São Paulo is a tough nut to crack. The city is huge, has tall buildings, and there are many different areas. It is hard to find your way if you don’t know where to go. This is the reason why many travellers skip São Paulo. More popular for travellers of the Brazilian Green Coast is Rio de Janeiro, because of its location right to the sea. Though, there is one thing that the paulistas do better than the cariocas: nightlife. Don’t skip São Paulo if you are a nocturnal animal like me. Below is my top 5 of places that I visited during my last stay in São Paulo.
- Mirante 9 de Julho
Absolutely one of my favourite places. The venue is located not far from Avenida Paulista, right on the roundabout behind the famous museum MASP. The bar is below the stairs and gives the feeling that you are standing on a viaduct. Cars are crossing underneath and above, and the venue offers a great view on the concrete jungle that this city is. The crowd is a mix of young, creative people, and people who are just randomly passing by. The openness of the bar is very inviting. Besides there is often live music upon the roof or DJ is playing the nice tunes from the bar. Find the line-up here.
2. Hotel Unique – View Bar
The View Bar is the rooftop bar located on the 30th floor of Hotel Unique in the neighbourhood Jardins. The place lives up to its name: there is a view. And it is unique too! There are only a couple of cities that are bigger than São Paulo, so this is why most likely you haven’t seen a cityscape of this magnitude before. The amount of buildings and lights you can see from here is stunning. The hotel is located close to Ibirapuera Park, so the hotel is surrounded by low-rise buildings. The crowd in the bar is cosmopolitan like the view. Bossa Nova Deep House came from the speaker to set the right mood. Dress to impress, sit down alongside the red designer swimming pool, and join for a cocktail. Disclaimer: be prepared to wait in the line for a moment. We had to wait for about 30 minutes, before we could go enter the elevator. But trust me, it is worth it.
“I’m on the edge of glory, and I’m hanging on a moment with you.”If you want to go to a place to get your feet moving, D-Edge is the superclub of São Paulo. Here the underground electronic music continues until the early hours (this is the place for the after-parties on Sunday – check the event schedule). For being a gringo I had to pay more entrance than my Brazilian friends, but this superclub was actually worth it. It has three rooms and a roof terrace that provides a cosmopolitan view (you may know by now that I like this). Most special is the room with flashing LEDs all around you, which is synchronized with the audio. It is a unique experience, and provides probably the best background to your dance moves that you will ever have. Read more about events in D-Edge.
4. Vila Madalena
Vila Madalena is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the area of Pinheiros of São Paulo. Around here you will find a lot of street art and galleries. This part of the city is the home for a lot of students and creatives. And this crowd (of course) means party. There are many great bars to visit all located closely to each other. Among them are: Boteco Todos os Santos, Alto da Harmonia, Boteca São Bento and Bar Astor. People gather in the bar in the afternoons for aperitivo to consequently stay the entire night. Remarkable about the neighbourhood I find that the area feels more cozy than anywhere else in this big city. Vila Madalena gave me the comfortable atmosphere, like you can find them in the smaller European capitals where you go from bar to bar. Tip: go to the basement of Bar Astor, it is called SubAstor. Here they offer some of the best cocktails around!
5. Nos Trilhos
If you are looking for an eccentric and inspiring setting to get your dosis of nightlife go to Nos Trilhos. Here you can find a great open air party on what looks like a train cemetery in the area of Mooca. A great variety of music, as the venue hosts a lot of live acts. Keep dancing between old and deserted metros until sunrise and see how the city lives up again. Make sure to get on a metro that actually rides to get back home! Other than a great spot for nighttime, the venue also offers expositions and cultural events for during the day. Read more about the events at Nos Trilhos here.
- Mirante 9 de Julho: Rua Carlos Comenale (right behind MASP), SP
- Hotel Unique – View Bar: Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 4700, Jardim Paulista, SP
- D-Edge: Avenida Auro Soares de Moura Andrade 141, Barra Funda, SP
- Vila Madalena (the area south of Vila Madalena metro station, and northern Fradique Coutinho station), Pinheiros, SP
- Nos Trilhos, Rua Visconde de Parnaiba, 1253, Mooca, SP