Salvador da Bahia!
Historically known as the “City of the Holy Saviour of the Bay of all Saints”. Brazil’s vibrant Afro-Brazilian capital, renowned for its positive energy (which by the way is contagious) and happy people, has had an immense impact on me since my arrival earlier this year. So to say goodbye not just to the city I’ve grown so accustomed to, but also a culture I open-heartedly connected with, is like parting ways with a close friend… Unsure of when we’ll next meet again.
I couldn’t leave Salvador without compiling a list of places to visit!
I put the honour of recommendations in the capable hands of Maria Araújo; the social media coordinator for the Secretary of Culture of Bahia. Maria is no stranger to my blog. During the carnival I had the privilege of meeting her at the Pelourhino press office.
Young, ambitious and a social media expert, Maira is equipped with an in-depth knowledge of the city of Salvador. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate person to spend my last day in Salvador with, fondly discussing highlights and hidden gems of the city.
Starting in the middle of Palácio Rio Branco and finishing with Sorveteria Cubana ice creme in Pelhourinho, Maira shared with me some of her favourite places in the city she lives and works in.
From delicious Bahian food to inspecting modern art, this list is an exciting and varied compilation of ‘must-dos’ in Salvador! Add a few to your daily plans during your trip to get the most out of your visit to this diverse and mystical city.
MAM (Museu de Arte Moderna)
“This museum is stunning inside and out!
It has an amazing view of the bay, a really neat restaurant with a
pier. On saturday evenings they have a jazz session outside where
you can enjoy good music, cheap and delicious drinks and food, and
Ice-cream in Ribeira
“Ribeira is a nice and old neighborhood of
fishermen in the suburbs of Salvador, and there you can have the best
ice-cream in town at Sorveteria da Ribeira! Take your time choosing
your flavors and don’t feel shy to ask to taste the most intriguing
ones. The list is pretty long and the fun of going there is to have a
taste of the diversity they offer.”
Drinking Jatobá at O Cravinho –
“This is where my coworkers and I go
for happy hour every once in a while. It’s a little hole in the wall
type of bar called “O Cravinho” in Pelourinho, and they serve the most
unusual drink mixes and to-die-for fried shrimp! The most famous
drink, called Cravinho, is a 2 reais shot infusion of cloves.
It’s pretty strong and after the third one you’ll see the world
spinning, so pace yourself! My favorite one is Jatobá, which is a
little sweeter and not as strong, but the fun part about going there is
trying all sorts of drink mixes and making your own list of favourites!”
Bahian Food at Axego
“This is absolutely my favorite restaurant in
Pelourinho! You can come here any day and everything is always
delicious. But on Fridays they serve Bahian food and it’s divine (and
also quite cheap, a plate costs around 14 reais and it can be easily
shared for 2 people).”
Acarajé de Dinha in Rio Vermelho –
“Everyone here has a strong opinion
about which acarajé is the best in Salvador, but let me tell you, the
best overall experience of eating a good acarajé, drinking a beer and
having a good time is at Dinha! The acarajé stand is in the center of a region
filled with bars in Rio Vermelho, our most bohemian
neighborhood. You’ll find tourists, workers enjoying their happy hour,
students, and old folk playing domino on the street. This is where
everyone meets and enjoy life in their own way.”
And just incase 5 isn’t enough… Here’s an extra 4 to keep you busy!
Sorveteria Cubana –
“I’m a big ice-cream fan, can you tell? Cubana has
great ice-cream, low prices and 2 stores in Pelourinho! I highly
recommend the fruity flavors (açai, graviola, cupuaçu, cajá, maracujá,
Palácio Rio Branco –
“It’s a historic building full of amazing stories
and a place i’m very proud to come to work everyday! If you come to
visit Pelourinho, it’s right next to Elevador Lacerda and you can even
have a free tour with a guide who’ll tell you all there is to know about
it while you enjoy a very privileged view of the bay.”
Shopping at Barroquinha –
“If you like a great bargain and don’t mind
all that human contact you get while walking on a busy street, come
here! It’s down the street from Pelourinho and is where real
Soteropolitanos (people born in Salvador) go shopping. You can find
leather goods, clothes and souvenirs way cheaper than in Pelourinho!”
A swim at Porto da Barra –
“I’m really not that fond of going to the
beach, but this one is lovely even if it’s just to drive by. It’s
filled with people from Salvador and tourists and you’ll get a feel of
the city without the whole ‘buy this, buy that’ stuff that happens
while walking around Pelourinho. Warning: during the weekends it can
get pretty full, so if you don’t appreciate spending half an hour
looking for a an empty spot to put down your ‘canga’, go on
For more information on Salvador and Bahia check out the following Secretary of Culture, Ba sites:
- Carnival da Bahia… Ouro Negro! (travelmakerkai.com)
- Travel in Brazil: SALVADOR (47). One Afternoon in Pelourinho, Salvador’s Historical Center. (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Salvador Bahia Brazil..Part 1 (lonelytripping.com)
- Press stop- Pelourinho! (travelmakerkai.com)
- Adjusting to Salvador… (travelmakerkai.wordpress.com)
- Salvador – Bahia – Brazil (nevesalane.wordpress.com)
- Acarajé, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (myloveaffairwiththeworld.com)