Five Historical Places to Visit Around São Paulo

We know Canival has not arrived yet, but since all of us are back to college - and probably back to our jobs and internships -, the year has already started. However, that doesn't mean we need to wait 'till the next holiday to plan an amazing trip. São Paulo is full of incredible places around its borders, and even though we know it's much better to spend at least a weekend on a new place, so we get to know it better, some cities and villages are close enough to spend a day, if that's the only option available for you.

Between hundreds of options, we selected five historical places that are less than two hours away. From beaches to shopping spots, you might already know some of them, but, for example, are you sure you have been to some historical houses in Santos?

Santos

You might think that, but Santos is not just about its beaches! Beyond a summer destination, the city has got a lot of historical places we can visit. Beatriz Coutinho, a journalism student at Cásper Líbero, recommends the Museu do Café. The museum is located in an amazing historical building, and it explains how everything used to work on back on the time coffee was the most important source of income for Santos. If you're into religious tourism or enjoy architecture, the church Nossa Senhora do Monte Serrat is also a great place to visit, according to Coutinho.

Museu do Café | Credits: Beatriz Coutinho

However if the beach is really tempting you, a different way to admire it is some meters high. Right on the border between Santos and São Vicente there's Morro do Itataré, and you can reach it by car or by a cable car. For Larissa Bomfim, also a journalism student, it's a great and cheap choice to take pretty pictures and enjoy a nice ride "inside" the Atlantic Forest.

Credits: Camille Carboni

Paranapiacaba

Not a city, but a village inside Santo André, just around São Paulo, Paranapiacaba is one of the best trips for a day away from São Paulo. Really small, pretty and with such an British atmosphere, it will make it easy to feel like you're out of the country. The village emerged on the beginning of the last century, when a British company started the construction of an highway on its corners and needed a place to host its workers. And that's how the colorful and wooden houses found their ways to the cold and foggy spot.

For Julia Martins, a junior student at Cásper Líbero, "Paranapiacaba is one of those cities that look like an European movie. It's really welcoming and makes you wanna go back as soon as possible".

Credits: Camille Carboni

Beyond the historical houses and spots to visit, every year the village hosts a winter festival. Larissa Bomfim told us the event is a great choice to get to know the city, as long as locals open their houses to sell cakes, pies and even handmade objects. To arrive in the village by public transportation, you need to take a bus at Rio Grande da Serra station - CPTM line 10, Turquesa.

Embu das Artes

Embu das Artes is a great historical destination around the city, and also an amazing shopping place! According to the student Maíra Macedo, the spot is "perfect for those who love rustic, unique and handmade objects". The place, full of historical constructions and stone streets, is a good call for those who are looking for shopping and some Brazilian history, as long as the city is one of the oldest of the country, and its architecture goes back to the 17th century.

Credits: Creative Commons/Andreia Reis

Full of art and an historical mood, it's easy to find yourself "lost" between all the stores - that sell from furniture to homemade clothes - and the independent artists crowded around the Largo 21 de Abril. Embu das Artes is less than an hour away from São Paulo, and definitely is worth the visit.

Holambra

If its name is formed by the combination between "Holanda" and "Brasil", maybe it's a tip to realize what we'll be able to find on the small and amazing city. 134 km away from São Paulo, Holambra is full of flowers, history and cultural places. For those who have always been curious about the Netherlands, here's an opportunity to get to know its culture a little better.

Credits: Creative Commons/Cesar I. Martins

There are unbelievable flower fields for you to visit, museums, typical food to try, traditional houses that will make you feel like you're in Amsterdam. But of course, we need to talk about the one of the most visited touristic spots in the city: the Moinho Povos Unidos, the one on the picture. It's the biggest one in Latin America and a tribute to six decades of dutch immigration in Holambra.

Santana de Parnaíba

Santana de Parnaíba, just one hour away from São Paulo, was "born" in 1561. The historical atmosphere of the city is marked on its houses and churches, that get visits from tourists mainly on Corpus Christi holiday, due to the place's religious traditions. But you don't have to wait until fall to travel to ancient centuries.Walking through its streets is kinda magical and a great history class for those who love to know a little bit more about how our country used to be.

Igreja Matriz de Santa Ana | Credits: Creative Commons/Gabriel Perazzo

A great place to visit is the Museu Anhanguera. Placed in an historical and landmarked house, it keeps a lot of information an memories from the time of the Bandeiras, as long as Santana de Parnaíba was a strategic place for it.

So, have you already decided your next destination?