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.

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 charge 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.

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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Barra Funda, Água Branca, and Lapa 4

Bela Vista 1

Consolação 4

Freguesia do Ó 1

Itaim Bibi 3

Jardim Paulistano 2

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Moema 1

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Bars/ Pubs 21

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Gay and Lesbian 5

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São Paulo Nightlife

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A Lanterna

  • Dance Clubs

Because this venue is a restaurant, a bar, and a nightclub, you can go early for dinner and stay late for dancing. Actors, dancers, and...

Alberta #3

  • Dance Clubs

A linchpin of the nightlife revival pulling hipsters back to Centro, this club across from the Novotel Jaraguá caters to crowds from...

All of Jazz

  • Music Clubs

People come here to listen quietly to good jazz and bossa nova in an intimate environment—there's even a CD store upstairs with more...

Astor

  • Bars/Pubs

The 1960s and 1970s bohemian-chic decor here sends you back in time. The quality draft beer and tasty snacks and meals mean that Astor...

Balcão

  • Bars/Pubs

Balcão means "bar" in Portuguese, and this artsy place has a long, curving one. If you'd like a little food to accompany your drinks...

Bar Brahma

  • Bars/Pubs

First opened in 1948, Bar Brahma used to be the meeting place of artists, intellectuals, and politicians. The decor is a time warp to...

Bar Do Arnesto

  • Bars/Pubs

More than 500 types of the rumlike liquor cachaça—the main ingredient in caipirinhas, Brazil's national cocktail—line a huge wall...

Blue Space

  • Dance Clubs

In a huge colonial blue house in an old industrial neighborhood, Blue Space is one of the largest gay nightclubs in São Paulo. Every...

Bourbon Street

  • Music Clubs

With a name right out of New Orleans, it's no wonder that Bourbon Street is where the best jazz and blues bands, Brazilian and international...

Bubu Lounge Disco

  • Dance Clubs

Disco balls dangle over the dance floor at gay Bubu, where shirtless is the new fully clothed. Drag performers strut their stuff at Sunday...

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