Sao Paulo Layover Guide (GRU)

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

São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (GRU) is the main international airport serving São Paulo, Brazil. The airport was officially inaugurated in 1985 and is found in the city of Guarulhos in the state of São Paulo. It is located 26 km (16 mi) from the center of São Paulo. The airport has multiple commercial flights to destinations worldwide and serves as the Hub for many airlines. São Paulo is a global and cosmopolitan city known for its art and architecture, gastronomy, tourism, as well as being the financial and industrial center of Brazil.

Can you leave Sao Paulo Airport (GRU) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible for many travelers to visit São Paulo during a layover but in some certain cases, a visa will be required. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Brazil Organized Tours

São Paulo City Tour

This city tour of São Paulo takes you to see the main places of interest, monuments and historical landmarks of the city such as the Obelisk, Bandeiras Monument, House of Roses, Sé Cathedral and the Pátio do Colégio. The tour is led by a friendly local guide who will let you discover the diverse neighborhoods and learn about the city’s urban and economic development that drives a third of Brazil’s GDP. » book this tour

São Paulo Sightseeing Helicopter Tour

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to fly above São Paulo in a helicopter. During the 20-minute flight, admire the sights of the city with a bird’s eye view. Catch the city’s most iconic landmarks including Sé Cathedral, Paulista Avenue and Ibirapuera Park in this exciting helicopter tour. » book this tour

Santos, São Vicente & Guarujá Day Trip

Explore more of the state of São Paulo by visiting the cities of Santos, São Vicente and Guarujá. Brazil boasts of many beautiful cityscapes and beaches such as the ones in São Paulo state. These cities are about 70 kilometers or 43 miles from the state capital. The city of Santos offers an insightful history of Brazil, São Vicente has amazing beaches like Itararé beach and Guarujá has the Campina viewpoint with panoramic picturesque sights » book this tour

Brazil Things to do / Sightseeing

Catedral da Sé

Catedral da Sé was a taipa structure with walls made of clay and straw, held together by logs. The initial version of this church was established in 1591 where the spot was chosen by the indigenous leader Tibiriçá as where the first temple of the city would be built. The current Cathedral’s construction commenced in 1913 but was only inaugurated in 1954. Guess what! The front of the Catedral da Sé is considered the exact center of the city of São Paulo.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It takes about 25 minutes to get here by taxi and 40 minutes by bus.


Pinacoteca museum is located in the centre of town. It was the city’s first art museum. The outstanding interior of this magnificent structure is very eye-catching and is home to a collection of almost 9,000 pieces from national and international artists, and is a major attraction to visitors each year. Exposed brick walls and a large two-story atrium in the middle of the museum allows visitors to enjoy the artwork under natural lighting. The museum also has a beautiful garden with very interesting sculptures.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It usually takes 25 minutes to get here by taxi or 30 minutes by bus via Luiz.


With its modern architecture designed by Lina Bo Bardi, MASP Located in São Paulo’s most famous avenue, Avenida Paulista, São Paulo Art Museum Assis Chateaubriand is one of the most revered museums of the Southern Hemisphere and one of the major postcards of the city. It has a collection of close to 8,000 pieces by very famous artists, from Brazil’s Portinari to Picasso, Van Gogh, and others. MASP is considered to be the only museum in the world with the main body perched on four lateral pillars, and a free area of 74 meters in length.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 30 minutes to get here by taxi or 40 minutes by bus.

Sala São Paulo

Sala São Paulo is a 1,000 square metre space, with 1,509 seats and is considered the largest concert hall in the whole of Latin America. The magnificent hall has a movable ‘lining’ which allows for the adaptation of the acoustics depending on the music to be performed. This hall is also the only one on the continent which functions inside a working train station.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 25 minutes to reach here by taxi or or 50 minutes by bus.

Parque do Ibirapuera (Ibirapuera Park)

Designed by Oscar Niemeyer and laid out by Roberto Burle Marx, Ibirapuera Park is a major attraction in the city of São Paulo. The green space filled with monuments, museums, playgrounds, gardens, lakes, and performance spaces is a paradise of leisure for the locals, as well as a showcase of modern architecture and culture in various forms. Commemorating the pioneers from São Paulo who opened up Brazil’s interior, the Bandeiras Monument is a magnificent work by famous Brazilian sculptor Victor Brecheret, with imposing heroic figures. An obelisk commemorates those who lost their lives in 1932 in the struggle for a new constitution.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes about 35 minutes to get here by taxi or almost an hour by bus.

Mosteiro de São Bento

The monastery and its church were founded in the late 16th century with the current church dating only from 1910-22. You may think it is modern considering its rather austere exterior, as the interior is richly painted and includes 17th-century statues of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica carved by Agostinho de Jesus. It is quite obvious that much work went into the establishment. Other notable Benedictine artists contributed to the decoration of the monastery. One can also easily notice some impressive stained glass, an image of the Virgin in a robe set with pearls, and a crucifix dating to as far back as 1777. This monastery is an active brotherhood, and the monks accompany the morning mass with Gregorian chants.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It takes about 25 minutes to get here by taxi or 45 minutes by bus.

Avenida Paulista

Avenida Paulista is São Paulo’s center of activity and a favorite destination for both tourists and usually,locals as it’s an ideal spot for people-watching from one of the many sidewalk cafes. The vicinity is home to many shops, theaters, museums, and galleries, including the famous São Paulo Museum of Arts. You can also find several adjacent parks, like Parque Trianon, which provides a foliage-dense oasis right in the center of the city. Festivals and celebrations are held here throughout the year.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes about 30 minutes to get here by taxi or 1 hour by bus.

Pátio do Colégio

Known as Pátio do Colégio, just north of Praça da Sé and the cathedral, is the original nucleus of São Paulo. Manuel de Nóbrega and José de Anchieta founded a residence and center of study for Jesuits and the College of the Society of Jesus. On January 25, 1554, the first mass in the settlement was celebrated here. The attractive plaza is no home to the Capela de Anchieta and the Historical Museum, a museum of sacred art.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 25 minutes to get here by taxi or 40 minutes by the recommended bus transport.

Things to Do in Sao Paulo Airport (GRU)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
The airport has several lounges. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are several hotel options very close to the airport as well as two within the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no designated rest areas.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available for an hour, connect to the “GRU WIFI” Network.

SIM Card: Several shops within the airport sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Brazil, Sao Paulo that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Guarucoop operates a fleet of taxis from the airport with bilingual drivers and air-conditioned vehicles.

Train: There is a connection to the train network via the airport station with access at Terminal 1. (more info).

Bus: There are several bus options to the city and back to the airport. (more info).

Shuttle: There are Airport hotel shuttle services.

Car rentals: Multiple car rental options are available onsite or online. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: There is spacious parking available and it is possible to book a parking space in advance.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Luggage storage is available at the arrival hall of Terminals 2 and 3. » book a luggage storage or locker at Sao Paulo Airport (GRU) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

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