The interactive map here above shows touristic spots in Salvador.
Geographic tips and navigation in Salvador map
On the interactive map above, you can see that most of the touristic spots are located along the see front of Salvador.
Salvador has an impressive amount of interesting locations. Here are some numbers; more than 30 theaters, 9 parks, 29 museums, 24 churches, 9 fortresses, 24 beaches, which are mostly located in the southeast side, and for those who enjoy diving not less than thirteen wrecks.
The highest concentration of interesting locations is found in the historic center (Pelourinho), in the west of the city where you can find mainly museum, theaters, churches and restored buildings.
Salvador’s historic center is divided in two parts; lower and upper town, each having very different functions and architectural styles. The two parts of the city are connected by various unusual means of transport, one of them being the Elevador Lacerda (elevator) which can bring you to the Mercado Modelo (covered market in the lower city) when coming from the Pelourinho in the upper city.
Fortresses are located along the west coast, facing the bay.
Parks are located along the south coast.
Photo - Danielbran
Hotels and Pousadas are located in 3 main areas;
the historic center,
Barra (on the south west point of the city) and
along the south coast in the direction of the airport, which is situated east of salvador and has a rapidly growing hotel industry.
If you wish to book a hotel online, you can find it with the accomodation map, which allows you to narrow your search visually, based on your choice of services and budget.
The airport (east) and the village of Itaparica (west) will appear by zooming out 3 times on the google map.
The Rodoviária (bus station) (zoom out once to see it appear on the right of the map close to Shopping Iguatami) hosts both the intercity bus station and an important local bus station.
The buses from the airport pass along the waterfront, on the south side, starting at Av Luiz Vana Filho, passing the Rodoviaria, heading south to Pituba, Rio Vermelho and, depending on the bus line, going to the peak of Barra or climbing up to the City Center. The routes can vary for the same destination.
Click on markers to access detailed information from Bahiamap.com or from websites related to Salvador de Bahia.
About Salvador de Bahia - Brazil
Salvador de Bahia, named "São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos", is the capital of Bahia State (Brazil) and is located at the entrance to the Bay of all Saints (seen on the map above if you zoom out few levels). It is common to say "Bahia" when talking about Salvador, this habit comes from its early history.
The third city of Brazil, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Salvador is located in a strategic geograhic position, close to Europe, facing Africa, on the Atlantic coast and two hours from São Paulo by air.
Salvador is the largest African diaspora in the world, with over 80% of its population of black descent. African culture, music, religion, dance, food and arts permeate every street of Salvador.
History of Salvador
Brazil has experienced different types of colonial, economic periods, the first one being, the exploitation of agricultural resources such as wood and sugar cane. The slave trade flourished due to plantation owners relying on cheap human resources to harvest cane and produce sugar at low cost.
Following economic period was based on the finding of gold and precious stones. This resulted in the capital moving to Rio.
Gaspar de Lemos is the first to arrive at Baia de Todos os Santos however he goes on and sails the coast of Bahia.
Martin Alfonso de Souza is the first to disembark in Morro de São Paulo, located on the other side of the bay and explores that side of the bay.
Salvador itself is discovered by Amerigo Vespucci.
Indeed Amerigo Vespucci, whose name inspired German mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller to call the new continent "America", officially discovers, for the Portuguese, the bay of Bahia, on the 1st of November 1501. There are two accounts of Vespucci’s naming of the bay. The most popular is that November the 1st is all saints day, the second is that given the tradition of naming bays after saints and because the bay is so large, it was named “all saints”.
Brazil, Bahia and Salvador are historically linked. Bahia is the point of discovery of Brazil. Later Salvador becomes the stopover for maritime commerce between Europe, India and Africa, mainly due to its bay having a large capacity to shelter ocean going vessels.
Salvador becomes the capital of Brazil in 1549.
As a capital, it grows culturally and this leads to emancipation from Portuguese rule.
Photo - Amadis.
Later, during the push for independence, Salvador, already accustomed to a certain degree of freedom and already having achieved some integration of native peoples, which is not the case with other Brazilian cities, is therefore less inclined to fight for independance.
Salvador’s lukewarm position towards achieving autonomy, unlike the other Brazilian cities seems surprising, but Salvador has less to gain. Salvadorian pioneers had become nobility. They had the opportunity to grow and invest in the Brazilian economy with great freedom and power than the later immigrants to other parts of Brazil.
This difference is crucial for Salvador’s future, coupled with the incorporation of a large black population newly freed from slavery.
The second wave of European immigration to other Brazilian cities is different again. It brings people who are more interested in living in an independent country and with the desire to succeed in this new world. Salvador remains somewhat frozen in time, still attached to its rich and eventful past and its African roots. The consequence is that it has been able to preserve and restore its old world charm, making it a very attractive city for tourism.
The Pelourinho, the central place where slaves were punished, is symbolic of this time. It is now part of UNESCO world heritage and includes a set of streets, places, buildings and monuments that you should not miss if you plan to visit the city. Most of these spots are located on the interactive map of Salvador. See above.
