The Ibirapuera Park is more than a green oasis in the middle of Sao Paulo. There are also museums, events, playgrounds, places to eat and it is an excellent spot to practice sports.
Keep on reading and get to know everything the place has to offer, with this itinerary from Lila Coutinho, that lives in Sao Paulo for 8 years and loves museums.
How to Get There – Ibirapuera Park
One of the best ways to get to the Ibirapuera Park is taking a bus that passes on 23 de Maio Avenue. Several lines do this route, so, it isn’t a problem. Get off on Ciccilo Matarazzo Walkway, that leads to the park.
Another option is taking the subway until the Brigadeiro Station and walk at about 2km until the entrance of the place.
It is also possible to go by car. There is a parking lot available, but finding a parking spot in bustling days can be a challenge.
Itinerary – things to do in Sao Paulo
Contemporary Art Museum: MAC-USP
With free entrance is one of the most important contemporary art museums in all Latin America, with masterpieces of Picasso, Di Cavalcanti, Tarsila do Amaral, and others. For the art and museums lovers, don’t miss the eight floors. You should also go to the MAC’s terrace and enjoy the view from above.
- Opening time: Open every day from 10a.m. to 6p.m.
- More information: www.mac.usp.br
After admiring the big MAC, it’s time to continue the walking. On the way, history makes itself present. Passing through Ciccilo Matarazzo Walkway, it is possible to see the bustling traffic of 23 de Maio Avenue. The name refers to the date when five students – Martins, Miragaia, Dráusio e Camargo – were killed during the Constitutionalist Revolution in 1932.
Passing through the walkway and getting into the Ibirapuera Park, you’ll soon see the famous Biennial Foundation of São Paulo.
Biennial Foundation of Sao Paulo
This is the Art Biennal and Sao Paulo Fashion Week venue. The foundation is also famous for it’s modern architecture, designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the centennial of the city of São Paulo in 1954. Besides that, there are always exhibitions with free entrance.
- Opening time: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and holidays, from 9a.m. to 7p.m.; Thursdays and Saturdays, from 9a.m. to 10p.m.
- More information: www.bienal.org.br
Lila recommends passing through the building and look at the artistic expression from the beginning of the modern Brazilian architecture and then, follow to MAM which is just in front.
Modern Art Museum of Sao Paulo – MAM
MAM is, at the same time, a museum and a cultural center of the Ibirapuera Park, with temporary exhibitions, restaurants, a big library, auditorium and courses related to the local proposal, like the history of art, photography, painting, drama and others.
The external area is another attraction, where there is currently the Maman, a giant bronze spider from the artist Louise Bourgeois; and The Twins’ panel, that is creative graffiti.
- Opening Time: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10a.m. to 6p.m.. The entrance is R$6,00 during the week and it is free on Saturdays.
- More information: www.mam.org.br
The MAM is located in one of the far ends of the Ibirapuera Park’s Sunroom, that deserves an attention:
Sunroom of the Ibirapuera Park
The sunroom is in the middle of the museums and is a connection between several cultural elements. It is also the place of integration between many collectives, skaters, and bikers.
Continuing the tour, on the side of the Modern Art Museum is the OCA, famous for its round architecture that brings smiles.
Lucas Nogueira Garcez Pavilion – OCA
Space designed by Oscar Niemeyer, OCA always receives different exhibitions, that are available in the monthly programming, in the website of the museum. The price depends on each exhibition. The OCA is the face of Ibirapuera and wakes, in every one, the inner child when seeing the kids, and grown ups, trying to climb the monument.
- Opening time: from Tuesday to Friday, from 9am.m. to 5p.m.. On Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays the visits can be done only in groups with the mediator following.
- More information: www.parquedoibirapuera.com/atracoes/oca
Just in front of OCA, don’t miss the Auditorium of the Ibirapuera Park!
Also a project – the latest – from Oscar Niemyer, but took 50 years to be finished. It is always good to take a look at the agenda of the place, since it’s usually venue of festivals of music, drama, shows and dances. The entrance varies according to the program, can be free or, many times, at a very friendly price.
- More information: www.auditorioibirapuera.com.br
On the other end of the sunroom, opposite MAM is the Afro Museum:
Afro Brasil Museum – MAB
The MAB portrays subjects of religion, culture, work, art and, specially the history of the African influences in the Brazilian Society. The several sectors surprises with the creativity, sensibility and beauty of the exhibitions. There are over 6 thousand pieces in its collection, produced in the century XVIII until nowadays.
- Opening time: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10a.m. to 5p.m., with the entrance at R$6,00 and free on Saturdays.
- More information: www.museuafrobrasil.org.br
Brazilian Cultures Pavilion
Designed by Niemeyer in the 50’s and has a collection with pieces from different cultures of the Brazilian people. Now, the visiting is suspended due to maintenance work and restoration of the building.
- More information: www.culturasbrasileiras.sp.gov.br
Behind the Afro Museum, there is the Planetary of Ibirapuera! <3
Planetary Ibirapuera Professor Aristóteles Orsini
Pet of the São Paulo dwellers, the planetary was reformed and reopen recently.
- Opening time: It’s open to the public at weekends and holidays, with 4 free sessions a day, that takes 40 minutes each. Every session has 320 tickets, but it’s important to get early to make sure the tour will be done. The sessions are at 10a.m., 12a.m., 3p.m. and 5p.m.
- More information: www.parqueibirapuera.org
On the side, drop by the Japanese Pavilion inside Ibirapuera Park.
It couldn’t be missing in São Paulo, city that has the biggest Japanese community out of Japan. Located beside the planetary, it’s building has the traditional Japanese architecture, inspired in the Katsura palace, in Kyoto.
Besides that, counts with a permanent exhibition of the Japanese memory and culture, with different artistic items. The pleasant garden full of typical plants and trees – identified by the scientific name and original country – it looks like a real trip. There is also a lake full of carps that can be fed by the visitors.
- Opening time: Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 10a.m. to 12a.m. and from 1p.m. to 5p.m.. The entrance fare is R$10,00.
- More information: www.parqueibirapuera.org/pavilhao-japones
Lake of Herons
To finish in a pleasant way, go until the the Lake of Herons, which is behind the Japanese Pavilion. Who knows even enjoy a picnic after a long day and full of activities in the Ibirapuera!
- Tip: split the tour into two or three days, if you have time, so you can enjoy all the attractions with calm and without hurry. The museums are big and full of art and history to appreciate, that can turn the visit to one museum only take a whole morning.
Besides that, don’t leave the Ibirapuera Park without enjoying that big green area to take a walk or just a take some time in the fresh air that the place offers in the middle of a big city. Enjoy it!
Already know Ibirapuera and have other tips to give us? So leave a comment!