Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup Brazil city guide: Sao Paulo

BBC Brazil's Camilla Costa offers an insider's view of the 12 cities hosting matches in this year's Fifa World Cup tournament.

Sao Paulo

Overview

Map of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo city centre
Sao Paulo is the biggest city in South America

Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest and most populous city, is by far its most diverse, with as many as 100 different ethnic groups.

Among them is the largest number of Japanese descendants outside of Japan.

Full of superlatives, the city is home to some the country's biggest companies and to its main cultural and gastronomic scene.

However, it also has some of the most appalling crime statistics in the country.

Venue

Arena De Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Arena De Sao Paulo. Capacity: 68,000.

Also known as Itaquerao, Arena De Sao Paulo was built as a home to the Corinthians, one of Brazil's most popular clubs.

Its cover was designed to double the noise level of supporters inside the stadium, so expect it to be loud and take your own earplugs.

During the stadium's construction, three workers died in accidents amid a series of delays to completion.

Culture and cuisine

A plate of coxinha
The literal translation of coxinha is 'little thigh' as it resembles a chicken drumstick

Sao Paulo's residents - or Paulistanos - often claim to make the best pizza in the world, as well as the best Japanese food.

But one thing they are famous for is coxinha, a deep-fried battered chicken snack.

Faithful to its history as a coffee producer, Sao Paulo is still the best place to buy first-class blends. The high-quality coffee products are sold at expensive, specialised shops only.

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