Local Information


Depending on your nationality, you might need a visa to enter Brazil. The ultimate authority on whether you need a visa or not is the Brazilian Consulate in your jurisdiction. The information we provide here is for your convenience only.

Citizens from Mercosur member countries are not required to present visa, only the passport or a valid identification document.

Citizens from the European Union and many other countries are also not required to issue a visa, they are only required to present a passport. To check if you need a visa to travel to Brazil, access the Consulate’s Website.


Despite most of our neighbour countries, our official language is Portuguese. It is derived from the language they speak in Portugal, but with different accent and expressions.

English and Spanish are usually understood, and sometimes spoken, in airports, travel agencies, hotels, and restaurants. Before your trip, you should memorize some common phrases like "obrigado", which means "thank you" and "com licença", which means "excuse me".


The official currency of Brazil is the "real", plural "reais" (BRL or R$).


If you are flying to São Paulo from abroad, you will probably arrive at the Guarulhos International Airport (GRU). If you fly first to other Brazilian cities, then you may arrive at Congonhas Airport when you fly to São Paulo. Congonhas is conveniently located, and catching a taxi or a ridesharing car (Uber, 99 or EasyTaxi are safe choices) to your hotel will be the best option.

Perhaps the most cost effective way to get from Guarulhos International Airport to the city and back is to use the Airport Bus Service. Buses leave fairly often and can take you to the city centre (Av. Paulista) or to subway station República, on the Yellow line of the subway. The ticket costs a little over R$ 50 and can be bought at the airport. It is much cheaper than taking a taxi and it is also very comfortable, but, of course, you are on your own once you reach the final destination of the bus. To reach your hotel, you will most probably have to catch a taxi or a ridesharing car.

For taxis, head to the Guarucoop stand at the airport. You will be charged a fixed fare, varying from R$ 150 to R$ 200 depending on your destination. Driving time is around 50 minutes (much more at rush hour). Here is a remark for your trip back to GRU: when travelling to the airport (as it is located in Guarulhos city), São Paulo city taxi firms charge an extra 50% fee. To avoid this, book with some ridesharing app.

Another option is ordering a ridesharing car at the airport (more expensive than Airport Bus Service, but easier). At GRU, there are specific locations for this service in each terminal. Please follow the signs. Once there, make sure to order a car using the app in your phone (the airport offers free WiFi). Do not accept offers from drivers that claim to be from ridesharing companies.

A fourth and cheaper option to reach São Paulo from GRU is to use standard public transport (this is for the very strong and adventurous). A brand new subway/train line was created from Luz station to the Guarulhos Airport station (line 13). Try playing with Google Maps; it will give you some options.


We recommend that you stay in the Pinheiros or Vila Madalena neighbourhoods.

We have prepared a map with key places, tourist attractions, bars, restaurants and other entertainment options.


The electricity voltage in Brazil is 110V or 220V depending on the location. In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro it is 110V. Many hotels offer wall sockets in both voltages, but it is better not to count on it. If any of the devices you are bringing are single-voltage and do handle 110V, it would be a good idea to bring a voltage converter.

The current standard for power plugs in Brazil is unfortunately used in very few places, though it is compatible with the Europlug. We will give you one universal plug adapter in the conference swag.


The conference will be hosted at the International Broadcast Center (Centro de Difusão Internacional) of the University of São Paulo (USP).

Maybe the easiest way to go to the venue is to call a ridesharing car or catch a taxi and then ask to go to Centro de Difusão Internacional, Cidade Universitária, USP. Taxi drivers will know how to get to the university campus, but they may not know where the broadcast center is. They may have to stop someone to ask (locals will definitely know). The street address is Avenida Professor Lúcio Martins Rodrigues, 310, Butantã, São Paulo.

Your hotel will likely be able to call a taxi for you (you may also do it with a ridesharing app). At the university, not far from the venue, there is a taxi stand. Not every taxi driver accepts credit cards, so have cash ready.

