weekend away - São Paulo
Written by Juan Cifrian
For a city that boasts the title of Brazil’s cultural, culinary, and shopping capital, it’s puzzling how São Paulo has managed to stay under the tourist radar for this long.
As summer temperatures return to the corridors of landmark-dotted Centro, ultra-chic Jardins, and trendy, urban-art-scaped Vila Madalena and Pinheiros, this sprawling metropolis sizzles in more ways than one.
Infectious drumlines pulsate through samba school, Carnival rehearsals, and other live music venues on Saturday afternoons; and the hissing of fried and grilled delicacies at al fresco eateries like Jardim Paulista’s jungle-themed Capim Santo arouse the senses.
Summer weekends also mean smaller crowds at the city’s world-class galleries and museums, like the imposing MASP on Avenida Paulista; and easier access to the continent’s finest restaurants, such as Alex Atala’s D.O.M. and Helena Rizzo’s modern Brazilian gem, Maní.
Find shade and fresh coconut water at the city’s picturesque meeting point, Ibirapuera Park, or go on a shopping spree at the elite JK Iguatemi shopping mall. Finally, take in the stunning views from high above at restaurant/lounge Terraço Itália or the striking sculptural masterpiece Hotel Unique from its rooftop restaurant and lounge, Skye.
São Paulo, Brazil
Rua Oscar Freire
Navigating a city the size of São Paulo is a daunting task, so if you prefer to cherry-pick an area, Rua Oscar Freire has it all. Set in the heart of the city’s fashionable Jardins neighbourhood, this designer street packs in plenty of gems including the flagship Havaianas store, the opulent Emiliano hotel and restaurant, the shoe-store-cum-art-gallery Melissa, and the city’s creamiest gelateria, Bacio di Latte.