- PRICES LIST
- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- THINGS TO DO
- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- THINGS TO KNOW
- STAY SAFE
Info Salvador Da Bahia
Salvador, also known as São Salvador and Salvador da Bahia , is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. With 2.9 million people (2013), it is the largest city proper in the Northeast Region and the 3rd-largest city proper in the country, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Founded by the Portuguese in 1549 as the first capital of Brazil, Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. A sharp escarpment divides its Lower Town (Cidade Baixa) from its Upper Town (Cidade Alta) by some 85 meters (279 ft). TheElevador Lacerda, Brazil's first elevator, has connected the two since 1873. The Pelourinho district of the upper town, still home to many examples of Portuguese colonial architecture and historical monuments, was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The city's cathedral is the see of the primate of Brazil and its Carnival celebration has been reckoned as the largest party in the world. Salvador was the first slave port in the Americas and the African influence of the slaves' descendants makes it a center ofAfro-Brazilian (preto) culture. The city is noted for its cuisine, music, and architecture. Porto da Barra Beach in Barra has been named one of the best beaches in the world. Itaipava Arena Fonte Novawas the site of the city's games during the 2014 Brazilian World Cup.
Salvador forms the heart of the Recôncavo, Bahia's rich agricultural and industrial maritime district, and continues to be a major Brazilian port. Its metropolitan area, housing 3,953,290 people (2015) forms the wealthiest one in Brazil's Northeast Region.
|POPULATION :||• Municipality 2,902,927
• Metro 3,919,864
|FOUNDED :||29 March 1549|
|TIME ZONE :||UTC-3|
|RELIGION :||Catholic 51.55%
No religion 17.64%
Umbanda and Candomblé 1.05%
|AREA :||693 km2 (268 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||8 m (26 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||12°58′29″S 38°28′36″W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.7%
• Female: 53.3%
|ETHNIC :||Pardo (Multiracial) (51.7%) Black (27.8%) White (18.9%) Asian (1.3%) and Amerindian(0.3%).|
|AREA CODE :||71|
|POSTAL CODE :||40000-000|
|DIALING CODE :||+55 71|
Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia, Brazil. With a charming Old Town (aWorld Heritage Site), a vibrant musical scene and popular Carnaval celebrations, it is considered one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture.
The Salvador coastline is one of the longest for cities in Brazil. There are 80 km (50 mi) of beaches distributed between the High City and the Low City, from Inema, in the railroad suburb to the Praia do Flamengo, on the other side of town. While the Low City beaches are bordered by the waters of the All Saints Bay (the country's most extensive bay), the High City beaches, from Farol da Barra to Flamengo, are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The exception is Porto da Barra Beach, the only High City beach located in the All Saints Bay.
The capital's beaches range from calm inlets, ideal for swimming, sailing, diving and underwater fishing, as well as open sea inlets with strong waves, sought by surfers. There are also beaches surrounded by reefs, forming natural pools of stone, ideal for children.
Interesting places to visit near Salvador include:
- According to the British newspaper The Guardian, in 2007, Porto da Barra Beach was the third best in the world.
- The large island of Itaparica in the Bay of All Saints can be visited either by a car-ferry, or a smaller foot-passenger ferry, which leaves from near the Mercado Modelo near the Lacerda Elevator.
- BA-099 Highway, or "Line of Coconut" and "Green Line" of towns and cities, with exquisite beaches, north of Salvador heading towards Sergipe state.
- Morro de São Paulo in the Valença region across the Bay of All Saints – an island that can be reached by ferry from Salvador (2 hours), by plane, or by bus to Valença and then by 'Rapido' ('fast') speedboat or smaller ferry. Morro de São Paulo is formed by five villages of the Tinharé Island.
The city is served by many shopping malls, including Shopping Iguatemi, Salvador Shopping, Shopping Barra, and Shopping Paralela.
Salvador has four parks, green areas protected, as Jardim dos Namorados Park, Costa Azul Park, Park of the City, Park of Pituaçu.
Jardim dos Namorados is located right next to Costa Azul Park and occupies an area of 15 hectares in Pituba, where many families used to spend their vacations in the 1950s. It was inaugurated in 1969, initially as a leisure area. It underwent a complete renovation in the 1990s, with the construction of an amphitheater with room for 500 people, sports courts, playgrounds and parking for cars and tourist buses.
Park of the City is an important preservation area of the Atlantic forest. It was completely renovated in 2001, becoming a modern social, cultural and leisure place. The new park has 720 square meter of green area right in the middle of the city. Among the attractions are Praça das Flores (Flowers square), with more than five thousand ornamental plants and flowers.
Besides its environment, the park has an infrastructure for children, with a special schedule of events taking place every October.
Created by state decree in 1973, Pituaçu Park occupies an area of 450 hectares and is one of the few Brazilian ecological parks located in an urban area. It is surrounded by Atlantic forest, with a good variety of plants and animals. There is also an artificial pond in the park, built in 1906 along with the Pituaçu Dam, whose purpose was to supply water to the city.
There are a number of possible leisure activities, ranging from cycloboats rides on the pond, to a 38 km (24 mi) long cycloway circling the entire reserve. A museum is also located in the park. Espaço Cravo is an outdoor museum with 800 pieces created by Mario Cravo, comprising Totems, winged and three-dimensional figures, as well as drawings and paintings.
