São Paulo City Guide for Nomads & Expats
Welcome to Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil! This sprawling metropolis is a vibrant mix of culture, history, and modernity. For expats and nomads looking to explore the city, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to have a great time while discovering the best of what Sao Paulo has to offer. Whether you’re looking to experience the city’s buzzing nightlife, explore its historical architecture, or just find a place to relax, this guide will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to make your stay in Sao Paulo unforgettable!
What are the Best Places to Work Remotely In Sao Paulo?
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and economic hub, offers several great places to work remotely. Whether you’re a digital nomad or someone looking for a change of scenery while working remotely, here are some of the best places in São Paulo:
- Impact Hub: Located in Vila Madalena, Impact Hub provides a collaborative work environment, networking opportunities, and various amenities.
- WeWork: With multiple locations throughout the city, WeWork offers modern workspaces, meeting rooms, and a community of professionals.
- Berrini One: Situated in the Berrini business district, Berrini One provides well-equipped co-working spaces and business support services.
Cafés with Wi-Fi:
- Coffee Lab: This cozy café in Vila Madalena offers specialty coffee and a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for working.
- Sofá Café: With multiple branches across the city, Sofá Café provides a comfortable work environment and quality coffee.
- Suplicy Cafés Especiais: Known for its artisanal coffee, Suplicy has several locations in São Paulo that offer free Wi-Fi and a welcoming ambiance.
- Mário de Andrade Library: Located in the city center, this iconic library offers a quiet and spacious environment for working.
- São Paulo State Library: With its impressive architecture, this library in Parque da Luz provides a tranquil setting for remote work.
- Bee.O: This café in Pinheiros offers a co-working space with comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and a menu of delicious food and beverages.
- CO.W. Coworking Café: Combining the elements of a café and a co-working space, CO.W. provides a creative and collaborative work environment.
Hotels with Business Facilities:
- Tivoli Mofarrej São Paulo: This luxury hotel offers business services, meeting rooms, and a comfortable work environment.
- Hilton São Paulo Morumbi: With its business center and convenient location in the financial district, this hotel caters to remote workers’ needs.
Remember to check the availability of these places and their specific amenities, as well as noise level, accessibility, and the availability of power outlets and reliable Wi-Fi when choosing a remote working spot in São Paulo.
Culture In Sao Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and cultural melting pot, offers a vibrant and diverse cultural scene. Here are some aspects of the culture in São Paulo:
Arts and Entertainment:
São Paulo is a hub for arts and entertainment. The city boasts numerous theaters, art galleries, and music venues. The São Paulo Art Museum (MASP) is renowned for its vast collection of European and Brazilian art. The Municipal Theatre (Theatro Municipal) hosts opera, ballet, and classical music performances. The city also hosts São Paulo Fashion Week, one of the most important fashion events in Latin America.
São Paulo’s culinary scene reflects its multicultural makeup. You can find a wide range of cuisines, from traditional Brazilian dishes to international flavors. Don’t miss trying feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew), pastel (deep-fried pastry), coxinha (chicken croquettes), and brigadeiro (chocolate truffles). The city is also known for its diverse restaurants, food markets, and gourmet experiences.
São Paulo is famous for its vibrant street art scene. The city’s streets are adorned with colorful and thought-provoking murals, graffiti, and art installations. The neighborhood of Vila Madalena is particularly known for its street art, with numerous art-filled alleys and walls.
Music and Nightlife:
São Paulo offers a lively nightlife with a wide range of musical genres. From samba and bossa nova to rock, hip-hop, and electronic music, the city has venues catering to diverse tastes. The neighborhood of Vila Madalena is known for its bars and live music scene, while Avenida Paulista is a hub for clubs and nightlife.
Festivals and Parades:
São Paulo hosts a variety of festivals and parades throughout the year. The São Paulo Carnival, held in February or March, features samba schools parading through the streets. The LGBT Pride Parade in São Paulo is one of the largest in the world, drawing millions of participants and spectators. Other festivals include the Virada Cultural, which offers 24 hours of non-stop cultural activities, and the São Paulo International Film Festival.
