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Sao Paulo, Urban Brazil

Sao Paulo, Urban Brazil

Posted by PanamericanWorld on February 24, 2014

São Paulo is a tremendous city, booming as an economic hub but also as a centre for fashion, gastronomy and great hotels. It is also, along with Rio, one of the footballing powerhouses of Brazil, dominating the top Serie A league and the national cup championships. The city is also close to the wilderness of the Costa Verde’s Atlantic rainforest. Its stadium is the Arena De Sao Paulo.

Getting there

Direct return flights from the UK to São Paulo start around £995 on TAM, though you'll have to act fast to get these rates. Slightly cheaper fares (from £799) can be had by booking through a continental carrier such as Alitalia. Thomas Cook Sport (www.thomascooksport.com) currently offers return flights to Brazil on British Airways for £999.

Hotels

The Mercure São Paulo Jardins (www.mercure.com) on a peaceful stretch of Alameda Itu has an unbeatable location in the Jardins, with great restaurants, cafes and bars just a short stroll from the hotel. The rooms themselves are quite spacious, with an earthy design tone, parquet floors and large windows that allow ample light. Kind, helpful staff add to the overall value. A double for a two-night minimum stay over June 19, through FIFA's booking website (hotels.fifa.com), costs (£219).

The budget chain Ibis is a good name to keep in mind when searching for affordable lodging in Brazil's big metropolis. One of several branches in town, the Ibis Paulista (www.accorhotels.com), located on Ave Paulista 2355 has Spartan modern rooms, English-speaking staff (a rarity in budget lodgings in Brazil) and a great location, within walking distance of the upmarket Jardins district. Doubles for a two-night minimum stay over June 19 are R$324 (£83).

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