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Carnival Guide to Sao Paulo

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For several decades, Sao Paulo was known as 'samba's grave.' Fortunately for all the Carnival-lovers that live in and visit the city during this time of year, that statement is no longer true. Sao Paulo now has plenty of options for those who choose Brazil's biggest metropolis as their base for some carefree, fun, and colorful Carnival parties!

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Foodie
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

11 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Anhembi Parque

Theatres, Conference & Convention Centres, Arenas & Stadiums

Bar Brahma

Restaurants

Bar Samba

Restaurants

O do Borogodo

Bars & Clubs

Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP

Art Museums

Museu da Imagem e do Som - MIS

Speciality Museums, Art Museums, History Museums

Genesio Pasta e Chopp

Restaurants

Tatu Bola Itaim

Restaurants

Quintal do Espeto - Moema Carinas

Restaurants

Emiliano Hotel

Hotels

RentaLocalFriend's City Tips

  • Stay hydrated and don't leave it until the last minute to find a toilet — long queues are common so it might take a while until you get a chance to go.
  • Wear comfortable footwear that protects your feet (trainers are always the best option), and carry a disposable raincoat with you if possible.
  • Use public transportation (metro or bus) whenever possible: not only is this the cheapest and easiest option in most cases, but also you won't have to worry about designating a driver among your group.
  • Anhembi Parque
    Theatres, Conference & Convention Centres, Arenas & Stadiums
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    The traditional parade by the city's Samba Schools is definitely an event worth watching: full of color, sparkle, and joy, each school chooses a theme and creates a story around it.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Purchase your tickets in advance to be sure not to miss out!
    • Sao Paulo always kicks off the Carnival season with these parades on the first Friday and Saturday of the official Carnival period. (Dates change each year.)
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #121 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Saw Samba Parade at 1am, amazing! 26/02/2020
    • Sambadrome 21/04/2016
    • Anhembi Parque
    Address:
    Avenida Olavo Fontoura 1209
    Santana
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 02012-021
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 2226 0400
    Other:
  • Bar Brahma
    Restaurants (Bar, Brazilian)
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    This traditional bar is located at the crossroad of Ipiranga and São João avenues (the most famous corner of the city, that the legendary Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso sang about in 'Sampa'). It has served one of the best beers on tap since 1948, so what better place to refresh and refuel during Carnival!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Samba shows are a regular on Saturdays, along with the bar's famous dish of 'feijoada' (stew of beans with beef and pork).
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #573 of 19,258 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    • Ipiranga and Sao Joao 05/09/2021
    • The best bar I’ve ever been 09/11/2019
    • Bar Brahma
    Address:
    Avenida Sao Joao 677
    Centro
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01035-100
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 947462664
    Price range:
    US$19 - US$39
    Hours:
    Mon - Tue
    11:00 am - 1:00 am
    Wed
    11:00 am - 12:00 am
    Thu - Fri
    11:00 am - 2:00 am
    Sat - Sun
    11:00 am - 12:00 am
    Other:
  • Bar Samba
    Restaurants (Brazilian, Bar, South American)
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    Bar Samba lies in the heart of Vila Madalena and its name belies its specialty: samba is featured here in its many variations, such as 'rodas de samba' (a traditional circle of samba musicians), 'chorinho' (a specific type of Brazilian samba music), and performances by samba schools. On Saturdays, you can go from lunch to dinner just soaking up the atmosphere here!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Don't miss the traditional and well-loved caipirinha cocktails served here.
    • The Vila Madalena neighborhood is a great area to experience the street Carnival atmosphere in Sao Paulo.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #719 of 19,258 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    • Fun fun fun! 22/07/2019
    • A must if you are in São Paulo 31/03/2019
    • Bar Samba
    Address:
    Rua Fradique Coutinho 1007
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 05416-011
    Brazil
    Phone:
    11-3819-4619
    Hours:
    Wed
    6:00 pm - 1:00 am
    Thu
    6:00 pm - 2:00 am
    Fri
    6:00 pm - 3:00 am
    Sat
    1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    9:00 pm - 3:00 am
    Other:
  • O do Borogodo
    Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    Open every evening, this hidden gem in Vila Madalena has a laidback atmosphere and attracts a range of different audiences. The small space makes it easier for the crowd to get up close to the bands that play here, and it's a great place to party authentically during the Carnival period.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Avoid peak hours (happy hour time) as there are often only a few tables available.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 291 Nightlife in Sao Paulo
    • For those in the know 08/09/2019
    • Good for a night out 05/05/2018
    • O do Borogodo
    Address:
    Rua Horacio Lane 21
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 05432-030
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 3814-4087
    Hours:
    Sun
    8:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Mon
    8:15 pm - 12:00 am
    Tue
    8:00 pm - 1:00 am
    Wed
    8:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Thu - Sat
    10:00 pm - 3:00 am
    Other:
  • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    If you'd like to get out of the Carnival craziness to enjoy some culture, heading to one of Sao Paulo's main museums is a great option for you. The permanent collection has been redone recently, and now includes Lina Bo Bardi's original exhibits which are well worth a visit.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Don't miss the antiques market, which takes place underneath the museum on Sundays from 10am until 5pm.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • Buy tickets on line 14/09/2022
    • Classic art along with more recent work from Brazil 19/08/2022
    • Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP
    Address:
    Avenida Paulista 1578
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01310-200
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 3149 5959
    Hours:
    Thu
    8:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Fri - Wed
    8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Other:
  • Museu da Imagem e do Som - MIS
    Speciality Museums, Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    The Museum of Image and Sound often hosts pop-up exhibitions, such as those featuring David Bowie and Stanley Kubrick. Carnival is a great time to catch one of these, and avoid the usual long lines to get into the museum.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There is also a small cinema onsite with an interesting calendar of independent movies and various film festivals.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 937 things to do in Sao Paulo
    • I liked a lot and will get back with family 10/12/2019
    • The cartoon exhibition-a very nice day and experience when visiting. 17/12/2018
    • Museu da Imagem e do Som - MIS
    Address:
    Avenida Europa 158
    Jd. Europa
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01449-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 2117-4777
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$0
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Other:
  • Genesio Pasta e Chopp
    Restaurants (Italian, Bar, South American)
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    This is a laidback bar, known for its perfectly chilled 'chopp' (draft beer) and loyal customers. It's a popular place with singles and has a great happy hour — the crowd is mostly young people because of its reasonably priced menu. The Vila Madalena neighborhood is very bohemian and it becomes one of the city's main areas for street parties, full of bars and Carnival celebrations.

