Welcome to São Paulo, Brazil! With its beautiful beaches, fascinating museums, vibrant nightlife, and diverse cultural offerings, São Paulo is a fantastic destination for travelers from all over the world. Not to mention, this city has a booming population of around 12 million people, meaning that you can find anything you could ever want or need while you’re here.
Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay, São Paulo has no shortage of great neighborhoods. As a city with over 12 million people, there’s something here for everyone – whether it’s a family-friendly area or historical streets with lively bars, restaurants, and cafes. Because this city is so massive, it’s easy to find an area with everything you’ll need during your stay.
To help you get the most out of your visit, this guide offers a list of the best areas to stay in São Paulo, from upscale shopping districts and nightlife streets to leafy residential neighborhoods with green spaces. Here are the five best neighborhoods to stay in during your trip to São Paulo.
Centro, also known as the Central Zone, is the downtown area of São Paulo, Brazil, and is one of the city’s most important hubs. This area is the largest business district in the country and comprises numerous government buildings, financial institutions, and corporate headquarters.
Centro is home to several historical landmarks, museums, and other cultural attractions, making it a popular place to stay for tourists. The area is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs.
Centro comprises some of the most impressive architecture in São Paulo. Centro’s skyline is dominated by the towering Edifício Copan, an iconic 37-story building designed by famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Visitors can take an elevator ride to the top of the building to relish panoramic views of the city. The area is also home to the Municipal Theater, a beautiful Italian-style building that hosts ballets, operas, and other theatrical performances.
Centro boasts many malls and shopping centers, ranging from the upscale Iguatemi Mall to the more affordable Shopping Estação. The area also has a number of markets and street vendors selling everything from souvenirs to clothes.
Visitors will find several parks throughout this area of São Paulo, including the botanical gardens and Ibirapuera Park, the city’s largest park. The park features a lake, walking trails, and plenty of green spaces.
Best place to stay in Centro
Ibis Styles SP Centro. Address: Rua Senador Queiros 202, São Paulo, CEP 01029-001, Brazil.
Paulista Avenue & Jardins
Paulista Avenue & Jardins is an area of São Paulo known for its vibrancy, energy, and entertainment. Spanning over three kilometers, this avenue is home to some of the most iconic attractions in São Paulo. The surrounding Jardins, or Gardens, neighborhood is a residential area filled with tree-lined streets, upscale boutiques and cafes, and plenty of nightlife.
Paulista Avenue is one of the hottest destinations in the city, with locals and tourists alike flocking to the area for its many activities and attractions. Visitors will find some of the city’s most popular attractions along this street, such as the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, the São Paulo Museum of Art, and the São Paulo Cultural Center. There are also plenty of high-end stores, restaurants, and bars to explore.
The Jardins neighborhood is a great place to take a leisurely stroll, as it is full of lush parks and gardens. The area is home to some of the city’s most luxurious shopping malls, including the Shopping Jardins and the Shopping Pátio Paulista. Of course, you’ll also find plenty of bars and clubs, as well as some of the best nightlife in the city.
Best place to stay in Paulista Avenue & Jardins
Rosewood São Paulo. Address: Rua Itapeva 435 – Bela Vista, Bela Vista, São Paulo, CEP 01332-000, Brazil.
Hotel Trianon Paulista. Address: Alameda Casa Branca, 355/363, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, CEP 01408-001, Brazil.
Downtown Augusta connects the Jardins neighborhood to São Paulo’s downtown, and is known for its vibrant nightlife and its array of cultural attractions. The upper part of the street is lined with upscale shopping, while the other half boasts some of the best nightlife, bars, and clubs in São Paulo.
While this area used to be São Paulo’s red light district, it is now home to countless ethnic eateries, vintage boutiques, nightlife, and live music venues playing punk rock, hip hop, metal, and indie rock. Also known as Baixo Augusta, Downtown Augusta is one of the best areas for LGBTQ culture, boasting several gay bars and clubs.
You can also find great coffee in this neighborhood at Bella Paulista, or enjoy an afternoon at the gallery at Teatro Augusta. Shopping enthusiasts can check out Shopping Center 3, while history lovers can explore the Sao Luiz Gonzaga Church.
From unique cocktails to live music and DJs, Augusta is the perfect spot for anyone who wants a wild night on the town or a fun day of shopping and eating.
