Mercado Municipal de São Paulo picture1 of 3
Mercado Municipal de São Paulo2 of 3
Adam Hester/Getty Images

Key Info

R. Cantareira, 306 - Centro

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Shopping, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.4scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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 simply as Mercadão by locals (the "big market"). Originally the city's very first grocery market, Mercadão first opened in 1933 and hosts around 300 stalls selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to spices, cheeses and sweets to meat and seafood. More than 1,500 people work at this market and handle more than 450 tons of food on a daily basis. The building is also decorated with stunning stained-glass windows (72 windows that make up 32 panels) that depict different aspects of food production in the region.

Visitors and locals alike say you must stop by this market when you're in São Paulo. They suggest taking advantage of the free samples available (vendors generously hand them out) and shopping around for the best price. Travelers warn that the market gets exceptionally busy on the weekends, so come prepared for long lines; even better, try to visit on a weekday. A handful of restaurants and bars operate inside the Mercadão as well – visitors say you should try the famous massive (and tasty) mortadella sandwiches at Bar do Mané or Hocca Bar.

Located near the Tamanduateí River, the market is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The nearest metro stop is São Bento (it's about a half-mile walk from the metro station to the market). For additional information on vendors, history and more, visit the market's website.

See all Hotels in São Paulo »

More Best Things To Do in São Paulo

Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park)1 of 12
Pinacoteca do Estado2 of 12
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park)

If you get tired of the concrete jungle, make your way to the Parque do Ibirapuera, which offers a spacious, green respite from São Paulo's towering skyscrapers. The land was selected to be a public park in the 1950s to celebrate the city's 400th anniversary and spans around 400 acres; many people liken it to New York's Central Park and London's Hyde Park because of its size and the amount of visitors it sees. Walking and biking paths snake through the lawns, and you can rent a bicycle from a number of vendors nearby. Music fills the air on Sunday mornings, when visitors can enjoy free concerts in the park's Praça da Paz. Many cultural institutions can be found in the park as well, including the Museu Afro Brasil, Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Museu de Arte Moderna.

Travelers frequently describe Ibirapuera Park as an "oasis" and say it is a relaxing place to spend the day walking through the park, utilizing the running trails or going for a bike ride. Some warn it can get particularly crowded on weekends and when it's sunny.

Read more
Eli K Hayasaka/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in São Paulo »

Explore More of São Paulo

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019