Salvador is on a peninsula on the north-east coast of Brazil which shields the large Baía de Todos os Santos ("All Saints Bay") from the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the third largest in Brazil, sprawling for dozens of kilometres inland from the coast. Most visitors head for the coastal neighbourhoods that cluster around where the bay meets the ocean. Salvador, Brazil has a tropical climate including rainforests and lush vegetation.
A 100m cliff runs along the entire bayshore, dividing the city into Cidade Alta, up on the cliff, and the Cidade Baixa down by the bay. The former featuresPelourinho, the old city center that packs historical sites, colonial architecture, museums, restaurants, bars, hostels, artisanal shops, and music/dance/capoeira academies into a convenient, albeit tourist-swarmed, set of winding cobblestone streets. The latter features a commercial center with lots of bus traffic coming in from all over Salvador.
Outside of this area, there are many beach districts that stretch from the tip of the peninsula northeast along the Atlantic coast. The Barra neighborhood at the tip of the peninsula is the main alternative jumping-off point to Pelourinho, and a little further to the northeast are the hip neighborhoods of Rio Vermelho andAmaralina, which feature a nightlife less geared to the foreign tourism industry. A decent bus ride beyond these is the neighborhood of Itapuã, which has an energetic beach side nightlife and relatively few foreign visitors. Northward from there are kilometres and kilometers of gorgeous beaches, all accessible by bus.
The bayshore coast north beyond Pelourinho features a more tranquil atmosphere and a locally patronized, though less scenic, beach life. The interior of Salvador is where the "new city" has developed, full of residential neighborhoods, shopping megaplexes, and knotted highways, all of which can be quite alienating without actually having a friend to show you around.
Local residents enjoy sharing their exotic dancing and music skills with tourists. Residents are also considered some of the friendliest people on the planet.Tourist are welcomed with open and friendly arms by the majority of local residents.
Salvador lies on a small, roughly triangular peninsula that separates the Bay of All Saints from the Atlantic Ocean. The bay is the largest in Brazil and the 2nd-largest in the world. It was first reached by Gaspar de Lemos in 1501, just one year afterCabral's purported discovery of Brazil. During his second voyage for Portugal, the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespuccisighted the bay on All Saints' Day(November 1) 1502 and, in honor of the date and his parish church in Florence, he named it the Bay of theHoly Savior of All the Saints. The first European to settle nearby was Diogo Álvares Correia("Caramuru"), who was shipwrecked off the end of the peninsula in 1509. He lived among the Tupinambá, marrying Guaibimpara and others. In 1531, Martim Afonso de Sousa led an expedition from Mount St Paul (Morro de São Paulo) and, in 1534, Francisco Pereira Coutinho, the first captain of Bahia, established the settlement of Pereira in modern Salvador's Ladeira da Barra neighborhood. Mistreatment of the Tupinambá by the settlers caused them to turn hostile and the Portuguese were forced to flee to Porto Seguro c. 1546. An attempted restoration of the colony the next year ended in shipwreck and cannibalism.
The present city was established as the fortress of São Salvador da Bahia deTodos os Santos ("Holy Savior of the Bay of All Saints") in 1549 by Portuguese settlers under Tomé de Sousa, Brazil's first governor-general. It is one of the oldest cities founded by Europeans in the Americas. From a cliff overlooking the Bay of All Saints, it served as Brazil's first capital and quickly became a major port for its slave trade and sugarcane industry. Salvador was long divided into an upper and a lower city, divided by a sharp escarpment some 85 meters (279 ft) high. The upper city formed the administrative, religious, and primary residential districts while the lower city was the commercial center, with a port and market.
In the Catholic Church, Brazil and the rest of the Portuguese Empire were initially administered as part of the Diocese of Funchal in Portugal but, in 1551, Salvador became the seat of the first Catholic diocese erected in Brazil. The first parish church was the mud-and-thatch Church of Our Lady of Help (Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Ajuda) erected by the Jesuits which served as the first cathedral of the diocese until the Jesuits finished construction of the original basilica on the Terreiro de Jesus in 1553. Its bishop was made independent of Lisbon at the request of King Pedro II in 1676; he served as the primate of Congo and Angola until the elevation of Luanda on 13 January 1844 and still serves as the national primate of Brazil.
In 1572, the Governorate of Brazil was divided into the separate governorates of Bahia in the north and Rio de Janeiro in the south. These were reunited as Brazil six years later, then redivided from 1607 to 1613. By that time, Portugal had become united with Spain and was ruled from Madrid by its kings. In 1621, King Philip III replaced the Governorate of Brazil with the states of Brazil, still based in Salvador and now controlling the south, and the Maranhão, which was centered on São Luís and controlled what is now northern Brazil. As Spain was then prosecuting a war against the independence of the Dutch, the Dutch East andWest India companies tried to conquer Brazil from them. Salvador played a strategically vital role against Dutch Brazil, but was captured and sacked by a West India Company fleet under Jacob Willekens and Piet Hein on 10 May 1624.Johan van Dorth administered the colony before his assassination, freeing itsslaves. The city was recaptured by a Luso-Spanish fleet under Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza on 1 May 1625. John Maurice's two subsequent attempts to retake the town in April and May of 1638 were unsuccessful.
In 1763, the colonial administration was removed to Rio de Janeiro and elevated to a viceroyalty. Salvador remained the heart of the Recôncavo, Bahia's rich agricultural maritime district, but was largely outside Brazil's early modernization. The area formed a center of royal support against Pedro I'sdeclaration of independence on September 7, 1822. Its elites initially remained loyal to the Portuguese crown while rebels from Cachoeira besieged them for a year until finally receiving Portugal's surrender of the town on July 2, 1823, which is now celebrated as Bahia Independence Day. The local elite was similarly hesitant duringManuel Deodoro da Fonseca's coup that established the republic by in 1889.
