This story “View in São Paulo” has been automatically translated. Click here to view the original Portuguese version.
Seeing the skyline in a city of over 12 million people do not seem like an easy task. But I guarantee amazing scenarios and much greener than you might have imagined when thinking of the view in São Paulo.
For those who arrive by plane, start by sitting in the small window, the capital is surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest and you can see the line dividing the dense green of the shades of gray. It is amazing to see the sea of buildings from above, especially when the destination is Congonhas airport. Those who come by land can hire a helicopter ride in the city with the largest fleet in the world or climb the mountains of the north and northwest of São Paulo.
Besides, there are several free and paid buildings with lookouts and rooftops, where you can see the metropolis from different angles. Some are São Paulo’s postcards, others have them as scenery or some curiosity. Each provides a different experience and is worth repeating because it will be unique each time. When I lived in São Paulo I went up in several and always discover new ones when I come back because the city is one of the most dynamic I know. Everything can change in months, so I leave the list of places visited and warning: the information may change, confirm in places before visiting. Here, I commit to updating when I hear the news or discover new lookouts.
The text continues after the recommended services at the destination.
19 lookouts to see the view in São Paulo
Must-see tours for those who live or visit the metropolis. Click on the links or scroll down to know them all. Just be sure to confirm the weather forecast in São Paulo before, some places don’t open with rain and clear skies will always yield better photos.
Free View: CCSP | Copan | Galeria do Rock | IMS| Matarazzo | Martinelli | 9 de Julho Lookout | Pico do Jaraguá | Pôr do Sol Square | Viaducts | SESC Paulista | Vão Livre MASP
Eating and Drinking with a View: Alto da Harmonia | Seen | Skye | Terraço Itália | Vista Ibirapuera
Paid view: Farol Santander | Pedra Grande |
The newest is the coverage at SESC Paulista, opened in 2018. There are 17 floors dedicated to the education and leisure of visitors. The building is in the middle of Paulista Avenue and has coffee and panoramic views of the heart of São Paulo. It’s free!
I went up on a late afternoon excited by a jazz band performing on the terrace. While some danced in that look, others took pictures or enjoyed the sunset at 62 meters. At such times it can be quite crowded, but there is plenty of space to look for in the nooks and floors below.
Where: Paulista Avenue, 119, Paraíso. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 9:30 pm and from 11 am to 6:30 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Instituto Moreira Salles
Opened 2 years ago, IMS is a 7-story cultural center at the end of Paulista Avenue, exactly where the tunnel begins. On every floor you can see the view through the large, barrier-free windows with no entry fee.
Where: Paulista Avenue, 2424, Bela Vista. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm. Thursday from 10am to 10pm.
9 de julho Lookout
It was a place where I was afraid of going through the robberies and since 2015 has been revitalized. Today it works as a multicultural space with cafes, restaurants, fairs and outdoor exhibitions. The entrance is free and has become a meeting point for cool people.
Where: Carlos Comenale Street, s / n, Bela Vista. Open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm.
Vão Livre do Masp
It is the area on public roads below the São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand Museum of Art (MASP). You can check out the view of the 9th of July avenue and lookout and enter the museum for an exhibition or otherwise. The building is a postcard of the metropolis and icon of the 1922 Modern Art Week.
Where: Paulista Avenue, 1578, Bela Vista. Accessible 24 hours a day. On Sundays, it hosts an antique fair.
It is the chic restaurant on the 23rd floor of the Tivoli Mofarrej Hotel. The bar features a 360-degree Garden District and the restaurant serves contemporary and classic dishes. I went with friends traveling to try the cuisine, and we all loved the dinner with a view.
Where: Alameda Santos, 1437, Jardim Paulista. Ticket for customers only.
Centro Cultural São Paulo
I went to see a design exhibition years ago and discovered the quiet terrace overlooking the Paraíso, Aclimação and Liberdade neighborhoods. It’s not loud like the others, but it’s nice to read or rest after a walk around the building or to get there. Admission is free.
Where: Vergueiro Street, 1000, Paraíso. Tuesday to Friday access from 10am to 8pm, and from 10am to 6pm on weekends.
Another hotel coverage with differential to be much more lively in a differentiated architecture. The lounge environment around the pool invites for a drink and chat with friends and you do not have to be a Unique Hotel guest or eat in the restaurant to enter. On one side is Ibirapuera Park and, on the other, the antennas and buildings of Paulista Avenue. It’s one of the places I always took friends when they came to visit me in São Paulo.
Where: Brigadeiro Luís Antônio Avenue, 4700, Jardim Paulista. Access is by lift outside the hotel. Open every night from 18h.
Vista Ibirapuera (lots of green)
It is the terrace of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC-USP) overlooking Ibirapuera Park (side of the Oca and Auditorium) and the Obelisk. The building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1954 and became the museum’s headquarters in 2012. You can visit the exhibits and then have a drink on the 8th floor or upside down. The museum, café and restaurant are open to the public free of charge.
Where: Pedro Álvares Cabral Avenue, 1301, Ibirapuera. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 19h to 23h, and from 12h to 16h on Saturdays and Sundays.
Pôr do Sol Square (green)
The square, located in a high west region, offers a privileged view in São Paulo at dusk. Sitting in the green, we were surrounded by the orange light and the silhouette of the buildings against the sun.
