The best things to do in Salvador

Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia, Brazil and is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning beaches. The city has a unique blend of African, Indigenous and Portuguese influences which can be seen in its music, food and architecture. With so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some of the top things to do in Salvador to help you plan your trip.

Explore the Pelourinho

The Pelourinho is the historic center of Salvador and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to some of the city’s most beautiful colonial-style buildings and is a great place to get a sense of the city’s rich history. Some of the highlights include the São Francisco Church and Convent, which is one of the most ornate in Brazil and the Lacerda Elevator, which offers fantastic views of the city.

Visit the beaches

Salvador has some of the best beaches in Brazil, and they are a must-see when visiting the city. Some of the most popular include Porto da Barra, which is known for its lively atmosphere and is a great spot for people watching, and Farol da Barra, which is a bit more secluded and is perfect for those looking for a more peaceful experience.

Experience the nightlife

Salvador is known for its vibrant nightlife and there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of the most popular include the Barra-Ondina circuit, which is a lively area filled with bars, clubs and street parties, and the Rio Vermelho neighborhood, which is known for its more relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to go for live music.

Try the local cuisine

Salvador’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its African heritage and is known for its strong flavors and use of spices. Some of the must-try dishes include acarajé, which is a fried bean cake filled with shrimp and served with a spicy sauce, and moqueca, which is a fish stew made with coconut milk and dende oil.

Visit the Museums

Salvador is home to several excellent museums that offer insight into the city’s rich history and culture. Some of the highlights include the Museum of Modern Art, which has an impressive collection of contemporary Brazilian art, and the Afro-Brazilian Museum, which tells the story of the African influence on Brazilian culture.

Take a day trip

While Salvador is a great destination in its own right, there are also several excellent day trip options to choose from. Some of the most popular include the historic town of Cachoeira, which is known for its colonial architecture and Afro-Brazilian culture, and the beautiful beaches of Itaparica Island, which are just a short boat ride from the city.

Visit the Mercado Modelo

The Mercado Modelo is a historic market located in the heart of Salvador that is worth a visit for anyone interested in shopping and local crafts. The market is known for its wide variety of handcrafted items, including pottery, jewelry, and textiles. Visitors can also find an array of traditional Bahian food and drinks, such as acarajé, vatapá, and caldo de cana.

Take a stroll along the Elevador Lacerda

The Elevador Lacerda is a historic elevator located in the center of Salvador that offers a unique way to see the city. The elevator connects the upper and lower parts of the city, and offers panoramic views of the city, the bay and the surrounding neighborhoods. It is a great way to get a sense of the city’s layout and take in the stunning views.

Visit the Igreja de São Francisco

The Igreja de São Francisco is a beautiful church located in the Pelourinho neighborhood, known for its intricate baroque decoration and gilded woodcarvings. The church is one of the most important examples of colonial architecture in Brazil, and is a must-see for anyone interested in history and architecture.

Attend a traditional Bahian Carnival

Salvador is known for its lively Carnival celebrations, which are held annually in February. The event is a celebration of Bahian culture and features colorful parades, live music, and traditional costumes. It is a great opportunity to experience the vibrant culture of Salvador and join in the festive atmosphere.

Take a boat trip to the Ilha de Itaparica

Itaparica Island is located just a short boat ride from Salvador and offers a beautiful beach getaway. The island is known for its clear waters, white sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere, making it a perfect place to relax and unwind. Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the island and enjoy a day of sun, sand, and sea.

In conclusion, Salvador offers a wide variety of activities to suit every type of traveler. From exploring the historic Pelourinho neighborhood to relaxing on the beach, there is something for everyone in this vibrant and diverse city. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious food and lively culture, Salvador is a must-visit destination in Brazil.