From the classics, reserved and even unusual. Come with us to enjoy the sky change color
Take advantage of the list to continue dreaming … and plan to experience Salvador intensely
The sun rises and sets in any corner of the world. But you must agree that there are places that are more favored by nature. Surrounded by water, Salvador always reserves a show at each sunset. That’s because in addition to the exuberance of the All Saints Bay, the city has a great coast facing west – the side where the sun disappears on the horizon.
You can spend a week walking around the capital of Bahia watching a sunset every day, from different angles, and you won’t get tired of it. Some places are classic, others more reserved and some are even unusual. Some with a more romantic atmosphere, others ideal for a moment of reflection by yourself or even a meeting with friends.
Even in the places where the sun hides at this time of day, as in the neighborhood of Itapuã, the silhouette of the city is very charming and you can enjoy it in an invigorating sea bath. Discover here at Visit Salvador da Bahia some tips of unmissable tours in this fascinating city.
For this virtual tour, through photos and texts, we suggest that you turn on the sound and listen to an album that harmonizes perfectly with any of our tips: Solo in Tokyo, by Moreno Veloso. It really matches a sunset by the sea. You can even smell the breeze. And for the day when you can enjoy the street again, try to follow this list of suggestions, one by one. Make a nice itinerary through Salvador listening to this playlist and choose your favorite sunset to end the day.
We’ve prepared a perfect playlist for this experience. Listen now!
1. Applaud the king star at Farol da Barra
Coming to Salvador and not seeing the sunset at Farol da Barra is like coming to Salvador and not eating acarajé! Impossible! To paraphrase the Novos Baianos, when the sun goes down, the lighthouse comes to illuminate the waters of Bahia. It’s beautiful! And you can watch this late afternoon in the sea that surrounds you – inside a small boat or swimming in those calm waters – or sitting on the grass around the Lighthouse, from where people applaud the king star. Most likely you will face a very diverse environment, which has in love couples and groups of friends playing the guitar.
Another great option is to climb the tower of Santo Antônio da Barra Fort. The Barra Lighthouse houses the Bahia Nautical Museum, which has a historical collection made up of objects from different eras. From up there, you can see the entire length of Barra beach. From Christ to Porto. It is an unmissable tour!
2. Inside a boat, returning from a day trip on the Islands
You don’t even have to leave Salvador to go to an island. Discover the islands of Maré and Frades, which have beautiful beaches to enjoy the day. You can go by small boat, schooner or motorboat that leave from São Thomé de Paripe (Subúrbio Ferroviário), the Bahia Nautical Tourist Terminal (Comércio) or Bahia Marina (Av. Contorno). Tours for all tastes and budgets.
The tip is to return from the tour in the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset within the sea of All Saints Bay. The feeling is that the sun is so close that it is possible to touch it. The water is golden and warm. If you choose a small boat, you can also ask the sailor to stop for a dive while enjoying the sunset. The thoughts go far in that scenario. It is a tour that is worth the entire trip to Salvador.
3. Glauber’s terrace
The “Cine Metha” is a charm. Affectionately nicknamed Glauber Rocha, it faces the Castro Alves Square and the wonderful All Saints Bay. Together with the Gregório de Mattos Theater and the “Espaço Cultural da Barroquinha” – which are just next to each other – they form a true “cultural zone”, in addition to also having Rua do Couro alongside, with bags, clothes, hats, shoes and sandals, symbols of northeastern artisanal production.
If the location is already excellent, its architecture with large glass windows gives a wide view of the Bay and the historic buildings in downtown Salvador. In addition to movie theaters and warm popcorn, it has a café, a bookstore (LDM) and a restaurant (La Pasta Gialla Glauber Rocha). And if the icing on the cake is on the top, go up to the terrace and be surprised.
With the most beautiful sunset in the land of all the saints, from the terrace you have the perfect perception of the connection between urban and nature: you can see the emblematic Sulacap Building (end point of the carnivals of the Campo Grande Circuit); the Hotel Fasano (emblematic building from the 1930s); Sports Palace (where the legendary São João Theater was located), among many others. On the other hand, that big ocean in front of you, an infinite horizon and boats to compose the view.
