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MUST READ – Where to Stay in São Paulo Brazil (September 2020)

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You’re planning your trip, but you have no idea where to stay in São Paulo. You have heard lots of stories about Brazil on the news, and you wondered, “Is São Paulo safe?” or “What are safe neighborhoods to stay in São Paulo?” I hear you.

If I weren’t Brazilian, I would feel overwhelmed with the possibilities and options available in the city.

Mind you, the city is the largest one in South America, let alone the southern hemisphere. That’s why finding reasonable accommodation in São Paulo can be daunting.

But fear not. I’m here to help you find the best area to stay in São Paulo for your needs and wishes. Whether you want to stay near nightlife or museums, you’ll find something for you in this post.

I’ve covered all possible “interest areas” because I want you to have a fantastic time in São Paulo, Brazil.

In this article, I’ll talk about the four-ish main neighborhoods that I like and recommend. While I described each one of them in detail, I also made an overview so you can scan the text and jump to what piques your interest.

Without further ado, let’s talk about where to stay in São Paulo.

Remember to pin this post to find it easily later.

Where to stay in São Paulo – Budget overview

Accommodation in São Paulo can vary a lot depending on where you stay—neighborhood and budget category-wise. 

If you’re wondering how much does it cost to stay in a hotel in São Paulo, here is a general range of what I mean by each budget category:

Where to stay in São Paulo

  • Budget: Around $5-20 per night for a dorm bed or under $50 for a double.
  • Mid-range: Around $50-110
  • Luxury: Around $110 per night or more

My top picks are:

Budget: For a hostel, I recommend Tapera Hostel. I didn’t stay there myself but went there many times to pick up Dutch friends staying in town, and they loved it.

The place was always neat and had a good location: a 10-minute walk from Paulista Avenue and a 1-minute walk from the metro station. On the downside, they don’t serve breakfast, but there’s a small & popular snack bar in the corner.

Click here to check rates, reviews, and availability.

Mid-range: For a perfectly located hotel that is shockingly affordable, I recommend the Ibis Paulista. The hotel is at Paulista Avenue itself, and it’s near a bunch of cafes, restaurants, metro stations, bus stops, and many places mentioned in this article. Free WiFi available, too.

Whenever my husband and I travel to São Paulo nowadays, that’s where we stay because there’s no better location at this price. Seriously.

Click here to check rates, reviews, and availability.

Luxury: For a more luxurious stay, I recommend the Hotel Unique. The name says it all: this hotel is unique. The building reminds a ship, and the interior has a trendy decoration.

While the rooms are obviously luxurious, my favorite part is the rooftop swimming pool and bar. Oh, the famous Skye Bar at the Unique Hotel.

There, besides having a unique view of the skyline and Ibirapuera Park, a DJ plays some songs during the night. Need I say more? For a luxurious stay in São Paulo with a breathtaking view, Hotel Unique is the best option.

Click here to check rates, reviews, and availability.

Farol Santander building, former Altino Arantes, in São Paulo Downtown
Farol Santander building, former Altino Arantes

Best neighborhood to stay in São Paulo 

Before we jump into the specifics about the best hotels to stay in São Paulo, I decided to give you an overview of the nearby attractions as well as what each neighborhood is best for. Think of shopping, museums, nightlife, and so on.

These are the best areas to stay in São Paulo. I love visiting those places, and I always find something new there. That’s why I’m confident about recommending them.

Pinheiros/Vila Madalena neighborhood

  • Batman Alley and lots of street art
  • Todos os Santos Bar, São Conrado Bar, and São Paulo Tap House for cold beer and snacks.
  • Benedito Calixto Market (street market filled with culture and live presentations)

Comfort Suites Oscar Freire

Best for São Paulo art, bars, and nightlife

Jardim Paulista/Jardins neighborhood

  • Ibirapuera Park (including museums at the park)
  • Paulista Avenue, MASP, theaters, Augusta Street
  • High-end stores and restaurants

Ibis Paulista

Best for shopping, eating well, museums, & art

Downtown Augusta

  • Urbanoide Food Truck 
  • O Mestiço (Thai restaurant w/ Brazilian touch), Exquisito! (Pan-Latin food), Urbe Café Bar (Coffee!)
  • Club Jerome, Caixote Bar, Le Rêve Club
  • Municipal Theater, Rock Gallery, Copan Building
  • Japantown, oriental stores and restaurants

Hotel Heritage

Best for LGBT bars, nightlife, & to stay near central São Paulo

Vila Mariana neighborhood

  • Ibirapuera Park, Afro Brazilian Museum (including museums at the park)
  • Paulista Avenue, MASP
  • Veloso Bar (best place to eat coxinha)

NOD Hotel

Best for shopping, museums, eating well, parks, & families

Where to stay in São Paulo

Like Brazil, São Paulo is massive. In fact, the city is the largest in the country; hence, a guide on São Paulo neighborhoods is essential.

