Finding things to do while traveling can be daunting. You want to have fun on vacation without breaking the bank. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you! Our Free Friday series showcases free things to experience on your travels. Today, we explore beautiful Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo, Brazil!
Free Friday: São Paulo, Brazil
Visit Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo
One of the most interesting things about Brazil: it’s got a foot in two different worlds. On one hand, much of Brazil is the Amazon rain forest. On the other, its cities are rapidly growing metropolises. In Ibirapuera Park, you’ll experience both natural areas and modern innovation. In fact, you’ll get a taste of history as well. Ibirapuera Park is a microcosm of São Paulo’s history.
Brief History of São Paulo
São Paulo was founded in 1554 by Jesuit priests and named for Saint Paul of Tarsus. It remained a poor village for several hundred years – that is until gold was discovered nearby.
Then came the period of the Bandeirantes, explorers and settlers coming to the region in search of gold, diamonds, and gem stones. A statue by Italian-Brazilian sculptor Victor Brecheret pays homage to this period of the city’s history. You can find it at the entrance to the park. It was commissioned in 1921 and finished in 1954.
Brazil became a republic in 1889, but it wouldn’t be long before political unrest caused conflict. In 1932, the citizens of São Paulo rebelled against a corrupt government in what became known as the Constitutionalist Revolution. This is considered to be the last armed conflict in Brazil’s history.
Twenty-two years later, Ibirapuera Park was inaugurated in 1954 to mark the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding. Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed it. Today, São Paulo has become the largest Portuguese speaking city in the world. There’s no better way to experience the rich history of the city than Ibirapuera Park. Comparable to Central Park in New York City, it’s excellent for walking, jogging, or simply relaxing amongst some greenery.
Cultural Sites of São Paulo
As we mentioned earlier, Ibirapuera Park is a microcosm of São Paulo’s history. Be sure to see:
- Obelisk of São Paulo – Symbol of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932.
- The Marquise – a large covered pathway where you can walk, skate, or watch street performers.
- Cicillo Matarazzo Pavilion – hosts São Paulo fashion week
- The Monument to the Bandeiras – a larger than life stone sculpture that commemorates the explorers of old. Look for this at the entrance to the park.
- The Lucas Nogueira Garcez Pavilion – commonly known as the “Oca,” this structure is home to the City Museum.
- Museu Afro Brasil – this museum is dedicated to the history of Africans brought to the New World and the rich culture that came with them.
- The Museum of Modern Art – pretty self explanatory. This museum is dedicated to the vibrant art scene in Brazil.
If you’re planning a trip to São Paulo, give us a call! We can customize any tour AND we price match airfare! Call us to learn more!