São Paulo is home to more than 18 million fiercely proud paulistanos (as residents are known), all of whom will happily tell you at length to you how they’d never live elsewhere. Spend time with them and the reasons will soon unfold. Maybe they will introduce you to the city’s innumerable art-house cinemas and experimental theaters. If they’re gourmands, they’ll focus on the smart bistros and gourmet restaurants that make the city a world-renowned foodie haven. If they’re scenesters, follow them on a raucous tour of underground bars and the 24/7 clubbing scene. Whatever pleasures you might covet, Sampa (the city’s affectionate nickname) probably has them in spades.
The world of arts and theatrical plays stands out in São Paulo. Latin America’s cultural center, São Paulo has 101 museums, 282 movie theaters, 146 libraries and around 40 cultural centers; besides several popular festivities and fair that take place in its streets. Besides this, the city has 182 theaters. They are places for spectacles of all artistic veins, which range from Broadway musicals super productions to vanguard theater.
Diversified and extremely rich gastronomy; the city gathers some of the best restaurants in Latin America and the world — amongst its over 15 thousand restaurants and 20 thousand bars. There are national and international options, which reach every customer. Besides the culinary of 52 countries, São Paulo is famous for its food trucks and “gastronomic little fairs”, which nowadays take over the streets of the city.
São Paulo’s nightlife is a faithful portrait of the city: frenetic, creative and democratic. In 2014, columnist Mark Manson, from CNN, elected the Paulista capital as one of the ten best places in the world in parties, nightclubs and other night time programs. São Paulo was the only Brazilian city to figure on the list. It has room for it all, ranging from sertanejo, R&B, rock´n´roll and samba; electronic music, pop and forró. Vila Madalena, Itaim Bibi, Vila Olímpia, Downtown and Barra Funda are some of the busiest neighborhoods for those who like to enjoy the night in the capital.
The largest shopping center of the country
The state capital is the main destination for shopping tourism in the country, with luxurious options but also extremely cheap shopping centers. There are over 50 malls and around 60 thematic market streets — ranging from electronics to chandeliers. One of the most charming addresses of São Paulo is Rua Oscar Freire. There you will find over 200 stores of National and International brands. If the purpose is to get a good bargain, head to Rua 25 de Março — the largest outdoors market conglomerate of Latin America, with over three thousand stores. Also around downtown, Bom Retiro and Brás neighborhoods are specialized in clothing. And in Itaim, at Rua João Cachoeira, and in Moema, at Rua Bem-Te-Vi, there are excellent outlets.
Nature, animals and green areas
Even being the largest economic center of Brazil, and a mainly urban metropolis, São Paulo preserves its areas of contact with nature; where it’s possible to do sports, spend outdoor’s time and get to know several kinds of animal species. Some of these places are São Paulo Zoo, São Paulo Aquarium, Butantan Institute and the 111 parks spread out around the city, like Ibirapuera, Juventude, Água Branca and Parque Estadual da Cantareira.