Travel to Sao Paulo
Flying to Sao Paulo
British Airways and TAM Linhas Aéreas offer direct flights to São Paulo from the UK. Airlines operating direct flights from the USA include American Airlines, TAM Linhas Aéreas and United. You can find cheap flights to São Paulo in the low season from April to May and October to November.
From London: 12 hours
From New York: 10 hours
From Los Angeles: 12 hours
From Toronto: 10 hours
From Sydney: 18 hours (including stopover)
Travel by road
Driving into the city is a daunting prospect. Routes such as the freeway into São Paulo from Santos have high accident rates while car jacking can be an issue around the outskirts of the city. Traffic lights may be ignored, particularly at night if a driver fears for their safety.
The minimum driving age is 18 and foreigners require a valid national driving licence. Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road and speed limits are 120kph (74mph) on highways into São Paulo and vary from 30kph (19mph) to 90kph (55mph) within the city.
Emergency breakdown services
Touring Club do Brasil (tel: +55 11 3858 2133).
Major highways converging on the city include the SP-150 (Anchieta) and SP-160 (Imigrantes) from Santos on the coast. The BR-116 (Dutra) features tolls and is accessible from Rio but a more scenic coastal option is BR-101, then SP-55 from Rio, via Santos.
An alternative for drivers from Rio is the Senna highway (SP-070) - a faster toll road. The SP-330 (Via Anhangüera) connects the city from northern regions of the state and from Minas Gerais state.
With numerous bus companies serving destinations from all over Brazil, the three major coach stations resemble small cities. Terminal Rodoviário do Tietê (Avenida Cruzeiro do Sul, Santana) includes services to Rio and international departures. Terminal Rodoviário do Jabaquara (Rua Jequitibás, Jabaquara) has regular buses to Santos. Terminal Rodoviário da Barra Funda (Rua Mário de Andrade, Barra Funda) includes destinations in western Brazilian such as Foz do Iguaçu. For stations and operators, consult terminal operator Socicam (tel: +55 11 2223 7143; www.socicam.com.br).
Time to city
From Rio: 5 hours 30 minutes
From Salvador: 26 hours
From Brasilia: 4 hours
From Foz do Iguaçu: 12 hours
Travel by Rail
The city isn’t currently served by rail services beyond São Paulo state although plans exist by Agência Nacional de Transporte Terrestres (www.antt.gov.br) to create a high-speed rail link to Rio de Janeiro. This project has stalled time and time again however, and it's unlikely to be completed until the 2020s.
There is a substantial suburban rail network within the city serving destinations within São Paulo state. The city’s main rail stations include Barra Funda, Júlio Prestes, and da Luz.
The main suburban rail operator is Companhia Paulista de Transporte Metropolitano (CPTM) (tel: 0800 055 0121, in Brazil only; www.cptm.sp.gov.br).