You only have to go once to fall in love. Even with no structure like chairs, it is worth the trip. And there’s more: when all this is over, keep an eye on cultural programming as well. There have been really cool events up there with beautiful people and a lot of good music, so you can arrive at sunset and stay for the night out.
Address: Praça Castro Alves, no number – Centro. Opening hours: from 12:30 pm to 9:00 pm, every day of the week. Telephone #: (71) 3011-4706. Free entrance.
4. In the middle of Pelourinho
How about having a drink or a coffee watching the sunset after a whole day strolling through Pelourinho? The “Hotel Casa do Amarelindo” is in one of those colorful houses, close to the Ice Cream Shop A Cubana, near the Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation.
From the top, with a panoramic view of the Port of Salvador, you can sit comfortably, listening to ambient music and choose food and drinks from the hotel’s restaurant. In a 19th century colonial mansion, facing the All Saints Bay, you can test your knowledge and guess which are the buildings that form an architectural collage on the horizon. Just to make you curious: you can see the Boa Viagem beach and the Bonfim Church from there.
5. From the sea or the lookout
Vila Brandão has a breathtaking view! Founded by a fisherman, the community preserves, even today, the simplicity and receptivity of its residents. All its small extension is embraced by the All Saints Bay, which makes the sunset even more special.
If you are into a little more adventure, you can swim to the “floating lookout” of the village. In a small stretch of concrete, without walls and with a low height above the water, it is possible to see the sun touching the sea at dusk. Being in the same perspective of the horizon makes the sunset even more charming. Oh! You can get there by boat too.
Whoever arrives at “Mirante Wildberger”, which is behind the Church of Vitória, can go down the stairs and watch the sunset from within the community. Another option is to stay up there, at the lookout. The view reaches the islands of Itaparica, Frades and Maré, in addition to having a fabulous tree, making the perfect setting for your photos.
6. Church of Santíssimo Sacramento do Passo
Famous for the film “O Pagador de Promessas”, by Dias Gomes, the Church of Santíssimo Sacramento do Passo is located in Carmo. It is there that we suggest an unconventional sunset. A blessed one. And did you know that you can climb the tower and see a good part of the Historic Center from there?
In the process of improving this bi-secular church, the visit to the tower where the bells are located was also open to the public. From there, you have a wide view of the Historic Center of Salvador. The view reaches, among many other things, the Lacerda Elevator, Largo Terreiro de Jesus, the Jorge Amado Foundation, the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black People, a large part of Baixa dos Sapateiros, the churches of Carmo, Boqueirão and Santo Antônio, in addition to a broad view of the All Saints Bay.
7. Sunset and a seriguela ice cream, how about that?
With an extensive strip of sand, Praia da Penha, in Cidade Baixa, reserves a great surprise in the evening. In this small portion of Ribeira beach, in front of the Penha Church, one of the most beautiful spectacles in the city is hidden.
The calm water is the right shelter for the sun to land. Around it, almond trees give a romantic atmosphere that attracts couples to the wooden benches strategically positioned in front of the sea.
It is not a place much explored by tourists, but it is quite frequented by those who live in that region. This makes it even more interesting, because you can feel the city pulsing for those who live there. It is even worth spending an entire afternoon there.
Less than a kilometer away, there are famous ice cream shops, such as Ribeira ice cream and the Ice Cream Museum, as well as several restaurants that serve great portions of typical foods for a good price.
8. Casa de Iemanjá, Rio Vermelho
A late afternoon that allows a strong connection with the so characteristic religiosity of Salvador. Watching the sunset at Santana Cove, in Rio Vermelho, is like that. Famous for the Iemanjá Festival, which takes place every February 2nd, and also for its nightlife, everything becomes good and happy as soon as you sit on that small wall facing the sea.
