From up here I see you, beautiful Salvador!
A plural city to be experienced from another angle
Salvador is one of those cities that enchants for its simplicity. In the good Bahian language, it is “massa” (great) to walk along the shore feeling the sea breeze, going up and down the slopes of the old center, observing the secular houses or simply observing its people’s unique way of speaking.
But it is still possible to explore the capital of Bahia much more, unveiling it from the top, through viewpoints that show a plural city, with a diverse and exuberant ecosystem. They are inspiring places to let your eyes rest in landscapes that range from natural to urban, that make you calm or agitated, but that always take the breath away from those who are enjoying every moment in the first capital of Brazil.
See here our selection of lookouts in Salvador. They range from the most accessible to the most unusual. Before you go, don’t forget the mask, always have your hands sanitized with 70° alcohol and keep social distance (1.5 meters from each person).
Attention: the city is in phase 3 of reopening, and there may be changes according to the new protocols. Therefore, it is better to call ahead (if it is not open 24 hours) to find out the opening hours and preventive measures for each location.
1. Wildberger Lookout
The Corredor da Vitória, on Sete de Setembro Avenue, draws attention for the great “green shade” formed by the amount of centennial trees that give all the charm to the street. And, in the encounter with the Graça neighborhood, a tree, affectionately called by visitors as “great bonzai”, stands out among the buildings.
It is the first visiting card for Wildberger Lookout, which is located in Largo da Vitória, near the Church of Nossa Senhora da Vitória and next to the skyscraper that bears the same surname. Around this large tree there is a bench, which makes the place a perfect spot for meetings, beautiful photos and rest breaks, as it shadows at any time of the day.
The pleasant climate, with constant wind coming from the parapet, makes this one of the coolest lookouts in Salvador. The view of All Saints Bay is spectacular. Ahead, the look gets lost in the immensity of the sea, in the most diverse shades of blue. On the left side, it is possible to observe the “Cemitério dos Ingleses” and the Church of Santo Antônio Além da Barra, in addition to the shacks that make up Vila Brandão, a small community that is located just down there.
The place is especially beautiful in the evening, with the golden light that usually gives even more brightness to each point of the lookout. It’s free and well worth the visit.
Largo da Vitória – Vitória, Salvador – BA, 40081-305.
Salvador Bahia Brazil
2. Parque das Dunas lookout
The extensive coastal strip means that Salvador has the sea as its main protagonist. But what many people don’t know is that part of its coastline had about 30km of dunes, from the neighborhoods of Amaralina to Itapuã, as a natural lookout a century ago.
Today, with a much more timid size due to urbanization, but still as far as the eye can see and with an incalculable environmental richness, Parque das Dunas, located in the north of the city, preserves part of this ecosystem that helps regulate the climate of all Salvador. There are six million square meters, very close to the airport, with an average of one kilometer of sand, native forest and twelve untouched lagoons, being considered the largest Urban Park of Dunes, Lagoons and Sandbank in Brazil.
From its lookout, it is possible to see an immensity of white mountains, with green islands. The tour is even more fascinating with a walk through the ecosystem, guided by environmental monitors and guards, which allows you to see exuberant fauna and flora up close. There are countless species of orchids, as well as a natural bird observatory with species such as the burrowing owl, peregrine falcon and hawks.
Av. José Augusto Tourinho Dantas, nº. 1001, Flamengo Beach.
Salvador Bahia Brazil
More information by phone: 71 3036-1399 / Phone #s: (71) 3036-1399 and (71) 98888-0188
3. Casa do Carnaval Terrace
Salvador is known worldwide for its carnival. Each year, there are millions of people at the largest street party in the world. This, of course, is a museum theme in the city. Casa do Carnaval, located in the historic center of the city, holds souvenirs and enriches Bahian people’s culture even more through a visual and sensory journey.
On one of its four floors is the terrace, which has scenography inspired by the parties in Salvador. The space is decorated with strong colors, colorful ribbons on the ceiling and graphics that refer to the party. This outdoor space has high and low tables, with a small stage for pocket show, and a privileged view of the All Saints Bay, framed with the Lacerda Elevator and Mercado Modelo. It is also surprising to observe, from one of its sides, the architecture of the historic houses of Pelourinho.
