Sao Paulo Layover Guide (CGH)

What are you looking for in CGH?
Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport is one of the major commercial airports that is serving Sao Paulo, Brazil. The airport is named after the neighborhood where it is located, called Vila Congonhas. This airport was first opened in 1936. It is located 8 km (5 mi) from downtown São Paulo, at Washington Luís Avenue, in the district of Campo Belo. Sao Paulo is famous for its cultural, economic, and political influence nationally and internationally. Also, it is home to monuments, parks, and museums.

Can you leave Sao Paulo Airport (CGH) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to leave Sao Paulo Airport during the layover. But certain travelers may require visa in advance. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Brazil Organized Tours

Santo Amaro Island & Wild Beaches Tour

When you are in Sao Paulo, take a ferry to the northern part of Santo Amaro Island. You’re now prepared to go on your hike! Start on the Hans Staden Trail’s initial section and go to White Beach, which is the trail’s first beach. After crossing the first one, you can stop to take a cool dip in the Atlantic Ocean at Black Beach, the second beach. Then proceed to the waterfall at Camburi. You can take a relaxing bath right here. » book this tour

Tour the Campos do Jordão ‘the Brazilian Switzerland’

Visit the Boa Vista Palace, which serves as the residence of the State of So Paulo’s Governor, throughout the tour. Continue your city tour after that by passing through the English village and making a stop at Ducha de Prata’s dammed waterfall, where there is currently a handicrafts fair and a wide range of shops. Visit the city’s tourism hub, Villa Capivari, later in the day. » book this tour

Santos, São Vicente & Guarujá Tour

The first stop on your tour is Santos Downtown, where you’ll ride a tram through the city’s historic core to explore the main squares, significant structures, churches, monuments, and historical landmarks. After stopping for pictures and some free time to explore the beach or take an optional cable car ride from Itararé Beach to the top of Itararé Hill, the tour proceeds to Itararé Beach in So Vicente. » book this tour

Brazil Things to do / Sightseeing

São Paulo Cathedral

With its massive spires, this neo-Gothic cathedral can capture your attention. You may also hear it referred to as the Catedral da Sé, Catedral Metropolitana, or Catedral da Sé de So Paulo. The church is next to Praça da Sé, the city’s largest square, right in the middle of the action. The building can accommodate up to 8,000 people inside, making it the largest church in the neighborhood.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 18 minutes via Private transport.

Avenida Paulista

Avenida Paulista is one of the city’s main thoroughfares and is lined with stores, hotels, enterprises, cultural institutions, and restaurants. This street is lined with enormous skyscrapers, many of which have intriguing architectural features. This avenue is an excellent place to stroll and enjoy the sights and sounds of So Paulo. It also serves as an easy starting point for exploring some of the city’s other top attractions, such as the Parque Trianon, Shopping Cidade So Paulo, and the Museu de Arte de So Paulo.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 21 minutes via Private transport.

Museu Afro Brasil

The Museu Afro Brasil houses more than 6,000 pieces of artwork that emphasise “the African perspective in the construction of history, identity, and Brazilian culture.” The museum has sculptures, prints, documents, paintings, and more on show. The third-floor collection highlights multiple centuries of African immigration to South America. Visitors to this museum have a variety of opinions. Some claim that only people who speak Portuguese will benefit from it.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 13 minutes via taxi.

Edifício Itália

One of the tallest structures in the city is Edifcio Itália, which rises 46 floors above central So Paulo. The building is impressive in and of itself; it is slender and adorned with office windows. But the Edificio Itália’s observation deck, which offers breathtaking panoramic city views, is the real draw for tourists. On Monday through Friday, between 4 and 5 p.m., you can use the rooftop terrace without charge. You might choose to go to the piano bar or rooftop restaurant Terraço Italia if you’d rather take your time admiring the vista.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 21 minutes via taxi.

Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo

The majority of big cities offer amazing markets stocked with local specialties, one-of-a-kind crafts, fresh fruit, meats, and fish. The Mercado Municipal, or “Mercado,” is the buzzing, fragrant market in So Paulo. Mercado, which opened its doors in 1933 and now houses some 300 kiosks selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to spices, cheeses, and chocolates to meat and seafood, was originally the city’s first grocery market. This market employs more than 1,500 workers who handle more than 450 tonnes of food daily.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: 21 minutes via Private transport.

Pinacoteca do Estado

The oldest museum of art in So Paulo, it has a sizable collection of contemporary and historical Brazilian artwork. The Pinacoteca do Estado, also known as the Art Gallery of the State of So Paulo, opened its doors in 190o. It is home to almost 10,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, and even a sculpture garden. The old structure is a magnificent piece of art in and of itself, constructed of bricks with an apricot hue.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: 21 minutes via Private transport.

Parque do Ibirapuera

Make your way to the Parque do Ibirapuera, which provides a vast, green escape from So Paulo’s towering towers, if you grow weary of the concrete jungle. Around 400 acres of the property were chosen as a public park in the 1950s to commemorate the city’s 400th birthday. Due to its size and volume of visitors, many compare it to London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park. The lawns are lined with walking and bike lanes, and several adjacent shops offer bicycle rentals.

Time required: 2 hours to Half day.

Airport to here: 11 minutes via taxi.

Museu da Futebal

The Football Museum, which opened in 2008, honours the development of soccer (football) in Brazil. The museum is made up of several rooms that promote various facets of the game. These include framed items like pennants, buttons, and posters; portraits of game “heroes”; and clips of jaw-dropping goals from major matches and World Cup tournaments, among other highlights.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 26 minutes via Private transport.

Things to Do in Sao Paulo Airport (CGH)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
Different lounges are available at the airport located in terminal 2 and 3. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are hotels located inside the terminal 2 and 3 of the airport. While there are also other hotels near to the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones at Sao Paulo Airport.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available for one hour at São Paulo Guarulhos Airport. Connect to the “GRU WIFI” Network. You may purchase additional time and/or faster service.

SIM Card: You can buy differnt SIM cards including VIVO and TIM by reaching the various shops at the Sao Paulo Airport at very cheap rates. » buy a global sim card for Brazil, Sao Paulo that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Guarucoop is the exclusive taxi operator from the airport. They offer fixed rates according to the area of the city you are traveling to.

Train: There is no train service available at Sao Paulo Airport.

Bus: Sao Paulo Airport is well connected to the bus system. Whether you need to reach the city center, a downtown hotel, or a surrounding area, there should be a bus for you. (more info).

Shuttle: The airport provides a free shuttle connecting all three terminals. Shuttles operate every 15 minutes.

Car rentals: Hertz, Localiza, Movida, Unidas provide car rental services. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: A parking area is available at Sao Paulo Airport (CGH).

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There are different companies that provide Luggage storage services located in T1, T2, and T3 at Sao Paulo Airport. » book a luggage storage or locker at Sao Paulo Airport (CGH) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Sao Paulo Airport (CGH) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks