Bem-vinda! Welcome to Sao Paulo!

Elizabeth Street is hitting the streets of South America for the first time with the addition of Sao Paulo to our growing number of City Guides, curated by our ever-expanding network of moms. This sprawling megalopolis–one of the world’s biggest cities both in sheer size and population–has its share of infamous flaws (nightmare traffic and subsequent smog), but at the same time, it’s a place that simply has it all.

A massive population, comprised of a vast melting pot of ethnic groups, is the source behind the incredible and world-famous food scene. It’s also a metropolis where serious shopping, theater and art abound and there are non-stop opportunities to socialize–from grabbing some of the world’s best coffee to dancing the night (or day) away. “Sampa”–as it’s fondly known–has more than just something for everyone. Indeed there is so much to do and experience here, and so much ground to cover, that even the most energetic amongst us will need to be revved up and in rare form to hit this South American town. We can only imagine the pulsating buzz come this summer, when Sao Paulo and its soccer-obsessed citizens will host the World Cup.

We’re excited to highlight the city’s hot spots and secret finds through the eyes of our spirited paulista moms, like Isabella Fiorentino and Monica Mendes. Discover treasured places to grab a bite, like having a beirutes at Frevo restaurant. Do some serious damage to your credit cards at shopping mecca Daslu and along Rua Oscar Freire. Check out all the attractions of Ibirapuera Park, then rest your tired feet in style at the Fasano.

Our Elizabeth Street Moms love everything their city has to offer. “São Paulo is a culturally sophisticated, energetic, spectacularly social city with endless surprises and deep potential bubbling just below the scruffy surface,” says Alessandra Verdi of her hometown. “You won’t even remember how much you miss the beach!” Indeed, the fact of being away from the coast doesn’t seem to bother these Brazilians, who need not go very far to plant their enviably firm buns in the sand. “It’s a very hectic life, but we’re about an hour away from the beach as well as the countryside, which makes it easy to go away for the weekend,