1. Hotel Unique
I love Hotel Unique in Jardim Paulista. Its architecture is very contemporary, designed by Brazilian architect, Ruy Ohtake. The lobby is beautifully furnished with pieces from national design stars such as the Campana Brothers, and the rooftop Skye Bar and Restaurant is sexy and welcoming.
Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio 4700, Jardim Paulista; +55 11 3055 4700; www.hotelunique.com.br
2. Pinacoteca do Estado se São Paulo
Running until March 22 at Pinacoteca is a fascinating retrospective about the late, great Brazilian Modernist artist, Roberto Burle Marx. Burle Marx is most well-known as a landscape designer, changing the way native plants and flowers were perceived. The exhibition not only shows his landscape design projects, but also presents the story of a man capable of expressing himself in many different ways, be it through paintings, mosaics, tapestry, jewellery or glass work. Visit the museum on a Thursday when it is open until 10pm.
Praça da Luz 2, Luz; +55 11 3324 1000;
3. Tuju Restaurant
Tuju just opened recently and word has quickly spread throughout the city. Eating there is a very pleasant experience. The food, prepared by chef Ivan Ralston, is modern and colourful without losing authentic flavours, and the atmosphere is Brazilian-cool. I do recommend the rice ‘sea and mountain’ dish, which uses rice with different flavours and textures from both environments.
Rua Fradique Coutinho 1248, Pinheiros; +55 11 2691 5548; www.tuju.com.br
4. JK Iguatemi Mall
My favourite shopping experience is at the JK Iguatemi mall. It’s a very calm and comfortable place offering all kinds of international labels such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Zegna, Goyard, and many Brazilian labels, too. I also like to have a gin and tonic at the ICI Brasserie, which is located on the top floor.
Avenida Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek 2041; +55 11 3152 6800; www.iguatemi.com.br/jkiguatemi
This is one of my favourite bars and surely one of the most emblematic in the city. It used to be a hotspot for artists and musicians (legend has it that composer Chico Buarque de Hollanda worked on some of his music at the bar). After this glorious past, the bar closed for a couple of decades and reopened two years ago in very posh style. Architect Marcio Kogan was responsible for the renovation and the menu was put together by top local chef, Alex Atala. The Baretto bar at the Fasano São Paulo hotel (fasano.com.br) in Jardins is also nice, with a very cosy atmosphere, beautiful people, wonderful negroni cocktails (gin, vermouth rosso, Campari) and excellent live music.
Avenue Paulista 2584; +55 11 3258 1268; www.rivierabar.com.br
6. Art Fair
São Paulo is a fantastic city for art lovers. Next month (April 9–12) will see the 2015 edition of the annual SP-Arte Fair. The fair is getting bigger each year, with exhibitions and talks in various locations around the city.
7. Football Museum
The Football Museum is a fun experience, located inside the Pacaembu football stadium. Avoid visiting on weekends, when the stadium may be hosting a real football game and the museum is closed.
Estádio do Pacaembu — Museu do Futebol; +55 11 3663 3848; www.museudofutebol.org.br
8. The Pivo Cultural Centre
One of the city’s architectural landmarks, the wave-like, Oscar Niemeyer-designed Copan Building, is a masterpiece in the heart of downtown São Paulo. Inside it, the Pivo Cultural Centre boasts an array of contemporary and experimental art in a generous, loft-like space. On the ground floor, two restaurants await: Bar da Dona Onça, where you can sample traditional dishes with a stylish twist, and Mexican eatery, La Central.
Avenida Ipiranga 200; +55 11 3255 8703; www.pivo.org.br
9. Spa Day at the Tivoli
For an incredible massage experience, I recommend booking in for a Thai massage at the Elements Spa at the Tivoli São Paulo – Mofarrej hotel. The therapists come from Thailand and the spa is the only one in South America from the famous Banyan Tree group.
Alameda Santos 1437, Cerqueira César; + 55 11 3146 5900; www.tivolihotels.com
10. Gastronomy at Restaurante Emiliano
Positioned within the five-star Hotel Emiliano, all of the produce, game, and seafood is sourced locally to ensure top quality and taste. Beyond their method of reusing and recycling waste, the ambiance of Restaurante Emiliano is sophisticated yet exotic; take a seat next to the lush tropical garden wall, where the experience of modern Brazilian cusiine will be unforgettable.
Rua Oscar Freire, 384 - Jardim Paulista, São Paulo - SP, 01426-000, Brazil; +55 11 3068-4399