Republic Square (Praça da República)
Perched within the otherwise tree-shaded plaza is the former Caetano de Campos School, now the site of the São Paulo State Department of Education, a handsome structure of yellow brick that—at over 125 years old—contrasts greatly with the mid-20th century glass and steel towers fronting the park. Just across Avenida Ipiranga from the plaza is one of the city’s oldest Modernist residential buildings, the Edifício Esther, inaugurated in 1938, and overlooking the park from the southwest corner is the nearly 541-foot-tall (165-meter) Edifício Itália, São Paulo’s second tallest building. Because of its central location, you’ll likely pass through this square during your visit, plus guided sightseeing tours of the city typically include it on their itineraries.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Despite 24-hour police presence, the area can get sketchy after dark so bear that in mind.
- The Republica metro stop offers free WiFi.
- Buy a drink at the observation bar on the 41st floor of the nearby Edificio Italia to take in views of the city.
How to Get There
The Republic Square is located in the city’s old center and is within walking distance of many landmarks as well as easily accessible via public transportation. Get off at the Republica metro station, which services Lines 3 and 4 (red and yellow lines, respectively). Keep in mind that the city’s subway system closes at midnight during the week and at 1am on Saturdays.
When to Get There
On Sundays, the plaza hosts a large crafts fair and flea market, with over 600 vendors selling everything from colorful landscape paintings from Brazil’s northeast to wood carvings and other household knick-knacks. From June to September, you’ll probably encounter the biggest tourist crowds in São Paulo since this is its high season.
Shop at the Mercado Municipal de São Paulo If you’re interested in more market goodies, browse the city’s biggest one, Mercado Municipal (nicknamed the Mercadão), located by the Luz metro station. Here, you’ll find loads of fruits, vegetables, meats, spices, and other products. Be sure to try its signature mortadella (bologna) sandwich while you’re there. Plus, the market is known for its stained glass panels by Russian artist Conrado Sorgenicht Filho.
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