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Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia, Brazil. With a charming Old Town, which is a a World Heritage Site, a vibrant musical scene and popular Carnival celebrations, it is considered one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture.
Salvador is on a peninsula on the northeast coast of Brazil which shields the large Baía de Todos os Santos from the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the third largest in Brazil, sprawling for dozens of kilometers inland from the coast. Most visitors head for the coastal neighborhoods that cluster around where the bay meets the ocean.Salvador, Brazil has a tropical climate including rainforests and lush vegetation.
People of Salvador, as other people from the state of Bahia, have a reputation of being relaxed, easygoing, and fun-loving, even by Brazillian standards. On the bad side, this is also interpreted as lazyness and disgust of working; in a way, people of Salvador have reputation opposite to people from São Paulo.
Brazil is a country of social inequality, but in few places this is as evident as on Salvador. The social segregation is also evident, with large number of upper middle class and upper class citizens living in gated communities, which contrast with the huge slum-like neighborhoods located on elevated areas.
The Salvador's Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhães International Airport (SSA) is one of Brazil's main airports. All of the biggest Brazilian airlines have flights to the Bahian capital city. The city also receives flights from the main hubs of Europe, South America and the United States.
TAM (Domestic flights).
Gol (Domestic flights and Buenos Aires).
Avianca (Domestic flights).
Azul Linhas Aéreas (Domestic and regional flights).
Passaredo (Regional flights).
American Airlines (Miami).
Aerolineas Argentinas (Buenos Aires).
The airport is 28km from the city center or 32km. Two kinds of taxis are available in the airport, the executive taxis (Coometas and Comtas), and the normal taxis. Executive taxis are pre-paid, they have a table of prices rather than a meters. The other taxi option would be the normal taxis which are metered.
Salvador's long-distance bus station is in the middle of the new city, 14km from downtown. Salvador is accessible via scheduled buses from all around the country and from Paraguay. Inside the bus stations there are taxis and local buses which can all take you to many places in Salvador and the metropolitan area.
Salvador is a common stop on international cruise routes and was once visited by the Queen Elizabeth 2 during her sailing career. Note that the docks area can be dangerous. This area is linked to the Pelourinho historic centre by the Elevador Lacerda, and to the city by urban buses and executive buses to Iguatemi.
There are a number of transportation options available in Salvador, including taxis, buses and car rentals. the bus fares are quite affordable, although the taxi fares can be quite expensive if one is traveling a long distance.
The old city center can be easily explored on foot. To get between the upper and lower sections, take the Elevador Lacerda or the cable car, remember to take small change.
What to see
At the center of the Cidade Alta there are the 2 large squares Praça da Sé and the Terreiro de Jesus which are connected at the corner by the cathedral. The latter is probably the most lively part of town, with food carts and stalls through the day and revelers in the evening hours. The plaza feeds into the Cruzeiro de São Francisco, named for the cross in the square’s center.
Praça Municipal (City Square), Praça Tomé de Souza. Once the political seat of colonial Brazil, it is now a lively place to people-watch and see panoramic views over the bay.
Largo do Pelourinho — A fairly small triangular plaza, is among the oldest parts of town. You can guess from its name meaning "plaza of the pillory" what went on around there.
Mercado Modelo — The city's main market located in the lower town is and a good place for crafts and other souvenirs. In the adjacent square you can often see young men performing capoeira, the famous martial arts dance which originates from the area.
Solar do Unhão — The best place in Salvador to watch the sunset. It is an old style house located at the Baía de Todos os Santos. Inside there is a small museum (Museu de Arte Moderna) with local art pieces. Sometimes on Saturday evening there is a jazz concert.
Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra ((Farol da Barra for the lighthouse)), Largo do Farol da Barra - Barra BA, Brasil. is Bahia’s oldest fort was built in 1698. In addition to having superb views, the fort houses an excellent nautical museum, with relics and displays from the days of Portuguese seafaring.
Beach and Parks
Abaeté Park — A protected state park around the lake with same name. The lake is famous because of the stark contrast between the dark water and the very white sand dunes. There is a entertainment area with a lot of bars and live music.
Praia Porto da Barra (Porto da Barra beach), Praia Porto da Barra, Salvador, Bahia (near Avenida Oceânica and Avenida Sete de Setembro). Praia Porto da Barra beach is rather like the Pelourinho: small, picturesque, usually crowded, loaded with vendors selling everything imaginable, and roughly half those present are foreigners. The bay's waters are clear and calm, and the people-watching is fantastic. To the left of the lighthouse, Praia do Farol da Barra has a beach break popular with surfers. Barra's waterfront is lined with bars and restaurants and is well lit at night, but it gets a bit sleazy in the later hours.
What to do
You'll find a huge variety of things to do in Salvador. Some of the popular activities include:
Day tour of Salvador
Salvador golf courses
Salvador music festivals
A good brazil tour guide in Salvador, known as a guia de Salvador, will be able to show you around lots of the attractions and activities if you want to explore on your own. A good option to get a general idea and find your way around in the city is the "Salvador Bus", an open-top tour bus passing by the main points of interest and offering explanation on the way. For alternative crowd there is a free walking tour running in the city every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 3 pm from Cinema Glauber Rocha on Castro Alves square.
One of the main attractions in Salvador is the carnaval. Salvador's giant Carnival, the biggest of the world, according to the Guiness book of records, lasts for one week and is extremely popular with Brazilians and tourists alike. One can expect to have a lot of fun if they vacation in Salvador, Brazil during Carnival. Salvador also has many other attractions that tourists will find enjoyable. these include golf courses, museums and even an old 17th century fort. Anyone wishing to visit Salvador Brazil will find their trip to be entertaining, fun and full of wonderful memories.