- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Sao Paulo Guide (PDF)
São Paulo is a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Brazilians are known to be friendly and welcoming to foreigners. 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. This tree-lined street is one of the city’s most famous areas for shopping. Shopping Pátio Higienópolis, a mall in the Higienópolis neighbourhood, is another option for those looking for luxurious products.
Avenida Paulista is home to many shops and restaurants. For American-type malls, expats can try Iguatemi, Cidade Jardim, Shopping Eldorado and Centro Comercial Aricanduva. These are all home to the usual array of shops, restaurants, food courts and cinemas one would expect from any mall.
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.
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.
Centro and Bela Vista in the city centre are popular nightspots with plenty of clubs and bars to choose from. Rua Augusta has plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Those looking for something a bit more bohemian should head to Vila Madalena, which is home to several local bars and clubs and is also a good place to see live samba bands.
Sports and outdoor activities in São Paulo
Football culture is massive in Brazil, and São Paulo is no exception. 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 Zoo Safári 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 one of Latin America's largest parks and is home to many interesting places to visit, including the Modern Art Museum of São Paulo and Ibirapuera Planetarium. 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.
►Learn about the city's best yearly events in What's On in São Paulo
"Although huge, noisy and very busy, São Paulo has its charm. I enjoy the endless options of pastimes, culture and restaurants." Read more of Dona's expat interview about São Paulo.
Are you an expat living in Sao Paulo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Sao Paulo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.