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

Dance Clubs 18

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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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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

D.Edge

  • 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...

Funhouse

  • Dance Clubs

Indie rock—live or recorded—is on the musical menu at two-story Funhouse, though these days the focus is more on DJs than on bands.

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...

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