How Safe Is Sao Paulo for Travel?

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Safety Index:

São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil has a city population of 11 million and even more than 20 million in the metropolitan region.

Many immigrants used to be attracted to this incredible city, so it is one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Sao Paulo is the capital of rich people, nightlife and culture.

Although tourists who visit Brazil often prefer the beaches of Salvador de Bahia or Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is surely a great tourist destination with its museums, restaurants or jovial nightlife.

Some of the must-see sights of Sao Paulo are the Neo-Byzantine Catedral de Sé, the Municipal Market and São Paulo Museum of Art.

Warnings & Dangers in Sao Paulo

Overall Risk


If you take into consideration all the possible dangers in Sao Paulo, it is an averagely safe city. As in any other city, some unsafe parts should be avoided, particularly at night.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Public transport in Sao Paulo can be considered unsafe. While the metro and buses are believed to be generally safe, buses and bus stops are risky, mainly at night.

Pickpockets Risk


Areas around Praca de Sé, the metro and bus, and train stations, as well as crowded zones, are the main locations of the pickpockets. Thieves also operate in markets and hotels. Caution is compulsory when traveling at night through rural areas since a few precautions will minimize the chance of being pickpocketed.

Natural Disasters Risk


Some natural disasters, like the flooding caused by the heavy rainfall, which affects the mud to rush down the mountains and destroy the towns by knocking down houses are possible in Sao Paulo.

Mugging Risk


Mugging and kidnapping are very common in Sao Paulo particularly in urban areas where tourists are forced to take their money from ATMs and give it to the kidnappers to be released. The best solution to avoid the risk of being kidnapped during the night is to travel in a private car.

Terrorism Risk


When the terrorism risk is concerned, Sao Paulo is believed to be a very safe city and it is marked as a low-threat location for terrorist activity.

Scams Risk


Tourist places are locations where lawbreakers will try to scam you. In Sao Paulo, tourists should be extremely cautious around ATMs and avoid being surrounded by groups of teenagers with strange behavior or people who want to help them.

Women Travelers Risk


Women are generally safe in Sao Paulo and can walk alone through the city, but still, nights are extremely dangerous, so it is not always advisable for a female to find herself alone on empty and dark streets.

So... How Safe Is Sao Paulo Really?

Brazil is the country that has some unsolved issues with crime and that continues to be the principal danger to its visitors.

Fortunately, the crime rates are decreasing especially in Sao Paulo being a great tourist destination.

The Westside of Sao Paulo is a center of business, nightlife, and education, and it is safer than other parts, being the city’s richest area.

The police presence around Praça de Sé in the old city center makes this area safe, unlike the Crackland area near the Parque de la Luz that needs to be completely avoided by tourists due to the appearance of the drug addicts, prostitutes, and criminals.

Some areas are very dangerous for travelers as well as the citizens of Sao Paulo since robbery, assault, burglary, and theft happens at all times of the day.

Violent crimes like murder, rape, and kidnappings are attributed to street gangs and organized groups and they are not very frequent.

Regardless of all these dangers, Sao Paulo should not be taken as a city to be avoided.

Quite contrary, it is a great city to explore, with its world-class restaurants and major cultural and historical attractions, as long as you remain vigilant while touring the city.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Tourists from the US who want to visit Brazil have to pay a 160$ fee to get the visa. However, some other countries do not need visas if it is less than 90 days visit. Travelers can check the official Brazil tourism website to get information about visas.
  • Currency - Brazil’s official currency is the Brazilian Real (R$). Even though Brazil is one of the most expensive countries in South America, it is considered a relatively cheap tourist destination.
  • Weather - Sao Paulo is the city that can be visited throughout the whole year because winter temperatures range between 8 and 21 °C. The record high temperature was 37.8 °C and the lowest −2 ° C. Because of its elevation, Sao Paulo has a temperate climate.
  • Airports - There are two main airports in Sao Paulo, São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport and Congonhas-São Paulo Airport for domestic flights. The number of air passenger movements makes Sao Paulo one of the top 15 busiest airports in the world. Other alternative airports are Viracopos-Campinas International Airport, São José dos Campos Airport and Jundiaí Airport which can be used to avoid the crowds.
  • Travel Insurance - When traveling anywhere in the world, accidents and illnesses cannot be predicted. So when traveling to Sao Paulo, it is suggested to have international travel health insurance as well as the insurance in case of theft and loss of personal items.
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Sao Paulo Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 24° C
Feb 25° C
Mar 24° C
Apr 22° C
May 19° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 18° C
Aug 19° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 22° C
Dec 24° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

7 Reviews on Sao Paulo

  1. I am from middle east. will they think i am a tourist when im there? cus my skin color is likely the same as brazilian people

    1. You will love Brasil

      Once you speak, they will know you are a tourist. I have been to Sao Paulo and trust me, the people are great. They are friendly and very helpful. They look upon it as an honour you are visiting their country and they are proud of their country. There was no racism or anti colour feeling there that I saw. You will love the place.

    2. UWu

      Many places such as rio de janeiro and sao paulo are majority white so no

  2. It really depends

    It’s alright, São Paulo is safe is certain areas but if you’re in a sketchy looking place, then trust your gut.

  3. J
    John Doe says:

    It's a great city

    I was born in São Paulo and still live here. I am 30 years old and have never been mugged, stolen or suffered any kind of violence. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen here, but it changes a lot from one place to another. If you are going to tourist places, just be aware of your surroundings and don’t be too naive. Streetwise is a differential.

  4. Golden rule

    The golden rule is to exercise caution when walking on streets or other public places. Even during the day. Do not stop to talk with strangers who come with some persuasive talk or some ordinary question. By night, avoid nearly any street walking, with the exception of crowded restaurant and bar streets such as those from Vila Madalena neighborhood. Said that, everything else tend to be pretty safe.

  5. K
    Kibet Ruto says:

    Be keen.

    The rule is be cautious. If you ever lose direction, don’t show it out, read ch out for map and get yours ass fixed. Teens are equally malicious in the city.

Rated 4.14 / 5 based on 7 user reviews.

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