Gay São Paulo
Gay life in the city
You can say that many of the world's major cities have really come out of the closet in the last decade, but nowhere else is that more true than in São Paulo. Its first Gay Pride was in 1997 and only attracted about 2000 people. Ten years later it had about 3.5 million participants, making it the world's biggest gay parade. A few days before that major event in 2007, about one million evangelical Christians protested against homosexuality, but that just may have served as inspiration to the city's gay and gay-friendly population to come out stronger and attract over three times more people to the gay parade.
Dine at this restaurant and stay late for when it turns into a gay bar. It offers good pastas and salads, live music on most nights, and resident DJs on weekends. Lesbian samba parties have taken place here on Sundays.
This club has been a major gay destination for over a decade, with every night having a different DJ but always with the sounds of techno or house. There are three bars serving a variety of drinks, while the lounge upstairs is for those not yet in the mood to hit the dancefloor. You'll find all sorts of people in the crowd, from drag queens putting on a show to muscled pretty boys.
This club was made for dancing, and that's just what everyone does. The gay crowd and a few of their straight friends move to the hottest hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today, and take breaks at one of the three bars. It has a slightly kitschy décor, with 1970s mirror balls doing many of the lighting effects.
This major hotspot is where the world's top DJs do their thing when they're in town. It's not gay but gay-friendly (perhaps straight-friendly), with a mixed crowd including gym-sculpted 30-somethings and twinks getting together on the dancefloor.
Previously a church, this is now a gay-friendly club. Check yourself and admire others through the mirrors that surround the place, and have a drink at one of the four bars. Don't bother passing by during the week, as it only opens on Friday and Saturday nights.
São Paulo hipsters (and that includes a large number of young gay guys) flock to this trendy club for the big-name DJs, dancing under flashing colored lights.
Quite popular with the gay community, this restaurant serves contemporary cuisine in an Asian-inspired space. It's also home to cultural exhibitions and events.
You'll find a significant number of gay guys on Saturdays at this restaurant in Praça Benedito Calixto. Its menu lists traditional Brazilian dishes, especially from Minas Gerais, a northern region of the country that's also reflected in the décor.
As one of the most fashionable restaurants in the city, it's only natural that it gets a sizable gay clientele. It's the see-and-be-seen spot (the name is quite appropriate), serving dishes that combine European and Asian flavors.
It's named after the treaty that divided the world between Portugal and Spain, but the food is all Brazilian. It's a welcoming, gay-friendly place with a charming decor.
Termas for Friends
Keep in mind that most saunas in Brazil are frequented by "rent boys." While São Paulo has over a dozen of gay saunas, one of the only two we could recommend is Termas for Friends. It officially prohibits those types of gay-for-pay services, so if that's what you're looking for, this is not the place for you. It's a big, clean sauna with a good atmosphere, but best of all is its garden.
As one of the best and best-known saunas in São Paulo, this one gets a diverse crowd. In addition to the typical sauna services there are special events throughout the week.
This lesbian hangout is a fun place to play pool and have a few drinks. There is also a large number of sandwich options if you get hungry.
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