wsfurlan / Getty Images

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