2-day itinerary: Upper Town and Lower Town
Salvador is the largest tourist hub in Bahia, and one of the most sought after destinations in Brazil.
It is not by chance: the cultural multiplicity, the result of the fusion of races and customs, gave rise to one of the most fascinating metropolises in the world. You can see this mixture in the face of the people, in the religious syncretism, in the musicality, in the folkloric richness and in our history. Rich and provocative in its cuisine of origin in peoples as diverse as Europeans, Africans and Indians.
Salvador is also famous for hosting the biggest street party on the planet: the carnival, which attracts tourists from all over the world and from Brazil.
For this reason, the city is considered “the cultural capital of the country”, the birthplace of great names in the artistic, national and international scene.
And like any big capital, Salvador needs much more than two days to be explored, but that was the time we had to get to know some of its main points of interest.
Our itinerary included the Morro de São Paulo island as the main focus and as the accommodations are very expensive on New Year’s Eve we decided to spend two nights in Salvador and then leave for Morro, where we stayed 1 week.
So let’s go to our short itinerary in the capital of Bahia.
We arrived in Salvador on a Azul flight at the city’s international airport. Our official transportation in this city was Uber , and on this route between the airport and the city center, to be more precise Pelourinho, it was this way.
There are 25 km between the airport and the center and the value of this “race” came out about 40 reais.
We chose Pelourinho for geographical reasons, because of the ease of walking through the center and because on the last day we would leave the sea terminal which is located next to the Mercado Modelo, and consequently next to the Pelourinho and Lacerda Elevator.
We arrived at the inn around noon and as our room was not ready yet, we left our bags and went out to kick our legs.
Itinerary in Cidade Alta (historic center) – First Day
The historic center of Salvador, with its churches and colonial houses, enchants its visitors.
Listed as a National Historical Heritage and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it houses the Pelourinho, Santo Antônio Além do Carmo, the Mercado Modelo and the Solar do Unhão – 17th century building where the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia and Parque das Sculptures .
Our starting point was Ladeira da Saúde , where our hostel was, we crossed Av. JJ Seabra (a popular shopping street in Salvador) and went up Ladeira de Ferrão . As soon as we finished climbing this slope, we were two steps from the heart of Pelourinho .
At Ladeira de Ferrão, we passed a point of interest: the XVIII Theater .
Still walking towards Largo do Pelourinho , we passed the City Museum .
When we came across Largo do Pelourinho it was time for many photos and to get to know one of the most visited and known tourist spots in Salvador and Bahia.
In this section there are some points of reference and of interest, they are: Conjunto do Casas do Senac , Teatro Sesc Pelourinho , Praça do Reggae , Fundação Casa Jorge Amado and Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos .
After some time admiring and taking many photos we headed towards Baixa do Sapateiro . At this point we can highlight another place: the Casa do Benin Museum .
We continued walking and now we reach the Church and the Third Order of Mount Carmel . Right next to the Carmo Museum .
We took some pictures of the Church’s door and continued on Rua do Passe . In this street the highlights are: Church of the SS. Sacramento do R. do Passo , Casa das Sete Mortes and Largo Jubmbia .
After this small circuit, we continue again towards Largo do Pelourinho and go up Rua Alfredo de Brito , a place full of craft shops, restaurants and bars. Through it we would reach our next destination: the Terreiro de Jesus .
Terreiro de Jesus is a large square filled with historical and important sites, among which we can highlight: Church of São Pedro dos Clérigos , Museum of Archeology and Ethnology , Afro-Brazilian Museum , Former Faculty of Medicine , Chafariz do Terreiro , the Seminar of St. Damaso and the Cathedral Basilica .
From this point we went to Praça da Sé , another place full of stories to tell.
There we realized some important points: Museum of Santa Casa de Misericórdia , Church of Misericórdia , Memorial das Baianas and the Archiepiscopal Palace .
We continue along Rua Misericórdia, pass by the City Hall and finally arrive at the most famous elevator in Brazil, the Elevador Lacerda , which links the upper city to the lower city. In this place you will still find the Governors Memorial and the Rio Branco Palace .
