Lifestyle in Sao Paulo

Lifestyle and shopping in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and, as the heart of the country’s economy, it is a city where people work hard. But that’s not to say that there isn't a good lifestyle in Sao Paulo to enjoy. Paulistas know how to balance their work and personal lives; they work hard, but sometimes they play harder.
 
Sao 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 Sao Paulo are sure to enjoy a rich cultural experience in this diverse and exciting city. However, the initial adjustment to life in Sao Paulo may take some time; Sao Paulo is a massive, sprawling city and expats can often be overwhelmed by the sheer enormity and seeming chaos that surrounds them.
 
To fully enjoy everything Sao Paulo has to offer, and fully integrate into the city’s lifestyle and culture, expats should consider learning Portuguese, even if it’s just a few key phrases to start a conversation.
 

Shopping in Sao Paulo


From international designer labels to local and traditional items, there are plenty of shopping options across Sao Paulo. 
 
For upscale shopping, expats can visit Rue Oscar Freire; likened to Los Angeles’s Rodeo Drive, it is one of the city’s most upscale shopping districts. Patio Higienopolis, an upscale shopping centre in the Higienopolis neighbourhood, is another option for those looking for luxurious products.  
 
Avenida Paulista, in the city centre, is home to many shops, banks and restaurants. For American-type malls, expats can try Iguatemi, Cidade Jardim, Eldorado and Aricanduva, which are all home to the usual array of shops, restaurants, food courts and cinemas that one would expect to find.
 

Eating out in Sao Paulo


In such a multicultural city, it’s no surprise that Sao Paulo has a diverse and exciting dining scene, largely influenced by the population’s European, Asian and Middle Eastern heritage. Expats will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Sao Paulo.

There are many good local restaurants offering traditional Brazilian cuisine, including meat and seafood specialities, and local dishes such as feijoada made from pork and black beans, and the popular churrascos, which is barbequed meat.

As the city with the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, it’s no surprise to find a variety of Japanese restaurants. The Italian influence is also evident here, with many Italian restaurants dotted around the city. For those wanting a taste of home, there are also many internationally recognised brands of takeaway and chain restaurants.
 
Lunch is generally the most important meal of the day for Brazilians, so many will eat their main meal during the day, and then have a light meal 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 Sao Paulo


Sao Paulo has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of stylish bars and clubs, from smaller intimate venues to massive megaclubs, dotted around the city. There are also lots of options to enjoy traditional samba and see live bands. 
 
Entertainment hubs are generally spread out evenly across the city. Sao 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. Rue Augusta, a thoroughfare linking Bela Vista and Jardins, is littered with bars, restaurants and nightclubs, while those looking for something a bit more bohemian should head to Vila Madalena, in the west of Sao Paulo, which is home to a number of local bars (botecos) and clubs, and is a good place to see live samba bands. 
 
In Sao Paulo’s social setting, punctuality is not a necessity, and Paulistas usually only start the party late; it’s not unusual for them to only go out to a club after midnight. Sao Paulo is not as casual as other Brazilian cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, and people dress up to go out; some clubs will have a strict dress code and won’t allow people in who don’t adhere to this.
 
Sao Paulo is known as the cultural heart of Brazil and this is evident in the city's many museums. Those wanting insight into the Brazilian art scene can enjoy wandering around the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Sacred Art and the State Art Gallery.
 

Sports and outdoor activities in Sao Paulo


The football (soccer) culture is massive in Brazil, and Sao Paulo is no exception. Football is arguably the most popular activity in the country, to either play or watch. 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 team, whether it’s a local club, first division team or the national Brazilian team. 
 
There are plenty of outdoor entertainment options for families to enjoy in Sao Paulo. Sao 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 fun 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. Ibirapuera Park also has a large area for sporting activities such as walking and running.
 
Beach lovers need not despair; although Sao Paulo is not located directly on the coast, the beautiful beaches of the Paulista Coast 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.

Search Expat Arrivals

Become our local expat expert for your area!

Become our local expat expert for your area! We are looking for contributors to help make this the ultimate guide for expats. Get in touch if you can provide useful info on your city or answer forum questions from new expats.
Find out more.

Got a question about your new country?

X
Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)