Things to do in Salvador Bahia – 10 Things you must do !

Things to do in Salvador, Bahia - 10 things you must do !

Things to do in Salvador, Bahia  - Salvador is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil with its all year sun and being one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas, founded by the Portuguese in 1549.

Things to do in Salvador - Salvador is located in north eastern Region of Brazil on the Atlantic coast and is the capital city of the state of  Bahia. The city has a population of approx 3 million people and is the 3rd largest city in Brazil after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Salvador has one of the longest coastlines in Brazil with upto 80Km of beaches distributed throughout the area and the city is the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture with many of the African slaves settling in Bahia. With Beautiful beaches and all year round sun its no surprise its one of the most visited cities in Brazil by tourists.

Let have a look at some things to do while on your stay in Salvador;

 1. Take a walk around Pelourinho the historical centre - Things to do in Salvador

Pelourinho Salvador city center - Things to do in Salvador

Pelourinho Salvador city center - Things to do in Salvador

Pelourinho: it was once the traditional residence of the wealthy in the city and hence the amazing Portuguese colonial style. By the 1950s, with the process of modernization of the city, it was abandoned. By the end of the 1980s it was recovered as Human Historical Heritage and nowadays is one of the main attraction of the cities.

It comprises small streets that sells everything, from local handcrafts to traditional food, the perfect place to buy a souvenir. But its main attraction, the pintoresque buildings, are what the visit worth it and probably you will recognize from movies as Ó Pai, Ó, the Michael Jackson video clip They Don't Care about Us and Daniela Mercury hit Menina do Pelô

When: Daily
Budget:  Free

2. Go watch a performance by Olodum


If you did not realize yet, Bahia is the most African of the Brazilian States. And it certain exhilarates the vibe.  But nothing synthesizes it better than Olodum, a music block that plays at Pelourinho and also is a NGO that promotes African culture. It also created an own rhythm, the samba reggae and is a total success in the Brazilian carnivals.

When: Check in the website the concerts agenda:
Where: Downtown, Rua gregório de Mattos, 22
Budget: $$$ (from 80-140+ Reais)  

 3. Visit one of the 372 churches including São Francisco  - Things to do in Salvador

Sao Francisco Salvador Bahia - Things to do in Salvador

Sao Francisco Salvador Bahia - Things to do in Salvador

It is said by the locals that Salvador has one Catholic Church per day of the year, and it has more. With 372 Churches built in the Colonial Times, it expresses the power and influence the city had, and the evolution of the indigenous Portuguese style. From classical colonial to baroque adorned with pure gold,  you can enchant your eyes and feel the faith, as religiosity and syncretism (with Afro and Indigenous religious) are the most Bahiano you can get. The most visited is the Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bom Fim, and the bracelets you will get everywhere are in homage to it.

When: Check the opening times with your hotel, usually from 08:30 to 18h
Where: Most are in the  downtown area
Budget: Some are free, some charges a fee $

 4. Take a ride on the Elevador Lacerda

Elevador Lacerda Salvador Bahia

Elevador Lacerda Salvador Bahia

The first urban elevator, it relieves your legs from the mountainous city.  With 72 meters, it was idealized to make the city viable, but more than communicate, you can enjoy the view to the Baia de Todos os Santos with its turquoise waters, Fort de São Marcelo, in colonial style,  and the Market Modelo, the city Central Market.

When: Daily, from 07h to 23h, 24 in carnival
Where: Praça Tomé de Souza, na Cidade Alta, à Praça Cayru
Budget: $ (from 1 to 30 Reais)  Price of the ride is less than 1$ Brl

 5. Go art and crafts shopping at Mercado Modelo  - Things to do in Salvador

Mercado Modelo Salvador - Things to do in Salvador

Mercado Modelo Salvador - Things to do in Salvador

Mercado Modelo: One of the ancient trade zones in the city, it is a vibrant market, where you can smell and taste all the city flavors. Handcrafts, Brazilian stones and much more. Aldous Huxley and Elizabeth II are among its illustrious visitors.