Casa do Carnaval (Carnival House)
Praça Ramos de Queirós, no number – Pelourinho, Salvador – BA, 40026-055
More information by phone: 71 3324-6760.
4. Glauber Rocha’s terrace
Going to the movies and then enjoying an unusual sunset at Espaço Itaú, which is right in the center of the city, opposite Castro Alves Square. This is an excellent itinerary for those who want to leave the obvious tours in Salvador, combining cultural programming with a break to appreciate a view that exposes an urban city and full of natural beauty.
Affectionately named Cine Glauber Rocha, in honor of the Bahian filmmaker, the place has a very charming terrace. From there, you can still see: the emblematic Sulacap Building, the end point of the carnivals of the Osmar Circuit; the Hotel Fasano, located in a historic building where a local newspaper worked; and the Sports Palace, where the legendary São João Theater was located.
Even though it is on an overcrowded road, and a few steps from Pelourinho, the lookout asks for a few minutes of silence to absorb the calm of the Bay waters. On the horizon line, the statue of the poet Castro Alves harmonizes with the sea in the background. Go up to the terrace and be surprised.
Glauber Rocha’s terrace
Castro Alves Square, no number – Centro, Salvador – BA, 40020-160
Temporarily closed due to pandemic
5. Praia da Paciência lookout
The time of year when the Rio Vermelho lookout gets the most spotlight is on February 2nd, at the famous popular celebration of Iemanjá. The view is privileged and quite disputed, because on the right you can see the charming cove of Paciência Beach and, on the left, the little beach of Santana where Iemanjá’s House is located and where most of the Queen of the Sea festivities are concentrated.
For the rest of the year, the lookout is also a place for groups that get together for stretching classes, yoga and other activities. At dusk, the sky is painted in orange or pink tones, with the sun embracing the horizon and hiding behind the hill that has the same name as the cove. Are you going to enjoy a bar or night club in the most bohemian neighborhood of Salvador? Try to arrive a little earlier and enjoy the sunset at the lookout. It will make you sigh.
Praia da Paciência lookout
R. da Paciência, 263 – Rio Vermelho, Salvador – BA, 41950-010
Free. Open 24h.
6. Itapuã Lookout
Spending an afternoon in Itapuã is one of the most famous and desired tours for those passing through or living in Salvador. Eternalized in the music of Vinícius de Moraes and Dorival Caymmi, such as “Tarde em Itapuã”, “Saudade de Itapuã” and “A Lenda do Abaeté”, the neighborhood has, since five years ago, a lookout in one of its busiest stretches .
It’s not a high place. It is more kind of a reserved corner, amid the great flow of people who pass by the place, to enjoy the open sea of crystalline and warm waters that make bathers happy. In the evening, the sun hides behind skyscrapers, showing a beautiful silhouette of the urban Salvador. There is also the famous sculpture of the Mermaid of Itapuã, representing Iemanjá, signed by the Bahian artist Mário Cravo Jr. It was inaugurated in 1959 and, since then, marks the entrance to Itapuã.
Av. Octávio Mangabeira – Itapuã, Salvador – BA, 41610-011
Open to the public
7. Municipal Square
The Municipal Square, Historic Center of Salvador, is excellent for a contemplative afternoon. From the balustrade you have a perfect view of the All Saints Bay. Take the opportunity to have a coconut “maltado” at the Cubana Ice Cream Shop, take that photo of the Lacerda Elevator and admire the view from the top: Mercado Modelo, Bahia Nautical Tourist Terminal, São Marcelo Fort and Lower City. The click is guaranteed!
Another tip is to enter the Rio Branco Palace: what many people don’t know is that the space, in addition to being open to visitors on the first floor, has one of the most special views of the city. On the Palace balcony, you will have a side view of the Lacerda Elevator, in addition to the architecture that is really beautiful!
8. Morro do Cristo and Farol da Barra
Morro do Cristo is very close to the Lighthouse, but it has a sunset with a very different perspective. From above, the image of Christ is the guardian of such beauty. It overlooks Barra Beach, with the lighthouse in the background, and also part of Ondina Beach.
