The financial capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo is a vibrant city with a cultural scene that is arguably the best in Latin America. From art galleries on a par with London and Paris to eye-opening museums and breathtaking theater performances, there’s plenty for the culture lover to see and do in this pulsating metropolis.
Sao Paulo is a cultural metropolis with a cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic character. Its countless immigrants, from Portugal to Italy, Japan, and Lebanon, add a rich tapestry of traditions, cultures, and languages.
Its vibrant art and culture scene is as diverse and colorful as its population. Its museums and galleries are teeming with work by Brazilian and international artists, from Antiquity to contemporary art.
In the 20th century, the city’s writers and musicians were at the forefront of modernism, with writers such as Oswaldo de Andrade and Mario de Andrade leading the way. In painting and theatre, Sao Paulo’s avant-garde artists shaped Brazil’s Modernist movement.
In the 1950s, Brutalist architecture exploded in popularity, represented by architects such as Paulo Mendes da Rocha, who won a Pritzker Prize for his designs. Other notable buildings include Edificio Copan, whose curvy walls make it one of the city’s most striking architectural landmarks.
One of the main reasons to visit Sao Paulo is its pulsating nightlife. You can find something to suit all tastes in this cosmopolitan city.
There are several entertainment districts dotted throughout Sao Paulo, each with their own buzzing nightlife scene. The gritty Centro and bustling Bela Vista are studded with bars, clubs and live music venues, while Rua Augusta is home to sexy strip clubs and small nightclubs known as bar-baladas.
Whether you’re looking for a rock club with a dirty underground sound system or an alternative dance venue with a graphic Tron-inspired vibe, Sampa is the place to go. You can also head to Funhouse for cheesy rock tunes and Carioca funk, or try the bar-less D-Edge, which regularly wins accolades from international magazines as one of the best dance music clubs in the world.
Sao Paulo’s nightlife is a reflection of its cosmopolitan image, with venues scattered across the city. You’ll find clusters in Vila Olimpia, where bars and clubs are popular with twentysomethings, and in Vila Madalena, where the restaurants and bars appeal more to discerning revellers in their thirties.
The city of Sao Paulo offers an impressive number of shopping opportunities. From small markets in the streets to huge air-conditioned shopping malls, there is something for everyone.
The main shopping hub is the Centro area, particularly around Rua 25 de Marco and Avenida Iparanga. The area is known for its Western shopping malls but there are also a few large market places within the city.
Many shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 0600 to 1800, while Sundays vary. Major shopping malls operate from 1000 to 2200, and there are also some smaller stores in the city that are open 24 hours.
One of the biggest malls in the city is Morumbi, located on Avenida Chucri Zaidan, with more than 480 stores. It is a good place to shop for high-fashion clothes and accessories and you can find great restaurants as well. It is also a good place for those who are gym enthusiasts and has an outdoor track.
Whether you are a foodie or just a fan of street food, Sao Paulo has everything you need to satisfy your appetite. From traditional Brazilian dishes to the most famous international cuisines, you will find all the best options here.
The city has thousands of restaurants and this makes it an excellent place to eat your favorite dishes. It is also possible to get cheap food at a supermarket or local market and make your own meals.
Churros are a delicious sweet snack that can be found at most street markets and corners around the city. They are made from choux pastry which is filled with chocolate or condensed milk and fried until crispy.
Another Sao Paulo classic is the roast pork sandwich. The meat is roasted and served in a roll (pao frances) that is then cut into half. It is a popular late-night snack and is available in many bars and restaurants in the area.