Owing to whales' use of the Bay of All Saints as a mating ground, Salvador became a large whaling port during the 19th century but the trade had already begun to fall off by the 1870s.
Under the empire and republic, however, the town slowly began to industrialize. In 1873, Brazil's first elevator, the powerful hydraulic Elevador Lacerda, was constructed to connect the city's upper and lower towns. Having undergone several upgrades, it continues in use. By the First World War, it was joined by a second elevator and Salvador was connected to four railroads: the Bahia & Alagoinhas to Joazeiro, the Bahia Central, the Nazareth Tramway, and a short line to Santo Amaro. Its central districts and the major suburbs of Bomsim and Victoria were served by four streetcar lines, which had begun to electrify. It also served as a port of call for most steamship lines trading between Europe and South America.
In 1985, UNESCO listed the city's Pelourinho neighborhood as a World Heritage Site. In the 1990s, a major municipal project cleaned and restored the neighborhood in order to develop it as the cultural center and heart of the city's tourist trade. The development of the Historical Center, however, involved the forced removal of thousands of working-class residents and now necessitates local and municipal events in order to attract people to the area. The relocated workers, meanwhile, have encountered significant economic hardship in their new homes on the city's periphery, separated from access to work and civic amenities.
In 2007, Porto da Barra Beach in Barra was named by the British Guardiannewspaper as the 3rd-best beach in the world. In 2010, the city hosted the 12th UN Congress on Crime Prevention. The city hosted the 2013 Confederations Cup and was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil at its Arena Fonte Nova. As part of its preparations for the World Cup, the city reëstablished its public transportation lines as the Salvador Metro.
Salvador has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen: Af) with no discernible dry season due to no month having an average rainfall of 60 mm. Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the course of the year.Salvador's driest month of the year is September, when the city receives on average 10 cm (4 in) of precipitation. Salvador's wettest months are between April and June when at least 20 cm (8 in) of rain falls during each of these four months.
Climate data for Salvador
|Record high °C (°F)||32.8
|Average high °C (°F)||29.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.4
|Average low °C (°F)||23.6
|Record low °C (°F)||20
|Source: Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology (INMET)|
Throughout Brazilian history Salvador has played an important role. Because of its location on Brazil's northeastern coast, the city served as an important link in the Portuguese empire throughout the colonial era, maintaining close commercial ties with Portugal and Portuguese colonies in Africa and Asia.
Salvador remained the preeminent city in Brazil until 1763 when it was replaced as the national capital by Rio de Janeiro. In the last ten years many high-rise office and apartment buildings were constructed, sharing the same blocks with colonial-era housing or commercial buildings.
With its beaches, humid tropical climate, numerous up-to-date shopping malls (The Shopping Iguatemi was the first Shopping in Northeastern Brazil) and pleasant high-class residential areas, the city has much to offer its residents.
Economically Salvador is one of Brazil's more important cities. Since its founding the city has been one of Brazil's most prominent ports and international trading centers. Boasting a large oil refinery, a petrochemical plant and other important industries, the city has made great strides in reducing its historical dependence on agriculture for its prosperity.
Salvador is the second most popular tourism destination in Brazil, after Rio de Janeiro. Tourism and cultural activity are important generators of employment and income, boosting the arts and the preservation of artistic and cultural heritage.
Chief among the points of interest are its famous Pelourinho (named after the colonial pillories that once stood there) district, its historic churches, and its beaches. Salvador's tourism infrastructure is considered one of the most modern in World, especially in terms of lodging. The city offers accommodation to suit all tastes and standards, from youth hostels to international hotels. Construction is one of the most important activities in the city, and many international (mainly from Spain, Portugal and England) and national developers are investing in the city and in the Bahian littoral zone.
Ford Motor Company has a plant in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, in the city of Camaçari, assembling the Ford EcoSport, Ford Fiesta, Ford Fiesta Sedan. It was the first Automotive industry in Northeastern Brazil. The industry employs 800 engineers.
JAC Motors will have a plant in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, in the city of Camaçari, the new industry will result 3,500 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs, the production of 100,000 vehicles by year.
In December 2001, Monsanto Company inaugurated, at the Petrochemical Pole of Camaçari, in Metropolitan Region of Salvador, the first plant of the company designed to produce raw materials for the herbicide Roundup in South America. The investment is equivalent to US$500 millions; US$350 millions were spent in this initial phase. The Camaçari Plant, the largest unit of Monsanto outside of the United States, is also the only Monsanto plant manufacturing raw materials for the Roundup production line. The company started the civil works for the new plant in January 2000.
Although the creation of Salvador was masterminded by the Kingdom of Portugal and its project conducted by the Portuguese engineer Luís Dias (who was responsible for the city's original design), the continuous growth of the capital through the decades was completely spontaneous. The walls of the city-fortress could not hold the expansion of the city, towards the Carmo and the area where now stands Castro Alves Square. At the time of its foundation, Salvador had only two squares and the first neighborhood ever built here was the Historic City Center. Pelourinho and Carmo came subsequently, created as a consequence of the growing need of space that the religious orders had. With the rapid expansion, the neighborhoods grew and many of them were clustered in the same area, so today there are not accurate records as to their exact number. For urban management purposes, the city is currently divided on 17 political-administrative zones. However, due to their very cultural relevance and to postal conveniences, the importance of the neighborhoods of Salvador remains intact.
