Everything you have to know to plan your trip to Salvador, Bahia: How to get there, what to do, touristic points schedule and even how to practice sustainable tourism in the city.

Did you know that besides being Bahia’s capital, Salvador was the first Brazilian capital as well? In this complete guide, you will find even more curiosities, tips about what to do in Salvador, touristic points information, museums and churches of the city.  

Traveling to Salvador is an opportunity to learn about the history of Brazil. Understand the strength of these people, getting to know more about the religion, gastronomy, and musical resistance brought by the African people who were enslaved, or even learning about the story of Sister Dulce (Irmã Dulce), a saint that never give up on the poor and sick people, even in the most challenge moments.

I never thought that I’d love that city so much. We were about 1 month and it was not enough to know everything. If you can, at least a week to know this charming and welcoming place.

To some people, a trip to Salvador it’s an opportunity to have some fun in the Carnaval or take a colorful photo in Largo do Pelourinho. But, I invite you to make this a transforming and learning journey.

Where is Salvador

Salvador is a Brazilian city in the northeast of the country, in the Bahia state. This coastal city is just over 400 miles from Porto Seguro and almost 1.300 from São Paulo and more than 990 miles from Rio de Janeiro


See where is Salvador on the map:

When to go to Salvador, Bahia

You can visit Salvador any time of the year, considering that the average temperature in the city varies between 75º and 80° (or 24°C and 27°C as we say in Brazil) and the waters are always warm. But, if you wanna escape from the rainy season it’s better to avoid travel between April and July.

We were in Salvador between October and November 2021, it was the low season and it was perfect. At this time of the year and in the summer, it’s common that it rains a little, and then, just a few minutes later, the sky clears up as if not a single drop had fallen.

If you travel between December and March be aware that you’ll find high season prices. Do you wanna see Salvador Carnaval? Don’t forget to book your lodging in advance, after all, this is the busiest season.

Weather in Salvador

This pic shows how is the weather in Salvador during the year:

Weather in Salvador Bahia Brazil
Weather in Salvador
Image: climate-data.org

How to get to Salvador and know the city

You can arrive in Salvador by plane, bus or car. If you are arriving from other cities of Bahia, even from other states as Sergipe or Alagoas, you can get the last two options. Otherwise, the best option is to take a flight to the Salvador Bahia Airport – Dep. Luís Eduardo Magalhões. 

The Salvador bus terminal is located in the Antônio Carlos Magalhães avenue, number 4.362 in the Pituba neighborhood, and has a nearby subway station, the Bus Station.

How to get to Salvador Brazil
Salvador subway map
Source: CCR Metrô Bahia

The subway works very well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pass through the principal touristic points. Even so, it is a good alternative for those who stay in a central region or for those who want to save money by taking a subway from the airport or bus station to the station closest to their accommodation and then a city bus or Uber.

Salvador also has local buses. On this site, you can put your origin and destination and identify which line you should take and the bus schedule. The line that should help you the most is the one that goes from the airport to Praça da Sé. If you are looking for a more comfortable way to move in the city, you can choose to take a táxi or Uber. On my trip, the best transportation was Uber because of the cost x benefit.

LMTM tip: Will you take Uber or Taxi via the app? Like anyplace else, don’t forget to check the vehicle, the license plate, and the driver’s name before entering.

For those who love physical activity, the waterfront has several Itaú bicycle rental/return points.

General information

Frequently doubts about Salvador:

How many inhabitants are there in Salvador?

In Salvador there are 2,9 million inhabitants, making it the most populous city in Bahia and the 4th most populous in Brazil.

Why was Salvador built on the highest part of a hill?

As a fort, Salvador was built strategically by the Portugueses in the highest part of the hill so they could have a privileged view and protect the city.

When was Salvador founded?

Salvador was founded on March 29, 1549. It’s one of the oldest cities in Brazil.

Is Salvador safe?

Like any big city in Brazil or in the world, we have to pay attention. Our tip is that you should avoid walking with cameras or with your cell phone on display. A Fanny pack is highly recommended, is safer to save your belongings, and practical to take your cell phone and take a pic quickly. Avoid walking at night in places without movement, it’s better to take precautions, isn’t it?😉

What to do in Salvador

There is much more that you can do in Salvador than you can imagine! With this guide, you can find the best attractions, tourist points, and experiences that the city can offer you. Check it out!

1) Get to know Salvador’s main tourist attractions

Mercado Modelo

The Mercado Modelo is in the lower part of the city and is one of the entrances to the Historic Center. It is great for those who want to buy handicrafts and also taste delicious restaurants with typical Bahian cuisine.

LMTM tip: We proved vegetarian moqueca in the restaurant Camafeu de Oxóssi and it was divine!

Mercado Modelo - Tourism in Salvador Bahia
Mercado Modelo
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: Free of charge

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm / Sunday from 9am to 2pm

Address: 250, Praça Visconde de Cayru – Comércio

Contact: +55 (71) 3242-5860 / +55 (71) 3242-5860

Site: https://www.mercadomodelosalvador.com/

Elevador Lacerda

The Elevador Lacerda is the first urban elevator in the world, connecting the lower and upper cities. It’s located in the Baía de Todos os Santos and has a beautiful view, perfect for taking photos.

Lacerda Elevator - One of the most renowned tourist attractions in Salvador
Lacerda Elevator – One of the most famous tourist attractions in Salvador
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: R$0,15*

Hours: (During the pandemic) Monday to Friday from 7 am to 5:30 pm / Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm

Address: Praça Cairu in the lower city, and Praça Tomé de Sousa in the upper city

Site: http://mobilidade.salvador.ba.gov.br/

Praça da Sé

This is a square that has generated controversy during its history. It used to house the old temple of the Sé Primacial of Brazil, built in 1553 and demolished in 1933 to make room for cable cars.

Today, it is a large sidewalk that houses other historical monuments such as the Memorial to the Baianas do Acarajé and the Zumbi dos Palmares.

Praca da Se  - Things to do in Salvador Brazil
Praça da Sé – Salvador Center
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Largo do Pelourinho

The word pelourinho means pillory that refers to a large stone where slaves were punished. Today, the plaza and the neighborhood represent the history of the black struggle, which beautifully takes over the streets and buildings, bringing strong colors, flavors, music, and religious manifestations to the place. 

Pelourinho - on of the tourist attractions in Salvador Brazil
Pelourinho view
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Farol da Barra

Imagine a place that lived all the Salvador history, this is Farol da Barra.

This tourist spot in Salvador deserves a mandatory stop. Either to visit the Nautical Museum inside the build or to enjoy the landscape during the sunset.

Sunset in Salvador Bahia
Sunset at Farol da Barra – One of the best places to visit in Salvador
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Miguel Santana’s Theater and Balé Folclórico

This theater is the house of Balé (Ballet) Folclórico da Bahia since 2014. Besides the daily shows, the group also develops social projects such Balé Junior – ballet for children. Is an amazing opportunity to know Brazilian folkloric dance with African roots.

Balé Folclórico da Bahia - O que fazer na Bahia para passeio cultural
Balé Folclórico da Bahia / Samba de Roda
Photo: Vinícius Lima via site

Ticket: For now, because of COVID-19, the activities are happening online by Instagram.

Hours: Wednesday to monday – 8pm

Address: 49, Gregório de Matos street – Pelourinho

Contact: +55 (71) 3322-1962

Site: https://www.balefolcloricodabahia.com.br/

Casa do Olodum

If you are Brazilian it is hard to think about Salvador and don’t remember about Olodum! The group that participated in clips of famous singers like Michael Jackson, Paul Simon and Jimmy Cliff, goes beyond the role of a band, disseminating education and culture. Take advantage of your visit to Pelourinho to visit the Casa do Olodum, where you will find instruments and souvenirs of the band for sale.

casa do olodum - what to do in salvador
Casa do Olodum
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Tickets: Free

Hours: Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm / Sunday 10am to 5pm

Address: 22, Maciel de Baixo street – Pelourinho

Contact: +55 (71) 99241-4086

Site: https://olodum.com.br/

Farol de Itapuã

Brazil’s most popular lighthouse is also a tourist attraction in Salvador. The 21-meter tower has this name because it is located on Praia de Itapuã.

Important! The inner area of the Farol de Itapuã is not open to visitors.

Farol de Itapuã
Farol de Itapuã
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

LMTM tip: This isn’t the most beautiful beach in Salvador (in my opinion), because of that, my advice is for you to make a quick visit here.para conhecer rapidamente.

Address: Farol de Itapuã street – Itapuã

Ponta do Humaitá

On this charming spot is an architectural conglomeration, including the Church and Monastery of Monte Serrat and the Farol of Monte Serrat. Here one can enjoy a beautiful sunset and try the Bahian cuisine.

Address: 56, Boa Viagem street – Monte Serrat

2) Relax on the edge of Salvador Beaches

If you are in doubt about what to do in Salvador on a sunny day, don’t worry. The beaches in the Bahian capital provide a variety of activities.

Go diving or stand-up paddling at Porto da Barra beach, learn to surf at Praia do Flamengo, relax and have a good drink at the Blue Praia Bar at Buracão beach, eat a “coalho” cheese with molasses at Praia da Barra or ride a bike along the shore

Beaches in Salvador Bahia
Praia Porto da Barra em Salvador, Bahia
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

LMTM tip: Before getting into the water, check the water quality. You can confirm this information on INEMA website or through an updated Google search.

3) Strengthen your faith

It can be in some of the 372 catholic churches or in some terreiro, a space dedicated to the candomblé’s orixás, the faith is part of the Bahian culture. See where you can strengthen your faith in Salvador:

Igreja do Senhor do Bonfim

Maybe you already know the ribbon of Bonfim, it is an icon in the Bahian city, but do you know where they come from? Know the Basílica do Senhor do Bonfim. You can visit the basilica, the local museum or hang your prayer ribbons on the external bars of the place.

Igreja Nosso Senhor do Bonfim - Famous church in Salvador Bahia Brazil
Igreja Nosso Senhor do Bonfim in Salvador, Bahia
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Tickets: Free

Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Saturday – 6:30 am to 6 pm / Friday and Sunday – 5:30 am to 6 pm.

Address: Praça Sr. do Bonfim – Bonfim

Contact: +55 (71) 3316-2196

More information: Facebook of Basílica Santuário do Senhor do Bonfim

Be moved in Memorial Irmã Dulce

A nun from Bahia canonized by the Vatican, Irmã Dulce had a huge impact in the community through your charity work. In the Memorial Irmã Dulce you can learn about her story, see her bedroom that is still intact,  as well as other items that have marked its history.

Memorial Irma Dulce - Where to go in Salvador
Memorial Irma Dulce
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Tickets: Free (Schedule is necessary)

Address: 161, Dendezeiros do Bonfim avenue – Bonfim

Contact: +55 (71) 3310-1923 

Site: https://www.irmadulce.org.br

Igreja e Convento de São Francisco

Igreja e Convento de São Francisco - Salvador

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World, Igreja e Convento de São Francisco is a baroque art building, exuberant and unique in details, such as Portuguese tiles, detailed sculptures, and fully worked walls and ceilings.

There you can find an interesting contrast between the Franciscan ideas of simplicity and the big luxury of the churches.

Tickets: R$ 5,00*

Hours: Monday, Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday – 9 am to 5:30 pm  

Address: Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco – Pelourinho

Contact: +55 (71) 3322-6430

Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos

The Irmandade Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos is an important confraternity created by blacks to ensure their religiosity. The church in Salvador was founded in 1685 and built in 1704.

On Tuesdays at 5 pm you can check out during mass an unmissable union between Catholicism and Candomblé.

Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos - Church in Salvador Brazil
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: R$ 5,00*

Hours: Visit – Monday to Friday – 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm / Saturday – 8 am to 7 pm 

Address: Largo do Pelourinho, s/n – Pelourinho

Contact:  +55 (71) 3421-5781

Casa de Yemanjá

Iemanjá, is an really important Orixá patroness of fishermen, worshiped especially in Salvador. On February 2nd, Rio Vermelho beach receive devotees from all around Brazil to throw offerings to the sea.

But you don’t have to wait until this day to know this little and powerful house, it is open the whole year with offerings and prayers in the Rio Vermelho neighborhood. 

Casa de Iemanja in Rio Vermelho neighborhood
Inside Casa de Iemanjá
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

LMTM tip: Do you wanna know why February 2nd is consider the day of Iemanjá? Watch our stories about Salvador.

Address: 143, Guedes Cabral street – Rio Vermelho

4) Go for the Bahian cuisine

Leave your diet aside and enjoy the delights of Bahia. In moderation, of course. 😅.

Tradicional food

The Bahian food is delicious and unique. Taste acarajé, abará, moqueca, cocada, bolinho de estudante, pão delícia, caruru, mugunzá, and others Bahia’s tradicional food.

Baiana selling acaraje in Bahia

Don’t know where to prove acarajé? The most famous are Acarajé da Dinha (my favorite) and Acarajé da Cira, both in Rio Vermelho.

In Pelourinho, don’t miss the lemon juice with coconut from Mr. Milton in front of the Fundação Casa Jorge Amado, the cachaça from the Cravinho Bar, and the cocada from Dona Júlia, this lady in the photo, who is always near the Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos.

Ice Cream

Is really common we find Sorveteria da Ribeira in what to do tips in Salvador. We were in four ice cream shops in the city, see our ranking:

Where to eat in Salvador Bahia
The famous Sorveteria da Ribeira
Photo: Elaine Villatoro
  1. Crema – located in Largo de Santana, Rio Vermelho. Taste the flavours “Amarena” and “Ferreiro Rocher”.
  2. Le Glacier La Porte – Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco
  3. Sorveteria da Ribeira – it’s only worth in the Ribeira’s unity, in the other unities the quality isn’t that good. Taste the flavour “Delícia de Abacaxi”.
  4. A Cubana – Multiple units

5) Enjoy the sunset

Will not be a problem for you to find beautiful places to appreciate the sunset in Salvador.

In the highest touristic points as Elevador Lacerda, in the beach or Farol da Barra, on the balcony of one of the bars of Santo Antônio Além do Carmo, listening to good jazz (Saturdays) or practicing a yoga class for free (Sundays) in the back of MAM, and who knows in lesser-known places as Mirante Wildberger or Larri Bistrô in the Aliança Francesa at Corredor da Vitória.

6) Visit museums in Salvador

Jorge Amado, one of the biggest Brazilian writers, was born in the South of Bahia and finished his studies in Salvador. His regionalist works have been portrayed in television and cinema.”

“Inaugurated on March 7, 1987, the Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado, was idealized and instituted with the objective of preserving and studying the bibliographical and artistic collections of the writer Jorge Amado, as well as encouraging studies and research above all literature made in Bahia.” – Fundação Casa do Jorge Amado. (free translation)

Fundacao Casa Jorge Amado Pelourinho
Fundação Casa Jorge Amado no Pelourinho
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Tickets: Free

Hour: Monday to Friday – 10am to 6pm / Saturday – 10am to 4pm

Address: 49/51, Portas do Carmo street – Largo do Pelourinho

Contact: +55 (71) 4103-0081

Site: https://www.jorgeamado.org.br/

Museu Afro-Brasileiro (MAFRO)

The museum is impressive from the beauty of its facade. It is an important collection about African and Afro-Brazilian history. 

It counts if some fixed exhibitions, as Carybé and his 27 wood carvings representing the candomblé’s orixás, and MAFRO also receives temporary artworks.

Hours: TEMPORARY CLOSED 

Address: Largo do Terreiro de Jesus, Bahia Medical School building – Historic Center of Salvador

Contact: +55 (71) 3283-5540

Site: http://www.mafro.ceao.ufba.br

Cidade da Música da Bahia

Between the Mercado Modelo and Elevador Lacerda, Cidade da Música da Bahia is a museum that count with a rich history of Bahian’s music. All exhibition is audiovisual and brings the musical context of the city in general, the musical styles that exist there, and also has interaction rooms with karaoke, rap and trap battles, and other attractions.

Museu Cidade da Musica da Bahia - The best things to do in Salvador Bahia Brazil
Museu Cidade da Música da Bahia
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: R$ 20*SCHEDULING REQUIRED

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 10am to 6pm, with entrance until 5pm. 

Address: 19, Praça Visconde de Cayru – Comércio

Contact: +55 (71) 3106-4659Site: https://cidadedamusicadabahia.com.br/

LMTM tip: Visit first the museum and then the Casa do Carnaval, it will make more sense.

Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia – MAM

The Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia (MAM) is a spectacle inside and out. Located in Solar do Unhão, has a wonderful view, a sunset worthy of an art piece, in addition to its external sculptures, five internal expositions, and a cinema.

Museus de Salvador - MAM
Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia – MAM
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: Free

Hours: Monday to Friday – 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm

Address: Lafayete Coutinho avenue – Comércio

Contact: +55 (71) 3117-6132 

Site: http://www.mam.ba.gov.br/

Casa do Carnaval da Bahia

One of the most traditional street Carnaval in Brazil, Salvador usually brings to its streets people from all over the world that follow the blocos de axé – a group of people that follow the band through the street. The Bahian Carnaval is unique and that is why there is a museum just to talk about this festivity. Know the history and have fun with carnival artifacts in Casa do Carnaval da Bahia.

Casa do Carnaval in Salvador city Brazil
Casa do Carnaval em Salvador
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: R$ 20* / On Wednesday is free with scheduling

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 10 am to 6 pm

Address: Praça Ramos de Queirós – Pelourinho

Contact: +55 (71) 3324-6360

Site: Instagram

Memorial das Baianas do Acarajé

During your trip, certainly, you will find the very traditional Baianas do Acarajé. Those women and acarajé – a kind of stuffed fritter – go beyond cooking, caring a history of symbolism and resistance through the clothes on the body and the flavors on the plate.

Baiana do Acaraje
Baiana in the Salvador’s city center
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Get to know this memorial made especially to tell the history and honor Baianas do Acarajé.

Hours: CLOSED FOR RENOVATION, EXPECTED TO REOPEN IN DECEMBER 2021.

Address: Cruz Caída, Praça da Sé – Pelourinho

Contact: +55 (71) 3322-9674

LMTM tip: Do you wanna know why the women from Bahia dress like that? Check out our stories in Salvador.

Museu Geológico

If you set aside a day to walk around the Corredor da Vitória, take the time to visit the Museu Geológico. It is a perfect tour for those who like to know the history of the Earth marked on its stones, with a special touch of being focused on the Bahian region.

Tickets: Free

Hours: Tuesday to Friday – 1 pm to 6 pm / Saturday and Sunday – 1 pm to 5 pm (In case that you want a guided visit, scheduling is necessary, send an email to [email protected])

Address: 2195, Sete de Setembro avenue – Corredor da Vitória

Contact: +55 (71) 3336-3498

Site: http://www.mgb.ba.gov.br/

Ps: I’ve heard that inside of the museum has a delicious coffee. ☕

Memorial e Fundação Pierre Verger

Pierre Verger was a French photographer and an anthropologist extremely important in studying and recording Afro-Brazilian culture, especially the religious aspects of candomblé. Want to know more about his work? Visit the Pierre Verger Memorial or the Galeria do Pelourinho for free.

LMTM tip: I recommend the book Orixás by Pierre Verger.

Fundacao Pierre Verger - one of the museums in Salvador Brazil
Fundação Pierre Verger – Galeria no Pelourinho
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Memorial Pierre Verger: The house that Verger lived in.

Hours:  8 am to 12 pm (Scheduling is necessary)

Address: 6, 2ª Travessa da Ladeira da Vila América – Engenho Velho de Brotas

Contact: +55 (71) 3203 8400

Site: https://www.pierreverger.org

Fundação Pierre Verger Galeria

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 9am to 7pm

Address: 9 – store 1 – Portal da Misericórdia (Near by Pelourinho)

Contact: +55 (71) 3321 2341

Site: https://www.pierreverger.org

Espaço Carybé de Artes 

Despite being from Argentina and having walked in many places before arriving in Salvador, Carybé won the heart of the Bahian city. His art is vibrant and heavily influenced by candomblé. In this space, you can see a virtual collection.

Note: Every day from 6:15 pm until 7 pm his works are exhibited on the building’s facade.

Ticket: R$ 20* – Wednesday for free

Hours: Wednesday to Monday – 11 am to 7 pm

Address: Forte de São Diogo – Porto da Barra

Contact: [email protected]

Site: https://www.instagram.com/espacocarybe/

Memorial Casa Di Vina

Don’t know what to do in Itapuã beach in Salvador? Visit the memorial of Vinicius de Moraes, located in the house where he lived with the Bahian actress Gessy Gesse at the beginning of the ’70s.

The memorial can be accessed through Casa Di Vina Restaurante. It counts with a collection full of photos and objects of the poetry and his wife, besides the paintings that tell stories and curiosities of the period in which they lived there.

Casa de Vinicius de Moraes Itapua
Casa de Vinicius de Moraes em Itapuã
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: Free

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 12pm to 10pm 

Address: 44, Flamengo street – Farol de Itapuã

Contact: +55 (71) 3285-7339 / WhatsApp: +55 (71) 99711-3374

Site: https://www.casadivinabahia.com.br/

Casa do Rio Vermelho

The house were Jorge Amado and Zélia Gattai lived was transformed into a museum with an amazing collection and videos full of stories. This is also where his ashes were deposited according to the couple’s wishes. 

Casa Vermelha Jorge Amado
One of the rooms of the Casa do Rio Vermelho
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: R$20*

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. Entrance until 5 pm

Address: 33, Alagoinhas street – Rio Vermelho

Contact: +55 (71) 3104-4659

Site: http://casadoriovermelho.com.br/

Museu Náutico da Bahia

If you love to travel, can’t miss the Museu Náutico da Bahia. The museum presents part of Brazil’s history presents by displaying pieces of ships and crew members that were submerged for about 300 years.

Ticket: R$ 15 

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 am to 6 pm

Adress: Largo do Farol da Barra, s/n – Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra – Barra

Contact: +55 (71) 98890-0964

Site: https://www.museunauticodabahia.org.br/

7) Enjoy the benefits of Salvador’s best neighborhoods

Santo Antônio Além do Carmo

Next to the Centro Histórico (Historic Center), Santo Antônio Além do Carmo is a charming neighborhood. There will find a lot of beautiful baroque old buildings. 

There you can walk until Largo do Carmo – where you have a view to Baía de Todos os Santos -, visit churches and enjoy the bar and local business

This is my favorite neighborhood to have a beer in the late afternoon while watching the sunset from the balcony of one of the bars in the area, like Bar Cruz do Paschoal, Poró Restaurante & Bar, Raiz Restaurante, and others.

Pelourinho

The neighborhood goes from Largo do Pelourinho until Terreiro de Jesus.

Movimento Percussivo Salvador Pelourinho

Take a whole Saturday or Sunday to walk by Pelourinho. Besides calmly enjoying the region’s museums, take the opportunity to enter the stores, and drink Mr. Milton’s lemon juice with coconut, dance, and sing with Movimento Percussivo and eat a cocada, acarajé or Dona Julia’s bolinho de estudante.

Rio Vermelho

Acaraje da Dinha Rio Vermelho

Ficar hospedado e passear pelo bairro mais boêmio de Salvador é tudo de bom!

No Largo de Santana, além de encontrar a Igreja de Santana e a escultura em homenagem à Jorge Amado e Zélia Gattai, você pode se deliciar com o Acarajé da Dinha, tomar uma cerveja gelada no Parador Z1 ou aproveitar a minha sorveteria favorita de Salvador, a Crema Gelato Italiano.

Também no Rio Vermelho, está a Casa de Yemanjá, a Praia do Buracão que conta com o Blue Beach Bar, a Casa Castanho que é um excelente lugar para tomar café, a Casa de Jorge Amado, o Largo da Mariquita e o badalado EcoSquare.

8) Volunteer in Salvador – Brazilem Salvador

The best way to get to know a destination in depth is to experience the day-to-day life of the locals. The Worldpackers volunteer work exchange makes this possible.

Here’s how Worldpackers works!

You can apply for various types of volunteer work in Salvador, such as working in a hostel in Praia da Barra or even participating in an environmental volunteer project in the region.

We participated in an agroforestry experience in a neighboring municipality, check out our experience:

Desconto worldpackers

9) Immerse yourself in Salvador’s culture

Afroturism

Going to Salvador is an excellent opportunity to learn about afro-Brazilian culture. If you want to awaken your black consciousness, there are several tours with this focus that are organized by Guia Negro!

Afroturismo em Salvador Bahia

We participated in the Caminhada Salvador Negra. If exist a mandatory tour in Salvador that everyone should do, I would say that this is the one.

Ticket: Starting at R$ 50 per person*. Details are available at the site below.

Contact: +55 (11) 99279-4902 (WhatsApp)

Site: https://guianegro.com.br/

Visit a “terreiro de candomblé”

Religious syncretism is more present in our culture than most of us can imagine. Sayuri, the guide, can take you to a candomblé (Afro-Brazilian religion) temple and answer your questions.

Baiana em terreiro de candomble
Dona Janice abrindo um sorriso durante nossa visita ao terreiro de candomblé
Foto: Elaine Villatoro

Contact: +55 (71) 99113-8033 (WhatsApp)

Site: Instagram

Capoeira Class

This practice, which was once forbidden in Brazil, is now a national symbol. How about burning some calories with the sound of the berimbau while connecting to Afro-Brazilian ancestry?

We took the class with Mestre Bamba at the Associação de Capoeira Mestre Bimba.

Capoeira Class in Salvador
Capoeira’s class with Mestre Bamba – One of the best things to do in Salvador, Bahia
Photo: Jilian Santos

Ticket: R$ 50*

Address: Rua das Laranjeiras, n° 01, Pelourinho. 1° Andar

Contact: +55 (71) 3322-0639 (WhatsApp)

Site: https://www.capoeiramestrebimba.com.br/

Percussion Class

The atabaque and berimbau are very present in the rodas de samba and rodas de capoeira (roda is a practice where people stay in circle playing and dancing) in the Recôncavo Bahiano. How about learning to play some rhythms on this instrument?

We did our class in the Associação de Capoeira Mestre Bimba, with Pezão.

what to do in Salvador - Experiences
Percussion class at the Capoeira Mestre Bimba Association

Ticket: R$ 45*

Address: 01, Rua das Laranjeiras street – 1st Floor – Pelourinho

Contact: +55 71 3322-0639 (WhatsApp)

Site: https://www.capoeiramestrebimba.com.br/

See a capoeira presentation

Finding a capoeira presentation isn’t that hard in Salvador. But, if you wanna add this experience to your route, you can plan to go to Forte do Santo Antônio Além do Carmo, there they have the project Capoeira no Forte that has the objective to promote the Bahian’s culture and art. 

Projeto Capoeira do Forte
Project Capoeira do Forte, in front of Forte de Santo Antônio Além do Carmo
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Ticket: Free

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday – 4 pm to 6:30 pm

Address: Largo de Santo Antônio Além do Carmo – Santo Antonio

10) Get to know the region’s markets

Besides Mercado Modelo, Salvador count with other markets that offers an explosion of flavors and different options of craftsmanship:

Mercado Rio Vermelho

For those who are staying in the Rio Vermelho neighborhood. The prices are not very advantageous and I particularly did not find anything special. But still, this is an option.

things to do in Salvador - Mercado Rio Vermelho
Food court at Rio Vermelho’s Market
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Hours: Monday to Saturday – 7am to 7pm / Sunday – 7am to 2pm

Address: 1624, Juracy Magalhães Júnior avenue – Rio Vermelho

Contact: +55 (71) 3018-5733

Site: http://www.mercadodoriovermelho.com.br/

Feira de São Joaquim

This is the cheapest market in Salvador. If you want to buy cooking ingredients, candomblé articles, clothes, etc, this is the ideal place.

The best things to do in Salvador - Feira de Sao Joaquim
Feira de São Joaquim in Salvador, Bahia
Foto: Elaine Villatoro

We received a very good tip from a follower, a tour that involves visiting the fair & a traditional cooking class. If I had known before, I would have done it.

O que fazer em Salvador - aula de culinaria

As a content creator, I’d love to photograph and film more here. But, unfortunately, I’ve not felt safe here. I’ve heard some rumors that it is common that thieves take the cellphones from the hands of tourists and escape in the little halls of the fair. A really important tip, stay in the principal streets of the market.

Hours: Monday to Saturday – 5am to 6pm / Monday – 5am to 2pm

Address: Engenheiro Oscar Pontes street – Água de Meninos

11) Observe the artistic works of Salvador

Dique do Tororó

Close to the Fonte Nova Arena is the Dique do Tororó, a dam that was built in the 17th century and served as protection against invasions. As Salvador grew, it was gradually filled in and today has a lake with 110,000 cubic meters of water. The most beautiful thing here is to admire the sculptures of 12 orixás created by the artist Tatti Moreno.

Dique Tororo
Orixá’s sculpture – Dique do Tororó
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

Note: I have heard that this region is dangerous, so be careful with your belongings.

Address: 212, Vasco da Gama avenue – Engenho Velho de Brotas

As Meninas do Brasil

These are three sculptures that represent the races that make up the Brazilian people: the black, the white, and the indigenous.  Created by the Bahian artist Eliana Kertéz, “As Meninas do Brasil” are also known as “As Gordinhas da Ondina”, the neighborhood where they are located.

Gordinhas de Ondina
Monument: As Meninas do Brasil

 Address: 19, Adhemar de Barros avenue – Ondina

Morro do Cristo

The area to the left of Barra Beach bears a statue of Jesus Christ sculpted in marble. Take a rest on the lawns and enjoy the bars around the Morro do Cristo and the privileged view of the Barra Lighthouse and the seashore.

Address: Oceânica avenue – Barra

Zumbi dos Palmares

Monumento Zumbi dos Palmares

The bronze statue made by artist Márcia Magno pays tribute to Zumbi, the last of the leaders of the largest quilombo in Brazil during the colonial period, the Quilombo dos Palmares.

Address: Praça da Sé – Centro Histórico

Jorge Amado and Zélia Gattai

Also made by artist Tatti Moreno, the sculpture features Jorge Amado, Zélia Gattai, and the life-size dog Fadul in the Largo de Santana, in front of the Santana Church.

what to do in Rio Vermelho Salvador
Jorge Amado and Zélia Gattai sculpture
Photo: Gabi Brito

Endereço: Largo de Santana – Rio Vermelho

12) Experience the Salvador Carnaval

Ah, the Salvador Carnaval! I still haven’t had the opportunity to feel this emotion, which can only be experienced when the pandemic finally ends.But, for now, it remains my and your wish to one day be able to follow a trio on one of the famous circuits. By the way, who would you most like to see play? At the top of my list are: Olodum, Saulo Fernandes, and Bell Marques.

Carnaval in Bahia Brazil - Olodum
Olodum drum
Photo: Elaine Villatoro

What to do at night in Salvador

Are you in doubt of what to do in Salvador at night? Options will not be lacking! These include:

What to do in Salvador in the rain

Take the opportunity to visit the most diverse museums in Salvador, meet friends in the bars of Santo Antônio Além do Carmo, visit the main churches in the region, and enjoy the best of Bahia’s gastronomy.

What to do near Salvador

Check out some other destinations in Bahia and approximate distances from Salvador:

  • Ilha de Itaparica (13km)
  • Ilha dos Frades (26km)
  • Ilha de Maré (38km)
  • Ilha Bom Jesus dos Passos (63km)
  • Morro do São Paulo (63km)
  • Boipeba (86km)
  • Lauro de Freitas (30km)
  • Guarajuba (70km)
  • Itacimirim (78km)
  • Praia do Forte (83km)
  • Imbassaí (90km)

What NOT to do in Salvador

I decided to dare and share some things that I thought were not very worth doing in Salvador or that I had very negative references from people I met:

  • Lagoa do Abaeté: Although it seems to be very beautiful, at least three local people in Salvador recommended that I should not go there, especially not alone, because it is a place that has been abandoned by the city and has become dangerous.
  • Shopping Salvador: Do not plan to arrive or leave the mall during rush hour. Since it is centrally located, there is a lot of traffic between 6-7:30 pm.
  • Praia de Itapuã: This was the beach where I saw the most garbage in Salvador. Several locals also told me about the lack of security there, which made me apprehensive while I was staying there. If you want to visit it, set aside 2/3 hours just to see the Itapuã Lighthouse and visit the Vinícius’ House.

Curiosities

  1. From 1549 to 1763, Salvador was the capital of Brazil
  2. 80% of the population of Salvador is black
  3. The first name of Salvador was “São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos
  4. Salvador has appeared in several international video clips, such as: Michael Jackson – They don’t care about us, Paul McCartney – Back In Brazil, Paul Simon – Obvious Child

Extra tips

Here are some extra tips for you to make the most of your trip to Salvador. Check them out:

Study about the destination

Study about some events and characters from Salvador that were important for the city’s history, such as: Neguinho do Samba, Irmã Dulce, Luís Gama, Dorival Caymmi, Mãe Menininha do Gantois, Mestre Bimba, Batatinha, Carlinhos Brown.

We also recommend that you watch these documentaries:

  • Axé – Canto do Povo de Um Lugar
  • Irmã Dulce

Respect, always!

Many Bahian women, capoeiristas, and musicians make their living from donations and sales of handicrafts and services to tourists. Some start the approach by offering a photo, bracelet, or even a painting of Timbalada as a gift, but in the end, they will ask for a financial contribution.

If you don’t want to, just thank them at the beginning of the conversation and say you’re not interested. Otherwise, a R$5 tip is an ok amount to admire a song or take a picture. To make your life easier, already separate the change before going to Pelourinho or the Igreja do Bonfim.

Also, xenophobic jokes are not welcome! Not here, not anywhere else!

Be a responsible tourist

We always leave here some tips for you to leave as few footprints as possible in the destinations you pass through, and this Salvador guide will be no different. See how you can be a more sustainable tourist in Salvador:

  • Save water: in the summer it is common to run out of water in the city, so don’t abuse it!
  • Reduce your waste while traveling: Whether in the hotel, on the beach or while visiting the main tourist attractions in Salvador.
  • Always have with you a glass, straw, cutlery, and a reusable bag.
  • When ordering, tell the attendant that you don’t need a straw, spoon, etc. If you don’t tell them in advance, they will automatically put it in.
  • Are you ordering ice cream? What about the ice cream cone?
  • Make sure that your lodging has a selective collection. If not, you can look for a So+Ma drop-off point to dispose of your waste properly.

What to bring to Salvador

  • Light clothing and if possible, sun protection
  • Comfortable sneakers for walking among the sights of Salvador
  • Flip-flops
  • Sunblock
  • Cap or Hat
  • Sun Glasses
  • Fanny Pack (it is the most practical and safe item for walking in big cities)
  • Kit with reusable utensils (cutlery, glass, straw, bag)

Forget jeans and know that here a cold sweater is something you only wear on the flight or when your roommate turns up the air conditioning.

Now that you know what to do in Salvador by day, by night, and even when it rains, and what the main tourist attractions, museums, and churches are, tell us… What will be the first thing you want to do when you arrive in Salvador?

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* The values mentioned are from November/2021 and are subject to change.

Note: This article was supported by Worldpackers.

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