São Paulo's only true traveler-like quarter is the bohemian bairro of Vila Madalena, 6km west of Praça da Sé, which boasts a bonafide hip hostel scene in addition to being the city's longstanding cradle of artsy boutiques, cutting-edge galleries and boisterous nightlife. The leafy, upscale district of Jardims, 5km southwest of Centro, is pricier but also very pleasant. There's a solid concentration of hostels around the residential neighborhoods of Paraíso and Vila Mariana off the southeastern end of Av Paulista – a little out of the way but near good metro connections. If you opt for Centro, the areas surrounding Estação da Luz train station and central downtown are rife with cheap hotels but also crime and prostitution – use extreme caution and don't walk around at night. Stick to the safe-ish immediate area around Praça da República.