Sao Paulo, Brasilien

Leben in Sao Paulo

Iyna Bort Caruso

Sao Paulo, or Sampa, as its locally known, welcomes newcomers with open arms. Its population is diverse and multicultural. Expats representing scores of nationalities have found their footing here. It is also home to the single largest Japanese Diaspora.

And for good reason. Sao Paulo is Brazil’s wealthiest city as well as the continent’s food and fashion capital. It wields international influence culturally and economically.

This city in southeast Brazil is a sprawling “megametropolis” – the biggest city in the biggest country in the Southern Hemisphere – yet mountains, rainforests and the beautiful beaches of the Paulista Coast are only about an hour’s drive away.

Sao Paulo offers locals a rich social life that includes open-air fairs, festivals (most famously Carnival) and the Brazilian Grand Prix. Parties take place on rooftops throughout the city. The Sao Paulo Biennial is an important stop for aficionados on the global art tour. The show dates back to 1851, making it the second longest-running biennial, second only to Venice.

Brazil’s biggest luxury real estate market reflects the works of celebrated architects. Pritzker Prize winner Oscar Niemeyer, whose portfolio included the United Nations and a pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, plied his form of Modernism here.

Only a handful of historical buildings still exist. Concrete, steel and glass are the materials that make up the urban landscape. There is an upward thrust to this city of skyscrapers, which is why neighborhoods near Ibirapuera Park are especially desirable. Ibirapuera, which has been called one of the top urban parks in the world, features several Niemeyer-designed buildings. Vila Nova Conceição is chief among the city’s elite park-side locales and home to the high net worth crowd. Jardins is another prestigious district of the high-powered and well-heeled, both Brazilian and international. Jardins includes a string of neighborhoods that boast top schools, designer shopping, impressive homes, greenery and serenity.