The largest city in South America, Sao Paulo’s cuisine and art is as multinational as its diverse population of 10 million. With the restaurants of the Jardins district serving every food imaginable to diners from around the world, you wouldn’t be out of place going to Sao Paulo just for the dining. But you’d be missing out on world-class museums, diverse and vibrant neighborhood tours, and crazy-good shopping.
This fertile cultural life is supported by Brazil’s biggest and best-educated middle class and further enriched by literally hundreds of distinct ethnic groups – including the largest community of people of Japanese descent outside Japan, the largest population of Italian descendants outside Italy and a significant Arab community fueled mostly by Lebanese and Syrian immigration. There are one million people of German stock and, as well, sizable Chinese, Armenian, Lithuanian, Greek, Syrian, Korean, Polish and Hungarian communities. Sao Paulo also has the largest openly gay community in Latin America. Brazil's melting pot is quite hot indeed.
An estimated 20 million people live in greater São Paulo, making it the third-largest metropolis on earth. The numbers are dizzying: first-rate museums and cultural centers (150), world-class restaurants (12,500, covering 52 types of cuisine), experimental theaters and cinemas (420). Sampa’s nightclubs and bars are among the best on the continent (15,000 bars make for one hell of a pub crawl) and its restaurants are among the best in the world. Its relentless, round-the-clock pulse – a close cousin of London’s or New York’s – can prove taxing even for the fiercest hipster. Then again, it may just deliver the charge you need to discover one of the world’s great cities.