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Where to stay in São Paulo – a travel guide to São Paulo’s neighbourhoods

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Whether you’re looking for a São Paulo hotel in chic Jardins or business-friendly Brooklin, use this guide to help choose the best place to stay in São Paulo.

Centro and Luz

The old heart of São Paulo, Centro, is a glorious contrast of colonial buildings and immense financial headquarters. Welcoming green squares of giant palm trees dot the urban landscape at Praça da República and Vale do Anhangabaú. Worshippers pack inside Praça da Sé’s enormous Municipal Cathedral – a triumph of monumental Gothic architecture, while culture vultures enjoy orchestral symphonies in the classical Teatro Municipal. Leading north, past the musical stores of Rua Santa Ifigenia, is the resurgent cultural hub of Luz where neoclassical museums contain art treasures.

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Consolação and Pinheiros

The lively Consolação district encircles the western edge of Centro in the shadow of Avenida Ipiranga’s towering high-rise Edifício Itália. Fashionable media types gather in the area’s art-house cinemas, contemporary art schools and hip boutiques. Graffiti-strewn Rua Augusta attracts bohemian trendsetters to its informal bars and unpretentious eateries. West of here, the easygoing Pinheiros neighbourhood represents a throwback to old Brazil – uniformed waiters serve budding writers in turn-of-the-century botequim cafés while Saturday markets on Praça Benedito Calixto attract antique furniture hunters and old-vinyl junkies.

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Just south of Consolação and flanked to the east by Avenida Paulista, the extensive district of Jardins is a shoppers’ paradise of elegant bakeries, high-end design stores and cutting-edge fashion labels. Perfect for glamorous people - watching and relaxed afternoon strolls, leafy streets like Rua Oscar Freire are lined with vibrant flagship boutiques and flash restaurants. Architectural landmark São Paulo hotels like the retro-chic Fasano and the golden glass Emiliano add to the area’s allure.

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Parque de Ibirapuera and Moema

A cherished sanctuary away from the city’s hustle and bustle, the Parque de Ibirapuera, at the southern end of Jardins, provides a heady dose of outdoor calm and cultural action. Open-plan museum complexes like the avant-garde Fundação Bienal blend fluidly with the natural surroundings. A sense of tranquillity pervades the park’s affluent southern border area of Moema where good access to Congonhas domestic airport ensures a variety of accommodation options.

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High-flying businessmen and São Paulo’s glitterati congregate in the glitzy suburb of Brooklin, south-west of Parque de Ibirapuera. Gleaming skyscrapers, home to the world’s biggest multinationals, sit next to luxury hotels and shopping malls packed with haute couture fashion houses. Brooklin is where to stay in São Paulo for film-star hospitality and endless pampering. Ten minutes away by taxi, exclusive nightlife awaits in Itaim Bibi district.

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