São Paulo is known for its diverse population, resulting in a rich multicultural environment. The city is home to various ethnic communities, including Japanese, Italian, Lebanese, and African-Brazilians. This diversity is reflected in the city’s cuisine, music, art, and cultural celebrations.
Museums and Cultural Institutions: São Paulo has a wide range of museums and cultural institutions that showcase its history and heritage. In addition to MASP, notable museums include the Pinacoteca do Estado, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC-USP), and the Afro-Brazil Museum.
These are just a few highlights of the cultural scene in São Paulo. The city’s dynamic and cosmopolitan environment offers a multitude of experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Brazilian arts, music, cuisine, and cultural celebrations.
Food In Sao Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and culinary capital, offers a diverse and vibrant food scene that reflects the city’s multicultural population. We’ve made a list of some local and popular foods you must try when visiting São Paulo:
Considered Brazil’s national dish, feijoada is a hearty black bean stew traditionally made with various cuts of pork and served with rice, collard greens, farofa (toasted cassava flour), and orange slices. It’s a must-try for experiencing Brazilian cuisine.
Pastel is a deep-fried pastry filled with a variety of savory ingredients such as cheese, meat, shrimp, or heart of palm. You can find pastel stands throughout the city, especially in street markets and food fairs.
Coxinha is a popular Brazilian snack made of shredded chicken filling wrapped in a dough, shaped like a teardrop, and deep-fried until crispy. It’s a delicious and savory treat.
Pão de Queijo:
Pão de queijo are small, cheese-filled rolls made with cassava flour and cheese. They are a staple in Brazilian breakfast and are enjoyed throughout the day as a snack or accompaniment to meals.
Brigadeiro is a beloved Brazilian sweet treat made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. It’s a popular dessert often served at parties or as an indulgent snack.
São Paulo has a thriving pizza scene with a unique style influenced by Italian immigrants. The city offers a variety of pizzerias serving thin-crust pizzas with diverse toppings and flavors.
São Paulo is renowned for its churrascarias, Brazilian barbecue restaurants. These establishments offer an all-you-can-eat experience of grilled meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and sausages, served rodizio-style.
São Paulo is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan, resulting in a wide selection of excellent Japanese restaurants. From sushi and sashimi to ramen and tempura, you can find authentic Japanese cuisine throughout the city.
Empadão is a savory pie with a buttery crust filled with ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, or hearts of palm. It’s a comforting and delicious option for a meal or snack.
A popular Brazilian superfood, açaí is a purple berry that is commonly consumed as a smoothie or bowl. São Paulo has numerous juice bars and açaí shops where you can enjoy this refreshing and nutritious treat.
These are just a few highlights of the diverse food scene in São Paulo. The city offers a culinary journey through Brazilian and international flavors, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every palate.
Healthcare in Sao Paulo
São Paulo, as a major city in Brazil, has a well-developed healthcare system that provides a range of medical services to its residents and visitors. Here are some key aspects of healthcare in São Paulo to remember for your trip:
Public and Private Healthcare:
São Paulo has both public and private healthcare facilities. The public healthcare system, known as Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS), provides free or low-cost healthcare services to Brazilian citizens and legal residents. Private healthcare, on the other hand, offers more extensive coverage and quicker access to medical services but requires private health insurance or out-of-pocket payment.
Hospitals and Clinics:
São Paulo is home to numerous hospitals, clinics, and medical centers, both public and private. Some well-known hospitals in São Paulo include Hospital das Clínicas (associated with the University of São Paulo), Hospital Albert Einstein, and Beneficência Portuguesa Hospital.
São Paulo has a large number of skilled and qualified medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, specialists, and other healthcare providers. Many doctors in São Paulo are bilingual or have proficiency in English, particularly in private hospitals and clinics that cater to international patients.
Medical Technology and Specializations:
São Paulo has state-of-the-art medical facilities equipped with advanced technology and offers a wide range of specialized medical services. The city attracts renowned medical professionals and researchers in various fields, making it a hub for medical advancements and treatments.
São Paulo has an extensive network of pharmacies where you can purchase prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs. Pharmacies are generally well-stocked and easily accessible throughout the city.
