The biggest green space in central São Paulo, Parque do Ibirapuera makes a fine escape from the city's seemingly infinite stretches of concrete. In addition, the leafy 2-sq-km park serves as a thriving center of the city's cultural life, with a series of museums, performance spaces and the grounds for São Paulo's renowned Bienal.

Inaugurated in 1954 to commemorate the city's 400th anniversary, the park was designed by renowned landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. A series of landmark buildings in the park are the work of modernist master Oscar Niemeyer; most of them are linked by a long and distinctively serpentine covered walkway.