Luz Seightseeing Tour in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

Luz is the oldest neighborhood in Sao Paulo and a melting pot for many nationalities. Situated northward from Praça República, it is home to stately Victorian Luz Station and beautiful Luz Park. You may also find here the Museum of Sacred Arts, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Julio Prestes Station, Museu da Lingua Portuguesa, and Sala São Paulo - one of the best equipped concert halls in the world. Take the following tour to discover the most popular landmarks of this wonderful neighborhood.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Luz Seightseeing Tour in Sao Paulo Map

Guide Name: Luz Seightseeing Tour in Sao Paulo
Guide Location: Brazil » Sao Paulo (See other walking tours in Sao Paulo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: ChristineT
1
Museum of Sacred Art

1) Museum of Sacred Art (must see)

The Museum of Sacred Art, located in the Nossa Senhora da Luz Convent, houses over 11,000 religious items that date back as far as the 16th century to present times. Many of the objects are items rescued from the former Basilica de Sao Paulo. The convent was built by Friar Galvao, the first Brazilian saint in 1744.

The exhibition hall contains an impressive and vast collection and is a must-see if you visit Sao Paulo. Wooden and clay religious icons, baroque antiques, furniture, silverware, paintings, altarpieces, sacred clothing, Russian icons, wooden and terracotta masks, jewelry, and rare religious books are some of the many items you will see when you visit. You will learn all you need to know about the history of Catholicism in Brazil as you tour the facility. An interesting side note is that the famous Friar Galvo pills, said to contain miracle properties, are made by the nuns of the nearby convent.

Two important collections the museum holds are the Numismatics Collection that contains over 9,000 pieces of coins from the colonial period and the Nativity Museum that houses 190 nativities from Brazil and the rest of the world.

Why You Should Visit:
If you're interested in Baroque Art, religious paintings, and unusual/extraordinary artifacts and clothing, this is definitely the museum.
There is also a small shop where you can buy very nice souvenirs, and a beautiful garden in the center of the museum with benches to enjoy the environment.

Tip:
Once at the top level, you should not miss the terrace views of the city center and the Cathedral bell tower.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-5pm
2
Jardim da Luz

2) Jardim da Luz

The Luz neighborhood of Sao Paulo abounds in outdoor green spaces. One of them is Jardim da Luz. Inaugurated as a botanical garden by the Portuguese Crown Royal Order in November 1798, this park was opened to the public in 1825, to become the first public garden in Sao Paulo. For the first few years, it was not very popular. Much of the park's land was eventually given away to various causes - railway construction, the College Prudente de Morais and the School of Arts and Crafts, to name but a few - leaving the garden an area of 113,400 square meters. However, it was not until João Teodoro, president of the province of Sao Paulo, took office in 1872-1875, that the park started to gain popularity. The key innovation he introduced was an astronomical observatory, which brought into the garden many visitors. Later on, in 1899 – 1910, mayor of Sao Paulo, Antonio Prado, further renovated the park, adding pavements, benches and gazebos. Today, Jardim da Luz offers a wide range of tourist attractions, including the underground aquarium, installed in 2000, the Lake Maltese Cross, surrounded by eight wonderful sculptures representing seasons of the year, as well as an open air museum, where one can find out much about the history of the oldest park in the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

3) Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (must see)

Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo is the oldest art gallery in the city and is largely popular with tourists. The building housing the gallery took three years (1897-1900) to construct. Originally, it was meant to accommodate the School of Arts and Crafts, but in 1911 was converted into a state museum. Over the years, the Pinacoteca do Estado has hosted the High School of the State, as well as a number of governmental offices and even military barracks during WWII. In 1951, the exhibition space was very small – only four rooms. Today, the gallery comprises more than 10 rooms, occupying the ground and first floors of the building. The ground floor also contains the Resistance Memorial. The gallery's collections focus on academic art, although several works by modernist artists can also be found. Browsing through the display of over 7000 works, one may come across historic paintings by Almeida Junior, Anita and Alfredo Volpi Malfatti, depicting Brazil in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as sculptures by Vitor Brecheret, and many other interesting pieces of art.

