The Hornet Guide to Gay São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil, rich in architectural tradition and cultural institutions, is among the world’s most populous cities. From neo-Gothic cathedrals to the Edifício Copan designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, there are plenty of historical and touristy sites to explore.
As an active advocate for LGBTQ rights, Brazil legalized same-sex marriage in 2012 and had progressive laws protecting the community. São Paulo equally has a thriving gay nightlife scene for non-stop entertainment. Its annual Pride and Carnival celebrations also attract visitors celebrating the warm Latin America culture. So why not book your flight today, and discover the charm of gay São Paulo.
Before Your Next Gay São Paulo Trip
U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of the other countries listed here, will need to apply for a Visa to enter Brazil. The good news is the whole process is relatively simple. There are also online services that can help you to get your visa promptly if you don’t have a Brazilian embassy near you.
Remember, Portuguese is the official language of Brazil — not Spanish! — and a majority of people aren’t fluent in English. So here are some essential Portuguese phrases to make your São Paulo trip easier.
In Brazil, the power sockets are type N. The standard voltage for the country is 127/220 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. So you will need to pack the appropriate power plug adapter for your trip here. The good news for American travellers is that you’ll only need a plug adapter, not a power converter.
Uber services is convenient and relatively affordable too. Make sure you have international phone service to access Uber — though WiFi is often readily available in gay São Paulo.
Must Visit Local São Paulo Attractions
Beco do Batman is a must-visit attraction in São Paulo. Located in the artsy neighborhood of the city, this famed zig-zag alley features visually vibrant graffiti art from local artists. After you finish the tour, there are a number of restaurants nearby!
At the busy Avenida Paulista, you get to experience the vibrant energy of the financial and cultural center of the city. This neighborhood attracts thousands of visitors and tourists every day. You’ll get to explore local shops and restaurants — and it’s also the home of São Paulo’s most famous museum, MASP.
Even if you aren’t religious, São Paulo Cathedral‘s magnificent architecture makes it a great place to learn local history. Also, try to explore the crypt section of the cathedral while you’re there. Located below the main altar, this vast space is a subterranean church of its own.
If you want a bird’s-eye-view of downtown São Paulo, go to Mirante do Vale, the tallest building in the city. Their observation decks offer a grand view of the city.
Must-Visit Museums in São Paulo
In addition to MASP, there are several local museums with unique themes to explore. The Museum of Contemporary Art houses 8,000 works of art from around the world, and all from the 20th and 21st centuries. There’s also a great deck on the roof to take in a panoramic view of São Paulo — and this museum is located within the green zone of Ibirapuera Park.
There is a huge Japanese population in São Paulo. There is even a museum dedicated to Japanese culture. At Japan House, visitors get the opportunity to learn Japanese history through exhibitions, shows, workshops and special events.
Futebol (or, what Americans call “soccer”) is Brazil’s national sport. At the Football Museum, you can learn everything about the sport. Visitors can casually navigate through fifteen rooms full of interactive exhibitions about soccer and how it became a part of Brazilian history and culture.
On a personal level, Museum of the Person shares the power of storytelling. By listening or reading the narratives from a diverse group of ordinary people around the world, this museum will expand your view of humanity.
Museu de Diversidade Sexual is a museum preserves the cultural heritage of the Brazilian LGBT community. This place has a variety of exhibitions with activities focusing on the history, art and culture of local LGBTQ community.
São Paulo Cultural Center is a multimedia space offering a variety of contemporary cultural experiences. From the art gallery to the cinema, guests get to explore and learn about different forms of art.
Gay São Paulo Nightlife
There is plenty to do in gay São Paulo. From Castro Burger to the Spot, there are plenty of gay-friendly diners in the city to start your night of fun. After your meal, stop by Boteco do Massay and have a drink (or two) with friends before heading out to the club. In the heart of the city’s most chic neighborhood, Boteco do Massay has live music on Wednesday and Friday nights.
Are you looking for a good time with sexy São Paulo men? Our Brazilian friends highly recommend Bubu as the must-visit place in São Paulo. This club regularly hosts gay events and plays fantastic music with beautiful go-go boys prancing around the stage to get you in the mood.
Do you have a thing for sailors? If so, the Yacht is the perfect bar to hang out with your buddies. If rum is your go-to liquor, order the “Sailor,” the Yacht’s signature drink, to quench your thirst. The Yacht also plays fantastic music, and it’s easy to lose yourself to the beat in this intoxicating space.
If you want to hang out at the fun spot, Cantho is the bar for you. Packed with a young crowd, Cantho hosts high-energy nights and has a roster of DJs playing upbeat music for you to dance the night away.
The Week, the biggest gay nightclub in all of Brazil, has premier DJs spinning. This nightclub is so massive; it even has an outdoor area with a huge pool you can take a dip in while you dance. The Week is another reason why you have to experience gay São Paulo.
Finally, check out Chilli Pepper Single Hotel if you decide to cruise. Chilli Pepper Single Hotel is not really a “hotel.” In fact, it is a three-level building offering relaxation, safe cruising and endless fun. There is a steam room, sauna plus a bar on the first floor. You can casually walk around the dark on the second and third floor to check out or be a part of the action.
Feature image by ysbrandcosijn via iStockphoto.com