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The city of Sao Paulo is served by two commercial airports: the Congonhas Airport, which is situated in the city and operates inland flights only; and the International Airport of Guarulhos – Governador André Franco Montoro, which is approximately 25 km away from the city centre and operates both national and international flights.
Picking Up Your Car
Car rental companies operate desks in the arrivals halls of both passenger terminals. Check your booking to confirm which rental company is providing your car. Once you collect your car, the journey to Sao Paulo takes about 37 minutes. Head east onto Rodovia Hélio Smidt and follow the signs to the city.
Nova Car Hire has developed an enviable reputation for the exceptional level of service it offers its car rental customers. Having provided car hire for more than 1.5 million satisfied customers since 1997, we know how to make car rental stress-free and convenient. Whether you book your car rental online or over the phone with one of our knowledgeable customer service staff, we focus on making the experience as straightforward and pleasant as possible.
Brazil's currency is the Real (pronounced ray-all), plural "Reais" (pronounced ray-eyes), and is denoted as R$. Cash and travelers cheques, particularly in U.S. dollars, can be exchanged in most banks, bureaux de change, and hotels. All major credit cards are accepted, and some stores accept foreign currency.
Sao Paulo is located on a plateau 750m above the sea, which explains the fresh morning and evening breezes that cool the city, as well as the iconic "paulistanean mist." There is no definite distinction between the seasons in Sao Paulo, and some days seem to combine all four, but the summer (21st December to 20th March) is usually the rainy season. City temperatures average 22°C (71.6°F), but peaks above 30°C (86°F) are not unusual.
Paulistanos are famous for their energy and their carefree approach to life, so it’s hardly surprising that Sao Paulo hosts a large variety of festivals and events. Research any events that may coincide with your visit in advance because even locals have been known to miss celebrations in this sprawling metropolis.
Carnaval Sao Paulo
Although the Sao Paulo carnival is not as famous as its Rio de Janeiro counterparts, it offers an interesting alternative, given that tickets are cheaper and crowds are not as massive. Held over a long weekend in February, it marks the start of the Catholic Lenten season. Carnival highlights include parades called blocos, which proceed down the Avenue Paulista. Many Brazilians appear in costume and parties are held into the early hours. Dancers from local samba schools compete in the Sambadrome for the much sought-after samba prize.
Bienal Sao Paulo
Founded in 1951 and modeled on the Venice Biennial Art Festival, the São Paulo Art Biennial (Bienal São Paulo) has become one of the world’s most significant artistic events. Staged every two years between October and December, it features exhibitions of innovative contemporary art works in the Oscar Niemeyer building in the Parque Ibirapuera. A showcase for some of the world’s most jaw-dropping contemporary art, it is unequalled for sheer scale and variety.
St. Vito Festival
The most important Italian festival in Sao Paulo, the St. Vito Festival commemorates Saint Vito, the patron saint of Polignano a Mare, a city in the Puglia region to which many Italian immigrants in the Sao Paulo district of Brás trace their origins. Festa de São Vito is an occasion when Sao Paulo’s Italian community of some 6 million people get the opportunity to party and eat traditional food. Organized by the Church of St. Vito in May/June (May 26-July 1, 2012), it upholds the tradition of open-air celebrations started by the original residents of Brás.
Sao Paulo's Gay Pride
The biggest event of its kind in the world, the LGBT Pride Parade (Parada do Orgulho GLBT) in São Paulo, is held in June each year, attracting over a quarter of a million participants. The parade starts at MASP - São Paulo Museum of Art, next to the Trianon/MASP subway station (Green Line) on Paulista Avenue and represents the main event in LGBT Pride Month.