Didem Doğan

The bohemian neighbourhood of Vila Madalena

Here is the most entertaining, colourful, bohemian, arty and hippest and coolest neighbourhood of São Paulo. Come to watch a soccer game in one of the bars, or take pictures in Batman’s Alley as every tourist does, but come to Vila Madalena to enjoy some time for yourself. Long before the area was made of farms and one of the daughters of the farmer called Madalena gave name to today’s hip neighborhood. At the 70s students started to live here due its location by the University. Later came the artist to open ateliers, workshops, and as in each city where artists start to hop in all the other upper middle class people followed them. You can find a little bit of Soho here; design stores, coffee shops, little streets. In August they hold an annual festival, Feira de Vila. It is also the house of the famous samba school Pérola Negra. The most pictured street of São Paulo is also found here: the Batman Alley is made of a long street, walls at two sides, each of which covered with a graffiti. As you walk from Batman’s Alley to upper part you find a nice place to hang out at every corner, either a beer house, a coffee or a ‘boteco’ as they say, a place to watch games. I must say they do not have the modesties of the old town, they are not typical buffet style places; they appeal more to the middle class with higher prices and chic furnitures. Considering Brazil as an expensive destination it is acceptable.