The Ultimate Guide to São Paulo's: Arts, Luxury Shopping and Gourmet Dining

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Curated By

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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  • São Paulo

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Brazil

  • Local Culture

  • Gourmet

  • High-end

A resort with pool and garden.
Curator’s statement

São Paulo's status as a global business hub, combined with its rich cultural offerings, make it an ideal destination for luxury hotels (from classic properties to luxury urban resorts!) and gourmet dining. Travelers seeking an exceptional experience, world-class service, elegant accommodations, and access to the city's finest attractions, will find São Paulo to be a compelling choice for their luxury stay while in Brazil.

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Where to stay in São Paulo

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Palácio Tangará

Palácio Tangará brings refined European hospitality combined with Brazilian art de vivre in its contemporary-designed spaces and Jean-Georges restaurant.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Rosewood São Paulo

Matching the energy and heritage of Brazil, this luxury urban oasis is made from preserved 20th century buildings and offers wellness experiences, as well as unique spaces to dine and relax in.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food/beverage credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade, based on availability.

Hotel Emiliano

Located in a charming and bustling neighborhood in São Paulo, this contemporary hotel features bright rooms designed for comfort, plus a fine dining restaurant and spa.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in São Paulo

Tall city buildings during day time.

SÃO PAULO MUSEUM OF ART (MASP) - You can't think about what to do in São Paulo without including MASP (São Paulo Museum of Art). It houses 8,000 pieces, including paintings and sculptures by renowned artists like Rodin, Van Gogh, and Monet. There are always temporary exhibitions happening there as well. MASP also offers a great view of São Paulo. It's a museum where you should spend at least 2 hours. The address is Avenida Paulista, 1578, Cerqueira César neighborhood. It's near the Trianon-MASP station. It's closed on Mondays. It's open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The ticket office stays open until half an hour before closing time.

PINACOTECA - The Pinacoteca is a charming red-brick building. There, you'll see classic artworks, sculptures by Rodin, paintings by Portinari, and a collection of Brazilian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Every now and then, there are some cool temporary exhibitions. Moreover, the exposed brick structure is quite beautiful. Also, take the time to enjoy a coffee on the balcony of the snack bar located inside the Pinacoteca, taking in the views of Parque da Luz. The park is a beautifully dense garden.

It's located opposite the Luz metro station, at Praça da Luz, nº 2. It's open from Wednesday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In roughly an hour to an hour and a half, you can tour the Pinacoteca.

If you'd like to combine a visit to the Pinacoteca with a tour of Estação da Luz and the Museum of the Portuguese Language, which was recently reopened.

LATIN AMERICA MEMORIAL - I love Brazilian folklore and I find the colors of the crafts from our Latin American "hermanos" breathtaking. This place deserves a spot on your "things to do in SP" list, even if it's a brief visit. The Memorial was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, and consists of several buildings featuring his signature rounded lines. What's really cool about the place is the Pavilion of Creativity, where there's a permanent exhibition showcasing Brazilian folklore crafts and other typical pieces from Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Peru. Additionally, there are occasional temporary exhibitions.

IBIRAPUERA PARK - It's São Paulo's "Central Park", but much bigger! First and foremost, forget the idea of exploring the entire park in one day. That's because the park spans 1.6 million m². And there are many attractions: besides the green areas for walking, cycling, and picnicking, there are museums, a Japanese garden, a planetarium, an auditorium for concerts, lakes with ducks, an area for skating, a sculpture garden. Our tip: decide in advance what you want to see there, because, as I said, the park is massive.

SHOPPING - For shopping, São Paulo is not just a melting pot of culture and art but also a bustling hub for fashion and luxury. One of the ways this is most evident is in São Paulo's array of ultra-luxury shopping malls, which are a testament to its evolving urban culture and an attraction for both locals and tourists:

Shopping Cidade Jardim: Located in the upscale neighborhood of the same name, Shopping Cidade Jardim is a paradigm of luxury. This open-air mall is set against a backdrop of lush green gardens, making for a serene shopping experience. Its unique design allows you to enjoy natural light while you shop. Housing brands like Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, it's a destination for the city's elite. The mall also boasts some of the city’s best gourmet dining options.

