Cultural centers in São Paulo

On the left side, part of the facade of a very light beige mansion with 2 floors, where a large window appears in each one. In the center, a small extension of the house with only one floor, a large window in the center and a terrace at the top. To the front, part of a large garden with shrubs and small trees, where a woman passes. In the background, another garden with several large trees.

Casa das Rosas. Photo: Alexandre Diniz/ SPTuris.

While some residents of the city that never stops are in companies, restaurants, avenues, shops, cinemas and parks, others are enjoying the best things culture can offer. The city has about 40 cultural centers, in which, every day, exhibitions, shows, courses, debates, and workshops about all forms of art take place. Best of all is that these spaces have as registered trademarks the versatility and quality of the attractions, in addition to being an agent that spreads the great art, promoting events at low prices or free of charge. In addition, most cultural centers are located in beautiful architectural monuments, which is already a pre-show.

Visit some of these paradises of culture in São Paulo and feel welcome.


Although dedicated exclusively to the 7th Art, Cinemateca offers multiple possibilities. The audiovisual library holds one of the largest collections of Latin America, with advertising films, documentaries, newsreels, family records, among other treasures. But that is not all: the rich collection of books, photos, documents, articles and academic projects about cinema, in addition to the courses and thematic exhibitions of short and feature films, turns Cinemateca into a multipurpose center of culture and research.

Fundação Maria Luisa e Oscar Americano (Maria Luisa and Oscar Americano Foundation)

Visual arts, music and green harmonized with lots of charm. The Fundação Maria Luisa e Oscar Americano is a cultural center that holds a large collection of national works of art from the 17th century to the 20th century, preserving part of the memory of Imperial Brazil. On Sunday mornings, musical concerts are the attraction of the auditorium. The Foundation also offers courses and lectures related to arts and culture, in addition to guided tours to the 75 thousand-m² park, which is inside the Foundation. There are scripts and special programs for different kinds of visitors: school groups, young people, adults, and entire families. In a building attached, a small shop sells art books, engravings, and porcelain.

Centro Cultural da Juventude (Youth Cultural Center)

It is a public center, administered by the Municipal Secretary of Culture, which dedicates its 8 thousand m² to exhibitions and to the teaching of culture and art in projects involving scenic arts, digital culture, do it yourself (incentive to independent cultural production), reflections (lectures, chats, and seminars), the time of the vestibular, visual and audiovisual arts, and encounters (poetry events, visit to the city’s cultural equipment, performances, collective music production). The infrastructure includes library, amphitheater, arena theater, musical recording studios, editing stations of video and audio, studio, gallery, among other spaces. It is a center of plural and democratic culture, which offers all activities and events free.

Caixa Cultural

The slogan “Come Feel the Art” summarizes the proposition of Caixa Cultural, the initiative by Caixa Econômica Federal was implemented in eight Brazilian states, with two units in São Paulo city: Sé and Paulista. Aiming to value the diversity and the roots of the Brazilian culture, Caixa Cultural sponsors events in its spaces, in all manifestations of art: music, theater, dance, exhibitions of visual arts and photography, installations, and craft. It also promotes cultural exchange by sponsoring international events. In addition, there is the social and pedagogical profile of Caixa cultural centers when developing its projects to bring art in a democratic and inclusive form to public school students, older adults, and people with special needs. All activities are free.

Casa das Rosas

Very old building with 2 floors, in shades of gray. On the first floor, a balcony surrounds the front and the sides, covered by the slab of the terrace above, slab supported by several round columns. On the left side, a large yellow and orange poster is written in large black letters "VIRADA CULTURAL" and "CASAS DAS ROSAS". On the upper floor, large terrace with walled concrete wall surrounds the upper floor, smaller than the ground floor. Above, a very high roof of gray tiles with 4 windows of an attic. It is surrounded by a very flowery garden, shrubs and a few trees.

Casa das Rosas. Photo: Alexandre Diniz/ SPTuris.