If you want to use public transport, then check out Google maps for schedules and/or the subway network map. You can also use Moovit. The closest subway station to the university is Estação Butantã, on the Yellow line of the subway. São Paulo’s subway is limited but reliable. Trains typically run from 04:40 to 00:00 (to 01:00 on Saturdays). Walking from Estação Butantã to the conference venue takes approximately 40 minutes (see the blue path from point A to point B in the map below), but this route closes at 6pm. You may also take a bus from Estação Butantã to the venue. The line designation reads "Cidade Universitária", number 8012-10 (there is a stop really close to the venue). Our map has some tips on transportation.


São Paulo's water is considered pure by international standards. Tap water is typically safe to drink, and you can brush your teeth with the water. But because of how it's treated, it may not taste very good. This is the main reason most Brazilians drink filtered or bottled water.

Map: key places

The conference venue is indicated with a letter B on the map.

Visit São Paulo!

São Paulo, with its more than 12 million inhabitants, is the most populous city in Brazil. It is the capital of the state of São Paulo, most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil. So, of course it is huge and intimidating and, at first glance, some would say also "very grey". But Sampa (the city's nickname) has more than 100 museums, 200 theaters, 300 cinemas, 150 libraries, 11 soccer stadiums, 50 shopping malls, 30k bars and clubs, 20k restaurants, besides several parks and green areas! There is definitely a lot to do in here, so the next list is by far not exhaustive.

We have prepared a map with key places, tourist attractions, bars, restaurants and other entertainment options.

Municipal Market

Something most tourists do is go to the São Paulo Municipal Market (Mercado Municipal de São Paulo, popularly known as Mercadão) for lunch at least once (just don't try to do this during the week because it's very far from the event's venue). It is the perfect place to try traditional Brazilian food and to see the diversity of São Paulo’s heritage. The market was inaugurated in downtown São Paulo in 1933 and is a wholesale and retail for fruit, vegetables, cereals, meats, spices and other food products. The variety of shops illustrates the diversity of São Paulo’s population and immigration. There is a large number of restaurants at the market, which offer classical Brazilian meals and snacks.

Paulista Avenue

São Paulo is the business and financial centre of Brazil, and Avenida Paulista has been the heart of São Paulo for many years. It is a bustling avenue that combines government buildings, historical buildings, steel and glass high-rises, museums and cultural centres. On Sundays, Paulista Avenue is closed for cars and it becomes a great recreational area.

Ibirapuera Park

Going to the Ibirapuera Park is a really pleasant activity. Besides areas for exercises, bike paths and playgrounds, it features museums, auditoriums and a planetarium, always busy with an intense cultural program.

Liberdade District

Liberdade is a very charming oriental district of SP, with oriental-shaped lamps decorating the streets and many other references mainly to Japan. There are many nice shops of oriental products, a famous craft fair on the square on Saturdays and Sundays as well as typical oriental feasts on specific dates and during the night many Karaoke options.


The Bixiga region belongs to the Bela Vista district. The place was founded by Italian immigrants and until now represents the Italian community in the city. The most characteristic cultural aspect is in the typical gastronomy present in a large quantity of cantinas and typical restaurants.

Vila Madalena

Close to the event's venue is Vila Madalena. This is one of the most bohemian neighbourhoods in the city. If you are a fan of a good beer, you have to go to some bar there.

25 de Março street

This is a very popular shopping street in the central zone of São Paulo. In fact, the whole region between São Bento Monastery and the Municipal Market is commonly referred to as 25 de Março street. This is an activity not recommended by us, specially if this is your first time in Brazil. It is a very crowded region and you have to be very careful with your personal belongings. If you really want to go, you have to be patient and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You can get there by Luz subway station or by São Bento subway station.


If you stay for one more week, you may be lucky to participate on a "festa junina" (June festival). This is a typical Brazilian party that happens every year, just on June, with a lot of typical Brazilian food and quadrilha dance.

The major cities have the largest celebrations, though individual events can be found in almost every neighbourhood. These are held in different venues, from schools and churches to houses, bars, and event spaces. You should definitely try and go to a quermesse!

The largest festivities happen in the northeast of Brazil where the scale of celebrations is similar to Carnival. Well, after Carnival, it is the second most important popular celebration in Brazilian culture.