The best São Paulo clubs
Nightlife doesn’t exist in São Paulo, because the party runs 24 hours a day. Between the mega-clubs, intimate venues and after-hours spots, it’s amazing anyone gets any sleep.
The hottest electronica club is D.EDGE, a trendy place with a spectral lighting scheme and a never-ending line-up of heavy-hitting electronic DJs.
The quirky, 1950s house-turned-club, Casa 92, lets you dance under the stars in its tree-covered courtyards, lounge on a living room sofa or lean up against a retro fridge. DJs spin everything from electro rock to ’80s disco, just make sure to leave time to explore the decked-out interior.
If neither of these fêtes wears you out, the debauchery at Love Story doesn’t even start until almost three in the morning, when the hookers and go-go dancers get together with night owls, tourists and other random partiers to unwind after work.
Where to see live music in São Paulo
There’s a music venue to suit every taste in São Paulo.
The hottest samba spot in town, Ó do Borogodó, hosts famous names of the genre – from Gafiera Nacional to Dona Inah – that get hips swinging and feet stomping in the syncopated haze of Brazil’s most famous rhythm.
Cine Joia, the live performance venue and former cinema, offers consistently interesting lineups and a superb light and video mapping system.
Another one of the more interesting music venues in town is actually a whole set of them: the city’s excellent collection of SESCs, a city-wide chain of non-profit community centres. They offer athletic facilities, libraries, courses, exhibitions and an always cheap, always solid line-up of established and up-and-coming musical acts. If you only go to one, make it the stunning SESC Pompeia, designed by architect Lina Bo Bardi.
If nothing on the schedule tickles your fancy, for rock and pop, samba and salsa, any genre, any night, head to delightfully funky Rua Augusta. The strip just north of Avenida Paulista bursts with bars, live music venues and clubs for every type: punks, models, rastas, preppies and any other social group you can think of. The performance space at Beco 203 – where a mix of Brazilian and foreign bands take the stage – flatout rocks.
LGBT nightlife in São Paulo
Having held Pride parades so big that the police force stopped counting at 1.8 million parade-goers, São Paulo is quite possibly the gayest city in Latin America.
Neighbourhoods such as Jardins and the area around Rua Frei Caneca are home to gay-friendly restaurants, bars, clubs and saunas, but venues catering to lesbians, gays and transsexuals also dot half the city.
For pre-club drinks and flirting, try neon-lit Volt (no website), which makes an art out of mixing tropical libations. The ultimate party, however, can be found at The Week, one of the biggest clubs in Brazil and now an international brand with popular Saturday-night bashes and monthly pool parties in São Paulo. The megaclub takes its show on the road frequently for nights, carrying Brazilian – nay, Paulistano – flavour to LGBT party-harders in cities such as London, Barcelona and Mexico City.
LGBT club details
Volt Rua Haddock Lobo 40. +55 11 2936 4041.
The Week Rua Guaicurus 324. +55 11 3868 9944.
For in-depth and up to date coverage of all that’s going on in Brazil by local experts – from food and drink to arts and entertainment – visit our local edition at Time Out São Paulo.