Casa das Rosas – Espaço Haroldo de Campos de Poesia e Literatura is one of the temples of poetry and arts in São Paulo located in the very beginning of the Paulista Avenue. One of the last original preserved mansions on the avenue, it was built in an area of more than 5 thousand m² and declared public heritage. In addition to promoting poetry events, recitals, plays, exhibitions, and other artistic dissemination activities, the Casa das Rosas has a circulating library – with more than 2.5 thousand titles of literature of national and foreign poetry available for loan – and the Haroldo de Campos library, with a collection of 20 thousand volumes that belonged to the poet who gives name to the place. This collection brings together rare copies of literature, poetry, philosophy, and other genres, in several languages. The Casa das Rosas also has a wide programming with cultural and literary courses.

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) (CCBB – Bank of Brazil Cultural Center)

With spaces installed in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia, the CCBBs are recognized by the multidisciplinary activities at affordable prices, in a programming characterized by its quality and addressed to all social segments. In São Paulo, the CCBB contributes to vitalize the melting pot in São Paulo and, yet, to change the relationship people from São Paulo have with the center of the city, since it is located in the historic center. There are more than 4 thousand m² with exhibition rooms, cinema, theater, auditorium, and cafeteria. In the programming, exhibitions and debates on contemporary issues in the world of music, arts and theater, film, literature, dance, theater, and education programs.
The CCBB in São Paulo has received numerous awards in recognition of the quality of the shows, the care with the curatorship, the fostering of the arts, among others.

Centro Cultural Fiesp

Modern architecture that gathers alternative spaces for a programming of theatrical and dance performances, cinema, concerts, exhibitions and lectures, being recognized as one of the main cultural centers of the city of São Paulo. The Teatro Popular do Sesi (Sesi Popular Theater), with the aim of creating audiences, is one of the most important spaces and producers of scenic arts in the country, having received several awards in 40 years of existence. On the mezzanine, experimental shows, performances, film screenings, lectures, and workshops are promoted. It is also at the Centro Cultural Fiesp where Panorama Sesi de Dança and the Fiesp/Sesi-SP São Paulo Cinema Awards happen.

Itaú Cultural

Picture from bottom to top. Facade of a building in modern style, formed by large external white metallic structures with dark blue walls. On both sides, a large commercial building with the entire glass facade.

Instituto Itaú Cultural. Foto: Itaú Cultural/ divulgação.

Prestigious Institute that operates in the areas of research, production, mapping, incentive and dissemination of national artistic and intellectual manifestations, both in Brazil and abroad. The Itaú Cultural holds the largest collection of Luso-Brazilian coins and medals of the city, media library with over 30 thousand documents about Brazilian art and culture, library with books about visual and scenic arts, theater, cinema, music and literature, and video library with national representative productions in short and feature films. The Institute also promotes temporary exhibitions, courses and seminars about art, photography, education, and culture. All activities promoted by Itaú Cultural are free.

Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP)

Internal image of a huge hall with two large asymmetrical walkways, side by side and end to end. Ceiling in the shape of a light arch, made of concrete and metal structures. In the background and on the right side, huge glass windows show a view of the city.

Centro Cultural São Paulo. Photo: Alexandre Diniz/ SPTuris.

Inaugurated in 1982, it was one of the first multidisciplinary cultural spaces in the country, promoting exhibitions, performances, workshops and debates about cinema, dance, visual and scenic arts, classical and popular music, in addition to children’s programming. The CCSP also holds significant collections of the city on diverse subjects and media, a set of three libraries, a comic book collection, reading room, and offers services, such as bike racks and restaurant. The Centro Cultural São Paulo supports the experimental art, gathers artists and bring them closer to the audience, very numerous and plural because of the diversity of the programming and the popular prices.

Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS – Moreira Salles Institute)

The cultural center of the Institute was installed in São Paulo in 1996, with the purpose to promote and develop culture in the areas of photography, literature, cinema, visual arts, and Brazilian music. It is where the rich photographic, iconographic, musical, and documental collections of the Institute are located. The IMS also promotes in São Paulo a circuit of exhibitions, concerts and courses, always focusing on the training and improvement of the public. The Instituto Moreira Salles also coordinates the activities of the Espaços Unibanco de Cinema/Unibanco Arteplex, organizing exhibitions related to cinema programming.