Best place to stay in Downtown Augusta
H4 La Residence. Address: Alameda Jau, 1606, São Paulo, CEP 01420-002, Brazil.
Liberdade is one of the most exciting neighborhoods in São Paulo – and is known for its cultural diversity, nightlife, and unique attractions.
This multicultural, working-class neighborhood has a high concentration of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and other Asian immigrants. The area has a distinct, vibrant atmosphere that visitors always love.
As soon as you step into the area, you can feel the energy of the residents. You’ll find colorful street art, cafes, bars, and restaurants. There are also a lot of traditional Japanese stores and restaurants that offer an authentic Japanese experience.
The streets of Liberdade are filled with traditional Japanese festivals and events. Every Saturday, the area is transformed into a lively open-air market, with stalls selling anything from traditional street food to handmade crafts. The neighborhood is also home to many art galleries and museums, showcasing local and international artists.
One of the most popular attractions in Liberdade is the Japanese-style garden. It is a tranquil oasis with a beautiful pond, bridges, and landscaped walkways. This garden also hosts traditional Japanese festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
Liberdade is an excellent spot to explore the cultural diversity of São Paulo. Whether you’re looking for an authentic cultural experience or just a fun night out, Liberdade is sure to be a memorable place to stay.
Best place to stay in Liberdade
Leques Brasil Hotel Escola. Address: Rua São Joaquim, 216 , Liberdade, São Paulo, CEP 01508-000, Brazil.
Republica houses some of the most iconic buildings and landmarks in São Paulo, as well as a great selection of restaurants, bars, and shops. The area has an eclectic mix of cultures and is also known for its lively nightlife.
The architecture in Republica is a mix of traditional and modern styles, with buildings dating back to the 16th century. One of the most prominent landmarks in the area is the old Republica Palace, which was the home of the former Brazilian president.
The palace is now a museum and is open to the public. You can also check out the Edifício Copan, an S-shaped building with a modest shopping center on the ground floor. As one of the most famous buildings in São Paulo, this is a must-see!
The neighborhood is also home to a large number of street markets, which sell everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. The markets are a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts from the city.
After all that shopping, don’t forget to try out the incredible selection of restaurants, which offer a variety of cuisines from around the world.
This neighborhood is also home to the Theatro Municipal De São Paulo, which is home to some of the most impressive live events in the city. From architecture to live entertainment, you’ll never get bored in Republica!
Best place to stay in Republica
Slaviero SP Downtown. Address: Rua Araújo, 141, São Paulo, CEP 01220-020, Brazil.
Where travel critics stay in São Paulo
Want to know where travel critics from publishers like The New York Times, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet stay in São Paulo? Have a look at our overview of all recommended hotels and accommodations in São Paulo.
“This 1930s mansion, opened in late 2015, holds 14 suites reeking of industrial-chic (exposed brick and beams, unfinished steel and concrete) offset by a sunny open patio and cutting-edge art (reprints for sale in the lobby). It’s one block from Praca Benedito Calixto in the heart of hip Pinheiros.” — Lonely Planet.
Address: Rua Lisboa, 493, Pinheiros, São Paulo, CEP 05413-000, Brazil.
“To experience old-fashioned hospitality, book yourself a deluxe room at the Fasano, one of São Paulo’s premier boutique hotels. The 20-story brick building is located just off Rua Oscar Freire, in the heart of Jardins. The guest rooms ooze an old world atmosphere that evokes the work of Hemingway, with soft brown leather chairs, Persian rugs, hardwood floors, and white marble bathrooms.” – Frommers.
Address: Rua Vittorio Fasano, 88, São Paulo, CEP 01414-020, Brazil.
“Rosewood São Paulo, which recently opened in the heart of the city, is filled with Indigenous art, historic photos and other Brazil-centric objects.” — New York Times.
Address: Rua Itapeva 435 – Bela Vista, Bela Vista, São Paulo, CEP 01332-000, Brazil.
FAQ: São Paulo hotel tips
Looking for the best budget, boutique, or luxury hotel in São Paulo? Or maybe you’re a backpacker looking for a magnificent hostel? Want to know which hotel serves a great breakfast? Here are the answers to all those and other questions about where to stay in São Paulo.
How much do I have to pay for a night in a hotel in São Paulo?
