Gay São Paulo São Paulo City Guide

When it comes to planning a gay getaway to Brazil, most travellers make a beeline for the golden sand beaches, sultry samba rhythms and playful conviviality of Rio de Janeiro. We won’t deny it: gay Rio is undeniably enchanting. But don’t forget about its big brother—the largest city in the Western Hemisphere—São Paulo. A sprawling metropolis that is (at times) smog-filled and traffic-clogged, São Paulo is also the country’s epicentre of industry, innovation and the arts. Stay a while, and you’ll encounter a whopping 70% of Brazil’s Michelin-starred restaurants, countless design-forward art galleries, mesmerizing mid-century architectural wonders, and a stunningly diverse population hailing from all corners of the globe. Even better, gay São Paulo is warm and welcoming, home to one of the largest gay Pride parades in the world. Year-round you’ll find much of the LGBT action on Frei Caneca Street, also dubbed Gay Caneca, while the rough-around-the-edges Largo do Arouche gayborhood remains a fixture in any gay São Paulo guide. While it might never be as sexy as Rio, São Paulo’s drab facade belies its many cosmopolitan charms. Uncover the best of them with this São Paulo gay scene guide. 

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Where to stay in São Paulo

Fasano São Paulo exudes classic luxury from its unrivalled location in ultra-exclusive Jardines—just steps away from the flagship boutiques and international design shops of famed Rua Oscar Freire. The neo-Art Deco building immediately impresses with its elegant English brick and clock tower exterior. Inside, contemporary amenities meet mid-century European design to create a sophisticated, old-world aesthetic. The vision of renowned interior designer Isay Weinfeld, expect retro furnishings, brown leather armchairs, gleaming white marble bathrooms, and dark wood detailing. It’s all very sophisticated without ever feeling self-indulgent. Restaurateur Rogerio Fasano boasts an esteemed global reputation; you’d be remiss if you didn’t dine at the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant which serves exquisite spins on modern Italian cuisine. Another posh option on Rua Oscar Freire is the stylish boutique Hotel Emiliano. From its striking Cocoon sculpture, created by revered Brazilian artist Siron Franco, that hangs in the lobby to the decidedly minimalist decor to the ultra-exclusive rooftop helipad, Hotel Emiliano oozes with refined grandeur. Rooms are sleek, with Carrara marble bathrooms and silky Egyptian cotton sheets. A Champagne & Caviar Bar offers over 80 brands of bubbles that are best enjoyed in one of the bespoke, beige rope armchairs.

Palácio Tangará

Palácio Tangará

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For a hotel representative of São Paulo’s playful and creative side, the Pullman São Paulo Vila Olimpia is edgy in all the right ways

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