Sunday, 8 May 2011

Living in São Paulo

I’ve recently been asked where the best neighbourhoods to live are in São Paulo and how to go about finding rental accommodation there. So I thought I’d share my findings with everyone, in case anyone else was looking for advice.

If you’re going to live in São Paulo, for whatever period of time, the two most important factors to consider when looking for accommodation is its proximity to work and to a metro station. Traffic can be truly horrific
in São Paulo and a 20 minute journey can quickly turn into two hours. But unlike London, there aren’t metro stations all over the city.
Some of the best areas to live in, according to friends and colleagues who live in São Paulo, are:

Jardins – a wealthy residential neighbourhood that also houses some of the city’s most expensive and fashionable restaurants and shops. If you can afford to live there, do. It’s chic and safe.

Itaim Bibi – a mixed commercial and residential district, Itaim Bibi has also become an elite night-time hang out, according to Wallpaper Magazine’s city guide. You’d feel pretty safe walking around there at night.

Pinheiros – one of São Paulo’s up-and-coming districts, Pinheiros also houses both commercial and residential outfits and is a great place for socialising. Like Itaim Bibi, you’d feel safe there.

Moema/Campo Belo – a residential neigbourhood in the centre/south of São Paulo, it has a useful website, which includes rental information.

Frustratingly, renting in São Paulo – particularly on a short term basis – can be difficult and one friend described the system as “archaic”. But, she says there is a really great alternative called “apart-hotéis”, a sort of hotel-cum-apartment where the flats are serviced with different facilities, including gyms and swimming pools. There are plenty of these apart-hotéis in the neighbourhoods listed above, for all different budgets. A quick Google search will bring up lots of options.

Do you live in São Paulo or know the city and can offer advice? Where you would recommend someone to live?


  1. You left out probably the best of all places: Higienópolis, a neighbourhood of the city that have the same things Jardins have, but with a greater history, prices here would be as expansive as Jardins. Also you forgot Vila Madalena and Pompéia, both amazing, and more afordable. With a new york Soho vibe. Also the safety thing should not be that a concern anymore, the murder rate is decreasing since the 90's every year (same in Rio) and reached in Sao Paulo in 2010 the number of 9 per 100.000, you can compare it to the 6 of nyc. Or the 23 of Rio. Or 63 of Caracas, the worst in South America. For the record, in the Americas today there is nothing as dangerous as the us/mexican border.

  2. Thank you so much for your comments. It sounds like you know the city really well. Your comments show that Sao Paulo is really diverse and there are so many different neighbourhoods to choose from, depending on your tastes and budgets.
    Thanks again,