It is one of the most famous postcards of Salvador, exactly in the evening, when the sun sets against the Lighthouse, with an orange sky that even looks like a painting. In summer, the show is even more beautiful. But, at any time of the year, it is fantastic. Most likely, you are going to face a very diverse environment, which has since couples in love to groups of friends playing the guitar.
At Farol da Barra, the best option is to climb the tower and have a 360° view from up there. The tour is complete by going to the Nautical Museum of Bahia, which has a historical collection formed by objects from different eras, some of them submerged for up to 300 years, and which help to understand the relationship between man and the sea and between Bahia with the Lighthouse .
Morro do Cristo
Av. Oceânica – Barra, Salvador – BA
Open to the public
9. Our Lady of Monte Serrat Fort
The lookout of Our Lady of Monte Serrat Fort is one of the classics of Salvador. Strategically built on the site due to the calm water cove, hidden by the hills that covered the area, it is also close to the traditional Church of Senhor do Bonfim, in the Lower City.
The tourist spot is always very busy at dusk. Surrounded by a lawn, the Fort is at the entrance to the All Saints Bay, with a privileged view of Salvador and the Island of Itaparica. Just below, you can also walk through Ponta de Humaitá. The Ponta de Humaitá Lighthouse is the only one of the 3 lighthouses in the city located inside the sea water, on the shore of Monte Serrat beach. It’s worth the tour.
Our Lady of Monte Serrat Fort
Ponta de Humaitá, Salvador – BA, 40301-155
10. São Diogo Fort
The São Diogo Fort is a secular construction, which refers to the foundation of our country, initially built in 1536, being the first building in Brazil! The Fort is at the base of Santo Antônio Hill, on the right side of Porto da Barra beach, where the Pereira Castle once existed.
At the top of the building, there is an open area with structure for events. From there, you can have a privileged view of the immensity of the sea. Another option is to choose a table well positioned at the “Mirante do Forte São Diogo” Bistro, perfect for admiring the bustle of Porto da Barra beach. The place is ideal for a post beach, a chat, delicious food and a cold drink.
Inside the Fort, there is still the “Espaço Carybé das Artes” and, daily, from 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm, images from the collection are projected in “video mapping” on the Fort’s facade. So colorful! Very beautiful!
11. Terrace of the Municipal Secretariat for Sustainability, Innovation and Resilience (SECIS)
The building of the Municipal Secretariat for Sustainability, Innovation and Resilience (Secis) in Salvador stands out in the Comércio district for its facade covered by 1,200 plants of 17 species. The “green building” has an equally special terrace, with a green roof system, solar panels, vegetable garden and a stingless beekeeping, important for plant pollination.
It is possible to take a guided tour of the terrace, where you can observe the urban routine of Salvador from above. On the terrace, the #LajeTalks has also taken place, a free project with debates on current and extremely relevant topics for a sustainable and creative city. Keep an eye on Secis social networks to learn how to visit the place. There, you also get to know the cultural program of the terrace.
Rua da Grécia, nº 14, Comércio, Salvador, Bahia.
Guided tour suspended due to pandemic
12. Capoeira Fort
The Santo Antônio Além do Carmo Fort, better known as Capoeira Fort, had its current structure started in November 1695, under the João de Lencastre General Government (1694-1702), and completed in 1703, at D. Rodrigo da Costa (1702-1705).
In the period from 1982 to 1988, the Ilê Aiyê Afro Block carried out its rehearsals inside the fortification. In 1990, also housing the Popular Culture Center (Centro de Cultura Popular), the place maintained only two Capoeira schools: the “Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola”, by Mestre Pastinha, and the “Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho”, by Mestre Moraes. The capoeira was what ensured the cultural identity and self-sustainability of the fort.
On the top floor of the fortification, there is a wide view of Comércio and a good part of the Santo Antônio Além do Carmo neighborhood. On the one hand, you see the Church and the main Largo of the neighborhood, with its pulsating cultural and social life; on the other, it is possible to see even the Lower City, in addition, of course, to a horizon in the immensity of the sea of Bahia.
Largo de Santo Antônio Além do Carmo, no number – Santo Antônio, Salvador – BA, 40301-330
Mirante da Praia da Paciência. Novo Normal. Rio Vermelho. Salvador Bahia. Foto Tércio Campelo.