Although the main attractions are spread throughout the city, most of them are in a particular region, making it easy to narrow down where to stay in São Paulo.

For that reason, I picked four significant areas that, in my experience, are reasonably safe and have the best connections with these attractions. In other words, these are the best places to stay in São Paulo.

I divided this article per neighborhood, and for each one of them, I named three accommodations. One budget, one mid-range, and one luxury. 

Pinheiros/Vila Madalena – Where to stay in São Paulo

Attracted by affordable rents and the proximity to the University of São Paulo, artists and students began occupying the region of Vila Madalena in the late 1970s. 

It was the beginning of its transformation into a bohemian neighborhood. 

Today, Vila Madalena and Pinheiros neighborhoods are one of the liveliest areas of the city and one of the best tourist areas to stay in Sao Paulo. 

Why stay in Pinheiros/Vila Madalena

While Vila Madalena is filled with funky bars, charming cafés and restaurants, unique shops and galleries, and streets full of interesting crowds, both day and night, Pinheiros is also artistry. 

This neighborhood is another excellent place to shop, whether at the Crafts Market of Benedito Calixto Square (on Saturdays) or at Alameda Gabriel Monteiro da Silva where they sell decor and design items.

At Rua dos Pinheiros (Street), many restaurants satisfy every palate.

Things to do in or near Pinheiros/Vila Madalena

  • Crafts Market of Benedito Calixto
  • Batman Alley
  • Tomie Ohtake Institute
  • Santos Bar
  • São Conrado Bar
  • São Paulo Tap House
  • Villa-Lobos Park
Tomie Ohtake Art Institute in São Paulo
Tomie Ohtake building in Pinheiros, one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Sao Paulo

Where to stay in Pinheiros/Vila Madalena

Budget hotel – Hostel Brasil Boutique

The HBB is perfect for travelers who want to stay in a bohemian neighborhood, close to nightlife, which is also near many bus stops and within walking distance from the metro station. (15-20-minute walk.)

In other words, the location of this hostel in São Paulo is perfect.

While the staff is also fantastic and very welcoming, the hostel itself is clean, modern, and has an on-site bar and terrace which is open until 11 PM.

All dorm beds have a locker and proper lighting. As for the neighborhood, the area is filled with eating venues, bars, hip shops, and street art. 

Also, Vila Madalena is considered a safe neighborhood to stay in São Paulo because of its friendly vibe.

I would definitely recommend staying at HBB to anyone traveling in São Paulo.

View at HostelWorld

Mid-range hotel – Comfort Suítes Oscar Freire

Near a metro station (5-minute walk), the Comfort Suites is a mid-range hotel in Pinheiros. Because the region is full of bars and cafes, eating out won’t be a problem for you here. 

My recommendations are Sophia (Italian restaurant) at the corner and Jesuíno Brilhante (Brazilian food) behind the block. 

The hotel has a rooftop swimming pool for warmer days and a fitness center so that you can keep yourself fit on vacation. Breakfast is included in the price.

Besides the free WiFi, all rooms feature air conditioning, a safety deposit box, and some appliances, such as a hairdryer, a minibar, and a tv.

I would recommend this hotel for a comfortable stay in São Paulo.

View at Booking.com

Luxury hotel – Golden Tower

The Golden Tower is a luxury hotel in Pinheiros, which is quite affordable. The rooms are spacious, and most of them have a bath. Breakfast is really well served, and besides having a rooftop swimming pool, the hotel also offers a sauna and a small gym.

Location-wise, it’s perfect. A couple of blocks away from a metro station (8-minute walk), lots of bars, restaurants, and exhibition centers.

If you’re looking for a comfortable stay in a bohemian neighborhood, the Golden Tower is my best recommendation for you.

View at Booking.com

Batman Alley Graffitis in São Paulo, Brazil
Batman Alley filled with graffiti in Vila Madalena

Jardim Paulista/Jardins – Best places to stay in São Paulo

Paulista Avenue is the cultural and financial pole of São Paulo. It stands out for its tall buildings and pulsating atmosphere, but this avenue is often where significant events and demonstrations take place in the city.

Roughly, the area between Avenida Paulista and Ibirapuera is divided between Jardins Paulista and Jardins, an expensive neighborhood in SP.

Why stay in Jardim Paulista/Jardins

The surrounding area is jam-packed with excellent gourmet restaurants, bistros, hotels, cinemas, and nightlife.

