Back to the Lower City

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A list of 10 classic places in Salvador

Live and revive unforgettable experiences

For those who have already visited Salvador, live here or are planning to come, they will definitely include the classic sights of the Lower City on their next tour. The explanation of the division between Upper City and Lower City is like this: in the upper part, there is the Historic Center, which in the past was built as a strategic point on the coast to dominate the immense bay. The Lower City is on the coast, bathed by the All Saints Bay, and has some of the most characteristic tourist attractions in Salvador, such as the Church of Bonfim and the Humaitá Lighthouse.

Even for those who already know it, there is a constant desire to return to Salvador, revive experiences and catch up on old times. Visit Salvador da Bahia has gathered here the most traditional tours in the city. This time, we’re going back to Lower City to see places from another angle and learn some beautiful stories. Here we go!

Check other traditional churches in the Lower City

1. Basilica of Senhor do Bonfim

Friday Mass, white clothes, ribbon on the arm and faith in Senhor do Bonfim. Tell us… you can’t wait to take another photo in front of this very symbolic church, of the most beautiful grid of colored ribbons in Brazil, can you?

Salvador has many traditions and, certainly, one of the most important is to climb the Holy Hill (Colina Sagrada) to say thanks for the week at the Basilica Sanctuary Senhor do Bonfim. It is here that one of the biggest popular celebrations in the country takes place: the traditional Lavagem do Bonfim, a symbol of the religious syncretism of Bahia, where Catholics and Candomblé followers share the same faith. Learn more at this link.

2. Basilica of Our Lady Conceição da Praia

Next to the Mercado Modelo and Lacerda Elevator, is the Basilica of Our Lady Conceição da Praia. Did you know that it is in this church that the famous Lavagem do Bonfim begins?

In 1549, Portuguese ships docked in Salvador. An image of the patron saint of Lisbon accompanied the troop’s great journeys. The image, unique in the world, was built on the first building, whose ruins still exist today. The image of Our Lady Immaculate Conception reigned supreme until 1946, when the nun was proclaimed Patron Saint of Bahia.

The Church of Our Lady of Conceição da Praia, located on Rua Conceição da Praia, is practically in front of the sea. Its name was chosen by the population, as it is located close to the beach. Built in 1623, it is one of the oldest parishes in the Archdiocese of São Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

Basilica of Our Lady Conceição da Praia
Address: Rua da Conceição da Praia – Igreja, no number– Comércio – CEP: 40015-250.
Phone #s: (71) 3038-6250 / 3038-6254
E-mail: / Website:

To go shopping

3. Mercado Modelo

There are more than 250 shops selling local crafts, souvenirs, clothes, sweets, cachaças, the famous Bonfim ribbons and other small items from Bahia. Now, there is an integrated square around the building, making it even easier to find incredible angles for that classic photo, with the Mercado Modelo and other tourist scenes in the background.

Mercado Modelo is surrounded by postcards of the city, such as the Lacerda Elevator and Salvador’s Nautical Tourist Terminal. And now there is also the City of Music in Bahia, which has just opened, a tour that is more than unmissable! Learn more at this link.

4. São Joaquim Fair

Strolling through the countless alleys of São Joaquim Fair you will surely find a little of everything that Bahia has to offer. People come and go, herbs of the most varied types, fresh fruit, pots produced in the Bahia region, animals, clay crafts, straw baskets and bags, religious items, mouth-watering delicacies and astonishing colors.

Walking around there is a tradition, and eating well too. Located on a small beachfront, the restaurants in the revitalized part of the fair are unmissable, not only for the stunning view of the All Saints Bay, but also for the menu. Pôr do Sol da Diva, for example, has feijoada as its flagship, but it also serves moqueca, mocotó, pititinga and other delights.

São Joaquim Fair
Address: 40301-155 – Calçada, Salvador – BA
Opening: every day from 5am to 5pm
Important: The restaurants in the revitalized wing do not need reservations, but it’s a good idea to arrive early to guarantee a place.

