Sao Paulo: The Never Sleeping City.
Have you ever been to a megalopolis? Have you ever imagined how is like to be in the middle of another 22 million people in one single city? This is Sao Paulo. The 5th biggest city in the world. Just the city itself has around 20 million people living there, but it grew so much that nowadays it is connected to all small cities around it. Summing all those small cities plus the megalopolis, you get to this impressive 22 million people. For you to have an idea, when you sum the population from Portugal with the entire population of Greece, you still miss some thousands to get to the population of Sao Paulo.
Living in Sao Paulo
I was born and raised in this impressive place. Funny thing is that because of this fact, my point of view and perspective is completely screw up. When I moved to Berlin I thought that the city was small and practical, but in fact Berlin is the biggest city in Germany, making it huge on the German’s eyes.
Another fact about growing in such a huge city is that the traffic pretty much controls your entire life. Imagine that for me to go to work every day I used to spend between 2 and 3 hours each way. Also, when you plan to go anywhere you already calculate what time you have to leave your home based on that. My minimum time was always getting out at least one hour earlier for places near to me. What I really had to adapt after I moved to Berlin, because the most common distance time there lays around 15 to 20 minutes. I already stayed this amount of time just to manage to cross a traffic light once.
But the positive fact about Sao Paulo is that the city runs 24/7. Supermarkets, bakeries, night clubs, bars. You find pretty much anything that you might need in the middle of the night. Even car mechanics. The city doesn’t abandon you and when you are born there you also feel like never abandoning the city. Until you move out to anywhere else – in my case, the first move out was to another city in Brazil -, and then you can’t see yourself living in that crazy place anymore. But even though, I miss it.
24/7 – where to go?
Ok, let’s stop talking about me and start giving some incredible tips on what to do in Sao Paulo. If you are searching for a bar, a more alternative place, you can go to the Augusta Street (center side). This street starts in a neighborhood called Jardins and ends at the city center. The middle way is crossed by the famous Paulista Avenue. Well, if you start your way down to the center starting at Paulista Avenue, you will cross hundreds of bars. This street was pretty well known by prostitution and stripper clubs, but nowadays the alternative life took it away and transformed it into a happy bar street.
But if you want something more traditional Brazilian, then you must go to a neighborhood called Vila Madalena. This district is full of traditional bars and many of them with live music. Definitely you will find your fun around there.
If you need a supermarket, prefer to pick a place called “Extra” or “Sonda”. Usually their stores works 24/7, but get informed before going to one. If your problem is that hunger is hitting on you in the middle of the night, you can search for two amazing Bakeries that also work as small restaurants and have amazing service 24 hours per day: Bella Paulista and Dona Deola. You’d rather go to a café? The famous network Franz Café is spread in the city and also offers 24/7 service. If you are too far from the city central neighborhoods, you might find a bit more difficult to find some of those places, but a great option is also a convenience store at the gas stations.
Besides that you can also find medical assistance also during the night. There are clinics – even for pets – that stay opened 24/7 to attend those with some emergency in a not usual time.
One very important thing that doesn’t work 24/7 are the cash machines. Because of the amount of criminals attempts against citizens and banks during the night, the money institutions where obligated to stop their services between 10 pm and 6 am. So, if you need money in your wallet, pay attention to the clock. Besides that, most of the places accept debit and credit cards.
While visiting Brazil and some countries in South America, take good care of yourself and your belongings. Don’t walk around alone during the night and avoid showing off some expensive items like expensive mobile phones or watches. Keep your eyes opened and enjoy this city that never sleeps!