Museu Lasar Segall (Lasar Segall Museum)

In the house in which Lasar Segall lived and worked, an institution that seeks to preserve, study and disseminate the work of the artist functions since 1967. The Museu Lasar Segall holds a collection of more than 3 thousand works, including paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures, in addition to promoting temporary exhibitions of various artists and techniques. The institution also is a center of cultural activities, offering guided tours and courses in various areas, such as photography and creative writing, in addition to housing a library specialized in scenic arts and photography, a café, and a cinema. The plurality of the programming focus on the dissemination of cultural manifestations and on the formation of citizenship in the Brazilian context.

Centro Cultural Rio Verde (Rio Verde Cultural Center)
The charming, trendy and cool Vila Madalena hides an alternative space where the public appreciate and live the different art forms. Internal and external facilities, decorated with very good taste, are the stage for music concerts, theater, dance or even lectures and chats about culture and art. It is also in the Centro Cultural Rio Verde that happens the project Estação Catraca Livre, Sundays of cultural activities after 4 p.m., with exhibitions, concerts, performances, CD releases, books and DVDs, among others. All for free!


In the foreground, to the left, building of a whole floor in apparent orange bricks, with 4 large windows. In the background, on the left, a large concrete building with no windows, about 12 stories high. On the front wall, 4 rows of leaked elements. To the right, approximately 10 meters away, another similar building, but much more narrow. Both structures are interconnected by 4 pairs of apparent concrete walkways, in triangular form, one above the other. At floor level, several people circle around. All under a very blue sky without clouds.

Sesc Pompeia. Foto: Caio Pimenta/SPTuris

With 16 units in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Sesc plays with great competence the role of promoting culture and education as tools in the construction of citizenship. Thus, it develops projects for all age groups and audiences, with sports and artistic actions – with shows and courses –, of social and environmental education, among other initiatives that offer new and meaningful experiences to individuals and groups.


Cinemateca Brasileira
Address: Largo Senador Raul Cardoso, 207 – Vila Clementino (Vila Mariana subway station)
Telephone: (11) 3512-6111

Fundação Maria Luisa e Oscar Americano
Address: Avenida Morumbi, 4077 – Morumbi
Telephone: (11) 3742-0077

Centro Cultural da Juventude
Address: Avenida Deputado Emílio Carlos, 3641 – Vila Nova Cachoeirinha (next to Cachoeirinha Terminal)
Telephone: (11) 3984-2466

Caixa Cultural
Sé: Praça da Sé, 111 – Centro
Galeria Vitrine da Paulista: Avenida Paulista, 2083, ground floor (Conjunto Nacional)
Telephone: (11) 3321-4400

Casa das Rosas
Address: Avenida Paulista, 37 – Bela Vista
Telephone: (11) 3288-9447

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil São Paulo
Address: Rua Álvares Penteado, 112 – Centro
Telephone: (11) 3113-3651/3652

Centro Cultural Fiesp – Ruth Cardoso
Address: Avenida Paulista, 1313 – Cerqueira César (Tianon-Masp subway station)
Telephone: (11) 3146-7405

Itaú Cultural
Address: Avenida Paulista, 149 – Bela Vista
Telephone: (11) 2168-1777

Centro Cultural São Paulo
Address: Rua Vergueiro, 1000 – Paraíso
Telephone: (11) 3397-4002

Instituto Moreira Salles 
Address: Avenida Paulista, 2424 – Bela Vista (Paulista or Consolação subway station)
Telephone: (11) 3825-2560

Museu Lasar Segall
Address: Rua Berta, 111 – Vila Mariana (Vila Mariana or Santa Cruz subway station)
Telephone: (11) 5574-7422

Centro Cultural Rio Verde
Address: Rua Belmiro Braga, 119 – Vila Madalena
Telephone: (11) 3459-5321

Sesc São Paulo

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