Experience the alternative cultural heart of São Paulo in this eclectic suburb, characterized by art, markets and a love of cold beer.
Explore the painted streets and open-air markets of Vila Madalena, a wealthy suburb in the western districts of São Paulo. Take a day to wander its bustling streets, browse a number of bohemian art galleries and pick up trinkets from second-hand stores. Stay until the evening to enjoy some of the city’s busiest bars, clubs and music.
For decades, Vila Madalena has been a source of inspiration for budding and professional artists. Find a range of galleries displaying carefully painted sculptures alongside edgy artwork from local craftsman. Take a bike tour and explore one of the region’s most fascinating features, its street art. These graffiti murals, often covering entire alleyways, were heavily supported by programs to aid homeless kids.
Shoppers will be delighted by the area’s open-air markets, antique stores and second-hand retailers. Visit the Benedito Flea Market on Saturdays and browse a collection of trinkets and locally made decorations. Find tasteful antiques along Cardeal Arcoverde Street. Many of these stores offer global delivery. For a change of pace, browse a range of stores where you can buy or trade musical instruments along Teodoro Sampaio Street.
As evening approaches, take a seat around Praça do Pôr-do-Sol. Relax while listening to the traditional Brazilian beats of street musicians and watch the crowds pass by. Enjoy a cool beer while you gaze at the sun setting over the city.
After dark, the suburb’s youthful crowds come out to party. Whether you’re looking for a groovy music venue, a traditional pub or a boisterous sports bar, Vila Madalena has something to meet your needs. Pick a club and dance to the addictive samba beat until the early hours of the morning. The best nightlife venues are found along Aspicuelta, Girassol and Purpurina streets.
Vila Madalena is located in the Pinheiros district, west of São Paulo’s old downtown. Get there via frequent bus or train services. Ample street parking is also available. Galleries are usually free to enter. Reserve a spot on a bike or walking tour through local travel agents.