Casa de Iemanjá, on the left side of the beach, is an excellent choice. It is always open so that visitors can enjoy the altar in honor of the orixá, light a candle and say a prayer. There are those who prefer to enjoy the sunset falling on the sand and sit with their feet being washed by the sea, or those who venture to climb on the rocks to watch the day go away in the beautiful reflections that are formed in small pools of water.
The classics of the classics
9. Ponta de Humaitá
Do you know the cliché that can always be different? It is the sunset at Ponta de Humaitá. There, the dusk has international fame and is also a postcard of the city. Located at one end of the Itapagipe Peninsula, with the islands of Itaparica, Frades and Maré in the background, the place has the great advantage of being one of the points of Salvador that further enters the All Saints Bay.
The only lighthouse that is inside the Bay – the Humaitá Lighthouse– is also there. The sea embraces the sun in a jaw-dropping spectacle. And to appreciate such beauty, it is worth more than one visit. Or even a tour of the surroundings, during the evening. Behind the Humaitá Fort, which is above the tip, you can sit on molded concrete benches just to enjoy the view. It is priceless, too, to sit on the rocks that are in the cove and to enter, a little more, in the sea of the All Saints Bay. It is one of the most famous places and does justice to the post.
10. Lacerda Elevator
Here is the first tip: don’t want to see the sunset from the elevator. It is not panoramic. Yes, there are a lot of people who still think it is! Jokes aside, the view from above, however, from the Municipal Square, exceeds any expectation. It is the Salvador that you can imagine in any book by Jorge Amado.
From there, it is possible to distinguish the contrast between the euphoria of Pelourinho, and the calmness brought by the view of the All Saints Bay sea. Left or right side of the monument, any direction is worth a calm visit, observing every detail of the boats that give life to the sea, the architecture of the Mercado Modelo, the Fort of São Marcelo, the reflection of the sun setting on the mirrored structure of the Elevator. People who walk from side to side give total charm at dusk. It is Salvador in its most poetic form.
11. Porto da Barra
The calm sea of Porto da Barra is an irrefutable invitation to see, from within, the setting sun. The beach can be full, as in most cases, with a loud clapping which is already a tradition in the evening. But, inside the sea, it is as if everything and everyone is silent. The day goes away around the boats that are anchored there. It is the sea bath that we often need to restore our energy. It is salting the soul in a stylish way.
And anyone who thinks that, at dusk, the beach loses its magic is wrong. It is worth stretching the tour a little more and enjoying the warm and transparent water that, even at night, allows you to see down to your feet.
12. Bathing in the sea or good music … or both
The evening in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia (MAM), at Solar do Unhão, is a classic from Salvador. Surrounded by the sea, the MAM is located between two beaches: the “pebbles” beach, going down the Solar do Unhão Community, and the MAM beach (inside the Museum’s Sculpture Park). One place is next to the other, but each one has its charm.
The patio at Solar do Unhão is calm during the week. There are Yoga classes in the morning and you will be able to watch a beautiful sunset, breathing culture, cradled by the sound of the ocean waves hitting the concrete wall where you will be sitting. On Saturdays, silence makes room for the excitement of JAM at MAM. For years, on this day, the night has come to life with the sound of jazz, being shared by hundreds of people.
But those who don’t let go their feet in the water, can go down the stairs from up the museum, on the right side, and go to Prainha do MAM. With a small strip of sand, the cove has crystal clear water and a sunset that gilds the calm sea. On the left side, the Solar do Unhão beach is full of stones. To access it, it is necessary to enter the community of Gamboa de Baixo a bit and go down a staircase.
On Monday, when the museum is closed, the lookout at the entrance takes center stage for those who will see the sunset there. From up there, you can see the sun setting framed by an iron portal signed by the artist Carybé, made shortly before his death.
By Paula Outerelo
About our collaborator: Paula Outerelo is from Bahia, journalist and in love with Salvador. She loves the light and the sea and likes to spend the late afternoon watching the sun dive on the beaches of Salvador. She is one of those people who send flowers to Yemanjá, tie ribbons at the Bonfim Church and, when she is not working, she can be easily found at the Largo parties of the city.