Salvador is divided into a number of distinct neighborhoods, with the most well known districts being Pelourinho, Comércio, and Old Downtown, all located in West Zone. Barra, with its Farol da Barra, beaches and which is where one of the Carnival circuits begins, Barra is home of the Portuguese Hospital and Spanish Hospital, the neighborhood is located in South Zone. Vitória, a neighborhood with many high rise buildings, is located in South Zone. Campo Grande, with its Dois de Julho Square and the monument to Bahia's independence, is also located in South Zone, as is Graça, an important residential area. Ondina, with Salvador'sZoobotanical Garden and the site where the Barra-Ondina Carnival circuit ends, the neighborhood is home of the Spanish Club, is also a neighborhood in the South Zone.
Itaigara, Pituba, Horto Florestal, Caminho das Árvores, Loteamento Aquárius,Brotas, Stiep, Costa Azul, Armação, Jaguaribe and Stella Maris are the wealthiest and the New Downtown neighborhoods in the East Zone and the city. Rio Vermelho, a neighborhood with a rich architectural history and numerous restaurants and bars, is located in the South Zone. Itapoã, known throughout Brazil as the home of Vinicius de Moraes and for being the setting of the song "Tarde em Itapoã", is located in East Zone.
The Northwest area of the city in along the Bay of All Saints, also known asCidade Baixa ("Lower city"), contains the impoverished suburban neighborhoods of Periperi, Paripe, Lobato, Liberdade, Nova Esperança, and Calçada. The neighborhood of Liberdade (Liberty) has the largest proportion of Afro-Braziliansof Salvador and Brazil.
Prices in Salvador Da Bahia
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.45|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$9.40|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$16.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$37.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$70.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$7.80|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$4.70|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.90|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$7.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$11.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.45|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$2.50|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.80|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$70.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$55.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$105.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$1.20|
45 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
133 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
The Salvador's Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhães International Airport (IATA:SSA) is one of Brazil's main airports. All of the biggest Brazilian airlines have flights to the Bahian capital city. The city also receives flights from the main hubs of Europe, South America and the United States.
- Avianca Brasil (All Brazil).
- TAM (All Brazil, Paris, Miami and Buenos Aires).
- Gol (All Brazil and Montevideo).
- Azul Linhas Aéreas (Vitória da Conquista, Vitória, Natal, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Fernando de Noronha and Campinas), (Campinas and Porto Alegre).
- Passaredo (Vitória da Conquista, Barreiras, Brasília and Ribeirão Preto).
- Abaeté (Bom Jesus da Lapa, Guanambi and Barreiras).
- TAP (Lisbon).
- American Airlines (Miami).
- Condor (Frankfurt).
- Livingston (Milan).
- Iberia by Iberworld (Madrid).
The airport is 28km from the city center (via the Paralela expressway) or 32km (via the seaside). Two kinds of taxis are available in the airport, the executive taxis (Coometas and Comtas), and the normal taxis. Executive taxis are pre-paid, they have a table of prices rather than a meters. The other taxi option would be the normal taxis which are metered. A third option would be the executive air-conditioned minibuses which depart every 20 minutes to the Praça da Sé, in downtown near Pelourinho via the seaside, stopping at famous beaches like Ondina, Pituba, Amaralina and Itapuã, and Barra as well as stopping by Shopping Barra--an American-style shopping mall located not too far from the Farol da Barra The fare for these buses is R$4. Another option is the urban buses that go to many parts of the city, for the tourist the options are Lapa, Campo Grande and São Joaquim buses, the best thing is ask the driver before taking an urban bus, the fare is R$2,50 (2 reals and 50 centavos). Linha Verde executive buses go toPraia do Forte and depart often from the airport.
Salvador's long-distance bus station is in the middle of the new city, 14km from downtown. Salvador is accessible via scheduled buses from all around the country and from Paraguay. Inside the bus stations there are taxis (local taxis and executive taxis) and local buses which can all take you to many places in Salvador and the metropolitan area. Executive buses in the Iguatemi Station can be accessed from the Iguatemi Mall by way of a busy walkway. Bus travel in and out of Salvador can take a lot more time than expected. Count on an average speed of 50-60 km/h when planning your itinerary.
Salvador is a common stop on international cruise routes and was once visited by the Queen Elizabeth 2 during her sailing career. Note that the docks area can be dangerous. This area is linked to the Pelourinho historic centre by the Elevador Lacerda, and to the city by urban buses and executive buses to Iguatemi.
Transportation - Get Around
There are a number of transportation options available in Salvador, including taxis, buses and car rentals. the bus fares are quite affordable, although the taxi fares can be quite expensive if one is traveling a long distance.
The old city center can be easily explored on foot. To get between the upper and lower sections, take the Elevador Lacerda or the cable car, remember to take small change as the fare is just R$0.15. The streets between the two are considered dangerous even during the day.
Salvador cab drivers must be competing with those in Rio for spots on Formula 1 racing teams. They will certainly get you where you're going quicker than the bus! However, as buses stop running after midnight, do be prepared to haggle quite a bit with taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter, especially if you've decided to explore far from your bed. Executive taxis (white and blue) don't have meters, and the prices are on a table, it's more expensive than city taxis, but they are much more comfortable, they are in stops in the main shopping malls, the airport, bus station, ferry-boat station and big hotels.
