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The Best Malls in São Paulo

I moved to Brazil roughly three years ago, and one of the first things I noticed was the abundance of shopping malls. I've always loved malls, not only because I'm an avid window-shopper and wannabe shopaholic, but also because I love the atmosphere and all the things malls offer. Whether I’m going shopping, eating at a nice restaurant, or hanging out with friends and family, malls are some of my favorite places to visit.

Two women in a clothing store looking at a purse

I've probably visited around 15 malls in the past year and a half while living in São Paulo. I've chosen six of my favorites to share with you. Instead of a definitive ranking, I've included a short blurb about each mall as well as a pros and cons list.

 

Morumbi Shopping

Morumbi Shopping is by far the most underrated mall in the city. Throughout its three floors, there are many high-end and budget-friendly stores where one can shop. The lowest floor has various sit-down restaurant options and a large food court to fit everyone’s different budgets.


One can find all sorts of events on rotation, such as the current Leonardo da Vinci experience and the Ferris wheel at the main entrance. I could spend an entire day at this mall enjoying everything it offers!


Pros

Offers both a food court and gourmet dining

Pretty, always clean, smells quite nice

Near a subway station

Next to another mall with a movie theater


Cons

❌ Could be a bit far for many people not in Zona Sul

❌ Big, with a confusing layout

❌ Parking is tough during peak traffic


Shopping Eldorado

Shopping Eldorado is the mall I most often go to with my friends. It has an arcade, movie theater, children's play area, pet store where you can pet the animals (which I love), and so much more!


On top of that, this mall is huge! From the outside, it almost looks like an airport or convention center. It has numerous stores and the biggest food court I've seen in São Paulo thus far. The mall has six floors and even a Carrefour hypermaket!


Pros

Biggest food court

Giant movie theater

Areas for kids to play

Offers a wide range of stores


Cons

❌ Very big, hard to get around

❌ Loud and packed most days

❌ Not very appealing or well-decorated


Woman window shopping

JK Iguatemi

One of the more cosmopolitan malls, JK Iguatemi (Jota Ka, as it's colloquially known), is another favorite amongst me and my friends. I usually go there to go to the movie theater, Cinépolis, on the top floor. I've seen about five movies there, and I can wholeheartedly say it is the best theater I have been to. They even gave us free posters after seeing Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (best Spider-Man movie ever!) in June.


The stores are mostly luxury brands, so I usually only window shop, but I always have a good time.


Pros

Best movie theater

Luxurious environment and stylish crowd

Organized well, easy layout

Many employees speak English


Cons

Difficult to get in and out, even without traffic

Small food court with limited options

Not as big as most malls


Whether I’m going shopping, eating at a nice restaurant, or hanging out with friends and family, malls are some of my favorite places to visit.

Iguatemi

Not to be confused with the previous mall, Iguatemi is without a doubt the most beautiful mall São Paulo has to offer. During the holidays, the mall becomes a dashing Christmas wonderland while maintaining its classiness. For those who like grandeur, this is the mall for you! It is chic, stylish, and stunningly decorated. Even though I’ve gotten lost in there a couple of times with my dad, its visually stimulating decor makes up for its maze-like layout.


Pros

Most visually appealing mall

Wide selection of luxury brands

Premium movie theater

In Faria Lima, a great area


Cons

Super expensive

Easy to get lost in

Lots of traffic around the mall


Shopping Cidade Jardim

If you want the splendor of Iguatemi without the size, Shopping Cidade Jardim is the ideal mall to visit. The mall feels like a garden with natural greenery from floor to ceiling! Its rectangular layout allows you to go up, down, and around without getting lost. This mall is also so clean that my great aunt once banged her head on a shop window while trying to get a closer look at a R$100,000 purse she took a liking to! Talk about extreme window shopping!


Cidade Jardim provides many fine-dining rooftop restaurants with picturesque views of the city.


Pros

Most affluent mall (dress to impress!)

Wide selection of high-end brands

Most expensive movie theater

Top floor has gourmet restaurants that overlook the city


Cons

Limited affordable food options

Incredibly pricey

Smaller than most malls


Pasta dinner and glasses of wine for 4 people


Shopping Pátio Higienópolis

If any of the malls mentioned above are a bit too far away for your convenience, then Shopping Higienópolis is the place to go! I'll admit, I've only been to this mall once. However, it was a great place to visit with my entire family. The glass dome roof allows for natural light to flood the entire mall, and the atmosphere is lovely. Just outside the food court there's a beautiful patio with benches and parks. Writing this has made me want to go back as soon as possible, if only it wasn't so far!

Pros

Intricate and beautiful architecture

Rooftop patio is great for families

Accessible for those who don't live near other malls

Gourmet restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating

Cons

Parking is difficult to access

Poor customer service

Uninviting decor


 

Images provided by Wix Media.

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