Best Things To Do in Salvador, Brazil

Are you looking for what to do in Salvador?

  • Igreja de Sao Francisco: If you want to know what Salvador looked like in its prime, visit the Igreja de Sao Francisco! One of the most spectacular churches of Salvador, the church is smothered in gold and has an 80kg silver chandelier dangling from the ceiling. Apart from the precious metals that it’s made from, the other interesting feature is the ceiling art which is often attributed to be at par with the ceiling on the Sistine Chapel.
  • Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim: If you’re wondering where all the colorful ribbons you see on people’s wrists are coming from, it’s from the Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim. Known for its ability to grant wishes and perform miracles, locals and tourists frequent this place to ask for a miracle or make a wish. While you’re at it, sneak a peek into the Room of Miracles where people drop off some of their valuables in exchange for a wish. The Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim is also one of the few churches where two faiths are practiced under one roof- Catholic and Candomblé faith.
  • Pelourinho: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pelourinho is the historical district of Salvador. The buildings and churches from the colonial era still stand strong. The Pelourinho is located in the heart of the Cidade Alto and a lot of other tourist attractions are a short walk or bus ride away from the area.
  • Museu Nautico da Bahia: The biggest bay in Bahia is also home to one of the most visited museums in Bahia. The Museu Nautico da Bahia is a part of a complex that holds the fort and the lighthouse making it an important landmark in the city. The fort was built to protect the city of Salvador from any invading forces. The nautical museum holds maps, pictures and some equipment that was used during that time, along with wrecks of ships that were unfortunately lost at sea.
  • Museu Afro-Brasileiro: Salvador is where it all started! The heart of the Afro-Brazilian culture that came about because of the slave trade and the descendants of the slaves, Salvador is known for its well preserved heritage. The Museu Afro-Brasileiro identified by its pink building, is a one-stop shop to find out everything about how the African culture was infused into the Brazilian culture. Housing over 1000 artifacts, there’s a considerable amount of space dedicated to the Candomblé religion. The Museu Afro-Brasileiro is definitely worth a visit.

Below we have a list of things to do in Salvador and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Salvador getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Salvador with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Salvador

Here is the list of things to do in Salvador and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Museu Afro-brasileiro

    Museum, History Museum, Educational Site

    Identified by its pink facade, the Museu Afro-Brasileiro is an important cog in the wheel of Bahia’s history. Everything that you need to know about black culture in Brazil, right from the slave trade to the skills and trades and how it was weaved into Brazil’s culture is all depicted through over 1000 artifacts. There’s a large space dedicated to the Candomble religion delvin...Read more
  2. Igreja De Nosso Senhor Do Bonfim

    Church, Religious Site, Architecture

    Known as the church that grants wishes, the Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim is Salvador’s most celebrated church. Thronged by tourists and believers alike, this church made famous the colourful ribbons that you’ll see tied around the wrists of many people all over the city. These ribbons are meant to bring you good luck, so buy some from any of the vendors that will overwhelm you b...Read more
  3. Sao Francisco Church And Convent

    Church, Religious Site, Historical Site, Architecture

    During the colonial times, there was a power struggle between three colonial powers in South America to emerge as the ultimate super power. The Igreja de Sao Francisco is a testament to that extravagance. One of the most magnificent churches of Brazil, the Igrega is lathered with gold and has an 80 kg silver chandelier dangling over the ceiling whose art is often compared to that of Sistine Cha...Read more
  4. Mercado Modelo

    4.3 (335 Votes)
    Mercado Modelo

    Walking Area, Flea Market, Market, Street Market

    This is the city market and this is where you find all kinds of art crafts and souvenirs. There are a lot of activities that also take place around this area, like you will see some people performing capoeira. Most of the items that are sold here are obviously culture related.
  5. Museu Nautico Da Bahia

    4.6 (291 Votes)
    Museu Nautico Da Bahia

    Museum, Light House, Waterfront, Architecture

    The Baia de Todos os Santos or the Bay of All Saints as it is otherwise known, is the biggest bay in Bahia and is quite the tourist spot. Complete with a light house, a fort and a nautical museum, the fort is an important landmark as it was the first fort built to protect the city of Salvador. Whether it was the Portuguese, Dutch or Spanish, the fort has passed hands depending on who’s on...Read more
  6. Solar Do Unhao

