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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Vila Mariana 11

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Bars/ Pubs 21

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Tapas Bars 1

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Gay and Lesbian 5

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São Paulo Nightlife

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Café Piu Piu

  • Music Clubs

The café is best-known for its live-rock nights—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On other nights, it hosts groups that play rock jazz,...

Canto da Ema

  • Dance Clubs

At what's widely considered the best place in town to dance forró (music/dance from Brazil's Northeast), you'll find people of different...

Carioca Club

  • Music Clubs

A carioca is a person from Rio de Janeiro, and Carioca Club has the decor of old-style Rio clubs. Its large dance floor attracts an...

Casa 92

  • Dance Clubs

Giving new meaning to the concept house party, Casa 92 was fashioned out of a converted domicile. The living room has been fitted with...

Cine Joia

  • Dance Clubs

Cine Joia takes the form of a resurrected vintage cinema, minus the seating but with the added attraction of a top-notch video-mapping...


  • Dance Clubs

Electronic music is the main attraction at this popular club with a Death Star–meets–Studio 54 appeal. As many as nine DJs, often...


  • Bars/Pubs

Your creepy aunt's house filled with bizarre keepsakes meets quaint garden bar at Drosophyla. Young professionals and midlife free spirits...


  • Bars/Pubs

Most patrons stop at Empanadas for a beer en route to another Vila Madalena bar. It's a good place to "warm up" for an evening out with...


  • Bars/Pubs

When it comes to ending the night, Filial is considered by many to be the best bar in town. Many musicians stop by for an after-hours...


  • Bars/Pubs

A stop at off-the-beaten-path Frangó, northwest of Centro, makes you feel as if you've been transported to a small town. The bar has...


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