Tips for those who have few hours in Salvador and want to make the most of the city
Salvador during the DAY: love at first sight
Ah how good it is to love! This itinerary is made for in love couples, for those who see beauty in everything, that still have butterflies in the stomach when they see each other. Here you will go through the locals’ and visitor’s darling places, breathtaking tourist attractions and make your heart tremble. Love is in you and it is all over the city.
9:00 am – Sea bath in Porto da Barra
Porto da Barra is one of Bahia’s tourist attractions, with several hotels, bars and restaurants. Locals’ and tourists’ sweetheart, the beach seems to have waters that embrace you in each dive! The crystal clear waters are an invitation to lose track of time and have fun. In addition to water sports classes, there is still the Pierre Verger Space of Bahian Photography (Espaço Pierre Verger da Fotografia Baiana) and Espaço Carybé, one on each side of the seafront: one at the Santa Maria Fort and the other one at San Diego Fort.
11:00 am – Break for selfie at the Lighthouse
11:30 am – Visit the Nautical Museum of Bahia
After hours of pure relaxation, you can visit Barra Lighthouse, which houses the Nautical Museum of Bahia. It has a historical collection formed by objects from different eras, some of them submerged for up to 300 years, that help to understand the relationship of man with the sea and of Bahia with the Lighthouse. There is still a little store and a cafe with tables in the patio, that guarantee a spectacular view.
1:00 pm – Bonfim Tour
In the Lower City, the famous railings covered by the colorful Bonfim ribbons is one of Salvador’s most remarkable memories. Located on the Sacred Hill, the Senhor do Bonfim Church has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1998. It is one of the places for which visitors have more affection and where the residents of the city often return to. It is one of the most traditional Catholic churches in the city, dedicated to the Bahians patron saint, and symbol of Bahia’s religious syncretism. There is no way you won’t be influenced by this devotional atmosphere.
Recanto da Lua Cheia Bar & Restaurant
Let’s eat? Nearby, there are some restaurants with traditional Bahian food. Excellent option to recharge the palm oil inside you by having a meal overlooking the All Saints Bay. Recanto da Lua Cheia has a menu full of gastronomic baianities like fish dumplings, moquecas, shrimp, pirão, farofa and other delicacies.
3:00 pm – Stroll by Pelourinho
The body will ask for a hammock, but don’t let the laziness win because there is still a lot of culture ahead. In the Historical Center, the Church and the Convent of São Francisco are classified as one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World and registered by the National Institute of Artistic and Historical Heritage (IPHAN). Its 18th century Portuguese tiles reproduce São Francisco’s birth and are adorned with wooden carvings molded with gold dust and symbols of Brazilian baroque: leaves, pelicans, flowers, angels. And what about that ceiling? Wonderful.
3:30 pm – Cultural Tour around the Historical Center
Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation
Walking down the streets of Pelourinho you’ll find Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation, located in the iconic blue house. A non-profit organization, which objective is to preserve, research and disseminate Jorge Amado‘s bibliographical and artistic collections and Bahia’s art and literature.
House of Benin
Keep going down and you will get to know the House of Benin. The House has a collection consisting of about 200 pieces originating in the Gulf of Benin, collected by the French photographer Pierre Verger throughout his expeditions to Africa, as well as exhibition halls, mini-auditorium and multipurpose room. In addition, this is another work with architecture by Lina Bo Bardi, an Italian-Brazilian modernist architect, known for designing the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP).
4:30 pm – See the beauty of the Pelô churches
To top off the day, go visiting a peculiar Church: Catholic religion with Candomblé’s atabaques. In the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black People it’s celebrated, every Tuesday, a Catholic mass that has incorporated some of the African culture elements, like the chants and dances. On the commemorative dates of St. Barbara and Iansã, the church is the focal point of the festivities. That’s when the streets of Pelourinho are filled with red roses and the smell of lavender hovers in the air. Don’t miss the Cathedral Basilica of Salvador, in Largo Terreiro de Jesus. It has recently been reopened and looks magnificent.
Salvador at NIGHT: love at first sight
This is the night you were not trapped by Netflix, or the popcorn, air conditioner and blankets combo, so you go out to the street. But to keep the romance, the eye in the eye, hand in hand, we have chosen cozy places with great service to keep the warm atmosphere.
5:30 – Sunset at the Fera Palace Hotel
Finish the day at the fabulous Fera Palace Hotel. Impeccable décor, gentle and helpful service, sophisticated drinks are signatures of this Hotel that rescues the glamor and charm of the 1930s under a contemporary and modern look. Located on Chile Street, at the entrance to the Historic Center of Salvador, the hotel has a perfect terrace for a drink watching the sunset, contemplating the beautiful sky of Bahia.
7:00 pm – Dinner at DAS
Close to Fera Palace, just a few minutes by car, in Bahia Marina, DAS restaurant stands out for its sophistication and style. The 1960s are the great star of the house, which revives the friendships of the decade in an ambiance that goes back to that time. Whoever lived those times already knows, and who was not there will be able to understand the reason for the nostalgia. The restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. We suggest the seafood Gran Igliato and the mussels.
21h – Stroll along the seafront at Rio Vermelho
Drop by Rio Vermelho, the “nightlife district”, of Largo de Santa, Casa da Mãe and Largo da Mariquita buzz.
21:30 – Warm up at Solar
Move on to Solar Contemporary Gastronomy Restaurant, guarantee of pleasant atmosphere and light and delicious food. The flagship of the house are the crepes, which appear in different flavors with names that pay homage to Bahia and its beloved places. There is also live music.
23h – Fun at Vila Caramuru
To end the evening, Vila Caramuru (at Mercado do Peixe) is a great place to gather friends, have a good meal and have a cold beer. It was in that region that happened Diogo Álvares Correia shipwreck, in the territory where the Tupinambás lived. Called Caramuru by the Indians, he was the communication link between natives and Europeans. And that’s why the place was called Vila Caramuru. Another fact is that the neighborhood formation also comes from the fishermen colonies and their fish markets.
We’ve prepared a perfect playlist for this experience. Listen now!
Porto da Barra. Foto: Amanda Oliveira