São Paulo Travel Guide

Sao Paulo evening skyline
Ibirapuera lake
Sao Paulo nighttime skyline
Rio Pinheiros

São Paulo Travel Guide

Welcome to São Paulo!

We very much look forward to welcoming you to our 4th Education Conference, which will be held here at St. Paul's in São Paulo, Brazil. On these pages you can find out more information about St. Paul’s School, the city, and leisure options in São Paulo and beyond. The city of São Paulo is lively and culturally rich. Read more about the city and how to make the most of it in our Leisure Options section.


If you have any other questions not answered on these pages, please feel free to write to conference@stpauls.br.

About St. Paul’s School

St. Paul’s School was founded in 1926 and was the first school in South America to receive accreditation from the UK government as a British School Overseas. Fully coeducational, with about 1,000 pupils, aged from 3 to 18, it is a school with history and tradition, but which embraces innovation, contemporary values and technological developments. We offer a British curriculum, including the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and courses up to IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. In 2016 we celebrated 90 years of excellent education by opening the Queen Elizabeth II Academic Centre, which houses a learning resources suite, art centre, music recording facilities, and 10 modern science laboratories. You may wish to download a visitor information pack.


St. Paul's School is located in the Jardim Paulistano, a leafy suburb in a pleasant residential area of the city. Nearby there are excellent shops and restaurants, as well as sports clubs and shopping centres.


To arrange a visit to the school in the week prior to the conference, please write to conference@stpauls.br by no later than Monday 12th March 2018.


Fundação Anglo Brasileira de Educação e Cultura de São Paulo - St. Paul's School 
Rua Juaquiá 166 - Jd. Paulistano 
01440-903 - São Paulo - SP - Brasil 
Phone: (5511) 3087-3399 
Fax: (5511) 3087-3398 

Arriving in Brazil

At the Airport
Guarulhos airport can be busy and chaotic. It is a good idea to try to get off the plane and through to baggage reclaim promptly, as it can sometimes take up to an hour to get through passport control.

Visas/Immigration Slips
Most nationals (including UK, New Zealand, South Africa and most Latin American countries) do not need a visa to visit Brazil for less than 90 days. Three exceptions to this are nationals of the United States of America, Canada and Australia, who must apply for a visa, even for tourism. To check the exact procedure for obtaining the visa visit the page of the Brazilian Consulate in your country of residence.

All nationals should enter Brazil on "Business", which encompasses attendance at conferences, and not as "Tourists". Do NOT state "Work" as your reason for visiting because this refers to paid employment in Brazil and requires a work permit. On the aeroplane you will be asked to complete an entrance card, which you must present at immigration upon arrival at the airport. Please provide the address of the hotel where you are staying on this form. You must have this form ready for presentation with your passport and boarding pass.

Taxis from the airport
When you arrive at the airport, many taxi services will offer you to take you to your hotel and be keen to help you with your bags. The taxi stand Guarucoop is reliable and recommended. Their rates are standard, so no bargaining is required. The fare to hotels near the school should be no more than R$250 (around US$60). You can also take the Airport shuttle bus, a comfortable air-conditioned service that runs about once an hour, and which serves the bus station and a number of other central locations. A single fare costs roughly R$50 (approx. US$12) and can be bought online or from the kiosk just outside the main doors of terminal 2. You should take the bus for Avenida Paulista and ask for the Rua Haddock Lobo stop, which is just a 15 minute walk from our conference hotel, WZ Jardins. Remember to keep your personal belongings close by at all times, and to ensure that valuables are kept well out of sight.

Currency and Travel Insurance 

It is a good idea to bring some Brazilian Reais with you, as changing money in São Paulo can be difficult and expensive, although there are some exchange bureaus in the airport. It is important to avoid having money, watches, mobile devices and other valuable possessions on show in São Paulo, particularly in the airport and surrounding area. Don’t forget to inform your bank and credit card companies that you will be travelling to Brazil.  Credit cards are widely accepted here, and getting cash from an ATM is usually possible, as long as you have notified your bank beforehand. 
Private medical services are good in Brazil and it is advisable to take out travel insurance for the trip, especially if you intend extending your stay. Help with locating suitable health care will be available during the conference, and an infirmary with qualified nurses will be available at St. Paul’s School throughout the event.


Conference check-in

Conference check-in will be at St. Paul's School from 7.30 am on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March. 

Local restaurants

All lunches and coffee breaks, and the cocktail on Saturday 24th March, will be provided for those with full access to the main conference at St. Paul’s School. Transport will be provided between St. Paul’s School and our sponsoring hotel, WZ Jardins. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, but there are also plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from near the hotel.

Here are a few of our recommendations:

Restaurant Address Walk from WZ Jardins Hotel Type of cuisine Price guide
Vento Haragano Churrascaria Av. Rebouças, 1001 - Jardim Paulista, São Paulo - SP, 05401-100 1 minute (next door) Brazilian (churrasco) $$$$
Osteria del Pettirosso Alameda Lorena 2155, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01424-007, Brazil


1 minute Italian $$$
Chez Oscar Rua Oscar Freire 1128, Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01426-002, Brazil 3 minutes Italian/French $$$$
Mori Ohta Sushi R. da Consolação, 3610 - Jardins, São Paulo - SP, 01416-000 6 minutes Japanese $$ - $$$
Las Chicas Rua Oscar Freire, 1607 - Pinheiros, São Paulo - SP, 05409-010 6 minutes Spanish/Brazilian $$ - $$$
O’Malleys Irish Pub Alameda Itu, 1529 - Jardim Paulista, São Paulo - SP, 01421-001 9 minutes International bar food $$$
Leisure options

Planning on spending a few extra days exploring Brazil? Here you will find details of the networking activities being offered on the Friday morning, as well as ideas and advice for exploring the city and venturing further afield while you are here. Do write to conference@stpauls.br if you would like any further guidance – we would be happy to help.


Exploring São Paulo

There are a number of great travel guides available full of ideas for things to do while you are in São Paulo. The official tourism guide created by the city of São Paulo is a great place to start and includes the addresses of all the tourist information centres in the city. A number of other guides including walking tours and maps can also be found on the city council's website.

To read about São Paulo from an insider’s perspective, why not read what St. Paul’s pupils have to say about the city? Senior School pupils Julia Nemr, Laura Maksoud and Maria Carolina Almeida have recently had a travel guide on São Paulo published in the COBIS World Magazine, which includes their top pick of places to visit, things to eat, and some of the concrete jungle’s best-kept secrets. Click here to hear what St. Paul's pupils have to say about Sao Paulo.

For those of you who will be spending a few extra days in Brazil, there are a number of places not too far away that are worth a visit.


Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, home to the Christ Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and stunning beaches, is a 50 minute flight or a 6 hour bus ride away. Some of you may be going on to the TBS Rio conference starting on 10th April, so the Sunday afternoon could be well spent seeing the sunset on Copacabana beach, for example. Gol, Azul and Avianca are the main flight operators for this journey, and flights from São Paulo to Rio can be bought most cheaply at www.decolar.com . Travel guides for planning your time in Rio can be found at https://www.riodejaneiro.com/.



The the 350-sq-km Ilhabela (Beautiful Island) earns its name from its volcanic peaks, beautiful beaches, dense tropical jungle and some 360 waterfalls. Almost 85% of the island has been turned into a park and Unesco-protected biosphere, which shelters a remarkable profusion of plant and animal life, including toucans and capuchin monkeys. Recommended hotels in Ilhabela include http://www.twguaimbe.com and http://www.dpnyilhabela.com.br . The quickest and safest way to get to Ilhabela is via a transfer or hired van which you can book to pick you up from the airport and costs in the region of US$180 return. There are a number of companies that offer this service with online booking and credit card payment such as www.suntransfers.com , and https://foxtransfer.com.br.


Foz do Iguaçu

The city of Foz do Iguaçu annually receives more than 1.5 million tourists from around the world. Located in the south of Brazil, in a prime spot on the triple border between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, it is a tourist city that is home to the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, the largest waterfalls system in the world. A day is enough to explore the beautiful national park that houses them and tickets cost around US$17(US$13 if you live in a Mercosul country). Foz is a 1h40 minute flight away from São Paulo, and flights cost in the region of US$280, depending on when you book.



Paraty is a coastal historic town on the coast of Rio de Janeiro known for its cobbled streets, beautiful beaches, emerald sea and nearby waterfalls. A boat trip around the bay that stops off at hidden beaches and islands is a must. Buses leaving from the Tietê bus station take between 6 and 7 hours to arrive in Paraty.


Minas Gerais

São Paulo is close to the border with neighbouring state Minas Gerais, known for its beautiful scenery, gold and amethyst mines, rich history, welcoming people, excellent cuisine, and natural produce such as coffee and cheese. The best places to visit are historic Ouro Preto, and Mariana with its scenic steam railway although they are a little further away. You can get a 1h15 minute flight to Belo Horizonte from São Paulo and a private transfer to Ouro Preto, which takes around 2 hours and costs around US$160 return.

Practical tips


The voltage in most of São Paulo is 110V, and two-pin plugs are generally used. Sometimes you will find three-pin sockets but these can be used with two-pin plugs. Usually sockets allow both round and flat pin plugs to be used; however it is a good idea to travel with a universal adaptor to be sure.

Weather and Dress

São Paulo is famous for being the only city where you can see all four seasons in one day. That said, in March temperatures tend to be high but slightly cooler than December and January, generally ranging between 22°C and 28ºC. However, there is also a strong possibility of rainfall during this period, so it is a good idea to bring an umbrella and/or a light jacket for the slightly cooler evenings. There is no set dress code for the daily conference sessions, and dress is usually smart-casual, although some delegates do prefer jackets and ties.


Despite some bad press in relation to safety in São Paulo, the area surrounding the school is a quiet residential area, and quite safe. However, it is important to take care with personal belongings at all times. In restaurants, keep your bag on your lap and not on the floor or on the backs of chairs. Also avoid walking alone after dark.

Getting Around

The safest way to get around the city is by taxi. The hotel should be able to book taxis for you, or recommend a good taxi company, although a lot of people prefer to use an app which allows you to agree the price before you travel. The 99Taxis app (www.99taxis.com) is the preferred app by local taxi drivers and is far and away more convenient and safer than calling for a taxi or hailing one in the street. All taxis should be metred – if your driver doesn’t turn the metre on, be sure to mention it. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Brazil. You can also reach many places on the excellent Metro, the city's rapidly expanding underground. The metro is cheap, safe and fast and runs from 4.40 am to midnight on most lines. A single ride costs R$4.40. Refillable Bilhete Único cards are worthwhile for discounts when transferring between bus and metro. If you have any other questions not answered on this page, please feel free to write to conference@stpauls.br.