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São Vicente is a city in the Baixada Santista metro area, in the São Paulo state, being conurbated with Santos. Founded in 1532, it considered to be the oldest city of Brazil. Unfortunately, most of the city's historical heritage has been lost with time, and São Vicente is now mainly visited for its scenery and beaches.


São Vicente.

São Vicente was founded in 1532 by Portuguese settlers, being the first officially recognized village in colonial Brazil. Its early years of existence were characterized by violent fights between Portuguese, Spanish, Tupi native Brazilians (often put into slavery) and pirates. Economy of São Vicente was based on sugarcane plantations, but the economical success didn't last much. In the XVII century, São Vicente became a source of bandeirantes, explorers who travelled towards the countryside in order to make fame and fortune.

In the XIX century, with the boom of coffee farming, the neighbor city Santos would become the most important port city of the country. Slowly, São Vicente would assume the role of a "dormitory city" for the workers of Santos, a role that it maintains until the present day.

During the São Paulo state industrialization era (second half of the XX century), immigration caused the population of São Vicente to grow too much for the available job supply. As result, São Vicente is the poorest city of the Baixada Santista metro area, containing a large number of favela's. Middle class neighborhoods are highly concentrated around the beach, in the southeast part of the city.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]


Frequently overlooked by visitors, the "Biquinha" is the oldest landmark of São Vicente.
  • Biquinha de Anchieta (At the west corner of Praia de São Vicente). The only surviving construction from the early history of the city is this fountain from 1553. Near the fountain there is a statue of the jesuit José de Anchieta, who used to conduct prayers near the fountain itself.
  • Oscar Niemeyer Lookout (Mirante Oscar Niemeyer). Lookout point over the Bay of Saint Vincent from the top of the hill on Porchat Island.
  • Ponte Pênsil.
  • Porchat Island (Ilha Porchat).


  • Gonzaguinha Beach
  • Itareré Beach



  • Biquinha. This plaza has had a fair of sweets and pastries for decades.
  • Restaurante Gáudio, Av. Embaixador Pedro de Toledo, 191 - Centro (in front of Gonzaguinha Beach), +55 13 3568-1215. One of the oldest and most traditional restaurants in town.
  • Restaurante Terraço Chopp, Alameda Ari Barroso, 274 - Itararé (on the top of Porchat Island), +55 13 3468-7527. One of the most famous restaurants in town, with two different environments: a bar with live music and varied seafood, and a restaurant with a la carte dishes. Both have an excellent view of the bay.




Go next[edit]

Routes through São Vicente
PeruíbePraia Grande (São Paulo)  S BR-101.png N  CubatãoSantos

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