The Art Museum of São Paulo (MASP) and Trianon Park as well as the well-known streets of Augusta and Oscar Freire, one of the most sophisticated streets in the world, are all in the region. 

Things to do in or near Jardim Paulista/Jardins

  • Art Museum of São Paulo – MASP
  • Trianon Park
  • Augusta Street
  • Ibirapuera Park
  • Itaú Cultural
  • Casa das Rosas
  • MASP antiques fair
Woman walking at busy Paulista Avenue in São Paulo
Paulista Ave

Where to stay in Jardim Paulista/Jardins

Budget hotel – Jardins Village Hostel

The Jardins Village Hostel is ideal for those with a tight budget looking for a place near Paulista Avenue. The location couldn’t be better for the price as it’s only a 10-minute walk from the metro station, Paulista Avenue, and a 15-minute walk to Ibirapuera Park.

The rooms are light with white walls and colorful details, and it’s clean. The only downside is that they don’t offer breakfast, but you can either prepare yours in the kitchen or eat in a nearby restaurant.

They also provide free WiFi, and there’s a parking lot at the property.

I would definitely recommend staying at Jardins Village Hostel to anyone traveling in São Paulo.

View at Booking.com

Mid-range hotel – Ibis Paulista

For an ideally located hotel that is shockingly affordable, I recommend the Ibis Paulista. The hotel is at Paulista Avenue itself, and it’s near a bunch of cafes, pubs, restaurants, metro stations, bus stops, and many shopping malls. 

The rooms are decently sized and feature free WiFi, air conditioning, tv, and other small amenities, such as a hairdryer. Continental breakfast is also fantastic.

As said before, this hotel is my husband and mine’s first option when we travel to São Paulo nowadays. There’s no better location at this price. Seriously. 

If I could name the best place to stay, it would be the Ibis Paulista.

View at Booking.com

Luxury hotel – Hotel Unique

The name says it all: this hotel is unique. The building reminds a ship, and the interior has a trendy decoration.

The room is fantastic and fully equipped with minibar, coffee maker, tv, free WiFi, and more. While the large glass-paneled wall bathroom and the big porthole window are a nice touch, the comfortable bed won’t disappoint either.

The hotel features an indoor swimming pool, a gym, and an excellent spa area to relax after a day of sightseeing.

Last but definitely not least, the rooftop has a pool and the renowned Skye bar, which hosts DJs and is very popular at night. Both have a unique view of the skyline line and Ibirapuera Park.

Hotel Unique is one of the best luxury hotels in Sao Paulo that have nice views.

For a luxurious stay in São Paulo with a breathtaking view, Hotel Unique is the best option.

View at Booking.com

Cars at Paulista Ave, one of the best areas to stay in Sao Paulo
Bustling city

Downtown Augusta – Best neighborhoods to stay in São Paulo

Downtown Augusta had the most sophisticated stores of São Paulo in the 1950s and 1960s. But at the end of the 20th-century, the construction of Espaço Itaú movie theater sparked the interest of different crowds to this trendy area.

Why stay in Downtown Augusta

Rua Augusta, a famous street in the city, is divided into two parts. 

One part includes the section that links Jardins to Avenida Paulista and has plenty of options for shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. 

The other section, known as Baixa Augusta (Downtown Augusta), is an area jam-packed with bars, nightclubs, and eclectic venues that attract a varied public, from funk to rock.

Things to do in or near Downtown Augusta

  • Urbe Café Bar
  • Urbanoide Food Truck
  • Bella Paulista
  • São Luiz Gonzaga Church
  • Shopping Center 3
  • Conjunto Nacional Mall
  • Consolação Cemetery
  • Art Museum of São Paulo – MASP
  • Trianon Park
Italy Building near Downtown Augusta houses one of the best restaurants in town, Terraço Itália
Italy Building near Downtown Augusta houses one of the best restaurants in town, Terraço Itália

Where to stay in Downtown Augusta

Budget hotel – Bee W

For a hostel at Downtown Augusta, I recommend Bee W. Location-wise, the hostel is near Paulista Avenue, a metro station, Augusta Street, grocery shops, and lots of bars.

Ideal to not only enjoy São Paulo nightlife but also visit the city center, Japantown, and Paulista Ave region.

Besides having colorful decoration, the rooms have either a fan or air conditioning and large lockers under the beds. The rooftop terrace has a plastic ball bath and a few tables/chairs to enjoy a sunny morning chilling in the sun.

The Bee W Hostel is the best hostel available at Downtown Augusta.

View at Booking.com

Mid-range hotel – Hotel Heritage

This is an excellent base for visiting São Paulo. As said, the neighborhood is lively and well-located, near many bars and nightclubs and within an only 9-minute walk from the metro station and Paulista Avenue.