Excellent cuisine

5. Restaurants at Pedra Furada

Is there anything more like Salvador than eating a dish made with palm oil, in a restaurant with tables facing the sea? The Pedra Furada restaurants are very close to the Church of Bonfim and are excellent for groups. You will find the natural beauty of the city and the delicious typical Bahian cuisine. The fish is always very fresh, the beer is cold and the moquecas are a good choice.

Recanto da Lua Cheia Bar
Rua Rio Negro, 2 – Monte Serrat, Salvador-BA, 40325-250
Phone #: (71) 3315-1275
Pietro’s Bar
Rua Rio Negro, 6 – Pedra Furada – Monte Serrat, Salvador-BA
Phone: (71) 3316-3395

6. Ribeira Ice Cream Parlor

How about a tropical fruit ice cream to refresh? The Ribeira Ice Cream Parlor is one of the most traditional in Salvador. It was opened in 1931. Tropical fruit ice cream is the specialty, such as mangaba, biribiri, cajá and soursop.

Ribeira ice cream parlor
Address: Rua da Penha, 87 – Ribeira, Salvador – BA, 40421-110
Contact: (71) 3316-5451

7. Solar Amado Bahia

On the edge of Ribeira, there is a beautiful mansion facing the sea. More than 114 years old, Solar Amado Bahia was built and sculpted by hand, with a colonial project of eclectic architecture. It has 52 rooms, more than 107 doors and a profusion of colors, styles and shapes, with plaster walls in almost every room (painting that imitates marble). The property has three floors, two of which are open to the public. At the back of the manor is the Real Ice cream Parlor, which, in addition to the wide variety of flavors, also has a space for children, ideal for a family outing.

Solar Amado Bahia
Address: Rua Porto dos Tainheiros, 80, Solar Amado Bahia / Museu do Sorvete, Bairro da Ribeira
Opening hours: Thursday to Monday, from 10 am to 7 pm. (Tuesdays and Wednesdays not open)
Admission: access to the ice cream shop is free. To access the Museu do Sorvete/Solar Amado Bahia, a maintenance fee of R$ 10.00 is charged.
Phone #: (71) 2132-0017

Natural Beauties

8. Ponta do Humaitá and Monte Serrat Fort

Located on the shore of Monte Serrat beach, the Ponta do Humaitá Lighthouse has one of the most popular sunsets in Salvador. That’s because it is located at one of the ends of the Itapagipe Peninsula, with the islands of Itaparica, Frades and Maré in the background, being one of the points in Salvador that goes deeper into the All Saints Bay.

Of the three lighthouses in the city, it is the only one with a structure in the sea. Because of that, when the tide rises, it covers part of the lighthouse and makes everything even more beautiful.
To have a privileged view of the sea and the sunset, another tip is to stay at Monte Serrat Fort, considered one of the most beautiful military monuments in Bahia for its harmonious lines. From this fort, you can see Salvador on one side and Itaparica Island on the other.

9. Seashore from Ribeira to Penha Beach

The calm sea and white sand of the Lower City’s seafront are an invitation to leisure. This cove has a shallow sea and clear water. Penha Beach, for example, has good options for tents with food, drink and chair and umbrella service. But, listen: if you want tranquility, prefer to go from Tuesday to Thursday, because on other days of the week, the beach is very crowded and cars play loud music.
Opposite the beach, separated by Rua da Penha, is the architectural complex formed by the Archbishop’s Summer Palace and the Church of Our Lady da Penha de França.

Ribeira’s seashore starts at the height of the Church of Bonfim. The strip of sand goes to Salvador’s Public Fishing Terminal.

10. Boa Viagem beach

And we are also going back to Boa Viagem beach! Bathed by the calm waters of the All Saints Bay, the place has around it the Fort of Monte Serrat, the Church of Our Lady of Boa Viagem and the unique view of the buildings in Barra.

Experiences in Salvador