For 3-star hotels, the average rate is around $70 per night. If you’re looking for a 4-star hotel, then the rates are around $120 per night. The average rate for a 5-star hotel in São Paulo is around $250 per night.
What is the best affordable hotel in São Paulo?
If you are on the hunt for an affordable hotel, then you should consider reserving Itamarati Hotel. It is a great option for those on a budget, as it provides good value for your money. Additionally, the hotel is in a suitable location, and professional travelers have given it their approval. Moreover, the guests who have stayed at the hotel have shared positive reviews. We also have a list of the top-rated budget hotels in São Paulo.
What is the best boutique hotel in São Paulo?
If you fancy a bit of extravagance but prefer to stay away from the well-known chain hotels, then Fasano São Paulo is an excellent option for you. This hotel has been very well-reviewed by travelers and experts alike. For more information on other cool hotels, take a look at our list of the top boutique hotels in São Paulo.
What is the best luxury hotel in São Paulo?
If cost is not an issue, Hotel Emiliano is a great option for those seeking a luxurious hotel in São Paulo. This establishment offers excellent customer service, is situated in an ideal location, and has garnered high reviews from customers and travel experts alike. To discover more 5-star hotels, take a look at our selection of the top luxury hotels in São Paulo.
What is the best hostel in São Paulo?
If you’re in search of a well-priced private room or comfy dorm in São Paulo, Hobi Hostel is worth a look. The hostel has been highly praised by backpackers. Additionally, we have compiled a shortlist of the finest hostels in São Paulo based on thousands of reviews from backpackers.
Which hotel in São Paulo serves great breakfast?
Try Hotel Emiliano if you’re looking for a delicious breakfast at a hotel in São Paulo. It has excellent guest review ratings for its breakfast.
Best time to visit São Paulo
Known for its fascinating blend of cultures, mouthwatering cuisine, and thriving art scenes, the best time to visit São Paulo is undoubtedly during the months of March to May and October to November.
These periods offer the most comfortable weather conditions, with pleasant temperatures ranging between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C), allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s countless attractions and events!
During these months, you’ll be thrilled to experience São Paulo’s lively street festivals, such as the internationally renowned São Paulo Fashion Week and the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade – both of which contribute to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
And let’s not forget the São Paulo Art Biennial, a prestigious contemporary art event that showcases the work of artists from around the globe!
Best things to do in São Paulo
There are many things to do in São Paulo and the surrounding areas, including day trips, attractions, museums, sightseeing tours and many other activities. Here’s our list of 3 things you should definitely do when you’re in São Paulo:
São Paulo’s Full Day City Tour: Main Sights in 7 Hours
Travelers with a lot of curiosity but not much time will appreciate the chance to maximize sightseeing with more than 20 São Paulo sights in one efficient full-day city tour. Before the day is done, you’ll see and learn about popular destinations and insider favorites including landmark architecture, bustling neighborhoods, top shopping, emblematic food and drink, museums, street art, churches, and much more. Price: $69. More info.
From São Paulo: Santos, São Vicente & Guarujá Day Trip
Located 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) from São Paulo, the cities of Santos, São Vicente and Guarujá invite you for this amazing tour. Experience the history in Santos Downtown and enjoy some really nice landscapes along all the beaches. Price: $95. More info.
Skydive Tandem São Paulo
Experience skydiving in Brazil with this urban skydiving experience. With instructors certified by the Brazilian Parachuting Confederation and complete instructions included, you’ll be in safe hands when jumping from a height of 3658 meters (12,000 feet). Price: $189. More info.
More things to do in São Paulo
Deciding where to stay in São Paulo
Let’s recap what we just learned in this article. We’ve covered the best areas of São Paulo above. Now you can decide where to stay while visiting!
Top 5 neighborhoods to stay in São Paulo
- Paulista Avenue
- Downtown Augusta
As you have seen in this travel guide, there are plenty of things to explore, and deciding where to stay in São Paulo is important. Whether you stay in Centro, Paulista Avenue, Downtown Augusta, Liberdade or Republica, all those neighborhoods are in good locations.
The atmosphere of the area, whether you travel for leisure or business, whether you travel with your family or friends, and proximity to the attractions you prefer to visit should probably be the deciding factors. Whatever your preference is, you’ll have a great stay in São Paulo.
More São Paulo tips
Take a look at our other guides about the best places to stay in São Paulo: