We were meant to leave Doha early in the morning and get to São Paulo around 6pm. Unfortunately, we had about 6 hours delay and didn’t really get told anything… So we spent a lot of time reading about the city and most websites mention crime… By the time we got there around 1am, we were already a bit spooked and the behaviour of our taxi driver (slowing down before red lights so he didn’t have to stop, watching anyone out in the road very carefully, insisting we pay him inside the taxi) didn’t really reassure us! Turns out we had booked a hotel in a slightly dodgy area (at least at night). When we left the hotel the next morning it was absolutely fine. We did a free walking tour that day and then met Luiz, who’s couchsurfed with us in London, for dinner. He suggested taking us to the beach for the weekend and his friend Alliny also found us a hostel in a safer neighbourhood :). We met another previous Couchsurfer (Erika) and a group of her friends the next night and so we got over our not ideal introduction to the city! 😉
I liked Vila Madalena most, which is a bit like São Paulo’s Shoreditch.