Renting a basic car with air conditioning (100+ kilometers or KM free) costs R$ 110-140 per day, plus fuel. It's not hard to find your way across Salvador avenues, but although people from Bahia have a reputation of being relaxed and easygoing, traffic is aggressive (somewhat like Rio de Janeiro), and you will frequently see drivers attempting dangerous overtakes on you. Pedestrians are also careless and unexpectedly run to cross roads and streets. If you are not used to this type of traffic, consider asking for a private driver, which is possible on many car renting agencies. Renting a car may be a good idea if you plan to visit the beaches from the northern part of Bahia, with more time flexibility than allowed by travel agencies.
Cycling is not really a good option to get around in Salvador, as there aren't enough cycleways and parking for bicycles, and drivers don't have any respect for cyclists. An exception is the cycleway along the east coast of Salvador, which runs for 12,55 km and goes from Amaralina to Piatã beaches. Be aware that as the cycleway is not very used, a lot of pedestrians use it for walking.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Visiting a Salvador beach is a highlight for many tourists. One of the main central Salvador beaches is Porto de Barra. It was originally the site of the first settlement of European newcomers to Bahia. It can get very crowded on weekends. The north-East region of Salvador concentrates most beaches with good water quality. Flamengo and Stella Maris are the most popular beaches among tourists and upper class locals. They have excellent tourist infrastructure and rough waters excellent for surfing. Jaguaribe, Piatã and Itapoã, with calmer waters, are mostly frequented by locals and can become quite crowded at weekends. They are a good option with you want to mix with the local population, but don't bring anything besides your clothes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and some cash, as muggings are quite common.
The other beaches of Salvador aren't suited for bathing, but still can be good for walking, cycling, or taking pictures. Farol da Barra has a beautiful view (specially during the sunset), but it's difficult to walk due to the rocks. "Farol" means lighthouse, and this beach is known for its lighthouse as well as being popular with surfers. A much safer choice is nearby Plakaford. Here the calm waters and soft sandy beaches are welcoming for families and children. In the city south, there is an array of beautiful beaches that include Tinhare and Boipeba.
Salvador shopping is the bargain hunters paradise. There is nothing that you cannot find in a mall. If you plan to buy popular art, crafts and clothing, check the small stores at the Old Town or head to the Mercado Modelo (Model Market). Locals like to shop at American-style shopping malls.
- Shopping Center Iguatemi
- Salvador Shopping
- Shopping Barra
- Shopping Itaigara
- Shopping Center Lapa
- Shopping Piedade
- Bahia Outlet Center
- Salvador Norte Shopping
- Aeroclube Shopping & Office'
The first thing that anyone wanting to shop in Salvador should know is that it is essential to haggle. very few vendors will stick to their given price. If pushed they will always go lower. If you are looking for souvenirs you may want to check out Litoral Norte located at Rua Gregorio de Matos 30. They sell tshirts and other items. Most will cost you no more than $5. If you want local art you should visit Pelourhino. There are many galleries that double as stores. Galeria 13 at Rua Santa Isabel 13 displays work by local artists.
Bahian restaurants are considered to be among the best in Brazil. The majority of Bahia restaurants offer South American cuisine but there a few that offer other specialties. For example, the Maria Mato Mouro located at Rua 3A Ordem de São Francisco, Pelourinho serves a wide range of seafood dishes from all over the world although most are from South America. One of the most popular dishes is the grilled bahia fish badejo. This restaurant is open daily from noon until 1AM and offers main courses from $15 to $25. The Terreiro de Jesus is a great place to sample the local cuisine from street stalls, served by Afro-Brazilian baianas in their traditional white dresses. A must try dish is the Abara. This is a wrap with bean paste, dende oil and onions all cooked in a banana leaf with spices for flavour. if you prefer western food then you will find many fast-food places like Burger King, McDonald's, Subway or Pizza Hut. You also will find casual dinner chains like Outback Steakhouse.
Be sure to try acarajé, small fritters made from black-eyed peas and onions fried in palm oil slathered with spicy vatapá (shrimp paste).These are sold by Baianas on the street.
Here are a list of restaurants to try:
- Acarajé da Cira, Largo de Itapuã, 3249-4170. Fresh acarajé daily from 10AM-11PM. There is also another location on the Largo da Mariquita in Rio Vermelho.
- Acarajé da Dica, Rua J, Castro Rabelo, Pelourinho. Open T-Sa 3PM-11PM, Su 10AM-1AM.
- Health Valley Brasil, Rua Direita da Piedade (in the city center). Vegetarian restaurant run by an African couple. Serving typical dishes based around ginger. Very popular with the local alternative crowd. Buffet including fruit juice and desert costs R$12.
- Quiosque de Amaralina, Ave Otávio Mangabeira, Amaralina. Serving acarajé near the beach from 4PM to midnight.
- Bistrô PortoSol (On a cross-street near Porto da Barra). Small, cozy Austrian-Hungarian restaurant run by an Austrian and his wife. Simple accommodations decorated with posters of classic Hollywood movies. Quite delicious.
- Companhia da Pizza, Rio Vermelho (On a cross-street near the Pestana Bahia and Blue Tree Towers Hotels). One of the city's most popular pizza restaurants.
- La Figa, Rua das Laranjeiras 17, Pelourinho (Near Terreiro de Jesus). Italian restaurant with fresh pasta around R$35 for two people, appetizers around R$10, and deserts. The new owner changed the name in June 2007 (It was previously known as La Lupa), but the high quality, good service and good atmosphere remain the same.
