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Central Sao Paulo (“Sé”)
The area around Praça de Sé is the old city center, with the Neo-Byzantine Catedral de Sé, the nearby Municipal Market and the Lebanese shops street of 25 de Março. During the day, this area is safe – though be aggressive homeless people and pickpockets, but there is a police presence. There is an area called “Crackland” near the Parque de la Luz that is to be completely avoided by tourists (see the map) because of a high number of drug addicts, prostitutes and criminals.
The WestThe West side of Sao Paulo is home to the State Government and is a center of business, nightlife, education (it is where the University of Sao Paulo is located). The area is one of the city’s richest, and its skyscrapers hosts c. 30% of the city’s workforce. The area is safer than other parts, although the wealthiness attracts criminals know for “express kidnappings” : prefer taking cabs than expensive cars. There have been reports of muggings around the University of Sao Paulo.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Sao Paulo is an averagely safe city – some parts should be avoided, and the risk is much higher at night. With a rating of 51% Brazil, is ranked 81th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : N/A
There is some pickpocket-related risk in Sao Paulo. Be careful around Praca de Sé, Lines 1 and 3 of the metro and bus/train terminals. A few common sense precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.
MUGGING RISK : N/A
Sao Paulo is a dangerous city regarding risks of mugging and kidnapping, central urban areas are better avoided late at night, and it is recommended to travel in private cars.
SCAMS RISK : N/A
As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you in Sao Paulo. Be extremely cautious around ATMs – particularly at night. Be also aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : N/A
There might be some risk while taking public transport in Sao Paulo. The metro and buses are generally safe, but many buses stops are dangerous at night.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : N/A
There can be some occasional natural hazards in Sao Paulo (see the page about Brazil for more advice).
TERRORISM RISK : N/A
Sao Paulo is a very safe city in respect to terrorist threats. There can be some protests in city center.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : N/A
Sao Paulo is generally safe for women travelers.