Why You Should Visit:
For a comprehensive and engaging overview of the country's best artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, and for getting a vision of São Paulo and other parts of Brazil in those times.
Not only can you see the way cities were before urban sprawl, but also the way of life then – certainly simpler and seemingly a lot more idyllic!

Tip:
There's a nice cafe with decent food selection, as well as a nice park adjacent, so you can spend 3-5 hrs to give yourself the time to explore it all, and have a lunch/snack/coffee and/or walk break.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed-Sun: 10am-5:30pm; free admission on Saturdays
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Estação da Luz

4) Estação da Luz

Estação da Luz is a railway station and a major landmark of Sao Paulo, extended over 7,500 square meters, in the Luz neighborhood. The original station was commissioned in 1867, and was built by Baron de Maua. Later, it was decided that the station be reconstructed, so, from 1895 until 1900, the refurbishment was underway. The new building was designed by English architect, Charles Henry Driver, in a neoclassical style, resembling both the Big Ben and Westminster Abbey in London. The materials and assembling pieces were imported from England, France and Scotland. Standing 150 feet long and 50 meters high, the new Estação da Luz was inaugurated on 1 March 1901. The station became a passageway for immigrants, as well as a shelter for military troops during war years. The strategic importance, attached to the station, lasted until the end of World War II. In 1946, the building was partially destroyed by fire. Restoration works continued until 1951, during which the station was added another floor and a central platform to be used by subway trains. The station also houses the Linguistic Museum of the Portuguese Language, which holds several exhibitions on the national language, as well as offers trainings, lectures, and consultations for linguists and teachers.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Estação Julio Prestes

5) Estação Julio Prestes

Estação (Station) Julio Prestes is a historic landmark of the city, located in the heart of the Luz neighborhood. Apart from being a transport hub, the magnificent railway station stands as a historic attraction, too. The original building was completed in 1875, prompted by booming coffee trade that forced the government of the Sao Paulo province to built a railroad, known as Sorocabana. Estação Julio Prestes was the first and the main station of this route. In 1925 it was renovated by architect, Cristiano Stockler das Neves, inspired by the Grand Central Station in New York. The project lasted 12 years and was completed in 1938. The new edifice stood 215 meters long and 26 meters high, occupying a total area of 25,000 square meters. The peculiarity of this building is that part of the platform has been made of the carcass of the German Zeppelin that flew over Sao Paulo at the time. After coffee trade crisis, the station lost some of its strategic importance. From 1949 until 1983 it was used by DOPS, the Department of Social and Political Order, a Brazilian security service, missioned to suppress opposition to the military junta regime. In 1999, after 18 months of work, the Estação Julio Prestes was partially converted to accommodate the Sala São Paulo, home of the State Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo. Despite such a transformation, the train station has remained operational until today.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Sala São Paulo

6) Sala São Paulo (must see)

Recognized as one of the world's greatest concert halls, alongside the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Musikverein, and the Boston Symphony Hall, the Sala São Paulo is also one of the most visited tourist sites in the city. Housed in a train station – Estação Julio Prestes – which is currently operational with eight train lines, the hall has 1,484 seats and 22 cabins. The Sala São Paulo was designed by Nelson Dupre, who focused more on the acoustics of the hall and largely preserved its original appearance. The inauguration of the hall, featuring the latest technical and acoustic innovations, including a mobile roof that can be raised and lowered to adjust the sound quality, depending on the type of music performed, took place on July 9, 1999.

Why You Should Visit:
Modern and beautiful - not what you'd expect from a traditional theater.
There are often inexpensive concerts (check website) that offer a great chance to see the hall and get immersed in the music.
Always worth arriving early to enjoy the building and the cafeteria at the fullest.

