5 Minutes Away
From picnic spots to quiet squares, local favorites to hidden gems, these are the places it’s worth travelling that little bit further for, if you’re to really get under the city’s skin.
Restrained and elegant, the city’s Cathedral (1883) has a delightful Bahia Baroque style interior – with gorgeous, carved woodwork, and a pared-back, neoclassic shell. It’s beautifully illuminated at night. Curiously, the building is made from compressed clay – the world’s largest construction to use this method.
Where the city heads to let off steam, this is one of the largest recreational areas in the greater Campinas catchment area. Within, you can take to the waters on a paddle boat, visit a replica of the Caravel Annunciation (the ship that brought the Portuguese explorer, Pedro Alvares Cabral to Brazil) or simply laze the afternoon away in the huge swathes of pretty parkland.
The well-to-do neighborhood, to the north of the city, offers tremendous views over the metropolis below. The Chapadao garden’s network of paths, ponds and flower beds makes for a reviving afternoon’s stroll away from the bustle of downtown. You’ll find this is jogging-central, too.
This venerable old colonial building is something of a Campinas institution. Its breathless blend of Art Nouveau and Renaissance flourishes earned it a place on the ‘Seven Wonders of Campinas’ list (yes, that’s a thing). Built in 1925, the house was indeed home to the city’s Jockey Club. Now it houses a swanky bar and restaurant, and is stunningly lit up at night.
IGREJA DO CARMO
Originally the parish church of the city, the interior of this 250 year old chapel lined with paintings by Italian artists Gaetano Miani. The church was elevated to a Basilica by decree of Pope Paul VI in 1975, due to its status as the city’s first place of worship.
Heading out for a picnic? This historic market should be your first port of call. But within its covered arcades, you’ll find cafes, gift stores and bars too. Look out for the appealing handicrafts and knitwear stalls – great for good value souvenirs.
BOSQUE DOS JEQUITIBÁS
This delightful park in the woods offers a cool retreat from the city. The park is one of the oldest and largest recreational areas of the city, located over 600 metres from the bustle of downtown. There’s an area of native (and rare) Atlantic forest, a charming cottage restaurant and petting zoo.
TORRE DO CASTELO
Climb this old water tank (27 meters high) and you’ll be 760 metres above sea level. Result? Terrific views of the city below, and the distant hills of the Serra do Japi, 40 km away, on a good day.
For an instant immersion into the new heart and soul of Campinas, this sleek new boulevard is hard to beat. The Avenue cuts through the city from north to south and is lined with smart business centres, shops and bars. There’s a parallel bike route, should you wish to soak it all up from the saddle.
Where Campinas comes out to play – or just to kick off its shoes and laze about on the lawns. This 110 hectare ecological park has native species of trees and extravangant blooms all year long. Sports courts and hiking trails await those with energy to spare. Wrapped around the park are some fine examples of 19th century Campinas architecture.
Basilica do Carmo
Originally the parish church of the city, the interior of this handsome 250 year old chapel is lined with paintings by Italian artists Gaetano Miani. The church was elevated to a Basilica by decree of Pope Paul VI in 1975, due to its status as the city’s first place of worship. Composer, Carlos Gomes (see Museum listing) is buried here.