Skip to main content

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Ann Binlot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ann Binlot is a New York-based freelance writer who contributes to publications like The Economist, Wallpaper*, Monocle…
Phoenix Travel Guide: Where To Stay, What To Eat, and More
Aji Native American inspired spa in Phoenix.

Phoenix is famous for receiving around 300 days of sunshine per year, making this vibrant desert city something of an adventure playground. The Valley of the Sun has it all: Warm desert breezes, swaying palms, southwestern cuisine, and endless shopping. We've highlighted our favorite spots to help you get the most out of your Phoenix trip.

Related Guides

Read more
Seattle Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Eat, and More
View of Seattle, Washington

Seattle has countless things to offer to travelers looking for the ideal summer vacation due to easy access to wilderness areas, abundant city parks, and a renowned foodie scene that has pivoted to takeout and delivery.

Spending on yourself for a vacation to your dream destination gives you a chance for much-needed rest, relaxation, and the opportunity to unearth the hidden beauty of local attractions. With short-term rentals and hotels enhancing cleaning and social-distancing policies, and with the right CDC-recommended precautions, traveling helps support local businesses and the hospitality industry. So if you need a quick getaway to unwind and temporarily escape from your daily life, here’s how you can have a grand vacation in the Emerald City this summer. 

Read more
New York City Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Eat, and More

Even the city that never sleeps had to slow down over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the arrival of the vaccines and 80% of adults in Manhattan having at least one shot, New York City is back to its energetic, frenetic self. New Yorkers are ready to experience the city they love again, and tourists are eager to discover it for themselves. So with restaurants, hotels, and other businesses able to reopen at 100% capacity, it’s prime time to plan an NYC trip or staycation.

It’s not completely business as usual, though. Social distancing is still recommended, and with the rise of the Delta variant, masks are back (although it being NYC, you can likely find some very fashionable options). Come September 13, restaurants and indoor businesses also will require proof of vaccination to be allowed entry. Provided you are vaccinated and can continue wearing a mask to protect yourself and others from Delta, you can still enjoy NYC in a healthy and safe way. Here’s how to spend your time off if you’re craving a change of scenery, or just want to shake up your everyday work-from-home routine.
Read more: Best Places to Visit
Where to Stay
With hundreds of hotels across five boroughs, there’s no shortage of places to book for a night (or two, or three). As you mull over the plethora of options, keep in mind location, price, and whether COVID-19 protocols are in place on-site. Deal-seekers should note that tons of properties are enticing visitors with promotions such as free extra nights, spa treatments, and heavily discounted rates to fill rooms, so choose wisely.

Read more