Lifestyle in Sao Paulo

São Paulo is a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Brazilians are known to be friendly and welcoming to foreigners, and expats moving to São Paulo are sure to enjoy a rich cultural experience in this diverse and exciting city.  

Shopping in São Paulo

From international designer labels to local, traditional items, there are plenty of shopping options across São Paulo. 

For an upscale shopping experience, expats can visit Rua Oscar Freire, one of the city’s most fashionable shopping districts. Pátio Higienópolis, a mall in the Higienópolis neighbourhood, is another option for those looking for luxurious products.  

Avenida Paulista is home to many shops, banks and restaurants. For American-type malls, expats can try Iguatemi, Cidade Jardim, Eldorado and Aricanduva. These are all home to the usual array of shops, restaurants, food courts and cinemas that one would expect to find. 

Eating out in São Paulo

As a multicultural city, it’s no surprise that São Paulo has a diverse and exciting dining scene. Expats will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in São Paulo.

There is a multitude of local restaurants offering traditional Brazilian cuisine, including meat and seafood specialities. At these local eateries, expats will be able to sample local dishes such as feijoada, made from pork and black beans, and the popular barbequed meat churrasco. For those wanting a taste of home, there are also many internationally recognised brands of takeaway and chain restaurants.

Lunch is generally the main meal of the day for Brazilians, with only a light meal being eaten in the evenings. Eating out is most popular on the weekends, with most locals choosing to eat at home with their family during the week.

Nightlife and entertainment in São Paulo

São Paulo has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of stylish bars and clubs, from smaller intimate venues to the massive megaclubs dotted around the city. There are also many options to enjoy traditional samba and see live bands.

São Paulo's centre has seen an increased police presence in recent times and has become safer to visit and walk around at night. Centro and Bela Vista in the city centre are popular nightspots with plenty of clubs and bars to choose from. Rua Augusta is littered with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Those looking for something a bit more bohemian should head to Vila Madalena, which is home to a number of local bars (botecos) and clubs and is also a good place to see live samba bands. 

Paulistas usually only start the party late. It is not unusual for locals to only go out to a club after midnight. São Paulo is not as casual as other Brazilian cities, and people dress up to go out. Some clubs have a strict dress code and will deny entrance to people who don’t adhere to it.

Sports and outdoor activities in São Paulo

The football culture is massive in Brazil, and São Paulo is no exception. Football is arguably the most popular activity in the country. Whether it’s attending a live game at one of the city’s four large stadiums or watching in a pub or at someone’s home, Brazilians are passionate about supporting their teams.

There are plenty of outdoor entertainment options for families to enjoy in São Paulo. São Paulo Zoo and the Safari Zoo are two such options, where hundreds of indigenous animals can be seen in their natural habitat. There are also plenty of parks dotted across the city to enjoy a family day out.

Ibirapuera Park is the largest park in the city and is home to a number of interesting places to visit, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Planetarium and a convention centre where the city hall often arranges free concerts. The park also has a large area for sporting activities such as walking and running.

Although São Paulo is not located directly on the coast, beach lovers need not despair – beautiful beaches are only a few hours’ drive away and offer a great opportunity for those looking to escape the rat race for a day or weekend getaway.