Lay of the Land
Centro: The once-gritty city center has been reborn, thanks to an influx of nightclubs and restaurants.
Higienópolis: Art lovers won’t want to miss this up-and-coming neighborhood, known for its Modernist architecture and galleries.
Jardins: The top hotels are located here, and the tree-lined Rua Oscar Freire has the city’s most exclusive shopping.
Pinheiros: Sandwiched between Vila Madalena and Jardins, Pinheiros has a rich, multicultural feel, with a wide range of ethnic shops and cafés.
Vila Madalena: São Paulo’s answer to New York City’s West Village is filled with pint-size shops and lounges.
Taxis are the best and safest way to navigate the city (roughly $15 for a 10-minute ride). Luckily, they’re ubiquitous—just try to avoid rush-hour periods (7:30–10 a.m. and 5–8 p.m.).