The beautiful city of Salvador da Bahia is fabulous. A mix of colonial charm, history, great beaches, cobbled streets and a lively music scene make Salvador the most interesting city in Brazil and without doubt our favourite.
The city is the former capital of Brazil’s slave trade with huge African immigration from Portuguese colonies such as Angola and the city retains the largest black community in Brazil. Because of this the city has an unique feel to it with many African religious traditions being brought to the city which still exist today such as Candomble.
The centre of the former slave trade in Salvador focussed on the Pelourinho where slaves were bought and sold. Today this area is the highlight of the city, an array of cobbled streets, pastel coloured houses, crumbling churches, galleries and shops. Music pervades this area at night with the famous Olodum drummers often practising samba reggae in the streets or local squares.
The city does have a certain edge to it but that shouldn’t deter you, just take care of what you carry around with you, as the city has so much on offer. The Pelourinho is in the Cidade Alta, on top of a cliff, whereas the Cidade Baixa sits by the beautiful All Saints Bay. There are a number of good beaches with the better ones just to the north of the city although the ones near to the lighthouse of Farol de Barra are good and a perfect place for sunset.
The city and the state of Bahia are home to some of the best food in Brazil. Throughout the city you will see Baianas (ladies from Bahia) in their big white dresses selling acaraje from street stalls and is a must try whilst in the city.
Salvador is known throughout the world for its Carnival and many consider this to be the best in Brazil. It is very different to that of Rio. Giant floats head through the city streets rather than through a purpose built stadium such as in Rio with huge followings. It’s an amazing time to visit the city.