    4.6 (287 Votes)
    Solar Do Unhao

    Waterfront, View Point

    One of the most beautifully preserved premises, the solar do Unhao is situated on the water front and offers some staggering views when you scale the building to look out of the balcony. During the 18th century, these building were used as a storage facility for sugar when the shipment was traveling long distances. One such warehouse is not rechristened as the Museu de Arte Moderna- one of the ...Read more
  7. Museu De Arte Moderna

    4.6 (270 Votes)
    Museu De Arte Moderna

    Art And Culture, Art Museum, Museum

    When the time to transform the 18th century sugar warehouse complex, no one would have thought that the architect in charge would create one of the most popular modern art museums, not to mention the beautiful setting it’s surrounded by. Being true to its reputation of being a modern museum, the museum is known for its odd timings and avant-garde exhibits. They have a rotating schedule wh...Read more
  8. Catedral Basilica

    4.8 (308 Votes)
    Catedral Basilica

    Church, Religious Site, Historical Site, Cathedral

    Considered to be the masterpiece of the 17th century, the cathedral is said to exude the essence of Jesuit architecture. While the exterior is built from Portuguese sandstone, the tiles came from Macau and the altars show the different architectural phases in Bahia, made in cedar and thin layers of gold. The main altar is said to have 18 pillars of gold around it and the largest wood sculpture ...Read more
  9. Pelourinho

    Landmark, Walking Area, Historical Site, Heritage Building

    Located in the heart of Cidade Alto, the Pelourinho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has undergone some considerable preservation work. Rich in history, some of the buildings of the colonial era still stand, along with an array of magnificent churches. Though it might look like a complete touristy place, the Pelourinho is the hub of many-a-local activities like music and dance schools, capo...Read more
  10. Elevador Lacerda

    4.4 (324 Votes)
    Elevador Lacerda

    Landmark, Historical Site, Monument

    Dubbed as the world’s first urban elevator, the Elevador Lacerda covers around 72m in just half a minute. Installed in the 17th century to manually transport goods from the port to the settlement using ropes and pulleys, it was ‘electrified’ in the 20th century. When you’re riding the elevator, be sure to notice the arches of the Câmara Municipal, the erstwhile cit...Read more
  11. Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary Of The Blacks

    Church, Religious Site, Historical Site, Statue

    The Igreja De Nossa Senhora Do Rosario Dos Pretos, a part of the historical district of Pelourinho is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Said to be built for the slaves, by the slaves, the church is held in high esteem when the topic of slavery and the subsequent freedom comes up. The church is now being acknowledged worldwide for it handiwork on the altars and the overall architecture afte...Read more
  12. Museu De Arte Sacra

    Art Museum, Museum, Historical Site, Specialty Museum

    The Museu de Arte Sacra or the Museum of Sacred Arts is Brazil’s premiere museum when it comes to Catholic art. The exhibit starts from the building itself, which used to be a former convent. On a mission to preserve religious art, the people at Museu de Arte Sacra have done a fabulous job. The monks’ quarters now hold a vast collection of 17th-18th century art, along with the remai...Read more
  13. Museu Da Cidade

    3.6 (264 Votes)
    Museu Da Cidade

    Museum, History Museum, Specialty Museum

    The Museu da Cidade is relatively small when compared to the other museums in the city, but interesting never-the-less. If you’re looking for a quick lesson on Bahia’s history and culture, the Museu de Cidade is the perfect stop. Their display speaks of a time both old and modern and sacred and profane. The most notable exhibits are the personal belongings of poet Castro Alves and t...Read more
  14. Fundacao Casa De Jorge Amado

    Historical Site, Memorial, Specialty Museum

    The casa (home) of Jorge Amado is sure to spark a thrill among the littérateurs. One of Brazil’s most renowned writers, Jorge Amado had his books translated into many languages, which just goes to establish his popularity. His former house has been turned to a memoir which gives an overview of his life. The lower levels of the house exhibit his works whilst the upper levels are ded...Read more
  15. Porto De Barra
    This is a popular Salvador beach, the place attracts a lot of people especially on weekends. Other beaches you may go to are Flamengo and Stella Maris and these two are more popular with the upper class and some tourists as well.

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  • Good day I intend on spending 3 nights in Salvador. Could you advise the best place to stay in Salvador (Pelourinho or barra). Also, are there day tours in Salvador for half-day hikes in the rainforest?

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    • If you are coming to Salvador for 3 nights/4 days, you can have a look at this Salvador Itinerary. You will find the recommended hotels and tours on the same page. 

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