São Paulo’s nightlife scene is considered one of the most vibrant and diverse on the continent; whatever your budget, this city has the right nightlife for you. Read on for Culture Trip’s nightlife guide to this vibrant hotspot, with options that go from cheap and cheerful to upscale and luxurious.
Café Piu Piu
In the heart of the Bixiga neighbourhood the Café Piu Piu offers rock for all tastes from Thursday through Saturday. With its stained glass décor and routinely excellent line-up, it’s a hit with concertgoers of all ages who often congregate on the mezzanine which offers panoramic views of the entire space. The club serves longnecks and beer on tap, and for snacks try the latkes (typical Jewish potato cakes) or the fried parmesan balls. Please note: entrance can only be paid in cash or check.
Café Piu Piu, Rua Treze de Maio 134, Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 3258 8066
Price Range: BRL$40 (USD$13) entrance fee
Grazie a Dio!
One of the most traditional samba bars in Vila Madalena, Grazie a Dio! has an agenda that goes from samba to soul, peppered with MPB (Brazilian Popular Music). The bar at Grazie a Dio! is an unusual space, with a sparse décor that includes many candles, saints, and plants. The concept of the venue arose from jam sessions at the Museu de Imagem e Som which brought together various artists from São Paulo, hosting concerts by Seu Jorge, Tulipa Ruiz, Céu, Paula Lima and the Buena Vista Social Club stars. From Tuesday to Sunday, Grazie a Dio! hosts live music with either guest artists or one of their fixture bands: the Quinteto in White and Black, Sambasonics or Clube do Balanço.
Grazie a Dio!, R. Girassol 67, Vila Madalena, São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 3031 6569
Price Range: BRL$30 (USD$10) depending on the artist
Before Hot Hot, the owner, Flávia Cecatto, had already made her name in the São Paulo club scene with the successful venues B.A.S.E. And Lov.e. The Hot Hot has three beautiful mother-of-pearl chandeliers illuminating the lounge, all patterned with kitsch designs from the 1970s. On the menu are drinks made with fruit popsicles and named after celebrities, such as Madame Satan and Latino. From Thursday to Saturday the main dance floor hosts hundreds of people pulsing to electronic music under its 8,000 coloured lights. Tip to avoid lines: buy your ticket in advance online.
Hot Hot, Rua Santo Antônio 570, Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 2985 8685
Price Range: BRL$30-$80 (USD$10-26)
Located on top of the Maksoud Plaza hotel, the PanAm Club offers one of the most beautiful views of the capital and is a current favourite among all-night revellers in this city. With its location on the 22nd (top) floor of the building, the PanAm Club has an airport ambiance with speakers that reproduce the noise of airplane turbines and blue LED lights that guide the public to the ‘runway’. The helipad, one of the most crowded spaces, is used as a smoking area. No matter the day or line-up, parties held at the PanAm prioritise pop and electronic music.
PanAm Club, Alameda Campinas 150, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 3111 6330
Price Range: up to BRL$100 (USD$32) depending on band
One of the main electronic music clubs in São Paulo, D-Edge is a popular place for all types of tribes in São Paulo. In 2010, it underwent an expansion that doubled its capacity, making another two floors available to attendees. The venue has a smoking area overlooking the Memorial da América Latina, one of the club’s most sought-after spaces. The 3D dance floor, with its 200 rectangles of light coating all sides, is also a main attraction. On Mondays, the place makes room for rock with its ‘On the Rocks’ night.
D-Edge Club, Avenida Auro Soares de Moura Andrade 141, Barra Funda, São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 3665 9500
Price Range: BRL$40-$150 (USD$13-48)
The Lions nightclub is a really popular spot, not just for eclectic programming, but for its retro décor, the 3D-effect dance floor and the open patio, which offers a beautiful view of the Sé Cathedral. The nightclub plays electronic music, hip-hop, soul, funk, future beats and Brazilian music.
Lions Nightclub, Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 277, 1st floor, República, São Paulo, Brazil
Price Range: starts at BRL$120 (USD$39)
Bourbon Street may be one of the most famous and traditional jazz, blues, soul and funk music clubs in the city. Artists like B.B. King, Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis, Shirley Horn, Nina Simone, and Brazilians Naná Vasconcelos, Zimbo Trio, and Elza Soares have played on its stage. The club’s bar, shaped like a grand piano, is known for its special drinks and appetizers. Bourbon Street aims to re-create the atmosphere of New Orleans, ideal for those seeking good music and a space to drink with friends.
Bourbon Street, Rua dos Chanés 127, Moema, São Paulo, Brazil +55 115095 6100
Price Range: up to BRL$250 (USD$80) depending on artist
Installed at the Fasano Hotel, the Barreto bar is downright classy – the type of place you go when you’re looking to impress someone. The high prices are compensated for by its alluring ambiance, replete with comfortable leather armchairs, dim lighting, extremely courteous service and good quality live music. From Monday to Saturday, there are jazz and MPB performances in the centre of the bar.
Bar Barreto, Rua Vitório Fasano 88, Jardins, São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 3896 4000
Price Range: BRL$50 (USD$16) music cover; drinks start in the BRL$60 (USD$20) range