Praça da Sé (Cathedral Square) acts as a sort of turntable for Paulistanos—picking them up at one corner and spitting them out at another. Because it sits not only right at the center of town but also between the city’s main arteries, the Praça is São Paulo’s favorite meeting place.
All this human traffic is offset by the neo-Gothic grandeur of São Paulo Cathedral, with its stone plaza and palm tree-lined alley. A newer part of the square stretches out next to it like the flapper daughter of a Victorian lady: it boasts an exotic, multi-layered layout complete with waterfalls, jungle flora and abstract sculptures in brash colors. A lot of outstanding graffiti also surrounds the square; at night, its concrete benches double as beds for the homeless.
The Praça da Sé also stands at the edge of Liberdade, the city’s fascinating Japanese neighborhood.