Health Insurance: It is advisable to have health insurance coverage while in São Paulo, especially if you are not eligible for the public healthcare system. Private health insurance can provide access to a broader network of healthcare providers and facilities and may cover a portion or the entirety of medical expenses.
Emergency Services: In case of medical emergencies, São Paulo has a well-established emergency response system. The emergency hotline number in Brazil is 192, and ambulance services are available to transport patients to hospitals.
As with any travel or healthcare-related matters, it is recommended to have travel insurance or health insurance that covers medical expenses while in São Paulo. It’s also advisable to consult with healthcare professionals, research reputable hospitals or clinics, and check with your embassy or consulate for any specific healthcare recommendations or requirements during your stay.
Staying Fit and Healthy in Sao Paulo
Staying fit and healthy in São Paulo is achievable with a range of options available in the city. Here are some suggestions to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while in São Paulo:
São Paulo offers several parks and green spaces where you can engage in outdoor activities. Parque Ibirapuera is a popular spot for jogging, walking, cycling, and picnicking. Other parks like Parque Villa-Lobos and Parque do Povo also provide space for activities such as yoga, group exercises, and sports.
Gyms and Fitness Centers:
São Paulo has numerous gyms and fitness centers where you can work out and participate in group exercise classes. Many facilities offer state-of-the-art equipment, personal training services, and a variety of fitness programs to suit different preferences and fitness goals.
São Paulo has been expanding its network of bike paths and lanes, making it easier to cycle around the city. Rent a bike or use a bike-sharing service to explore the designated bike paths and enjoy a workout while discovering different neighborhoods.
São Paulo offers various sports facilities, including tennis courts, swimming pools, and sports clubs. These facilities often provide classes and opportunities for recreational sports, allowing you to stay active and engage in your favorite activities.
Wellness and Spa Centers:
Treat yourself to some relaxation and self-care by visiting wellness and spa centers in São Paulo. These centers offer a range of services, including massages, spa treatments, meditation sessions, and yoga classes.
São Paulo has a growing health-conscious food scene, with numerous restaurants and cafes offering healthy dining options. Look for establishments that serve fresh salads, vegetarian or vegan dishes, and locally sourced ingredients. Explore food markets like Mercado Municipal and organic stores to find nutritious options for cooking at home.
Join Fitness Communities:
São Paulo has a vibrant fitness community, with organized running groups, cycling clubs, and fitness events. Joining these communities can provide motivation, social connections, and opportunities to participate in group activities and workouts.
São Paulo’s climate can be hot and humid, especially during the summer months. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, particularly during outdoor activities and workouts.
Remember to consult with healthcare professionals before starting any new exercise regimen or making significant dietary changes. Additionally, consider weather conditions, dress appropriately, and protect yourself from the sun while engaging in outdoor activities.
Things to Do In Sao Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors. Here are popular things to help you create long lasting memories during your stay in São Paulo:
Explore Ibirapuera Park:
Visit Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo’s most famous park. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, rent a bike, or have a picnic in this expansive green space. Don’t miss the iconic buildings within the park, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Afro-Brazil Museum.
Visit Paulista Avenue:
Spend time on Avenida Paulista, one of São Paulo’s most iconic streets. Explore the museums, such as the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), visit cultural centers, shop at malls, and indulge in the diverse culinary options along this bustling avenue.
Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture: São Paulo has numerous museums and cultural institutions worth visiting. Some notable ones include the Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo Contemporary Art Museum (MAC), and the São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound (MIS). Attend art exhibitions, film screenings, or theater performances to experience the vibrant cultural scene.
Discover Historic Neighborhoods: Explore the city’s historic neighborhoods, such as the bohemian Vila Madalena, with its colorful streets, art galleries, and vibrant nightlife. Visit the charming neighborhood of Liberdade, known for its strong Japanese influence and vibrant street markets.
Shop at Street Markets:
São Paulo has bustling street markets where you can find a variety of goods. Visit the Mercado Municipal, a historic market known for its food vendors and delicious sandwiches. Explore the Feira da Liberdade, where you can find Asian food, crafts, and cultural items.
