São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, in English: "City of the Holy Saviour of the Bay of all Saints"] is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the Americas. For a long time, it was simply known as Bahia, and appears under that name (or as Salvador da Bahia, Salvador of Bahia so as to differentiate it from other Brazilian cities of the same name) on many maps and books from before the mid-20th century. Salvador is the third most populous Brazilian city, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The metropolitan area of the city, with 3.5 million of people, however, is the seventh most populous Brazilian urban agglomeration, and the third in Brazilian Northeast Region.
A 100m cliff runs along the entire bayshore, dividing the city into Cidade Alta, up on the cliff, and the Cidade Baixa down by the bay.
|Rio Vermelho district|
|Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova (soccer stadium)|
|Barra at night|
The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in Brazil's Northeast. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture. This reflects a situation in which African-associated cultural practices are celebrated.
Outside of this area, there are many beach districts that stretch from the tip of the peninsula northeast along the Atlantic coast. The Barra neighborhood at the tip of the peninsula is the main alternative jumping-off point to Pelourinho, and a little further to the northeast are the hip neighborhoods of Rio Vermelho and Amaralina, which feature a nightlife less geared to the foreign tourism industry. A decent bus ride beyond these is the neighborhood of Itapuã, which has an energetic beach side nightlife and relatively few foreign visitors. Northward from there are kilometers and kilometers of gorgeous beaches, all accessible by bus.
The historical centre of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The former features Pelourinho, the old city center that packs historical sites, colonial architecture, museums, restaurants, bars, hostels, artisanal shops, and music/dance/capoeira academies into a convenient, albeit tourist-swarmed, set of winding cobblestone streets. The latter features a commercial center with lots of bus traffic coming in from all over Salvador.
The bayshore coast north beyond Pelourinho features a more tranquil atmosphere and a locally patronized, though less scenic, beach life. The interior of Salvador is where the "new city" has developed, full of residential neighborhoods, shopping megaplexes, and knotted highways, all of which can be quite alienating without actually having a friend to show you around.
Salvador is located on a small, roughly triangular peninsula that separates Todos os Santos Bay from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay, which gets its name from having been discovered on All Saints' Day forms a natural harbor. Salvador is a major export port, lying at the heart of the Recôncavo Baiano, a rich agricultural and industrial region encompassing the northern portion of coastal Bahia.
Salvador, Brazil has a tropical climate including rainforests and lush vegetation.
Brazil is a country of social inequality, but in few places this is as evident as on Salvador. The social segregation is also evident, with large number of upper middle class and upper class citizens living in gated communities, which contrast with the huge slum-like neighborhoods located on elevated areas.
One of the main attractions in Salvador is the carnaval. Salvador's giant Carnival, the biggest of the world, according to the Guinness book of records, lasts for one week and is extremely popular with Brazilians and tourists alike. In 2013, the event happens on February 7th - 14th and consists of parades,live entertainment, music, dancers and vendors. The main parades follow three circuits: one in the historic center Pelourinho (with mainly traditional groups in costumes), one on Campo Grande, where most bands play samba, and in recent years the most popular one in Barra / Ondina, where modern Brazilian Axé music mixes with percussion and all kinds of rhythms and styles, and the bands parade between "Camarote" boxes on one side and the beach on the other. Options to participate are either by watching from the camarote boxes, or purchasing an "abadá" shirt to join a group that accompanies one of the bands throughout the parade. One can expect to have a lot of fun if they vacation in Salvador, Brazil during Carnival. Salvador also has many other attractions that tourists will find enjoyable. these include golf courses, museums and even an old 17th century fort. Anyone wishing to visit Salvador Brazil will find their trip to be entertaining, fun and full of wonderful memories.
Go to the beach
Visiting a Salvador beach is a highlight for many tourists. One of the main central Salvador beaches is Porto de Barra. It was originally the site of the first settlement of european newcomers to Bahia. It can get very crowded on weekends. The northeast region of Salvador concentrates most beaches with good water quality. Flamengo and Stella Maris are the most popular beaches among tourists and upper class locals. They have excellent tourist infrastructure and rough waters excellent for surfing. Jaguaribe, Piatã and Itapoã, with calmer waters, are mostly frequented by locals and can become quite crowded at weekends. They are a good option with you want to mix with the local population, but don't bring anything besides your clothes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and some cash, as muggings are quite common.
The other beaches of Salvador aren't suited for bathing, but still can be good for walking, cycling, or taking pictures. Farol da Barra has a beautiful view (specially during the sunset), but it's difficult to walk due to the rocks. "Farol" means lighthouse, and this beach is known for its lighthouse as well as being popular with surfers. A much safer choice is nearby Plakaford. Here the calm waters and soft sandy beaches are welcoming for families and children. In the city south, there is an array of beautiful beaches that include Tinhare and Boipeba.