    Good for
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Drinking is allowed on the streets, so if you don't want to find a seat in a bar, you can get a drink from any of the food trucks.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,302 of 19,258 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    • Italian gem 02/03/2020
    • Nice pasta 27/09/2016
    • Genesio Pasta e Chopp
    Address:
    Rua Fidalga 265
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 05432-070
    Brazil
    Phone:
    3812-6252
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$15
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    5:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Other:
  • Tatu Bola Itaim
    Restaurants (Brazilian, Bar)
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    Looking for a laidback bar in the heart of the business district with one of the best caipirinhas in town? Find a great atmosphere, live Brazilian music, classic appetizers, and the promise of a fun time at Tatu Bola!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • 'Caipirinha com jabuticaba' (a native Brazilian fruit) is a must here!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,233 of 19,258 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    • Worst Experience in SP, i was cheated by Tatu Bola Itaim 19/03/2019
    • Nice local bar/pub 16/02/2019
    • Tatu Bola Itaim
    Address:
    Rua Clodomiro Amazonas 202
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 04537-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 2539 9071
    Hours:
    Mon - Tue
    6:00 pm - 1:00 am
    Wed - Fri
    5:30 pm - 1:00 am
    Sat
    2:00 pm - 1:00 am
    Other:
  • Quintal do Espeto - Moema Carinas
    Restaurants (Steakhouse, Brazilian, Bar)
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    With several locations spread across the city, the live music at Quintal is eclectic yet well curated. Samba-lovers can choose from 'samba de raiz' to 'samba rock,' while the casual atmosphere and delicious barbecue skewers complete the great experience on offer.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Senior
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • During Carnival time, special 'pre-Carnaval' gigs are held here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2,038 of 19,258 restaurants in Sao Paulo
    • Not as Good as it Might Look 03/10/2017
    • Fun place with great variety of meats to try 26/01/2017
    • Quintal do Espeto - Moema Carinas
    Address:
    Avenida dos Carinas 520
    Moema
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 04086-011
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 11 5095-6565
    Hours:
    Tue - Fri
    6:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Sat - Sun
    12:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Other:
  • Emiliano Hotel
    Hotels
    See more photos
    RentaLocalFriend Says:

    This is a perfect spot to chill, rest, and recharge your batteries between the music and Carnival fun. It's a cool hotel located in the heart of the leafy Jardins area, and also serves the best brunch in town at the weekends (including endless champagne refills). Plus, you can enjoy a massage with a view here - it's hard to not have your energy renewed after all that pampering!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • This is a place to see and be seen, so wear your best outfit!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 494 Hotels in Sao Paulo
    • Amazing hospitality! 16/08/2022
    • Amazing experience. Hot spot in SP. Amazing for a drink, happy hour or even a meeting. 16/06/2022
    • Emiliano Hotel
    Address:
    Rua Oscar Freire 384
    Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo 01426-000
    Brazil
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