The city with English architecture has wooden buildings, narrow streets and even a classic clock tower slightly inspired by London's Big Ben

Just 50 km from the capital of São Paulo, the charming village of Paranapiacaba was built in 1865 to house engineers and workers of the British Railway company, during the construction of the first railway in the state of Sao Paulo, which connected the capital to the Port of Santos.

Built amidst the top of Serra do Mar, the village is framed by the beauties of the Nascentes de Paranapiacaba Municipal Natural Park, an area of 400 hectares that preserves an important area of Atlantic Forest with several ecological trails full of bromeliads and orchids, waterfalls, birds and wild animals.

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paranapiacaba It is basically divided into two parts: the upper part, with more recent constructions, and the lower part, where the typical houses of the city are found, most of them made of riga pine, a noble wood from Eastern Europe.

The upper part has as a reference the Bom Jesus de paranapiacaba, very close to the entrance of the municipality. There you can have a privileged view of the city. Further down, over the bridge that divides the two areas, is the Railway Station, which has been restored and is now the disembarkation point for the Tourist Express. Next is the historic site of paranapiacaba with several attractions for visitors.

On Sundays the tourist express to paranapiacaba takes visitors to the city aboard an old maria smoke. Passengers have the option of boarding at 8:30 am at Estação da Luz or at 9:00 am at Estação Prefeito Celso Daniel, in Santo André. The return takes place at 16:30 in paranapiacaba. The trip is made aboard a train made in Brazil, lasting 1h30 in total. During the 48 km route, visitors can enjoy the city's landscapes and the beauties of the Atlantic Forest, retracing the old route of paranapiacaba.

Things to do in Paranapiacaba

Photo: luhenriqueabreu / Pixabay

Railway Museum

Among the city's tourist attractions is the Museu Ferroviário, which exhibits the trains of the São Paulo Railway Company, including the 1862 Locomotiva 15, the second oldest in Brazil.

Castelinho Museum

The Castelinho Museum is located on top of a mountain and draws attention from afar. In the space it is possible to understand a little more about the past, knowing utensils, machines, furniture and old portraits.

Nascentes Municipal Natural Park

There are six trails open to the public that take visitors to viewpoints and waterfalls in the middle of the Atlantic Forest. The trails can only be carried out with the accompaniment of a guide accredited by the Santo André City Hall.

Salt Path

The Caminho do Sal is an old route from the colonial period that cut through the mountains of the region to transport salt from the capital to the port of Santos and vice versa. In total, the route is 53.5 km long, between São Bernardo, the village of Paranapiacaba and Mogi das Cruzes.

tourist express

Departing on Sundays, one of the coolest cheap tours to do in São Paulo is the train trip to Paranapiacaba with the CPTM tourist train. The 48 km route takes 1h30 and is carried out along the current Line 10-Turquoise, providing tourists with a journey back in time.

How to get to Paranapiacaba


Photo: Michael Guimarães / Flickr Wikimedia Commons

By car

If you come via Via Anchieta, go to KM 29 along the marginal lane, towards Riacho Grande. Enter Estrada Velha do Mar (SP-148, towards Ribeirão Pires) and access Rodovia Índio Tibiriçá (SP 31) until KM 45.5, in the access loop for Rodovia Antonio Adib Chamas (SP 122) until Paranapiacaba.

By bus

Take line 040 (Viação Ribeirão Pires) at the Santo André Bus Terminal (TERSA) to Paranapiacaba.

By train

Access CPTM line 10 Turquesa and get off at Rio Grande da Serra station, where bus 424 (Viação Ribeirão Pires) leaves for Paranapiacaba.

Best time to visit Paranapiacaba


Photo: Murilo Romeiro / Flickr Wikimedia Commons

In the month of July the city is crowded with the attractions that the Winter Festival offers. During two weekends, Paranapiacaba receives several singers who perform with free admission, in different parts of the village. In addition to the musical attractions, artistic interventions are spread through the alleys of the village, transforming Paranapiacaba into a kind of open-air museum. Favorite destination for many photographers from São Paulo, the village provides a bucolic air when the fog falls, almost always around 3 pm, even in summer. The scenario is the scene of several photo essays for different works, however, depending on the purpose, it is recommended to consult the Municipality of Santo André for authorization.

Another well-known festival is the Cambuci Festival, a typical fruit from the Atlantic Forest with a “sour” flavor. During the festival, visitors can taste several recipes that use the fruit in the preparation, such as free-range chicken, pork ribs, tapioca, pudding and the famous cachaça de Cambuci.

Where to stay in Paranapiacaba

Photo: André Henriques / Flickr Wikimedia Commons

Booking offers some options for accommodation in ParanapiacabaSee all available hotels on here.

Paranapiacaba has great Airbnb accommodation options. The platform that offers house, apartment and room rentals can be much cheaper than hotels. And if you haven't registered yet, you can use this discount code.

Read too:

» 5 trips to do in the state of São Paulo
» Guided tour on the terrace of the Martinelli Building in São Paulo
» See the main attractions to visit in downtown São Paulo
» Tips to enjoy the city of São Paulo even more
» Touristing in São Paulo: places to visit with free admission

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