Experience Soccer Culture:
Soccer is a significant part of Brazilian culture, and São Paulo has several soccer stadiums. If you’re a sports fan, consider attending a soccer match at the Morumbi Stadium or the Arena Corinthians.
Enjoy São Paulo’s Cuisine:
São Paulo is a culinary paradise, offering diverse cuisine from all over Brazil and the world. Indulge in traditional Brazilian dishes like feijoada or try international flavors at various restaurants, from street food stalls to high-end establishments.
Visit Municipal Market:
Explore the Municipal Market (Mercado Municipal), a historic market known for its vast selection of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and gourmet products. Don’t miss trying the famous mortadella sandwich or sampling exotic fruits.
Experience São Paulo’s Nightlife:
São Paulo has a vibrant nightlife scene, with countless bars, clubs, and live music venues. Enjoy live samba music, dance to Brazilian beats, or immerse yourself in the city’s electronic music scene.
Attend Cultural Events:
São Paulo hosts numerous cultural events throughout the year. Check out the São Paulo Fashion Week, the São Paulo International Film Festival, Virada Cultural (a 24-hour cultural event), and various music festivals.
These are just a few suggestions, and São Paulo offers much more to explore. The city’s dynamic energy, cultural diversity, and numerous attractions ensure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Weather & Best Time to Visit Sao Paulo
The best time to visit São Paulo depends on your preferences and the experiences you seek. Here are some considerations to keep in mind for each season:
Autumn (March to May):
Autumn is generally considered a pleasant time to visit São Paulo. The weather is mild with average temperatures ranging from 17°C to 23°C (63°F to 73°F). It’s a great time for outdoor activities, exploring the city’s parks, and enjoying cultural events.
Winter (June to August): São Paulo’s winter is characterized by cooler temperatures, with average highs ranging from 17°C to 22°C (63°F to 72°F). It can be a bit chilly in the evenings, so packing some layers is advisable. This is a good time to take advantage of indoor attractions like museums and theaters, and you may find fewer crowds compared to other seasons.
Spring (September to November): Spring in São Paulo brings pleasant weather, with temperatures ranging from 19°C to 25°C (66°F to 77°F). The city starts to bloom with vibrant colors, and you can enjoy the parks and outdoor spaces in comfortable temperatures. It’s also a time when festivals and cultural events are held in the city.
Summer (December to February):
São Paulo’s summer is characterized by hot and humid weather, with temperatures ranging from 22°C to 29°C (72°F to 84°F). It’s a popular time for tourists, but be prepared for occasional rain showers. Summer is also when São Paulo hosts various street parties, festivals, and outdoor concerts.
Overall, the months of March to May and September to November are considered the best times to visit São Paulo. The weather is generally mild, and you can enjoy outdoor activities without extreme temperatures or heavy rainfall. However, each season has its own charm and unique events, so consider your preferences and planned activities when deciding on the best time to visit São Paulo.
Cost of Living in Sao Paulo
The cost of living in São Paulo can vary depending on factors such as accommodation, transportation, food, and lifestyle choices. Here’s a rough price breakdown of living costs for you to keep in mind as you plan your trip:
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center: R$2,500 to R$4,000 per month
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center: R$1,500 to R$2,500 per month
- Utilities (electricity, water, gas, internet): R$250 to R$400 per month
- Public transportation (bus, metro, train): R$4.40 for a single ticket, R$210 for a monthly pass
- Taxi starting fare: R$5.00, plus R$2.75 per kilometer
- Gasoline (per liter): R$5.00 to R$6.00
- Basic lunch menu in a local restaurant: R$20 to R$30
- Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant: R$80 to R$150
- Groceries for one person per month: R$400 to R$600
- Imported beer (0.33L bottle): R$8 to R$12
- Basic doctor’s visit (without insurance): R$150 to R$300
- Health insurance (monthly premium): R$300 to R$800, depending on coverage and provider
- Movie ticket: R$20 to R$40
- Fitness club or gym membership: R$100 to R$300 per month
- Concert or theater ticket: R$50 to R$300, depending on the event
These prices are approximate and can vary based on location, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences. It’s essential to keep in mind that exchange rates can also impact the cost of living for foreign visitors or expatriates.
