Brazil’s economic and cultural powerhouse, São Paolo (a.k.a. ‘Sampa’) is not only the country’s biggest city but also the largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere.

First settled as a village in 1554 and named after St. Paul, today greater São Paulo is home to over 20 million people, 26 billionaires and a sky-scraper studded skyline. Bem vindo to Brazil’s boomtown. 

Stretching 2.8kms (1.7 miles) in length, Paulista Avenue is one of São Paulo’s busiest downtown arteries. The street is flanked by many of Sampa’s main financial institutions as well as countless malls and restaurants. 

Mercado Municpal is the city’s main foodie haunt. The Belle Époque style market, heaves with stalls and is a great go-to for local fare; from mortadella sandwiches and pastel pies to Brazil’s tempting assortment of exotic fruits. 

Even Brazil’s greatest city has its share of green spaces. Parque Ibirapuera, also known as São Paulo’s ‘Central Park’ is 545 acre haven for both Sampa’s fitness fanatics and those seeking some urban solitude. 

As the cultural centre of Brazil, São Paulo is home to a catalogue of museums and galleries as well as boasting a strong underground movement reflected by the city’s vibrant street art scene. 

São Paolo hosts the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 when Brazil take on Croatia on Thurday 12 June. Uruguay play England on Thursday 19 June, Netherlands vs Chile on Mondya 23 June and Korea Republic vs Belgium on Thursday 26 June.

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