São Paulo Nightlife

São Paulo's nightlife options are seemingly endless, so knowing where to go is key. The chic and wealthy head for establishments, most of which serve food, in the Vila Olímpia, Jardins, and Itaim neighborhoods. The Pinheiros and Vila Madalena neighborhoods have a large concentration of youthful clubs and bars, and many trendy clubs have opened in Barra Funda. Jardins and Centro have many gay and

lesbian spots, with the area around Rua Augusta catering to hipsters.

Some São Paulo music clubs host rock, jazz, and blues artists, but when it comes to Brazilian music, the options abound. On weekends you'll find música popular brasileira (MPB, popular Brazilian music), samba, and pagode (similar to samba but with pop-music elements) in clubs throughout the city—many operating from early afternoon to early evening and accompanied by feijoada or other meals. At forró clubs, couples dance close to the fast beat and romantic lyrics of music that originated in the Northeast.

Most clubs open at 9 pm, but people tend to arrive late (around midnight) and dance until 5 or 6 am. Still, you should arrive early to be at the front of the lines. Don't worry if the dance floor appears empty at 11 pm; things will start to sizzle an hour or so later.

Clubbing can get expensive. Most clubs charge at least R$20 at the door (sometimes women are allowed in for free), and the most popular and upscale places as much as R$300 just for entry. At the hottest clubs, expect to wait in line for a bit, especially if you head out late. Expect to wait in line on the way out again, too—the system is usually that you charge your drinks on an electronic tab, presenting the card and paying upon leaving. It can mean long queues: smart clubbers think ahead and pay up in good time.

São Paulo has a large and lively gay scene with a smorgasbord of bars, cafés, and mega nightclubs spread throughout the city. There's a good cluster of watering holes along Avenida Vieira de Carvalho and Rua Martinho Prada in República, and Ruas Frei Caneca, Augusta, and Bela Cintra in Consolação (10 minutes from the Consolação and Paulista metros on Avenida Paulista) are regular rendezvous points and hangout.

A word about happy hour: Unlike in some countries, where the term refers to those few early-evening hours when drinks are cheaper, happy hour (pronounced and written in English) in Brazil simply means the time just after the work day ends, around 6 pm, when you might head to a bar for a drink with friends or colleagues. Despite the lack of discounted cocktails, paulistanos love to use the term, and many bars are judged purely on their suitability as a happy hour venue.

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São Paulo Nightlife

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Piratininga

  • Music Clubs

The tiny round tables at Piratininga, a small bar-restaurant, are perfect for a quiet rendezvous. The live MPB—bossa nova, blues, and...

Posto 6

  • Bars/Pubs

One of four comparable and fashionable bars at the corner of Mourato Coelho and Aspicuelta streets, Posto 6 pays homage to Rio de Janeiro...

Rey Castro

  • Dance Clubs

Salsa, merengue, zouk, and Latin pop predominate at Rey Castro; and during the breaks between live performances, you can take dance classes...

Riviera Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

A firm nighttime favorite, Riviera reinvented a much-loved corner bar dating from 1949 as a chic, modern nightspot owned by star chef...

The Week

  • Bars/Pubs

Occupying a nearly 6,000-square-meter (64,500-square-foot) space, this club popular with gay men has two dance floors, three lounge rooms,...

UP Club

  • Dance Clubs

DJs spin hip-hop and rap, and dancers pack the floor on Friday night at the UP Club. If things get too steamy, you can take a breather...

Veloso

  • Bars/Pubs

Tables here are as disputed as a parking spot in front of a downtown apartment. An intimate corner bar on a quiet cobblestone plaza,...

Vermont Itaim

  • Bars/Pubs

A major lesbian hangout in Itaim, this venue offers dining, live music, and dancing. Ten acts divvy up the showtimes from Wednesday to...

Villa Country

  • Dance Clubs

This is the place to dance to American country music and sertanejo, Brazilian country music. The huge club has a restaurant, bars,...

Ó do Borogodó

  • Dance Clubs

With live samba and MPB music every night of the week, this packed little club is a firm local favorite and provides a reliably good...

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