- Maria Mata Mouro, Pelourinho (Near São Francisco Church). Small, with only twelve tables but the service is great. Try the shrimp.
- Meridiano, Ave Tancredo Neves (In front of the Casa do Comércio building). Gourmet cuisine at moderate prices. Excellent service.
- São Salvador (On the grounds of the Salvador Trade Center). Buffet with a refined atmosphere.
- Panela da Bahia, Pelourinho, Rua Frei Vicente, 7. Bahian food and drinks with exotic flavours at very reasonable prices. Try the Moqueca de camarao com banana. It is exquisite. Around R$30-55 for two people including drinks.
- Hostel Galeria 13, Pelourinho, Rua da ordem terceira no 23. The new European owner offers Pelourinho a much needed variety of international dishes & Spanish tapas. The menu includes a great selection of vegetarian meals from around the world. You can enjoy your meal in the unique Moroccan chill out room or in their patio garden. They also offer those great juices with a touch of ginger, or maybe a caipirinha with watermelon.The quantities are very generous and the prices are fair.
- Amado, Ave Contorno. Contemporary cuisine.
- Barbacoa, Ave Tancredo Neves. Fine meat dishes and some of Salvador's best feijoada in a refined atmosphere.
- Boi Preto, Boca do Rio (in front of Aeroclube Plaza Show near the Convention Center). One of the best churrascarias in town. Full buffet and salad bar plus unlimited fine cuts of meat.
- Casa do Comércio, Ave Tancredo Neves, 11 (in the heart of the financial district). F. A good place to eat well and take in a panoramic view of Salvador.
- Marc Le Dantec, Pier Sul Apartment Service, Ondina. The best French restaurant in the city.
- Mistura, Itapoã. Specializing in fish and international cuisine.
- Trapiche Adelaide, Comércia. Voted among the best fine dining in the city, with a fine view of the Bay of All-Saints.
- Yemanjá, Ave Otávio Mangabeira 9292, Pitubá, 231-5570. Long held nationally and internationally as the standard in typical Bahian cuisine.
No trip to a Salvador restaurant is complete without dessert. The Bahia region is famed for its sweet tooth. A Cubana located at Rua Alfredo de Brito 12 is open daily from 8AM until 10PM. It is an old fashioned ice cream parlor or sorvetoria with 28 homemade flavors.
Sights & Landmarks
- Igreja de São Francisco. One of the most important churches in barroco style around the world.
- At the center of the Cidade Altathere are the two large squares Praça da Sé and the Terreiro de Jesus which are connected at the corner by the cathedral. The latter is probably the most lively part of town, with food carts and stalls through the day and revealers in the evening hours.
- Museu Afro-Brasileiro. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. A museum that documents the slave trade and subsequent development of the city. R$ 5.00.
- Largo do Pelourinho — A fairly small triangular plaza, is among the oldest parts of town. You can guess from its name meaning "plaza of the pillory" what went on around there.
- Mercado Modelo — The city's main market located in the lower town is and a good place for crafts and other souvenirs. In the adjacent square you can often see young men performing capoeira, the famous martial arts dance which originates from the area.
- Igreja do Nosso Senhor do Bonfim — A small church located in a neighborhood to the north, is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in all of Brazil. The colorful votive ribbons or fitas of Bonfim are an easily recognizable item throughout Brazil and even beyond. Children outside the church will (for a small fee) tie them around your wrist and tell you to make a wish for each one. If the ribbon wears off naturally, the wish will come true; if you cut it off before then, it won't. You can get to Bonfim city by bus in about fifteen minutes.
- Abaeté Park — A protected state park around the lake with the same name. The lake is famous because of the stark contrast between the dark water and the very white sand dunes. There is an entertainment area with a lot of bars and live music.
- Solar do Unhão — The best place in Salvador to watch the sunset. It is an old style house located at the Baía de Todos os Santos. Inside there is a small museum (Museu de Arte Moderna) with local art pieces. Sometimes on Saturday evening there is a jazz concert.
Museums & Galleries
The artistic, cultural and social heritage of Salvador is preserved in museums. From Museu de Arte da Bahia (MAB), which is the oldest in the State, to Museu Náutico, the newest, the first capital of Brazil displays unique elements of history. Museu de Arte da Bahia has paintings, Chinese porcelain, furniture and sacred images from the 17th and 18th centuries. Museu Costa Pinto has privately owned items such as, pieces of art, crystal objects, and furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. Museu da Cidade, where many items that help to preserve the heritage of old Salvador are kept.
Some churches and monasteries also have museums located in their premises. Examples of this are the Carmo da Misericórdia and São Bento museums. After the forts were renovated, Museu Náutico was established in the Forte de Santo Antonio da Barra (Farol da Barra) and the Museu da Comunicação in Forte São Diogo. Other important museums located in Salvador are: Museu do Cacau, Museu geológico do Estado, Museu tempostal, Solar do Ferrão, Museu de Arte Antiga e Popular Henriqueta M Catharino, Museu Eugênio Teixeira Leal, Museu Rodin Bahia, and Museu das Portas do Carmo.