Additionally, prices may change over time, so it’s always advisable to research and budget accordingly based on your specific needs and circumstances.
Visa Requirements in Sao Paulo
As São Paulo is located in Brazil, the visa requirements for visiting or residing in São Paulo would fall under Brazil’s visa regulations. Here’s an overview of the visa requirements for different purposes:
Citizens of many countries can enter Brazil as tourists without a visa for a designated period, typically up to 90 days. This is subject to the visa exemption agreement with Brazil. However, please note that the specific visa requirements can vary depending on your nationality, so it’s advisable to check the visa requirements for your country on the website of the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate.
If you plan to work in São Paulo or anywhere else in Brazil, you will generally need to obtain a work visa. The specific work visa category will depend on the nature of your employment, such as a temporary worker, specialist, or researcher. To obtain a work visa, you will typically need a job offer from a Brazilian employer who will act as your sponsor.
If you plan to study in São Paulo or any other city in Brazil, you will need to obtain a student visa. To apply for a student visa, you will need to be accepted into an educational institution in Brazil and provide necessary documents, including a certificate of enrollment and proof of financial support.
If you wish to reside permanently in São Paulo or Brazil, you can apply for permanent residency. The requirements for permanent residency include meeting specific criteria such as having family ties to Brazil, being married to a Brazilian citizen, or having invested in the country.
It’s important to note that visa requirements and regulations can change over time, so it’s always advisable to check the latest information on the official website of the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate in your country.
For any specific questions or inquiries regarding visa requirements for your situation, it is recommended to consult with the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate in your country or seek assistance from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information based on your individual circumstances.
Jobs & Work Requirements in Sao Paulo
Finding a job and understanding the work requirements in São Paulo is essential if you plan to work in the city. Here’s an overview of the job market and work requirements in São Paulo:
To work legally in São Paulo or anywhere in Brazil, you will generally need to obtain a work visa. The specific visa category will depend on the nature of your employment, such as a temporary worker, specialist, researcher, or executive. Your prospective employer in Brazil will act as your sponsor and guide you through the visa application process.
Portuguese Language Proficiency: Proficiency in the Portuguese language is typically required for most jobs in São Paulo, especially those that involve direct interaction with clients, customers, or colleagues. Fluency in Portuguese will significantly enhance your job prospects and ability to communicate effectively in the workplace.
São Paulo is Brazil’s economic powerhouse and has a diverse job market across various sectors. The city is known for its financial services, technology, manufacturing, retail, and creative industries. Job opportunities can be found in multinational companies, local businesses, startups, and the public sector.
Building a professional network is crucial in São Paulo’s job market. Attending industry events, networking sessions, and professional meetups can help you connect with potential employers, colleagues, and industry influencers.
Working in São Paulo may require adapting to Brazilian work culture, which values personal relationships, hierarchy, and a more relaxed approach to timekeeping. Familiarize yourself with Brazilian work etiquette, norms, and customs to succeed in the professional environment.
Job Search Platforms:
Utilize online job search platforms and websites to explore job opportunities in São Paulo. Some popular job search websites in Brazil include LinkedIn, Catho, InfoJobs, and Indeed Brazil. Additionally, companies in São Paulo may advertise job openings on their official websites or through recruitment agencies.
Teaching English is a common job opportunity for foreigners in São Paulo. Many language schools and private institutions in the city hire English teachers. Obtaining a teaching position often requires a bachelor’s degree, teaching certification (such as TEFL/TESOL), and a work visa.
It’s important to note that job availability, requirements, and processes can vary depending on the industry, company, and individual circumstances. Researching specific job sectors and consulting with recruitment agencies or professionals in your field can provide more insights tailored to your interests and qualifications.
For legal aspects related to working in São Paulo, such as visa requirements and work permits, it is recommended to consult with the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate in your country or seek assistance from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant. They can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information based on your individual situation.
Enjoy your trip to São Paulo, Brazil!
Always blue skies ✈️