Five ways to celebrate São Paulo's birthday

Join in the city's birthday celebration on Friday 25 January

Fabiano Rodrigues/Press image
from the Mostra Samsung de Fotografia

São Paulo celebrates its 459th year on 25 January with a public holiday and plenty of fun and frolics planned across the city. We round up five of the best events – a predictably eclectic mix of the city's favourites pastimes – art, music and food. All that's left is for São Paulo's unpredictable weather to tow the party line for the day.

Chefs na Rua

Viaduto do Chá, Centro, 2-10pm 25 Jan, R$5-$15
No birthday party would be complete without food, naturally. And who better to prepare it than some of the city's best chefs? The Chefs na Rua ('Chefs on the Street') project started last year, bringing great food out into the open air in a sporadic handful of events.

On Friday, 15 stands will be set up like a miniature market on downtown's Viaduto do Chá, each serving a different dish (R$5-$15). Try out the roasted pernil (pork) sandwich from Daniela França Pinto, chef-owner of Marcelino Pan y Vino. Or salted cod served up by the team from Portuguese restaurant Tasca da Esquina. For dessert, the sweet chocolatey sensation – brigadeiro – are a Brazilian birthday party essential.

4 Gerações Cantam São Paulo

Vale do Anhangabaú, 3pm 25 Jan. Free
A free, open-air concert, whose title translates as '4 Generations Sing São Paulo', will be hosted just a stone's throw away from Chefs na Rua, in Vale do Anhangabaú. Five different artists, representing four decades, will perform songs that each make up a part of the city's eclectic musical landscape.

Zélia Duncan, a Rio singer, will perform MPB, samba and jazz songs from the '80s by the paulistano singer-songwriter Itamar Assumpção. Arnaldo Antunes will follow with '90s hits from his former bands Titãs and Tribalistas, among others. The São Paulo rappers Criolo and Emicida will perform a tribute together to the last decade. Finishing at the start, singer Rita Lee will perform the grande finale of '70s classics.

4th Mostra Samsung de Fotografia

Vila Madalena, 25 Jan-24 Feb.
The Mostra SP Samsung de Fotografia celebrates São Paulo with not only one photography exhibition, but 40 mini-exhibitions, spread throughout bars, galleries, shops and spaces like Espaço Cult (Rua Inácio Pereira da Rocha 400, 3032 2800, throughout Vila Madalena.

The photographer Adriana Vichi presents her show 'SPZS – São Paulo Zona Sul' (at Loja Mumps, Rua Wisard 285) with photos taken during her walks in the poor southern neighbourhood of Jardim Ângela. Claudio Edinger exhibits 'São Paulo, minha estranha cidade linda' (at Madalena CEI, Rua Faisão 75), with photos that were inspired by Edinger's curiosity as to why Brazilians feel the need to imitate Europeans. Vila Madalena will be buzzing with related events throughout the day, so the best approach is to just wander and soak it all up. For a full list of venues and exhibitions, check out

Turismetrô birthday special

Turismetrô ticket office at Metrô Estação Sé. 9am and 2pm, 25 Jan (2958 3714/cidadedesaopaulo/turismetro). R$6.
The official São Paulo tourist authority, SPTuris, is running a special edition of Turismetrô, in conjunction with the city metrô, with a guided tour taking in some of the city's landmark spots. Starting downtown at Metrô Estação Sé, the route will take in Catedral da Sé, the Mosteiro de São Bento, Largo São Francisco and many others. Arrive half an hour before the starting time. Participants will also earn half price entry to the MASP.  Note that if it rains the tour will be cancelled.


Conexão Cultural São Paulo

Museu da Imagem e do Som, 1-10pm, 25 Jan. Exhibitions free; concert R$6.
Known for hosting great events like its afternoon Green Sunset electronica parties, the MIS will be pushing the birthday boat out with Conexão Cultural São Paulo. Combining food, art and music, party goers will be able to watch a live urban art construction, chow down at one of the gourmet food stalls, and listen to a gig by the up-and-coming paulistana singer-songwriter Blubell at 7pm. 

By Cecília Gianesi


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