Things to do
You'll find a huge variety of things to do in Salvador. Some of the popular activities include:
- Day tour of Salvador - Salvador 500 years in 1 day (info: salvador-guide.basix.cc)
- Salvador Parks
- Salvador golf courses
- Salvador music festivals
- Surf trips
A good Brazil tour guide in Salvador, known as a guia de Salvador, will be able to show you around lots of the attractions and activities if you want to explore on your own. A good option to get a general idea and find your way around in the city is the "Salvador Bus", an open-top tour bus passing by the main points of interest and offering explanation on the way. One of the main attractions in Salvador is the Carnaval. Salvador's giant Carnaval, the biggest of the world, according to the Guinness book of records, lasts for one week and is extremely popular with Brazilians and tourists alike. In 2012, the event happens on February 15th to 21st and consists of parades,live entertainment, music, dancers and vendors. The main parades follow three circuits: one in the historic center Pelourinho (with mainly traditional groups in costumes), one on Campo Grande, where most bands play samba, and in recent years the most popular one in Barra / Ondina, where modern Brazilian Axé music mixes with percussion and all kinds of rhythms and styles, and the bands parade between "Camarote" boxes on one side and the beach on the other. Options to participate are either by watching from the camarote boxes, or purchasing an "abadá" shirt to join a group that accompanies one of the bands throughout the parade. One can expect to have a lot of fun if they vacation in Salvador, Brazil during Carnaval. Salvador also has many other attractions that tourists will find enjoyable. these include golf courses, museums and even an old 17th century fort. Anyone wishing to visit Salvador Brazil will find their trip to be entertaining, fun and full of wonderful memories.
Festivals and events
The Bahian Carnival (Portuguese: Carnaval) is the largest party on the planet. Its dimensions are gigantic. For an entire week, almost 4 million people celebrate throughout 25 kilometers (16 mi) of streets, avenues, and squares. The direct organization of the party involves the participation of over 100,000 people and Salvador receives an average of over 800,000 visitors. The affair is heavily policed and covered. Streets are patrolled by lines of police in single file and guarded by seated teams of five or six officers. In 2010, coverage was provided by 4,446 journalists from the local, national, and international press and broadcast to 135 countries through 65 radio stations, 75 magazines, 139 video productions, 97 newspapers (including 21 international papers), 14 tv stations, and 168 websites.
The party official begins when Rei Momo ("King Momo", the King of Carnival) is handed the key to the city in the morning of the Thursday before Mardi Gras. In the Campo Grande, streets are lined with grandstands (camarotes). 60-foot-long trucks known as Trios Eléctricos carry a kick line of scantily-clad dancers along with the city's best-loved performers, such as Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury, Cláudia Leitte, Chiclete com Banana, and Carlinhos Brown. Much of the music played is axé or samba-reggae. Groups known as blocos participate, with the most famous being the blocos afrossuch as Malé Debalé, Olodum, and Filhos de Gandhi.
The parades are organized into separate circuits. The Osmar Circuit, the oldest, goes from Campo Grande to Castro Alves Square. The Downtown Circuit runs through downtown and Pelourinho. The Dodô Circuit goes from Farol da Barra to Ondina along the coast. Since the Osmar Circuit is the oldest, it is where the event's most traditional groups parade. In Dodô, where the artist box seats are located, the party becomes lively toward the end of the afternoon and continues until morning.
Be aware of Bars charging an entrance fee on exit.If you want top make sure that there is no cover ask when ordering the first drink.
- Bar da Ponta, beside the Trapiche Adelaide. A place to see and be seen, drink, and have a fantastic view of the bay.
- Beco dos Artistas, near Campo Grande. One of the gay and lesbian areas of the city, with a diversified crowd. Friday and Saturday nights only. The area has various bars and a restaurant (the nightclub is now closed). Aim to get there around 10PM, as it starts to empty around midnight as people move onto other clubs.
- Bohemia Music Bar, Jardim Brasil. The comfortable atmosphere, live music, and a varied menu make this a popular pick-up spot. The places often checks for IDs at the entrance.
- Chuleta, Vale do Canela (near the UFB campus and the neighborhoods of Graça and Vitória). Boteco frequented by university students, famous for its cheap beer and for the meat snack from which the bar takes its name. Open air, plastic tables.
- Largo de Santana, Rio Vermelho. This busy street has various bars and restaurants, and some of the best acarajé in town.
- Mercado do Peixe, Rio Vermelho (at the seaside in front of the Blue Tree Towers Hotel). One of the best after-hours spots, Mercado do Peixe is a real Salvador institution. It starts to get busy after 3AM when everywhere else is closing. With simple accommodations and plastic tables, various stands stay open offering moquecas and regional appetizers, in addition to drinks. During the day it is, as its name suggests, a traditional seafood market.
- Sankofa African Bar e Restaurante, Rua Frei Vicente, No 7, Pelourinho. In the middle of the Pelourinho. Live bands (salsa, samba, reggae, zouk, semba) and DJ's spinning African, Brazilian and world music. Tasty African dishes and drinks are also offered. African flags, maps, and artworks adorn the walls. The top floor has a projection system showing films and documentaries.
- Hostel Galeria 13, Pelourinho, Rua da ordem terceira no 23. The new native English speaking owner has travelled and worked in many famous bars and clubs around the world you will get a chance to check out his knowledge of drinks. They offer great juices with a touch of ginger 'refreshing', or maybe a caipirinha or roska with water melon already being boasted the best in Brasil, a big Claim take him up on it. You can enjoy your drinks in the garden or the most original spot in Pelourinho, the Moroccan "chill out" room.