Where: Desembargador Ferreira França Street, s / n, Alto de Pinheiros. Accessible 24 hours a day.
Alto da Harmonia
A bar, restaurant, and nightclub in Vila Madalena, the only one with a rooftop telescope. The sofas, electronic music and movement of people invited taking friends to enjoy the nightly look and animation of the neighborhood. Admission is paid on Saturdays only.
Where: 271 Harmony Street, Vila Madalena. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 12h to 24h, and from 12h to 20h on Sundays.
The line dividing the Atlantic Rainforest from urban areas can also be seen with medium difficulty trails at the ends of the capital.
Pico do Jaraguá (lots of green)
It is the grandest mountain (view from almost every viewpoint on a clear day) and the highest point to see the view in São Paulo from its 1135 meters high. The access trail is beautiful and of medium difficulty to climb almost all the time. The name is Pai Zé Trail, and they have marmosets, insects and lots of green accompanying us for about 7 km round trip. It is part of the São Paulo Trail Passport.
Where: Jaraguá State Park at 539 Antonio Cardoso Nogueira Street, Vila Chica Luisa. You can reach by car, however, the best view requires breath to climb several steps. I suggest going as a group for reports of robbery. But I have not seen anything insecure.
Pedra Grande (lots of green)
Cantareira State Park has always been a haven for breathing fresh air and escaping urban stress when living in the capital. In it is the Mirante Pedra Grande where you can see the city within a valley surrounded by green from 1,021 meters high. The trail is easy as it is on the asphalt all the way, but it is a good climb of 10 km. It is part of the São Paulo Trail Passport and charges a symbolic admission.
Where: Pedra Grande Nucleus of Cantareira State Park with entrance through Horto Street, 1799, Tremembé. The visit should be scheduled at the headquarters of the conservation unit, at this time, the trail can only be made on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 8am to 15h.
The largest concentration of lookouts is in the center, where the view in São Paulo does not change much, but the concepts are varied.
The iconic Altino Arantes building, also known as Banespa, reopened as the Santander Lighthouse cultural center. The 26th floor terrace continues to be the second highest point in São Paulo (160 meters high) with gazebo and cafeteria. On the 21st you can still ride the skating rink looking out the window. Only the visit to the lobby is free.
Where: 24 João Brícola Street, Downtown. Visits from Tuesday to Saturday from 9h to 18h, and from 9h to 17h on Sundays.
The postcard from São Paulo since 1966 is another Oscar Niemeyer project and exemplary of modern Brazilian architecture. It houses 70 commercial rooms, 1060 residential apartments and a view open to the public from the 32nd floor. Admission is free, but the length of stay is limited to 30 minutes.
Where: Ipiranga Avenue, 200, Republic. You must register in Block F and wait for an employee to refer the group to the elevator. Open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm.
Although it is tallest in structure (165 meters high), Itália Building is the second highest point in downtown São Paulo because it is in a slightly lower area than the Altino Arantes building. On floors 41 and 42 are the Terrace Italy restaurant with panoramic views of the north, west and center. Admission is free for those who consume something in the restaurant and the outdoor area open to the public on rainless afternoons. I had a drink with snacks on a late afternoon and enjoyed having entered the restaurant.
Where: Ipiranga Avenue, 344, Republic. External area can be visited from 15h to 19h for payment.
This was already an article theme here showing the guided tour in video. The first skyscraper in Latin America is the most charming lookout and with the most interesting history in my opinion. It occupies practically a block in the center of São Paulo and does not charge any visitors.
Where: There are some entry ways, I entered the São João Avenue, 11 to 65. To make the guided tour (groups of up to 15 people), just arrive at the building’s concierge in advance at the times available: Monday to Friday at 11 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
Galeria do Rock
Another icon and symbol of diversity in São Paulo is a shopping mall connecting the 24 de Maio and São João streets. The ramps lead to the upper floors and offer a broader view and, concurrently, closer to the center. A recent and untested alternative is the Galeria do Rock Walking Tour with exclusive access to the terrace, the guide is friend André.
Where: São João Avenue, 439, Republic. Open Monday to Friday from 10h to 19h30 and from 10h to 18h on Saturdays.
That building that stands out on the green terrace in the middle of the stone jungle has been open for visitors since 2015. The 1939 building is currently the São Paulo City Hall and offers free guided tours. The visitor must arrive an hour in advance and sign up. The garden displays over 400 species of flora and a lake with fishes. Of course, lookouts to see São Paulo from above.
Where: Chá Viaduct, 15, Center. Guided tours from Monday to Saturday at 14h30 and 16h30. On Saturdays, the entrance is by Dr. Falcão Filho Street.
São Paulo’s Viaducts
Who likes to walk in urban environments, should enjoy passing by the historical viaducts like me. The most famous is the Chá Viaduct, in the Anhangabaú Valley, from above you can see the downtown icons and the city’s routine. Similarly, but in another look is the Santa Efigênia Viaduct. Leaving the center, there is Dr. Arnaldo Viaduct overlooking the traffic and surrounding neighborhoods.
Map of places with a view in São Paulo
If you are on public transportation, see the nearest metro stations on the map. Star points are free.
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