As far as the rooms are concerned, they have a simple decoration, minibar, air conditioning, tv, and WiFi. The staff is also friendly. An indoor swimming pool, gym area as well as a jacuzzi are also available at the Hotel Heritage.

To top it all off, the breakfast is superb. Top-notch.

I recommend the Hotel Heritage if you’re interested in nightlife, art, and bars.

View at Booking.com

Luxury hotel – Hotel Cadoro

Perfect luxury stay in Downtown Augusta, the Hotel Cadoro is right next to the Augusta Park.

This hotel is at an 8-minute walking distance from the metro station and is surrounded by excellent restaurants, such as Terraço Itália, a restaurant with incredible views of the city. 

The spacious rooms feature a desk, heating/air conditioning, a minibar, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels.

They also have a gym, sauna, restaurant, and bar on-site, but the cherry on the cake is the swimming pool on the top floor. The Brazilian/continental breakfast won’t disappoint either. Overall, good value for money.

View at Booking.com

View over Paulista Ave, the region with the best hotels in Sao Paulo
View over Paulista Ave

Vila Mariana – Best hotels to stay in São Paulo

Vila Mariana is a pleasant area adjacent to Ibirapuera Park and Jardim Paulista/Jardins neighborhoods. I used to work here, and my colleagues and I used to go out for drinks or some delicious Brazilian dishes. So I can assure you’ll find lots of good restaurants in Vila Mariana.

Why stay in Vila Mariana

As said, the area has plenty of excellent restaurants, but the neighborhood is also filled with good bars and shops.

There is a Marketing University in the area, so many establishments are open until late. Also, a couple of metro stations are within walking distance from most places as well as a couple of bus stops.

Things to do in or near Vila Mariana

  • Gamela, Veloso Bar, and Suzaku
  • Ibirapuera Park
  • Afro Brazilian Museum, Modern and Contemporary Art Museums
  • Paulista Ave, MASP
View of buildings from Ibirapuera Park
View of buildings from Ibirapuera Park

Where to stay in Vila Mariana

Budget hotel – Tapera Hostel

For a hostel, I recommend Tapera Hostel. I didn’t stay there myself but went there many times to pick up Dutch friends staying in town, and they loved it. 

The place was always neat and had a good location: a 10-minute walk from Paulista Avenue and a 1-minute walk from the metro station. On the downside, they don’t serve breakfast, but there’s a small & popular snack bar in the corner. 

It’s simple, but everything works perfectly here, and given the location, this is one of the best hostels in Sao Paulo.

View on Booking.com

Mid-range hotel – NOD Hotel

NOD is a small hotel in Vila Mariana, near plenty of good restaurants and bars. The closest metro station is within a 9-minute walk, while Ibirapuera Park is only 15 minutes away. 

All rooms include a minibar, air conditioning, cable channels, and WiFi. The breakfast is often very well-reviewed, and it’s included in the room price.

Also, NOD hotel is one of the best hotels in Sao Paulo, which is good for families because they have triple rooms. (Or for friends who want to stay together.)

I highly recommend the NOD hotel if you want to stay just outside the buzzing Paulista Avenue, but with easy access to major attractions. It’s one of the best cheap hotels in Sao Paulo.

View on Booking.com

Luxury hotel – Pullman São Paulo Ibirapuera

Rooms at Pullman have either a city or park (Ibirapuera) view. Also, the decoration is modern, and the rooms have air conditioning, tv, iron, minibar, and WiFi, among others. Some even have a bath.

The hotel features a complete fitness center, sauna, spa, and a swimming pool. The breakfast is excellent and has plenty of options.

Location-wise, the hotel is near Ibirapuera Park and Paulista Ave, which is perfect if you want to go for a morning jog in the park as you can walk to Ibirapuera over a pedestrian bridge. 

Also, the area has plenty of nice bars and restaurants, and the hotel is conveniently located for public transport, but if you prefer, you can take an Uber, which is inexpensive in the country.

View on Booking.com

São Paulo travel resources

I want your trip to São Paulo to be remarkable. That’s why I’ve created several resources that will be handy while planning your vacation, such as this article on the best things to do in Sao Paulo, the best guided tours, and this one of the best day trips.

Also, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance—this is essential for your trip. For a couple of dollars a day, you have travel insurance to cover accident costs or reimburse losses shall you fall victim to theft.

I use and am satisfied with Safety Wing. Never had a problem making claims with them. Click here to get a quote.

Furthermore, if this will be your first time in the country, and you’re wondering what to do in Brazil, check out my Brazil travel guide as well as the best places to go in the country and some of the best tours.

For transportation, check out my guide to avoiding taxi scams in São Paulo.

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