Sao Paulo is huge: it’s not only the largest city in Brazil
, but the largest in the southern hemisphere and the world’s fifth largest metropolitan area. It’s also the most populous city in the Americas.
It’s not surprising, then, that the city has significant influence both in Brazil and internationally in cultural, economic and political terms. The city is home to the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, the Future Markets, and the Cereal Market Stock Exchanges, and famous for its cuisine, its multitude of skyscrapers and other striking architecture.
The city is in south eastern Brazil; founded in 1532, it was the first coastal settlement in Brazil and eventually became a city in 1711. After slavery was abolished in 1888, waves of immigrants moved to the city from Portugal
and other European countries, encouraged by the authorities who worried that Brazil’s black population would overtake that of other groups. The influence of these European groups remains strong today.
Although the city originally prospered through the coffee industry, and then through rapid industrialisation, its main industry is now the services sector. The city is home to a large number of local and international banking offices, law firms, multinational companies and consumer services.
San Paulo is crossed by 10 major motorways and it remains easiest to get into the city by car. However, there are two major train stations – Luz and Julio Prestes – and two main airports, the Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport for international flights and the Congonhas-SaoPaulo Airport for domestic and regional flights. The city also has an underground system with 5 lines and 59 stations, and boasts the second largest bus terminal in the world, Sao Paulo Tiete Bus Terminal. The majority of the serviced apartments Sao Paulo has to offer are near transport links of some kind.