A peaceful neighbourhood in the east of São Paulo, Belenzinho is a wonderful place to experience a slice of everyday Brazilian life. It's tranquil streets are lined with bakeries and coffee shops, and its architecture is a captivating mix of modern and traditional styles.
Take a stroll around Vila Maria Zélia, one of the first worker’s villages in Brazil, which has been used as a location in several Brazilian films. Admire the immaculately restored and brightly painted houses, then see a performance by Grupo XIX de Teatro who use the streets and abandoned buildings as their stage.
Stop into São José Church to see its beautifully painted apse. If you go in March, visit on St Joseph’s day, when the church is packed with locals and nine masses are celebrated in one day.
Getting around Belém
The easiest way to get to Belenzinho is on the metro, alighting at Belém station. Alternatively, there are several bus lines that stop at Belém bus terminal, which is around a 20-minute drive from the city center.