Tie your Bonfim ribbon, enjoy the local gastronomy and see an unforgettable sunset
A day of shopping, sights, gastronomy and stunning visual
Brazil’s first capital, built as a fortress city, destined for colonial administration and commerce, had its growth in two planes – the Lower City and the Upper City. In this itinerary, you will get to know six must-see places in the Lower City, starting at the bottom of Lacerda Elevator, the main connection between “the two cities”, to Ribeira’s seashore, with a sunset in a place where you can see the drawing of this “Lower and Upper” city geography. During the walk, lots of photos, learning and gastronomic delights. Sights to make your trip memorable!
We’ve prepared a perfect playlist for this experience. Listen now!
1. Model Market (Mercado Modelo)
This city postcard sits in a beautiful original neoclassical building constructed in 1861 to house the House of Customs. Mercado Modelo was founded in 1912 to be a supply center in the Lower City, with a privileged location for All Saints Bay. It has survived five fires over time, and is currently a must see place for tourists visiting Bahia’s capital.
There are over 250 local craft stores, souvenirs, clothes, sweets, cachaças, and other small crafts. Walk on all floors before choosing the best souvenirs such as beautiful hammocks, clay sculptures or paintings with themes from this beautiful Bahia. There are also traditional restaurants such as “Maria de São Pedro” and “Camafeu de Oxóssi”.
Praça Visconde de Cayru, no number – Comércio, Salvador – BA, 40015-170
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Sundays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
2. Church of Bonfim
This is one of the places in Salvador that you can’t miss! It’s where you find the famous railings covered by the colorful Bonfim ribbons, probably the place where you will make one of the best photos of your trip. The Basilica of the Lord of Bonfim is one of the most traditional Catholic churches in the city, dedicated to the Lord of Bonfim, Bahians’ patron and symbol of Bahia’s religious syncretism.
Largo do Bonfim Square, which is close to the basilica sanctuary, was totally revitalized and enlarged, giving the feeling of continuity of the church stairs. Now, all the place pavement is composed by mosaic and graphism marked on the floor in Portuguese stone.
Location: Largo do Bonfim, no number, Bonfim, Salvador-BA.
Phone: (71) 3316-2196. All the time table in this link.
3. Restaurants in the Lower City
Take the opportunity of this tour to experience the great local cuisine. In this region of the city, it’s easy to find a restaurant facing the All Saints Bay, good for relaxing looking at the sea while enjoying a good meal.
We have gathered here some restaurants near the Basilica Sanctuary of the Lord of Bonfim, including the gastronomy in your tourist itinerary. But save a little of your appetite to eat dessert elsewhere in one of the most traditional ice cream parlors in town.
Recanto da Lua Cheia Bar
Top quality food, facing the sea, great for groups. The fish are always very fresh, the beer is cold and the moquecas are always a good request.
Rua Rio Negro, 2 – Monte Serrat, Salvador-BA, 40325-250
Phone: (71) 3315-1275
There you will find the natural beauty of the city and the delicious typical Bahian cuisine. Try to get there early to find a table facing the sea! The patio has trees, making everything better.
Rua Rio Negro, 6 – Pedra Furada – Monte Serrat, Salvador-BA
Phone: (71) 3316-3395
Tijupá Restaurant and Bar
The restaurant is in the Saveiro Club in Ribeira, a place with easy access. The environment is simple and pleasant, airy and with a beautiful view. We recommend the shrimp and siri moqueca with pirão, palm oil farofa and rice as side dishes. Tijupá is a 5-minute walk from Ribeira’s famous Ice Cream Parlor.
Rua Porto dos Tainheiros, 9 | Saveiro Clube da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia 40421-580, Brazil
Phone: 55 (71) 3312-6536
4. Ribeira Ice Cream Parlor
With an exuberant view of the sea, the Ribeira Ice Cream Parlor is an obligatory stop, with one of the most delicious ice cream in the city. Tropical fruit ice creams are the specialty. Ribeira’s seashore, which was already beautiful, is even cooler after the revitalization. The atmosphere is very pleasant, like in a small town, with children playing in the square and people having ice cream sitting on the benches and boats moored on the waterfront. For this reason, it is worth choosing a table outside.
Rua da Penha, 87 – Ribeira, Salvador – BA, 40421-110
Opening hours: every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Phone: (71) 3316-5451
5. Solar Amado Bahia
One of the most beloved and awaited places of the city’s residents has just been reopened. The Solar Amado Bahia mansion, on Ribeira’s waterfront, has been completely restored by the company Sorvetes Real and now houses a cultural space for events, the Ice Cream Museum and a delightful concept store of the traditional 100% Bahian ice cream parlor.
The restoration has kept much of the details of this historic and so emblematic place for Salvador citizens. Access is through a local maintenance fee of R$ 10 for the public (there are differentiated conditions for seniors, students and school groups, among others).
Rua Porto dos Tainheiros, 80 – Ribeira, Salvador – BA, 40421-580
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Phone: (71) 3023-5953
6. Ponta do Humaitá & Monte Serrat Fort
To end the day with a beautiful view, visit a place with the historical burden of a protective fortification. Go to Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat Fort first, considered one of the most exquisite military works of Brazil Colony. It still maintains the original plan, with six turrets, from where the enemies were seen, and the water well that supplied the soldiers.
There, right next to it, Ponta de Humaitá is a very quiet place, with a beautiful view of Salvador city. It has the Nautical Club of Bahia, Humaitá Lighthouse and the Church and the Monastery of Our Lady of Monte Serrat. From there, you can have a privileged view of the All Saints Bay entrance: on one side, it faces Salvador, and on the other, Itaparica Island. Go and watch an unforgettable sunset.
Rua Santa Rita Durão | Ponta de Humaitá, Salvador, Bahia 40425-000, Brazil.
A magnitude da Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim. Foto: Fábio Marconi