Avenida Paulista (Paulista Avenue) is one of the most important avenues in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is a wide avenue of 2.8 km in length, located in the heart of downtown of Sao Paulo; it starts from Praça Oswaldo Cruz, on the edge of the Paraíso district.
The avenue is notable for the large number of financial institutions, corporations, cultural centers such as Centro Cultural Itau, the Viaduct of Tea (Viaduto do Cha), Casa das Rosas, the FIESP/CIESP, the famous Teatro Brasileiro de Comedia, hospitals such as Hospital Alemao Osvaldo Cruz, Paulistano, Clinicas, Emilio Ribas, Beneficencia Portuguesa, buildings such as Center Tres, Conjunto Nacional, Winston Churchil, Gazeta.
It is also an extensive shopping area, Latin America's most comprehensive fine-art museum, host of a lot of coffee shops, internet facilities, restaurants, shops, movie theaters, etc., and a small native forest park, the Parque Siqueira Campos, commonly called Trianon.
The avenue is considered the largest financial institution in the world, and a symbol of economic power of the State of Sao Paulo. It is often compared to Fifth Avenue in New York, perhaps more because of its financial, cultural and commercial status, although it is more spacious, having two roads, with traffic going in opposite directions.
At night the avenue is a wonderful street to drive and see Sao Paulo's beautiful city lights. By day, however, it is best explored on foot. Traffic along the avenue is intense and crowded, the subway is the best way to get to Paulista Avenue, and exploring on foot is an easy walk because it's not very long.
The entire avenue is well served with buses and a subway (efficient subway system) line (Green Line) that runs underneath the avenue from one end to the other with several stations.
Every day, hundreds and hundreds of people come and go on their large blocks to work. On the weekends, there is another crowd searching entertainment and culture or just wishing to walk on the most loved Avenue in Sao Paulo.
The Avenida Paulista was founded on December 8, 1851. It was designed by Joaquim Eugenio de Lima from Uruguay. At the time this avenue was considered a great project because of how wide Eugenio de Lima had designed the 2.8 km avenue.
The avenue, which was inaugurated in December 1891, is generally regarded as the second most expensive real estate anywhere in Latin America, after México City´s Avenida Presidente Masaryk.
By 1900, the coffee barons had moved on from Higienópolis to flaunt their wealth through new mansions set in spacious gardens stretching along the three kilometers long of the Avenida Paulista. Since the 1960s, Avenida Paulista resembled a giant construction site, with banks and other companies, which competing to erect ever-taller buildings.
The great expansion of the Avenida Paulista began in the 20th century with the industrialization, which brought even more immigrants like Arabs and Jews. Today Avenida Paulista is identified as one of the main business centers in the city and one of the largest avenues in South America and one of the largest in the world.