Gastronomy, religion, popular festivities, architecture and handicrafts… there is nothing worth missing in Salvador da Bahia. All these things stand out for being a mixture of influences from various races, generations and sources of wisdom, making Salvador a city filled with contrasts that will always fascinate visitors. With this panorama it is hard to choose, but here is a list of essentials for the general public, not to be taken as an order of preference.

Elevador Lacerda

An imposing steel structure incorporating an elevator that connects the Upper City and the Lower City in just 30 seconds. It transports 28,000 passengers a day in the off season and 50,000 a day in the peak season

Mercado Modelo

Around 300 outlets selling art, handicrafts and fashion articles are combined with bars and restaurants serving typical diches, plus capoeira and samba performances.

Forte do São Marcelo

What is known as the Sea Fortress that formerly protected the city now houses the City Museum, with memories of the sea, and the Fortress Museum.

International Museum of Naïve Art

Over 8,000 works by painters from Brazil and elsewhere in the world from the 15th century to the present. It features the biggest canvas, a peculiar depiction of the city of Rio.


This is the historical quarter of Salvador, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Among other buildings it features that of the City Council, the Municipal Chamber, the Municipal Square and the Rio Branco and Archbishop’s Palaces.

Solar de Unhão

One of most salient examples of the colonial architecture of Bahia, which has been fully restored. It houses the Museum of Modern Art.

Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim

The most popular church of Bahia. This is where the traditional Lavado de Bonfim [a cleansing ritual] takes place. Miraculous virtues are attributed to this place, together with the power to grant wishes.


This old fishermen’s village is today an urban center with a shopping mall, pharmacies, restaurants and several entertainment establishments. It also features a magnificent beach with protected areas thanks to its impressive coral reef.




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