Sao Paulo Warnings and Dangers
Sao Paulo is home to over 12 million people, and is the financial heartbeat of Brazil. Tourists are welcome, but they must be prepared to navigate the dangers of city before they arrive.
As in any city with millions of residents, crime is inevitable. When looking for a hotel, consult a travel agent and ask if the area is safe. Most neighborhoods are fine, but a few are hotbeds of drugs, prostitution, and violence, and should be avoided. While in the city, lock your passport and valuable belongings in a hotel safe or your luggage. Always keep an eye on your purse and wallet, and never leave anything unattended in a public place. The local police are a constant presence and they’ll protect you while you’re downtown, especially on the main streets. Don’t venture off into unknown neighborhoods. While violence against tourists is rare, it’s still possible if you stray too far from the city center.
Sao Paulo is a lively city. Traffic is always busy, so bring your patience. If you’re brave enough to rent a car, drive with caution. The locals are aggressive and they won’t wait for you to become familiar with the city. Public transportation is fairly easy to navigate, or you can take a cab, if you can afford the fares.
Travelers to Sao Paulo are often drawn by the nearby caves. While beautiful and a fun excursion for those who want an adventure, they can also be treacherous. More than a few tourists have fallen to their deaths in the caves. The best way to explore them is with a guide. Even the most experienced, well-equipped spelunkers find the caves challenging, so don’t take any chances.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Sao Paulo.