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The city of São Paulo is the capital of the State of São Paulo (the only other Brazilian State where this happens is Rio de Janeiro). The naturals or the State are called paulistas, while those from the city are called paulistanos.

São Paulo is, by far, the economic center of Brazil. Agriculture, industry, commerce and services are the most diversified of Brazil; although a large proportion is exported to other States and other countries, the consumer market of the State is also the biggest in Brazil.

Differently from other States, where settlement started in the coast and moved inwards, in São Paulo the center of the economy was in a non-coastal city; even though the city of São Paulo is located just about 100 km off the coast, there is a massive mountains chain (the Serra do Mar) which makes the journey difficult.

Map of Sao Paulo

São Paulo is also the most multi-cultural State of Brazil. The bandeirantes used much of the indian culture to explore the State, back in the 17th century; black slaves worked in the farms, but were soon replaced by foreigner immigrants of many nationalities (no other State received as many immigrants); more recently, the internal migrations brought Brazilians from several other States to São Paulo.

One of the world’s biggest metropolises, São Paulo looms large over South America. While the city lacks the natural beauty of Rio, Sampa – as it’s affectionately called by locals – has much going for it. This is, after all, the cultural capital of Brazil, with a dizzying array of attractions including first-rate museums, nightly concerts, experimental theater and dance. The nightclubs, bars and restaurants are among the best on the continent. Paulistanos (inhabitants of the city) believe in working hard and playing harder, and despite constantly complaining about street violence, clogged highways and pollution, most wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.
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Though founded in 1554 by Jesuits, São Paulo remained a colonial backwater for much of its history. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that it began to emerge from the shadows, and the 20th century brought an explosion of immigrants from all over the world to work on the railroads, in the factories and in the fields.

By the 1950s São Paulo took the lead as the country’s industrial and commercial center. The result of the flood of immigrants is clear: the city of 17 million (metropolitan) is Brazil’s most culturally diverse destination. For the wanderer, a stroll through Sampa’s neighborhoods is a window into the shops and restaurants of the world.

Brazil Travel Guide – São Paulo travel Guide and tourism information such as accommodation, festivals, transport, maps, activities and attractions in São Paulo, Brazil

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