So Paulo



Area 1.483 Km2
Population 9.839.066 (1996)
Area Code 011
Time zone GMT -3 hours
Voltage 110 V


Average Temperatures

Months January April June September
Highest 27,1 24,7 19,8 22,8
Average 22,2 19,3 14,3 18,3
Lowest 19,3 16,0 10,0 14,6


Founded in 1554 by the Jesuit priests, São Paulo, by those days a small town, remained peaceful until the middle of the 19th century when it started to expand as a result of coffee-growing. From then on, opportunities began to spring up everywhere and the capital of the state of São Paulo has never stopped growing. Immigrants came from all over the world to solve the labour problem and nowadays it is estimated to be the third largest Italian city in the world, the largest Japanese city outside Japan, the third largest Lebanese city outside Lebanon, the largest Portuguese city outside Portugal and the largest Spanish city outside Spain. In São Paulo, the mixing of races and ethnic groups has increased with the passing of time and has had a profound effect on the city's cultural and economic life.


As a nucleus within the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo which consists of 39 municipalities, the capital is the main economic centre and the largest urban concentration in Brazil. Like all metropolises, it is facing problems that have arisen from the population density, such as pollution and heavy traffic, but it is also going through a process of economic deconcentration with the restructuring of urban services, for example, the tripling of the underground rail system by the year 2004, an indication that the quality of life offered could soon be improving.

The intense cultural life of São Paulo received a major boost during the 1920s when it hosted the Modern Art Week, the landmark for a movement to encourage renewal within Brazilian art. Nowadays, that dynamism is expressed in the capital's well-appointed museums, the range of options offered and a certain guarantee for artists that to achieve success in São Paulo signifies general acclaim. The city also offers considerable opportunity for leisure and one of its main assets is perhaps its range of restaurants, as varied as the origins of the paulistas themselves.