Tip:
Best seats for acoustics are located in the mezzanine. For a better view of soloists, try the odd-numbered mezzanine box seats (left side of the stage).
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Mercado Municipal

7) Mercado Municipal

Mercado Municipal, also known as "Mercadão", is Sao Paulo's first grocery market. With a monthly turnout of 600,000 visitors, this is one of the greatest attractions for tourists and food lovers in the city. Part of the Luz neighborhood of Sao Paulo, the market is located in the building that is distinguished for its impressive neoclassical style. It was built from 1928 to 1932 to a design by architect Francisco de Paula Ramos de Azevedo. Extended over an area of 22 thousand square meters, Mercado Municipal comprises two levels, selling daily over 300 tons of food: fruit and vegetables, wines, cheeses, chocolates, meats, fish, seafood, poultry, sausages, spices, and much more. On the ground level you can find mostly raw ingredients, whereas the upper floor features a beautiful restaurant area, surrounded by 55 large stained-glass windows depicting scenes of cattle raising, gardening and coffee and banana plantations.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Create Your Own Walk in Sao Paulo

Create Your Own Walk in Sao Paulo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sao Paulo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sao Paulo Walking Tour: Liberdade

Sao Paulo Walking Tour: Liberdade

Sao Paolo is home to the Liberdade district that was settled by Japanese immigrants. It entices tourists with its Asian-inspired influences among its restaurants, shops, decor, markets, etc. Be sure to visit the famous Japanese Museum and Liberdade Market, where you will experience a great deal of Japanese culture. This walking tour will lead you through the most popular attractions of Liberdade.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo

Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and the 7th largest megapolis area in the world. Its population is a cultural melting pot, made of immigrants from across the globe. It is home to several museums that showcase the various cultures of those who have settled here. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most popular museums of Sao Paulo:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Walking Tour: Avenida Paulista, Sao Paulo

Walking Tour: Avenida Paulista, Sao Paulo

Paulista Avenue is a famous spot in Sao Paulo, as it is the center of finances and culture. On both sides of the avenue you will find impressive skyscrapers, shops, and museums, including the famous Art Museum of Sao Paulo. This self-guided tour will lead you to Paulista Avenue's most popular attractions:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Ibirapuera Park Tour in Sao Paulo

Ibirapuera Park Tour in Sao Paulo

Located in the very heart of Sao Paulo, Ibirapuera Park is the city's most famous attraction. The park was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer together with landscapist Roberto Burle Marx. It opened to the public on the 21st August, 1954. With a total space of 2 million square meters, the park features a beautiful landscape, filled with lakes, fountains, monuments, theaters, playgrounds, fitness areas, courts, museums and other attractions of architectural and cultural interest. Being the most visited park in Sao Paulo, Ibirapuera gathers in high season over 130 thousand visitors. The park also hosts several shows and events during the year, including São Paulo Fashion Week. Congresses and trade shows are held here regularly. Each weekend, visitors can enjoy live music shows delivered by different bands who come to the park for outdoor concerts. Take the following tour to discover the most popular landmarks of this magnificent place.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Self-Guided Tour: Art Galleries of Sao Paulo

Self-Guided Tour: Art Galleries of Sao Paulo

Brazilians are known as lovers of art and Sao Paulo is the perfect place to find tons of famous works. Sao Paulo Galleries display works from different art movements, both local and international. You will find everything from Impressionism to Baroque to Realism in this enormous city.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Walking Tour: Churches and Cathedrals, Sao Paolo

Walking Tour: Churches and Cathedrals, Sao Paolo

Sao Paulo is an important religious center in Brazil. There are many beautiful churches and cathedrals built in a traditional, old colonial style. Most of them are Catholic-affiliated, but you will also find a few Orthodox. The following self-guided walking tour will lead you through these sacred places.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Sao Paulo for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Sao Paulo has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Sao Paulo, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.