Sao Paulo Nightlife

Eschewing sleep, Paulistanos’ love to put the day behind them and enjoy São Paulo’s cornucopia of nocturnal offerings. There are neighbourhood bars all over the city, while nightclubs come and go in a dynamically ephemeral scene. Bohemian Vila Madalena’s bars draw youthful crowds while the Baixo side of Rua Augusta is shedding a seedy reputation and forging a happening identity. For live music, São Paulo looks towards northeast Brazilian forró rather than samba. São Paulo also rules the classic roost with world-class operatic performances, dance companies, and orchestral arrangements.

Leading newspaper Folha de São Paulo produces a weekly Friday listings called Folha Guia while Time Out magazine has recently launched a monthly version for São Paulo in English.

Bars in Sao Paulo


Breathing new life into downtown Centro, this cool yet hot new bar is very vogue. Indy and rock bias yet without the grunge interior as plush leather seating areas and fancy cocktails adorn the low-lit bars above the basement dance floor. The bar’s name is an appropriate wordplay on a Bob Dylan track because Alberta#3’s fun-loving owner, Ivan Finotti, bears a passing resemblance to the great singer-songwriter.

Avenida São Luís 272, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3151 5299.

Despite intercity rivalry, this lively bar pays homage to all things carioca (from Rio). A post-work Pinheiros crowd fills an interior packed with carioca mementos. As the night wears on patrons spill outside onto pavement tables enjoying draught chopp (beer) and Brazilian snacks such as feijão and carne seca.

Avenida Brig. Faria Lima 64, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3815 6881.
Skye Bar

Drop dead cool ambience and cocktails’ expensive enough to fall into splurge category. This trendy restaurant-bar is arranged around a pool on the rooftop of the boutique Hotel Unique and is frequented by São Paulo’s smart set. Background DJ sets but USP is dazzling views over the city’s illuminated nighttime skyline.

Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio 4700, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3055 4710.

Clubs in Sao Paulo


Pulsating LED displays create an ambient lightshow that breathe to the heartbeat of the DJ’s mixes. This doyen of edgy techno and house dance music is an A-lister regularly voted by magazines as one of the best dance venues in the world. Different themes for different nights include Freak chic and Mothership.

Alameda Olga 170, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3667 8334.

Get your groove on in this uber-cool Miami-style club and keep an eye peeled for the occasional VIP guest. Lady Gaga has dropped in, in the past. Attractive staff serve drinks to an equally attractive crowd, and whilst the music is hip-hop, there are several venues within the sprawling space.

Rua Augusta 2805, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3081 3103.

With an interior themed like a casino being viewed through a kaleidoscope, the two dance-floors of this well-established Baixo Augusta venue blend techno and house with hip hop and funk. Live acts perform and partying doesn’t kick off until after 2300.

Rua Augusta 765, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3231 3705.

Live Music in Sao Paulo

Canto de Ema

Sweat-drenched intimacy and fancy footwork herald the best place in town to enjoy forró. For those less confident over their moves, dance classes are available before it opens around 2230. Regular live acts belt out the rhythms of forró and xote to enthusiastic crowds who bop until they drop.

Avenida Brig. Faria Lima 364, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3813 4708.
Ó do Borogogó

Whatever Rio can do. Party time begins around 2100 at Ó do Borogogó - São Paulo’s premier samba joint. Afro-Brazilian rhythms electrify dancing crowds who routinely pack this large spacious venue in Pinheiros.

Rua Horácio Lane 21, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3814 4087.

Classical Music in Sao Paulo

Teatro Municipal

Grand old dame of classic performances that is as memorable for its majestic presence as performances. The sumptuous auditorium dates from the early 20th century and offers opera, dance from the resident Ballet da Cidade, theatre, and classical concerts. Guided tours are available for those simply wanting to gawp at the grandeur.

Praça Ramos de Azevedo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3397 0300.

Opera in Sao Paulo

Sala São Paulo

Recognized as the numero uno concert space in all South America, the Sala possesses acoustics to leave one purring with pleasure. It hosts regular operatic performances of opera and recitals from the resident São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP). The building was the former Sorocaban Railway station, completed in the 1930s at a time when the city was growing quickly on the back of the coffee boom. , stimulated by the coffee trade and railway trade, was growing at quickly. Six decades later, it was transformed into the Júlio Prestes Cultural Complex and became a key part of the city's cultural renaissance.

Praça Júlio Prestes, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telephone: (11) 3367 9500.
Edited by Tina Banerjee
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