Nowdays Salvador is expanding again, with renewed industry and improved tourism infrastructure.
Art and Literature
Salvador has many museums. If you decide to stay for a short time you will find the list of the main places at these links; Afro-Brazilian Art Museum, Art Museum of Bahia, Museum of Modern Art, Memorial of Governors of Bahia, Museum of Gastronomy, Foundation House of Jorge Amado , Geographic Museum.
Bahia has given birth to famous authors such as Castro Alves, Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro and Jorge Amado. Ribeiro and Amado write specifically about Bahian culture and offer a rich description of the lifestyle of this state of Brazil.
Jorge Amado focuses on Afro-Brazilian heritage and has given a colorful portrait of Bahia through his characters, shedding light on its contradictions, its flamboyance and its extravagant lifestyle. If you enjoy reading novels on the beach then read "Dona Flor and her two husbands" (Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos) or "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" (Gabriela, Cravo e Canela). These are good fiction and will help you to get to know better the spirit of Bahia.
The Northeast and Bahia offer many handicrafts made of ceramic, leather, metal, wood, rubber, resin, wicker, etc. ... Much of this folk art comes from the Indian heritage. Woodworking, very present in Pernambuco and Bahia, has two origins; african art with the Carrancas, primitive art effigies that protect us from evil spirits (derivatives of african mask art) and the Jesuit influence of religious iconography.
Music in Salvador
Salvador is a city of music , music with its roots in african heritage, omnipresent music, in museums, concerts and of course Carnaval. Carnaval, with its simplicity, enthusiasm and magic. Processions follow the labyrinth of streets and the town topography, up and down, left and right. It seems that the whole city is dancing. At Carnival time the city population doubles. The animation is non stop , day and night. Streets are packed and parades (Afro blocos and trios elétricos) are followed by the crowd. You can choose to stay away from the crowd and look at the parades from huge stands or if you are lucky from the balcony of an appartment. The stands are called Camarotes and are fully equipped with bar and have enough place to dance if you like to do so.
Salvador has given birth to some of the most famous music and dance styles: capoeira, samba de roda, samba reggae, afoxe (the African rhythm part of carnaval music).
Samba is both music and dance, rhythm and festival, whose origin is uncertain. It first appears in the 19th century in the Northeast and became a national phenomenon in the state of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a blend of influences both from Bahia and Rio caused by migration of the black population in the second half of the 19th century when Rio became Brazil's capital. The origin of the word Samba is not sure but many sources place its genealogy in Angola. Samba is originally a circle dance of African origin accompanied by traditional music, primarily rhythmic, which then developed into a rural festival associated with people of African descent.
The first recorded Samba song title is "Pelo Telefone" in 1917. This is a Samba Carioca. The image of a mixed racial brazil appears In the 30s and rhythm and music are strong symbols of national identity. Samba, until then popular mainly in the suburbs of Rio, rises to national importance, meeting the government objective to provide strong cultural values and thus to unify the people of the Federal Republic of Brazil. The Samba is officially Brazilian Carnival music.
At its inception, the samba is the product of miscegenation. Later it evolves, develops and influences many different styles of music including Bossa Nova.
The Samba from Bahia is called Samba de Roda.
Salvador, not only hosts one of the most lively carnavals of Brazil but also holds many street festivals throughout the year. The main events in Salvador are the Carnival, the Festival of Senhor do Bomfim, the celebrations of Sao Joao (especially in the Pelourinho), the Festival of Verão (Summer Festival). Bahia’s Independence day, on July 2, may have parades.
They are many typical recipes and ingredients inherited from African food in Bahia cuisine, here are some of them;
Acarajé is a Nigerian dish and found in Bahia (and Salvador particularly) cuisine. It is made of a paste of peeled black-eyed peas, deep fried in dendê (oil from the fruit of a palm tree), split in half and stuffed with shrimp, cashews and local vegetables.
Acarajé is related to Afro-Brazilian religion (Candomblé) and used in the rituals.
BAIANA DE ACARAJÉ/SALVADOR /BAHIA
Acaraje is very symbolic of African tradition in Bahia and sold in the streets of Salvador by women dressed in cotton traditional outfits.
These two videos show how to make Acaraje .
Acarajé Baiano - Recipe
Farafo is a bread made of manioc flour.
Feijoada is one of Brazil's national dishes. This dish is shared with most south American countries. The main ingredient of Feijoada is black bean. It is cooked with various types of fatty meat; smoked pork loin, bacon or chorizo and served with rice.
Dende is palm oil. It is extensively used in Bahia food. When warm the dende has a very particular aroma. Although it is very rich in calories it contains beneficial elements like carotene, which gives the oil its red/orange color, and antioxidant (Vitamin E). Carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, which is important for the body.
Moqueca de camarão
Moqueca means stew and camarão means shrimp in Portuguese. This dish is very rich and has African roots.
Salvador offers a large variety of seafood in its restaurants.
Fruits in Brazil - Bahia
Bahia has an impressive number of fruits. This video shows an extensive list: