Salvador‘s Most Popular Neighborhood, Pelourinho, is a colorful and vibrant neighborhood located in the historic center of the city, filled with a rich cultural heritage, lively music, and delicious food that makes it a must-see destination for any tourist visiting Salvador.

History of Pelourinho

Pelourinho, also known as “Pelô,” is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salvador and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It was the center of the city during the colonial era and was a bustling hub of economic and social activity. The name “Pelourinho” comes from the Portuguese word “pelourinho,” which means “pillory,” and refers to the pillory that stood in the central square where slaves were punished.

Culture and Heritage

Pelourinho is a melting pot of different cultures, with a strong African influence that is evident in the music, dance, and cuisine. The neighborhood is home to several churches and religious institutions, including the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Blacks, which is one of the oldest and most important religious institutions in Salvador. The church is a testament to the strong Afro-Brazilian culture in Pelourinho and is a must-see for tourists interested in the history and culture of the area.

Music and Dance

Pelourinho is known for its lively music scene, which is heavily influenced by the African rhythms of Bahia. Visitors can enjoy live music performances in the streets and squares, as well as in the many bars and clubs in the neighborhood. The most famous music style in Pelourinho is the “axé,” a genre that originated in Bahia and has become popular throughout Brazil. Visitors can also experience traditional Afro-Brazilian dance performances, such as the “samba de roda,” which is a style of samba that originated in Bahia.


Pelourinho is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of delicious traditional Bahian cuisine. Visitors can try dishes such as “acarajé,” a fried bean cake filled with shrimp and spices, and “moqueca,” a fish stew made with coconut milk and spices. There are also many bars and restaurants that serve traditional drinks such as “cachaça,” a distilled spirit made from sugarcane, and “capirinha,” a cocktail made with cachaça, lime, and sugar.

Shopping and Handicrafts

Pelourinho is also a great place for shopping, with a wide variety of handicrafts and souvenirs on offer. Visitors can find traditional Bahian clothing and accessories, such as “pagoda,” a traditional Bahian headwrap, and “baiana,” a traditional Bahian dress. There are also many shops selling handmade jewelry, pottery, and other crafts.


Pelourinho is a neighborhood that offers a unique and authentic experience for visitors to Salvador. Its rich history and culture, lively music and dance scene, delicious food, and vibrant shopping make it a must-see destination for any tourist visiting the city. It’s a perfect place to immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of Bahia, and to experience the vibrant energy of one of Brazil’s most popular neighborhoods.