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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To São Paulo With LAPIMA Co-Founder Gisela Assis

Meet LAPIMA, the avant-garde sunglasses brand created in the countryside locale of Campinas, an hour outside São Paulo.

Gisela Assis tells us Campinas enjoys, on average, 320 sunny days a year, so it is no wonder she joined forces with her husband to start her sunglasses brand, in sculptural statement silhouettes and earthy tones inspired by the colour palette of Brazil.

Here, Gisela shares her insider guide to São Paulo, taking readers on a tour of the city’s hotspots and best-kept secrets.

Essential items to pack?

São Paulo weather can be tricky. It’s very warm and wet in the summer, and can get cold in winter. Rain jackets are always a good item to have on hand, as well as light dresses and a great pair of sunglasses.


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The best time to visit Sã0 Paulo is…

April through to September, as it’s usually less rainy during these months. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy SP-Arte (the São Paulo art fair).

Our first pitstop should be…

The Pinacoteca de São Paulo and São Paulo Museum of Art. Avenida Paulista – where MASP is located – is a fantastic area. There you will also find the Instituto Moreira Salles, which houses the best photo collection of the city. In the same neighbourhood, is the brand new Rosewood Hotel São Paulo, which is very beautiful.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

The FASANO Hotel.

For an early morning workout head to…

The city is full of small parks, where you can join open air yoga classes. For jogging, the Parque Ibirapuera is great. To appreciate nature, I love Parque Burle Max.

Where should we go for breakfast?

To one of São Paulo’s famous padarias (bakeries). You’ll find one on every corner – I love the Padoca do Mani. My brunch obsession is Botanikafé in Jardins and Pinheiros.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

Le Jardin at the new Rosewood Hotel São Paulo.


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And for dinner with friends?

We have many fantastic options, the food in Brazil is simply delicious! My favourites: Carlota, Bar da Dona Onça, and Rodeio.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

Blow Out Option: Maní.

Budget Option: EMA.

Where should we head post-dinner?

A disco nightclub! Either the Unique Hotel rooftop or Love Story nightclub.

The drink to order at the bar…

A traditional lemon caipirinha.

A must-try spot for date night?

Chou at Pinheiros and Le Jazz at SHOPS Jardins.

The best place to treat yourself is… 

The spa at Palácio Tangará.


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The best place for people watching…

Jardins and Itaim neighbourhoods.

For great shopping head to…

SHOPS Jardins and Cidade Jardim mall.

The one place only locals know about… 

Mercado Municipal de São Paulo in the city centre (I’d recommend not to wear any jewellery, and remember that they require small bags only). Mercadão Municipal de Pinheiro is also a great one. I also love to picnic at Praça do Pôr do Sol.

For the best views head to…

The Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo.

Great day trips include…

Vila Madalena is great to walk around and see local artists, with small shops and cafés all over. It’s a place where the night is full of life; there’s always local musicians playing in bars and restaurants. Liberdade is where you will find the biggest Japanese community outside Japan. Here you can enjoy delicious food and try the best karaoke in the city – it’s a lot of fun!

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

That night I would go to Sala São Paulo.

What is your São Paulo secret?

The hair specialist O Luciano de Paris, whose space is inside the most beautiful organic beauty store – Dominique Beaute at Jardins.

In a word, São Paulo is…


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Any Questions or Tips to add?