Retreat from the pulse of São Paulo’s city streets in Ibirapuera Park to discover its shady groves and wide range of cultural activities. Dotted with vast lakes, important galleries and museums, and a network of cycling trails, the largest park in the city is a local favorite. Find a spot beneath the trees that hug the banks of the lakes to relax after a long day of sightseeing. This park has been dubbed the “Central Park of São Paulo” because of its integration with the heart of the buzzing city.
Visit the park on a weekend to join locals jogging, cycling or strolling around the trails that traverse the large area. Rent a bike from the stands inside to feel a breeze as you cycle, a pleasant break from the city’s heat. Follow the signs to reach the major attractions of the park. See the work of Brazil’s most revered artists, including Anita Malfatti and Aldo Bonadei, at the Museum of Modern Art. The nearby Afro-Brazil Museum reveals the history, culture and heritage of African Brazilians.
Dance to the rhythms of Afro-Brazilian bands on the grassy area outside the Ibirapuera Auditorium. The structure, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, is as much a sculpture as it is a building and presents a great photo opportunity. During summer, the rear wall of the stage opens onto the park and audiences can sit beneath the stars. For a more casual musical event, arrive at the park on a Sunday morning to enjoy a free open-air concert at Praça da Paz. Afterward, borrow a book in English or Portuguese from the Bosque de Leitura outdoor library and spend the afternoon relaxing in the shade. Books must be returned by the end of the day.
Ibirapuera Park is located west of downtown São Paulo and can be reached by bus, metro or on foot from many downtown locations. Parking is available inside the park if you have a Blue Zone card. There is also metered car parking just outside the park’s boundaries. The park is open daily. Admission is free.