Iguatemi São Paulo: One of the oldest malls in the city, Iguatemi is often referred to as São Paulo's fashion mecca. Located in the ritzy neighborhood of Jardins, it's home to luxury brands such as Prada, Burberry, and Dolce & Gabbana. Over the years, it's maintained its reputation by continually upgrading and adding contemporary touches, ensuring it remains a top destination for high-end fashion shoppers.

JK Iguatemi: A sister mall to Iguatemi São Paulo, JK Iguatemi is a modern addition to São Paulo's luxury shopping scene. With its futuristic architecture and a vast array of international brands, it caters to a younger, trendier audience while maintaining the charm of luxury. It also has a state-of-the-art cinema and fine dining establishments, making it a perfect spot for an upscale day out.

Shopping Pátio Higienópolis: Nestled in the historic district of Higienópolis, this mall offers a blend of luxury and charm. Its neoclassical architecture complements its sophisticated stores. Though it's more understated than its counterparts, it's a favorite among São Paulo's t residents.

Day Trips

Yes! A chic countryside trip to Fasano Boa Vista, 1 hour and a half from São Paulo. The Hotel Fasano Boa Vista is located within "Fazenda Boa Vista", a farm designed as an upscale residential countryside complex. Expect incredible landscaping, lakes, golf courses, polo, swimming pools, a club, an equestrian center, helipads; the place is extremely well-laid out.

It patrons the comforts of urban life in the countryside, with complete safety. Today, in addition to the more than 200 residences built, the Hotel Fasano, the Equestrian Center, two golf courses, tennis, squash, and sports courts are in full operation, as well as the Kid's Club and the Farm, aimed at children's recreation, and trails for cycling, horse riding, and walking. All of this on a 12 million m² property, with three million of them covered by native forests, lakes, groves, and gardens.

In a perfect combination with the best Italian cuisine, the Hotel Fasano Boa Vista brings together the excellence of the Fasano brand with the comfort and unpretentiousness of country life. The hotel welcomes its guests in an atmosphere of tranquility and coziness, immersed in an environment of wood and green - a lot of green! Book with FORA for Virtuoso and LHW Perks!

Places to eat & drink in São Paulo

Salad with tomatoes and Brazilian palm, boiled eggs and meat.

São Paulo has emerged as one of the world's great food cities for gourmet dining. The Michelin Guide, internationally recognized as a benchmark for fine dining, has bestowed its stars upon several of São Paulo's establishments. Here's a closer look at some of these Michelin-starred gems:

  1. D.O.M. - Chef Alex Atala's D.O.M is regarded as the poster child of Brazilian haute cuisine. Regularly listed among the world's top 50 restaurants, D.O.M. showcases indigenous ingredients from the Amazon rainforest in innovative and unexpected ways. Atala's commitment to sustainability and his deep respect for Brazilian culinary traditions make dining at D.O.M a transcendent experience. Plan in advance!

2. Maní - Housed in a contemporary space in the Jardim Paulistano neighborhood, Maní is led by star Chef Helena Rizzo. The cuisine here is a blend of traditional Brazilian flavors with modern culinary techniques. Its dishes are both a visual treat and a delight to the palate.

3. Tuju - Chef Ivan Ralston's Tuju is a culinary ode to Brazil's biodiversity. The restaurant, with its minimalist decor, focuses on organic and locally sourced ingredients, bringing the rich tapestry of Brazilian flavors to the forefront. Its tasting menus are a journey through Brazil's culinary landscape.

4. Jun Sakamoto - Jun Sakamoto stands out as one of the premier sushi establishments. This intimate restaurant offers an omakase experience where Chef Jun Sakamoto himself often prepares the dishes, ensuring a memorable dining event.

5. Evvai - Chef Luiz Filipe Souza's Evvai is a celebration of Brazil's coastal cuisine. Drawing inspiration from his European culinary training and the rich produce of Brazil, the menu at Evvai is both eclectic and rooted in tradition.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Clara Raposo’s guide, A Guide to Art and Gastronomy in São Paulo, Brazil.

Phelipe wearing glasses, a suit and a hat while smiling and standing outside in front of a city street.

Travel Advisor

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Brazil.