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Being a Carioca (a person from Rio de Janeiro) should oblige me NOT to talk about São Paulo like this. For many years and decades there were a friendly competition between Sâo Paulo and Rio.

While São Paulo is the economic capital of the country, Rio has the glamour. And the 2 cities always competed to get what the other had. We are never happy with what we have and we always think the grass is greener on the other side. Nevertheless, being a Brazilian who loves his country, I do need to override the kind of brother love-hate thing to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.


São Paulo is not only about the business and the money. It is also about creativity, arts and power. Being the biggest business center of the entire Latin American countries, São Paulo is considered to be the home of the country’s elite. The best musicians, the best fashion designers, the best managers and the most gorgeous models are in Sampa (friendly way to call the city). That’s why fashion week is in Sâo Paulo. Follow the Luxuryactivist Travel review here bellow.

Avenida Paulista, the heart of Sampa

avenida Paulista
Despite that it might be the place where you might eat the best pizza in the world (pizza night in Sâo Paulo is crazy), the city has great richness interms of architecture and art. Avenida Paulista is the main pulse of the city. All creative agencies are around the famous avenue and all along that street, several places should be highlighted.

Art is more than a fact, it is a lifestyle

The great thing with São Paulo is the fact that you can find an amazing art scene, from very institutional corporations to young artists and designers. One of these places is the MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo. Designed by Lina Bo Bardi, the amazing architecture of the building makes it quite unique and completely melted into the urban contemporary vision of such a metropole.

MASP building
Permanent collections and ephemeral exhibitions rhythm the museum activities. Check the museum website for more information:

Another amazing place is the Ibirapuera Park. Designed by the Master himself in 1950, it is a very inspiring auditorium with an unique feeling.
Ibirapuera oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer

Ibirapuera Park
Colors and shape were associated in harmony in order to make your imagination fly into the highest. Official website:

And we could not talk about art in São Paulo without mentioning the famous Campana Brothers. Fernando and Humberto Campana astonished the world 15 years ago with their Arte Povere
Campana brothers


Frères Campana

Music at its best. Next generation of musicians

Ivete Sangalo
Ivete Sangalo

Brazil is the land of Samba and Bossa Nova. Great Brazilian names marked world music history. All great names with huge amount of talent that shaped the vision of Brazilian music until today. Some of the magic names are Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Joâo Gilberto and recently Carlinhos Brown, Seu Jorge, Ivete Sangalo or Lenine.

Seu Jorge
Seu Jorge

São Paulo has the greatest musicians who populates the avant-garde team of new talents. If you should follow one artist, you need to discover Rodrigo Del Arc. He is 28 years old, he is a pure São Paulo guy and he might be the next Moby or the new Carlinhos Brown. He already released his 2nd Album and his reputation is growing very fast.
Rodrigo del Arc

Where to stay and what to do in Sâo Paulo?

São Paulo is a huge city and we have selected a short list of places to be during your next journey to “Sampa”.

Hotels in Sâo Paulo

In terms of Hotels, there are 2 addresses you need to have. The first one is the Fasano hotel. Located in Jardins, one of the best areas in São Paulo, you will recognize the typical red brick façade. The inside of the hotel is very elegant and cosy. Wooden floors and leather armchairs will welcome in a very stylish way.
FASANO hotel sao paulo

hotel fasano sao paulo

The concierge is exceptional. You can ask him basically everything. They have a very interesting bar where jazz concerts are played, the perfect place to chill-out at the end of the day.
Hotel Fasano
Rua Vittorio Fasano 88
Tel: +

The second hotel is the Hotel Unique. As its name explains, it is a one of a kind hotel. The building itself has a moon crescent shape that spot it out completely from the urban landscape. Some people also associate its original shape with a ship. The outside might look like a secret location for a adventure movie but you will seduced by the inside.



The huge lobby will immediately take your breath away and when you will see the roof swimming pool and bar, you will say to yourself that you are at the right spot. You will also appreciate the nice panoramic view over São Paulo.
Hotel Unique
Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio 4700
Jardim Paulista
Tel: +

Restaurants in São Paulo

In terms of restaurants, the choice in São Paulo is huge. And when I say huge, we are talking about thousands of restaurants. Every corner of the city has a restaurant. Of course some of them are more interesting than others.
Our first choice is the Mani. Also in Jardim Paulistano, this charming restaurant serves what we could call a neo-Brazilian food. Beef is prepared traditionally but aligned with an amazing lapsang souchong crust.


Several traditional dishes reviewed in a more contemporary way. White washed walls and straw roof will make you feel nostalgic in the middle of the modern city. It is a complete heaven.
Rua Joaquim Antunes 210
Jardim Paulistano
Tel: +

You could not leave town without going to a Churrascaria, these amazing meat restaurants where once you taste the meat, it is going to be hard to find something equal in another country. Several chains like Porcâo or Fogo de Châo exist. Our recommendation though would be the one called Rodeio. This one is an institution in Sâo Paulo. The restaurant kept its interior design now 60 years old. There are space for 260 seats so you will meet all São Paulo there.


During the week is more a business lunch and dinner ambiance while on weekends the atmosphere is more friends and family oriented. If you wish to try at least one piece of meat (even if you are vegetarian), try the Picanha. By far the most tasteful one. They also have a Rodeio rice that would make you love rice if it is not the case.
Rua Haddock Lobo 1498
Jardim Paulista
Tel: +

Shopping in São Paulo

São Paulo offers several possibilities for shopping. Brazilians love to go to the Mall. A concept imported from the US. They are mega-structures with large park spaces, restaurants, cinemas and great number of shops. They have air-conditioning and Brazilians could spend the entire day there. In São Paulo the most famous one is JK Iguatemi. The temple of luxury shopping in Sampa.



You can find more than 230 shops which sell all international brands from Armani to Zegna. It also has interesting boom shops like Livraria da Vila designed by Isay Weinfeld.
JK Iguatemi
Avenida Presidente Juscelino Kubitscheck 2041
Itaim Bibi

You cannot visit Brazil without purchasing at least one pair of famous Havaianas, the Brazilian flip-flops. So you have one reference destination: the official Havaianas shop. It is a success story as it all started in the 60’s. Supposed to be a cheap yet reliable shoes adapted to Brazil climate, today it became a fashion icon.




Every year Havaianas sell more than 150 million pairs. You will find all colours, shapes and trends. There is always a pair of Havaianas you should have. The store itself has a fancy design.
Rua Oscar Freire 1116
Jardim Paulista

If you are interested in Antiques, you will be delighted with the Feira de Antiguidades. It happens every weekend a little bit all over the city. But the best dealers are around Praça Benedito Calixto and by the MASP, especially on Sundays.



As you can see, you definitely need to find some time to discover São Paulo. Either during a business trip or purely for leisure, it is a great city to spend a couple of days. And if you hesitate to accept a job there, well now you have your good reasons to say yes.

Info sourced at Swiss inflight-magazine, wikipedia, Folha de São Paulo and UOL noticias. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.