Parque Zilda Natel On the flipside

If you’re in the mood for some four-wheeled madness, look no further. This 2,300sqm skate park features a number of tracks, pipes and bowls to suit everyone from newbies to board-toting pros.

Though funded by City Hall and the Brazilian Confederation of Skating, the tracks themselves were designed and tested by semi-professional skaters while local graffiti artists were given the task of brightening up the decor. Complete with spaces to practices flips and ollies and a somewhat boot-camp-like warm up area, you could easily find yourself losing a whole day here.

Kart In Speed demons

It’s the best of both worlds: all the thrill and speed of car racing with all the safety of a children’s playground. Kart In covers an astounding 45,000 square feet and includes the 36,000 foot “Super” track, although the slightly less adventurous might prefer the 2,600 foot “Kart In” or even the 980 foot “Kart In Jr” (mainly for the under six crowd). To keep things fresh, the tracings are changed every six months.

Go-karters craving some Michael Schumacher-style glamour are invited to join groups of 15 to 20 people in a miniature Grand Prix, complete with a podium awards ceremony. Champagne not included—but obligatory equipment such as helmets, gloves and various protective padding is provided free of cost.

Hipodromo de Cidade Jardim Off to the races

If you fancy a far-sighted flutter or are simply partial to the viewing pleasures of a good horse race, the Hipodromo de Cidade Jardim is the place for you: it boasts some of the most spectacular contests and noblest beasts in all Brazil.

Built in 1941, the home of the Jockey Club de São Paulo features a grass and a sand track, as well as two auxiliary training lanes. Cheering from the stands is always exciting, but the art nouveau-style Restaurante Charlô offers the best view—a bird’s eye of the racetrack, framed by São Paulo’s concrete skyline—along with coffee, cocktails and a handsome, varied buffet.

Localiza Getting behind the wheel

The traffic can be awful in São Paulo, but if you steer clear of rush hour, it’s wonderful to explore this wild jungle of skyscrapers by car, especially at night. It’s also really useful to have a set of wheels available for a long weekend at the beach: there aren’t any nice stretches of sand in the city, but many beautiful ones are within driving distance. And, since São Paulo public transport leaves a lot to be desired, sometimes its necessary to have your own vehicle (be it an auto, a moped or a helicopter) just to get from point A to point B

Localiza rents cars for business or leisure on short-term leases. The organization has 312 agencies in 222 Brazilian cities—including the always-convenient São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport—so you won’t have trouble dropping the car off when you’re finished with it.

Feira do Bexiga A joyful jumble

Feira do Bexiga is one of São Paulo’s classic fleamarkets. Every Sunday, the Praça Dom Orione fills with stalls hawking antiques, LPs, vintage clothing, Italian food and all sorts of fascinating junk that’s just waiting for the right buyer.

As the cradle of Paulistano samba, the Bexiga neighborhood also comes with a soundtrack: a “chorinho” group (usually composed of a flute, guitar and cavaquinho trio that plays popular music) or two always accompanies the bargaining.

And the square is surrounded by small Italian “cantinas”, which offer a fine view of the action on market days and a bit of coffee-fuelled respite at any other time of the week.

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