Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (Self Guided)

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:
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Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo Map

Guide Name: Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo
Guide Location: Brazil » Sao Paulo (See other walking tours in Sao Paulo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Author: vickyc
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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
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Museum of Portuguese Language

2) Museum of Portuguese Language

The Museum of Portuguese Language is a multimedia exhibition hall solely dedicated to the promotion of the Portuguese language. It is the only one of its kind in the world and is located in downtown Sao Paulo above the Luz Train Station. Over two million people have visited the museum since its opening.

Conceived in 2001 and opened in 2006, it is easy to understand why it is one of the most popular museums in Brazil. Never before has language been presented in such an engaging and captivating way. Hand-on activities, art and technology merge to create a unique experience for visitors. The center allows natives to truly understand their language and how Brazilian culture influenced it.

As you tour the facility, you can enjoy the writings of Portuguese writers, a video of the history of the Portuguese language projected onto walls, or an interactive game that explains the origin of a word. There is also a presentation regarding the history of the building. Temporary exhibitions are a regular occurrence. Familiarity with the Portuguese language is a must to truly enjoy the experience.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm; (until 10 pm in the last Tuesday of the month).
Sight description based on wikipedia
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Solar Marquesa de Santos

3) Solar Marquesa de Santos

This museum is found in the 18th century mansion the Marquesa de Santos purchased to house his mistress. The museum is used for temporary exhibits of photos, paintings and sculptures that relate to the history of Sao Paulo.

Operation Hours: Wednesday -Sunday: 9.00 -17.00.
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Museum of the Japanese Immigration

4) Museum of the Japanese Immigration

Museum of the Japanese Immigration was founded in 1978. It is located in the Building Bunkyo and its exhibitions are on the 7th, 8th, and 9th floors. There is a library filled with historic items, photos, and documents related to the immigration of the Japanese people and their way of life.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 13.30 - 17.30
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São Paulo Museum of Art

5) São Paulo Museum of Art (must see)

Established in 1947, the Museum of Art features fine art from Brazilian, English, French, African, Italian, Asian, and Latin American disciplines. The exhibition hall contains a collection of 8,000 items that features greats such as Renoir, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, Boticelli, and Monet. It is one of the most extensive and largest collections of Western art in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere. The current museum was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II during her 1968 visit to Brazil.

Located on the famous Avenida Paulista, the museum is locally known as the Museu de Arte. Designer Lina Bo Bardi is responsible for the two grand red lateral beams that grace the building. The beams support the building and enable the view of other buildings to remain unobstructed.

The building is much more than just a museum. A library, film gallery, photo gallery, two auditoriums, store, restaurant, and workshop rooms are available for public use. Concerts and other events are frequently held in the marketplace. Visitors should make sure to attend the antique market that happens every Sunday in the bazaar. Art courses are held for all who wish to attend.

Why You Should Visit:
The most famous museum in São Paulo, and for good reason: two floors of beautiful masterpieces from around the world!
Downstairs is an excellent museum shop and very good cafe; however, Avenida Paulista is full of good eating options as well.

Tip:
Visit it on Tuesdays, when the admission is free, and focus on the main exhibition on the top floor, where most true gems are.
If you want to know what you see, you have to walk around the back of the painting!

Operation Hours:
Wed-Sun: 10am-6pm; Tue: 10am-8pm, with free admission
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.
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
Luz Seightseeing Tour in Sao Paulo

Luz Seightseeing Tour in 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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 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
West Zone Nightlife 2

West Zone Nightlife 2

Sao Paulo is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, renowned for its famous landmarks and rich culture. It is often compared to New York because its people "never sleep". If you are a fan of hot nights, clubs and music, or simply want to have fun, Sao Paulo offers a great selection of places to go: restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and more. Take the following...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 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
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

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.