Safety monitor - Sao Paulo
Despite improvements during the last decade, according to
crime statisticsSao Paulo is one of the most
crimeridden cities in the world. Sure, but it is also one of the largest metropolitan areas: its statistics should be compared to midsized countries instead of cities.
Fortunately (well, for the foreign visitor that is),
the majority of violent crime occurs in the outer rim of Sao Paulo. In contrary to Rio de Janeiro and other large cities in Brazil, poor areas (
favelas) and upscale areas are also less intertwined in Sao Paulo. By the way, a poor area does not have to be
If you use common sense (check our general safety advice), Avenida Paulista, Jardins, Rua Augusta and southern upscale suburbs like Vila Madalena, Pinheiros and Vila Olímpica are considered to be safe to walk, day and night.
This is not the case with Centro (roughly the triangle Praça da Sé, Praça da República and Praça Roosevelt) which should not be explored on foot between dusk and dawn. The same goes for Luz, a dodgy area just north of Centro, with some cheap accommodations. Be alert here at all times. It is also not a good idea to wander on foot around the central bus terminal/ metro station Tiête, especially at night (so get there and away by metro or taxi).
In Sao Paulo local buses and the metro are considered to be relatively safe, but it is recommended to use taxis at night.
More safety advice