A complete city that has the highest concentration of street art in the world, midcentury architectural masterpieces, and incredible hotels, restaurants, and museums.

When you think of Brazil, nothing is more evident than thinking about its beaches, natural riches, and hospitable people. For these and others, Rio de Janeiro takes all the attention. But when you talk about design, urbanism and cosmopolitan capital, you cannot talk about São Paulo. With a population of more than 20 million people living in the metropolitan area is the largest city in the southern and western hemisphere and financial capital of the country. But this is wrong for those who think São Paulo is business and not fun. For designer lovers, the city offers plenty to discover and explore as SP-Art, DW! Design week and more. Whether it is business or pleasure, São Paulo is the perfect place for design lovers to find hotels, restaurants, bars, and museums that will open your mind.

Where to stay

More than ever, São Paulo has the best lodging options in Brazil. The new addition to this selection is the 258-room Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at United Nations designed by HKS Architects in partnership with Aflalo / Gasperini Architects, who filled the space with contemporary art by local artists. For a more classic option, the imposing Tangara Palace - a member of Leading Hotels of the World - is situated in the beautiful Burle Marx Park. When talking about Brazilian design, it's impossible to not mention The Fasano São Paulo, featuring a sleek design by Isay Weinfeld and Marcio Kogan that nods to midcentury modernism. Another highlight of the capital is the Unique Hotel by legendary Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake. A hotspot for Vogue Brasil editors, sleek, modern structure resembles a boat, with its semicircular shape and round porthole-style windows that frequently appear on Instagram.

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Where to Eat & Drink

The tricky thing is not to find great food in São Paulo. Due to the significant immigration that the capital received in the 19th century its culinary skills were highly developed. Looking to experience something extraordinary, Alex Atala's Amazonian-inspired delicacies deserve your visit. Be sure to book a table a few weeks in advance, the restaurant is ranked No. 16 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. For lunch at the weekend, nothing better than the delicious cuts of beef from the Rodeio. From there, hop in an Uber and go to Guillotine Bar in Vila Madalena, considered one of the best bars in the world. For good drinks, friendly crowd and a beautiful skyline, two options: Hotel Unique's rooftop Skye Bar & Restaurant and the cool Spot Restaurant.

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What to Do

One of the "natural" beauties of São Paulo is street art, you will find it all over the city. Including murals by renowned Brazilian artists such as Eduardo Kobra and Os Gemeos, you'll see the highest concentration of street art at the Batman's Alley in Vila Madalena.

The Batman's Alley in Vila Madalena

If you must choose a museum, choose MASP, São Paulo Museum of Art, a masterpiece of midcentury architecture by Lina Bo Bardi. Which had the challenge that both the building, as well as the works, seem to be floating over the metropolitan horizon. Framed by transparent crystal plaques, works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, and Gauguin - are at eye level, as if you're walking through a forest of paintings.

MASP, São Paulo Museum of Art

Exploring the Ibirapuera Park is a must, which was developed by Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx in 1954. It contains several buildings by Niemeyer, including the Oca Ibirapuera and the Ibirapuera Auditorium, as well as the Contemporary Art Museum and several street art murals.

Excerpts from the article: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/sao-paulo-brazil-design-travel-guide