Known simply as Embu to most, the town of Embu das Artes, just outside São Paulo, was founded in 1554, and by the 1930s Embu was already making a name for itself as an artists' hub.
Come at the weekends to enjoy the Arts and Handicrafts Market. Launched in the late ‘60s, it's been popular ever since. This open-air fair extends along Embu's cobbled streets in the historic town center, and there are 940 exhibitors all in all, with thousands coming each weekend to pick-up arts and crafts, food and clothes.
On weekdays, it’s worth visiting the Capela São Lázaro chapel, built in 1934 by Embuense community, where you can see the famous picture of St. Lazare by local artist Cássio M’Boy. You can also visit the cultural center Centro Cultural Mestre Assis de Embu, which exhibits local artists and hosts small concerts, plays, and lectures.
The Memorial Sakai museum houses the works of famous terracotta sculptor Tadakiyo Sakai, and the Museu do Índio hosts native Brazilian art and exhibits on indigenous culture, beliefs, and customs. The Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church is also worth visiting.
A 20-minute drive from downtown São Paulo, the Arts and Handicrafts Market is held on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 8am-6pm. To get there by metro, get off at Campo Limpo station (purple line), and from there, take the inter-municipal bus to Embu Centro which will take you to downtown Embu das Artes.