When:  Monday to Saturdays, from 09 am to 19pm Sunday: 09h to 14h
Where: Praça Visconde de Cayru, s/n
Budget: $$ (from 30 to 80 Reais) 

6. Try Acarajé - Things to do in Salvador

Acaraje Salvador Bahia - Things to do in Salvador

Acaraje Salvador Bahia - Things to do in Salvador

This bean with shrimps cake is a delicious receipt of the traditional culture, orginally of African descent. Trying it in the streets is the most traditional way, but if you want to keep on the safe side, go to a restaurant. Frio (cold) is with no pepper and Quente (hot) is with a lot of pepper.

When: Daily
Where: street sellers, restaurants
Budget: $ (from 1 - 30 Reais) A normal price of approx 10$ Brl

7. Take a boat trip to the islands Ilha dos Frades and Itaparica

Itaparica Salvador Bahia

Itaparica Salvador Bahia

If the weather is nice, which it usually is you can take a day trip on one of the schooner sailing boats. You cabn arrange with your hotel or with one of the tourist agencies in the city who will pick you up in the morning and take you down to the bay of all saints to board the boat. You will get to visit the 2 amazing islands Ilha dos Frades and Itaparica, do some snorkelling, have lunch and just basically enjoy. Tours will cost approx 90$ Brl excluding lunch.

When: Daily at 8am
Where: Hotel pickup or boats leave from Baía de Todos os Santos
Budget: $$$-$$$$(from 80-140 Reais)

8. Relax at Porto da Barra Beach - Things to do in Salvador

Porto Da Barra Beach Salvador - Things to do in Salvador

Porto Da Barra Beach Salvador - Things to do in Salvador

The most popular beach in Salvador is Porto de Barra. The sea is quite calm as its in the bay so is excellent for swimming or a spot of snorkelling. The beach is usually busy especially at weekends with the locals and there are plenty of vendors selling snacks, drinks and all sorts of things. A nice way to hang out meet some locals and people watch.oard park.

When: Daily
Where: Av. Sete de Setembro, s/n - Barra
Budget: $$- $$$(from 30-80 Reais) Beach is FREE and for a typical lunch between 30-80$ Brl 

9. Visit Praia do Forte  Things to do in Salvador 

Praia do Forte - Bahia - Things to do in Salvador

Praia do Forte - Bahia - Things to do in Salvador

Another excellent day out you can make is to Praia do Forte and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, natural with white sands and clear waters. Its about 80Km from the city of Salvador so will take approx 1 H 40min by car or you can take a tour with one of the agencies or just ask in your hotel, there is even a bus which goes from the bottom of the Elevador Lacerda for around 10$ Brl. You can also see Projeto Tamar which is the protection of sea turtles and sometimes you can even see the baby turtles being released into the sea.

When: Daily
Where: Av. do Farol, S/N - Zona Rural, Mata de São João
Budget: FREE BEACH $$- $$$(from 30-80 Reais) Transfers and lunch. (Projeto Tamar costs approx 18$ Brl.)

10. Take a visit to the the Museum -  Museu Afro-Brasileiros - Things to do in Salvador

Museu Afro Brasileiros Salvador

Museu Afro Brasileiros Salvador

With such a history and African culture in Bahia its worth taking a trip. The museum exhibits a variety of wood carvings, baskets, pottery and other artwork and crafts linking Brazilian and African artistic traditions. The museum is  just to the right of the Catedral basilica in the historical centre.

When: Open Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat & Sun 10am - 5pm
Where: Terreiro de Jesus, s/n, Prédio da Faculdade de Medicin, Pelourinho
Budget: $ (1 to 30 reais) Adults: R$5, Children (6 - 12yrs): $2.50

Budget Classification

$ 1 to 30 reais
$$ from 30 to 80 reais
$$$ from 80 to 140 reais
$$$$ from 140 to 250 reais
$$$$$ more than 250 reais

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