As we did not intend to visit the lower city on this day and it was New Year’s Eve, we left our “descent” in the elevator for the night, when we would go to the turn show and take advantage of it to use it free of charge, because in this specific day the usage fee is not charged (0.15 cents per person one way or return).
We returned all the way towards the inn, because we had already done the whole circuit of the upper city. It was time to relax, put your feet up and take a quick nap, so that we can enjoy the fireworks and the turn with shows at Praça Cairu (square located under the Lacerda Elevator, which is next to the Mercado Modelo).
At night, around 19h, we left again towards Elevador Lacerda and we enjoyed the turn with the free show in the city. At midnight a fireworks display ended our night.
Itinerary in Cidade Baixa, Barra and Rio Vermelho – Second Day
For the second day we booked a visit to the spots in the lower city and a visit to the bohemian neighborhood of Rio Vermelho.
We woke early in the morning to enjoy the inn’s coffee and around 10 am we started walking towards Pelourinho and the Lacerda Elevator. We took the elevator down and walked to the Mercado Modelo , a point of interest in the lower city.
As it was the first day of the year, the market was closed and we decided to take an Uber towards the Ribeira neighborhood.
We took a short car tour of the neighborhood, took some pictures and asked the driver to drop us off at another very famous spot in the city of Salvador, the Senhor do Bonfim Church .
We arrived at the place and found a “crowd”. Sunday and the first day of the year, many people attended Mass.
We took some good photos in the immensity of Senhor do Bonfim ribbons placed on the church railings, and, after some time there, we went, again from Uber , to Barra beach , or to be more exact, to Farol da Barra .
In Salvador, you can find beaches for all tastes, on a shoreline of about 50km. Some sections are lit up, have bike paths, sports squares and restaurants where you can taste the delights of Bahian cuisine.
Praia Baixa is located in Praia da Barra, where internationally famous beaches are located, such as Porto da Barra, flanked by two 17th century forts, and Farol da Barra, with natural pools at low tide. Barra’s nightlife is famous, not only for the beach lighting, which allows a night bath, but also for the waterfront bars.
From Barra, following one of the carnival circuits, you arrive at Ondina and soon after, at Rio Vermelho. Transparent water beaches suitable for surfing or just for a football with friends. Further on, the beaches of Amaralina, Pituba, Corsário, Jaguaribe, Piatã and Placaford, very popular for sports, with squares, courts and cycle paths.
Next comes Itapuã, prose and verse by poets like Vinícius de Moraes and Dorival Caymmi. Then there are Stella Maris and Flamengo, very popular for surfing.
Hot day and with a sun at the “peak” we reached Barra. We walked along the shore, and, amidst many tourists and residents who were enjoying the favorable climate, we went to the Lighthouse. Here were some pictures and a pleasant walk around the monument.
At that moment it was time for a strategic stop to have lunch and enjoy the local cuisine.
After a few beers and a fish, we walked to the other end of the beach for some pictures. From this point we decided that the day was over.
Again we asked for Uber and proceeded to the Pelourinho region, where we were staying.
A little rest and legs up, we decided that at night we would visit the bohemian neighborhood of Bahia, the Rio Vermelho .
A very nice place and I highly recommend it!
We went on again with our official transport, Uber , and directed us to know the neighborhood and its infinity of options of bars, restaurants and concert halls.
Our evening menu was showered with pizza and a walk through the neighborhood.
After dinner and the tour, we returned to the inn.
In this way, we closed our short and optimized itinerary for the Bahian capital.
The next day was reserved for breakfast and transfer to Morro de São Paulo, our next and main destination in Bahia.
Confira viagens pelo Brasil e pelo mundo.
Você escolhe o destino e a gente te guia.
Separamos dicas e o passo a passo para você planejar sua próxima viagem. Uma vez que você começar, não vai mais querer parar.
Não deixe de viajar porque está sem tempo de planejar. Nós do Soul Viajero criamos o seu roteiro, e você se preocupa somente em fazer as malas, viajar e relaxar.