Another list of cool places, this time in the Lower City
Short and immersive tours to get to know the city your way
Imagine spending a whole day in the Lower City, in Ribeira, visiting a beach, a church, two ice cream parlors and even taking a boat ride to the Subúrbio, eating a wonderful moqueca and returning in time to watch the sunset.
Visit Salvador da Bahia has gathered here a list of tips in a quick itinerary with only five stops – for you to go slowly and check your tourist wish list in Salvador. This article is part of a series of itineraries with lists of short walks with a beginning, middle and end, indicating museums, churches, bars, restaurants, cafes, etc.
The idea is for you to get to know the city your way, in your own time, commuting between one stop and another mostly on foot. You will get to know Salvador intensely with us! Let’s go for the second part of this tour.
Also check the first “Quick Tours: Upper City x Lower City”. It’s really nice!
1. Praia da Penha
Calm sea, white sand. Located in the Lower City, this cove has a shallow sea and clear water. 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 of Penha de França.
Praia da Penha, in Ribeira, is so calm that residents and tourists often place their chairs and tables in the sea and stay there until high tide. There are good options of beach huts with food, drinks and chair and umbrella service. But, look: 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.
After enjoying the beach, take a beautiful photo of the Church of Our Lady of Penha de França. The Church was built in 1742, at the end of the Itapagipe Peninsula and faces the All Saints Bay. It was listed as a historic structure by the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) in 1941.
After here, go to the Sorveteria da Ribeira (Ribeira Ice cream Parlor) walking along the shore, enjoying the view. It is approximately 1.6 km, 6 to 10 minutes walking.
Look how cool!
A curious fact is that there, at the beginning of the 20th century, specifically in Enseada dos Tainheiros, there was a hydroport to receive the first aircraft destined for Salvador, where, before the existence of the airport, planes with politicians and famous artists would land. Today, the former passenger station of this hydroport has been transformed into a seaside restaurant.
The edge of the Ribeira neighborhood starts at the height of the Church of Bonfim. The strip of sand goes until Salvador’s Public Fishing Terminal.
Church Address: Praça Pe. Francisco Dórea Reis, 2 – Ribeira – CEP: 40420-610 Salvador – BA
Phone #: (71) 3316-2801
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to 12 pm
2. Sorveteria da Ribeira (Ribeira Ice Cream Parlor)
How about a tropical fruit ice cream to refresh? Our tip is to order a mangaba ice cream while waiting for the boat for your next stop. Today, on your tour, the Sorveteria da Ribeira will be more than just another tourist spot in the city: it will be your pit stop to recharge your energy.
Look how cool!
Since 1931, eating ice cream in Ribeira has become a tradition, a part of the history of those who fall in love with Salvador. Tropical fruit ice creams are the specialty, but there are “traditional” flavors and other creations by the master ice cream maker. There are more than 60 options. In other words: you’ll have to go back to try other flavors!
Sorveteria da Ribeira
Address: Rua da Penha, 87 – Ribeira, Salvador – BA, 40421-110
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 10pm. Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 11pm.
Phone #: (71) 3316-5451
3. Crossing by boat for lunch
You will now leave Ribeira and go to the Plataforma neighborhood by boat. That’s right. It’s not worth taking the car. Go by the sea, admiring the view and feeling the breeze, making the crossing part of the tour.
There, in that area, the shore is taken by boats and sailboats, which is beautiful to take pictures. The tip is to take the catamaran at the Terminal (in front of Sorveteria da Ribeira) and go eat in Plataforma, at the Boca de Galinha restaurant.
The “boat” connects Ribeira to the Railway Suburb of Salvador, and not only tourists like the place, but the locals too.
Look how cool!
The Ribeira-Plataforma crossing was reopened in 2018. The boats were renovated. It’s worth the ride. The boat stops right next to the restaurant, five minutes walking. This tour clearly shows the reality of another part of the city, off the trivial tourist route.
Ribeira-Plataforma crossing by boat
It takes 5 to 8 minutes – crossing approximately one kilometer.
It works every day from 6am to 7pm. Sunday from 7am to 7pm.
There is a boat every half hour.
The rate: R$ 2.10 (normal).
To go to the restaurant, the boat leaves the pier in front of Sorveteria da Ribeira (Rua da Penha, 87 – Ribeira, Salvador – BA, 40421-110).
4. Simple place, delicious food
At Boca de Galinha restaurant everything is very simple and the food is delicious. It’s been 30 years serving the best of Bahia’s cuisine, facing the Bay of Itapagipe. The flagships are the moquecas, and you can choose among eight options a day, such as seafood, shrimp with lobster, shrimp, beijupirá, mahi mahi, redfish, caçonete and ray.
Look how cool!
The menu is called “cadernato”. It is not fixed. Every day they make a new one, by hand: “Every day we receive the products, we cross it out”, says Nilton Pereira de Souza, owner of the Boca de Galinha restaurant. That way they always guarantee fresh food.
Boca de Galinha Restaurant
Address: Rua Almeida Brandão, 58A – Plataforma, Salvador – BA, 40710-500
Opening Hours: Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am to 6 pm. Sunday, from 11:30 am to 5 pm. Important: payment in cash only, credit and debit cards are not accepted.
Phone #: (71) 3398-1232
5. Solar Amado Bahia
After a good meal and the boat ride back to Ribeira, how about a dessert inside 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, having, in almost every room, plaster walls (painting that imitates marble). The property has three floors, two of which are open to the public.
At the back of the manor house is the Sorveteria Real (Real Ice Cream Parlor) – you can see that we love ice cream, right!? (lol). In addition to choosing one of the many existing flavors, it is also the time to take several pictures on the many colored walls of the centuries-old building.
Look how cool!
Overlooking the exuberant Itapagipe Peninsula, the manor house has references from several European countries, having its entire extension taken by a railing of pieces made of cast iron with lead, imported from France, in addition to a staircase with a floor in Carrara marble.
Solar Amado Bahia
Address: Rua Porto dos Tainheiros, 80, Solar Amado Bahia / Museu do Sorvete, Bairro da Ribeira
Opening hours: Thursday to Monday, from 10am to 7pm. (Tuesdays and Wednesdays not open)
Admission: access to the ice cream shop is free. To access the Museu do Sorvete/Solar Amado Bahia, you must pay a maintenance fee of R$ 10.00.
Phone #: (71) 2132-0017
Attention to the protocols:
You can go out on the street now, but safety protocols against COVID-19 must be maintained.
The city of Bahia started the green phase of the “Plano Salvador” to resume economic activities on July 23, 2021. Remember that the use of a facemask and 70º alcohol gel is still necessary to avoid contamination by Covid-19. You can only remove the mask when eating or drinking. If you are going to walk around the place, wear the mask.
Orla da Ribeira. Cidade Baixa. Salvador Bahia. Foto: Fábio Marconi.