- Bar Zulu, Pelourinho, Rua das laranjeiras no 15, . A very international bar & vegetarian restaurant.A mix of staff from all over the world bring you a cool corner bar with terrace and individual bar tables in every window, great for people watching. The bar offers the most original menu in The "Pelo", Spanish tapas, salads, sandwiches, international dishes and a vast choice of great veggie dishes from around the world. The bar has a feel of a trendy Spanish tapas bar with some of the friendliest girls serving with a smile. Try their house special Caipirinha "zumarangi" strawberry & passion fruit. The owner promises they will soon be providing a sports tv, so it could become a great spot for catching a European footie.
- Dolce, on the first floor of Shopping Boulevard 161, Itaigara. Very busy club, attracting a somewhat older crowd.
- Fashion Club, Ave Octávio Mangabeira, 2, . 471, Pituba. Once the most vibrant nightclub in Salvador, Fashion Club has taken somewhat of a backseat since the opening of Lotus. Prices, however, are around half of what you would pay at Lotus.
- Lotus — Often mentioned in tourist guides but now closed.
- Off Clube, Rua Dias Dávila, 33, Barra, . The main gay and lesbian club in town. A variety of events attracts locals of all social classes.
- Rock in Rio Café — Often mentioned in tourist guides but now closed.
- Zauber Multicultura, Ladeira da Misericórdia, 11, Edifício Taveira, Comércio, 71 3326 2964. Combining music and visual arts in one of the most important historic areas of the city. The space bridges between the old (architecture) and the new (decoration). Find out what is going on before you go, and take a taxi, as the location is in a rather dangerous and prostitution-plagued area of the city.
Things to know
People of Salvador, as other people from the state of Bahia, have a reputation of being relaxed, easygoing, and fun-loving, even by Brazilian standards, and of leading a "slow life". It's questionable whether this reputation is true, as the hectic behavior of pedestrians and drivers in traffic does not seem to be typical of "slow" or "relaxed" people. Regardless, few soteropolitanos (natives of Salvador) seem to bother with this reputation, even the bad part of it, and some even make fun of their own supposed laziness. Also, most people in Brazil agree that soteropolitanos are generally friendly and warm people.
As a former African slave port, Salvador inherits a massive social inequality with notable racial tones, with a wealthy minority being mostly white and often living in gated communities, and the majority of people being relatively poor and mostly black or mixed. The city's highly famous Carnival has been a subject of controversy, with many criticising the lack of participation of locals in the event (as they can rarely afford the expensive tickets), and others remarking the importance of the event to the city's tourism and economy.
Safety in Salvador Da Bahia
Due to high social inequality, Salvador is notorious for street crime, and for a tourist that wanders carelessly in the streets, the likelihood of a mugging or armed robbery is considerably higher than in São Paulo and perhaps even Rio de Janeiro. Salvador recognizes the importance of tourism to the city economy, so most important tourist sites such as Pelourinho and Mercado Modelo, as well as main popular festivals like the Carnaval, are usually heavily guarded.
People with darker complexions will have an advantage over those with pale skin. Blacks are likely to blend in well; other dark-skinned people may be inconspicuous in many places, but others are immediately labelled as either upper class citizens or tourists, and may be specially targeted.
If you are moving on foot, by bicycle, or by bus, it's best to go out during the day. Avoid bringing anything valuable, just enough to enjoy your day. The Flamengo and Stella Maris beaches are among the safest places to go during the day, and they are the best options if you just want to enjoy a good beach without much local culture. In other places, try to stay at areas guarded by police.
As a general rule, be suspicious if people approach you directly in a friendly way as they either want money or to sell you something.
At night, it's better to take a cab to go out. Stay at reasonably crowded places. If you don't see other tourists where you are, then it's probably not a place you should be unless you are feeling particularly adventurous.
- Some areas which are strongly frequented by foreigners can become dangerous, especially at night, i.e. the Barra harbour area. NEVER go to the beach at night!
- The long sloping road leading from the old town to the harbor should be avoided even during the day. ALWAYS take the elevator.
- If you are staying in the touristic Barra area, beware of the favela near Shopping Barra, especially at night. The area just to the east toward the beach can be dangerous as well.
- Beware of vehicular traffic. Crossing the streets is always dangerous even when using a pedestrian crosswalk with the traffic light red for cars. As one member of Supergrass band once said: "In Brazil green means go, and red means go faster!" Start the crossing ONLY when vehicles have already stopped.
- Never agree to share a taxi with other random people, especially if they approach you. Most likely, it's just a trap to rob you!
- Watch out for children in Pelourinho, especially on Tuesdays at the Geronimo Concert at the old church - they are reaching out for any low pockets in cargo pants!
- Be careful when walking near the Iguatemi: it is dangerous to wander there. Don't go there past 11:00 PM, unless you are by car ou by cab, you WILL be robbed.
- If you rented a car and stopped in a parking spot, DO NOT stay in the car for too long. You will be a vulnerable target.
When Shopping always check the price first, especially if you are white and have blue or green eyes, many locals will see you complexion and feel they have the right to charge you double for services and products. Always ask for a Coupon Fiscal it ensures that the company or individual you are purchasing from pays the proper tax, and it can usually result in them "suddenly" giving you a 10 - 15% discount if you don't want the Coupon as they have to pay 27% tax what you buy and the Coupon ensures this.
Be particularly aware of Banca and Kiosks on the street as they will undoubtedly charge you more for being an estrangeiro (foreigner).
All the little extra money you are charged can seriously eat into your budget and leave a sour taste in your mouth as nobody likes being ripped off.