São Paulo, known to Paulistas as Sampa, is a cauldron of creativity, simply bursting with energy. Palácio Tangará is the ideal place to stay for a sample of Sampa, the fast beat is fantastic but a cool retreat is essential, somewhere to revive in calm elegance. Surrounded by the lush greenery of Burle Marx Park you have one of Sampa’s highlights and a real flavour of Brazil’s tropical forests.

In town there are streets of bohemian boutiques and classy shops at Jardins. The museum MASP holds one of the finest collections of European art from Goya to El Greco, while Pinacoteca do Estado presents homegrown artists who revolutionised the Brazilian scene. Paulista’s are fanatical about food and world class restaurants abound. In Bixiga, the Italian quarter, music is everywhere.

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