During a trip to Brazil, don’t miss a visit to São Paulo! Find out the best neighborhoods to stay in São Paulo!
A vast city of 1,523 km², São Paulo is home to nearly 12 million inhabitants, while the entire metropolitan area houses almost 29 million inhabitants. São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and in Latin America, and the third largest city in the world. Brazil’s commercial, industrial, financial and economic hub, São Paulo is also considered a dangerous city (in specific districts).
São Paulo is divided into 31 districts and nine zones. The most popular neighborhoods are Paraiso, Vila Madalena, Jardins, Vila Mariana, and Higienopolis. Discover our non-exhaustive selection of the best areas to stay in São Paulo.
Photo credit: Flickr – Diego Torres Silvestre
The historic district of São Paulo boasts a myriad of architectural styles. Discover for example the Catedral da Sé, located in Praça da Sé, the busiest square in the city center. While the city houses a dizzying array of skyscrapers owned by large corporations, as well as a profusion of shops, it is also filled with pick-pockets and sadly displays – as everywhere in Brazil – large wealth gaps. Some buildings, such as the Edificio Martinelli (26 floors), the Edificio Italia or Banespa, offer a great view of the city from above. However, be aware that staying in the Centro Velho area can become dangerous late in the evening.
Photo credit: Flickr – Wally Gobetz
Vila Madalena – or Vila Madá – is São Paulo’s bohemian quarter. It is home to countless bars where you can go out every night of the week. Tourists from all over the world come here to attend the many cultural events that take place in the area throughout the year. For example, the Carnival, held in February. Many streets are dedicated to Street Art such as the famous Beco do Batman, situated between rua Harmonai and rua Aspicuelta. Restaurants, concert bars – Samba music is, of course, a local favorite – as well as cafés and nightclubs, are bound to spice up your Brazilian life, especially if you are a fan of wild and festive evenings. Vila Madalena is a safe neighborhood, and an ideal place to discover the city, eat local specialties and celebrate: an excellent compromise to stay in São Paulo.
Granja Julieta and Alto Da Boa Vista
Photo credit: Flickr – Augusto Gomes
Granja Julieta and Alto da Boa Vista are two calm residential areas lined with large houses and high-end buildings. In both neighborhoods, enjoy a “small town” atmosphere in the middle of the city, where locals like to ride their bikes and enjoy the natural, tranquil surroundings. Despite their valuable peaceful atmosphere, Granja Julieta and Alto da Boa Vista are lively neighborhoods packed with all the shops you need to fulfill your daily needs. You’ll also find many bars and restaurants to entertain your evenings. In short, there’s something for everyone here!
Photo credit: Flickr – Caio do Valle
Further north, Jardins – Portuguese for Gardens – is one of São Paulo’s most attractive areas. On Paulista Avenue, enjoy a majestic view of the towering skyscrapers in the city center. The area is packed with a significant number of shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as museums to discover Brazil’s rich history and culture. Another pleasant place to stay in São Paulo.
Photo credit: Flickr – Kaczuroski
Liberdade is the historic Japanese quarter. Indeed, São Paulo is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan, with 57,860 inhabitants. Located close to the city center, Liberdade is like a small piece of the Japanese archipelago in an ocean of Latino culture. Created in the 1950s, it is one of São Paulo’s main tourist attractions. In this quarter strongly influenced by Japanese culture, the Portuguese language has been replaced by Japanese kanji. A profusion of Asian shops, restaurants, karaoke bars, and cultural events contribute to the neighborhood’s bustling social life. It should be noted that the Japanese are not the only ones to have settled in Liberdade: many Koreans and Chinese have also taken up residence in this quarter which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. A great place to stay in São Paulo.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Gus Kasaoka