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Mercadão picture in São Paulo
Colorful Glass Windows at Mercadão picture in São Paulo
Mercado Municipal de São Paulo picture in São Paulo
Mercadão picture in São Paulo
Colorful Glass Windows at Mercadão picture in São Paulo
Mercado Municipal de São Paulo picture in São Paulo

Key Info

Details

  • Shopping, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.4
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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.

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#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 ... Read more » Eli K Hayasaka / Getty Images

#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

#5 Catedral da Se de Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo Cathedral) 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 ... Read more » Willbrasil21 / Getty Images

thiagogleite / Getty Images

#7 Avenida Paulista Filled with shops, hotels, businesses, cultural institutions and restaurants, Avenida Paulista is one of the city's main thoroughfares. Towering skyscrapers populate this street – many of which boast some interesting ... Read more » wsfurlan / Getty Images

#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

#9 Museu do Futebol (Football Museum) Opened in 2008, the Football Museum celebrates the history of football (soccer) throughout Brazil. The museum is composed of several rooms that showcase different aspects of the game, including framed ... Read more » Wally Gobetz / Flickr

#10 Museu Afro Brasil This museum gets mixed reviews from visitors. Some say only Portuguese-speakers will be able to get much out of it (few displays are in English). Others say the art speaks ... Read more » Imagens Portal SESCSP / Flickr

# 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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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
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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
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Liberdade picture in São Paulo

Ibirapuera Park is São Paulo's premier green space. It stretches across 500-some acres and is home to several museums, a lake and biking and jogging trails. Eli K Hayasaka / Getty Images

Boasting a large collection of Brazilian works, Pinacoteca do Estado is the oldest art museum in the city. Felipe Lange Borges / Flickr

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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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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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