With 11 million people homed at São Paulo (25% of the State) and just 74, 3 km of metropolitan lines (metro or subway network) sometimes is difficult to travel around the city.
Here are some tips for you who wants to travel safely and calm through the city:
– Be careful with your personal belongs. Pickpockets are common near or even at public transportation.
– Be sure you have a map like this one http://www.metro.sp.gov.br/pdf/mapa-da-rede-metro.pdf to show and point at when you are circulating through the city, because in Brazil just a small amount of the population speaks a foreign language. They are really nice and sympathetic even when they don’t know English or another language, so, don’t need for panic. If you know, you can try some basic Portuguese like “obrigado” for “thanks” and “por favor” for “please”. Even if you try a little of Spanish it will be well accepted and maybe also well understood!
– Be sure you know the name of the bus you are going to take. You can take the directions at google maps and then confirm in what street or avenue you have to get off the bus here: http://www.sptrans.com.br/itinerarios/
– The Center of the city is Praça da Se and there are also lots of bus terminals, the more important one is Parque Dom Pedro. There you can take buses to the majority of the city.
– There are two business important centers: Paulista Avenue and Faria Lima Avenue. You can access both through the Metro/subway.
– Really important: avoid peak hour at public transportation or even driving a car. Off-peak you can travel really faster. Peak is from Monday to Friday mornings from 7am until 9am and afternoons from 6pm until 7.30 pm.
– During the summer, if it rains a lot when you are in a peak hour at the street you may try to stay where you are, because the city turns into a real caos!
– If you have to travel at a peak hour by subway, try to buy your ticket in advance, if its possible, in order not to wait a lot at the queue.
I think that’s all! 😉