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The Other Brazil: São Paulo Travel

Rio may have its beaches and now the Olympics, but São Paulo has its cosmopolitan flair and the designation of alpha global city. Not only is São Paulo the largest city in Brazil, it’s the 2nd-largest metro area in the Americas. Discover the best culture, shopping, dining and nightlife in this beautiful Brazilian city. Our Manual São Paulo travel guide tells you how to do it right.

Hotel Emiliano
This chic hotel, located in the Jardim district, is conveniently located, and its staff will make sure you have everything you need. On top of that, you get a free bottle of wine, a complimentary 15-minute massage and a free pair of custom Hotel Emiliano Havaianas with turndown service. How can you beat that?
R. Oscar Freire, 384
Jardim Paulista
+55 11 3068-4399

Ibirapuera Park
This park is São Paulo’s answer to New York’s Central Park. Marvel at the buildings by Brazilian starchitect Oscar Niemeyer. See some paintings and sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art, or get your Top Gun on at the Air Force Museum, located in the Oca, a spaceship-like buidling.
Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral
VIla Mariana

Bar Secreto
Sasha Grey DJed here. Need we say more? São Paulo’s hip scenesters hang out at this multi-level bar, where you can get your groove on in the dance floor or have a drink with friends. Just make sure you look good enough for the doorman to let you in; the line stretched around the block when we went here.
Rua Álvaro Anes, 97

Dalva e Dito
Chef Alex Atal put his own unique twist on traditional Brazilian cuisine. We suggest you try the dried meat with manioc gratin, curd cheese and Brazilian bottled butter, or the grilled Pirarucu with Brazil nut vinaigrette and a ratatouille made from Brazilian vegetables.
R. Padre João Manuel 1115
Cerqueira César
+55 11 3068-4444

JK Iguatemi
Mall culture is king in Brazil, and this is where all the locals shop. Be sure to check out the shops from Brazilian labels like Osklen and Alexandre Herchcovitch. Then go to its beautiful bookstore, Livraria da Vila. Make sure to get your whole family a pair of Havaianas at its shop. If malls aren’t really your thing, we’re sure you’ll have a blast at JK Iguatemi’s 4D theater, where the films are in 3D, and you feel special effects — seats move, and wind and water blow in your face according to the scene. How cool is that?
Av. Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek
2041 Itaim Bibi
+55 11 3152-6800

This piece was originally published Septmber 28, 2013 and was updated on August 16, 2016 by Chase McPeak.

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