Step back in time, soak up some sun, bask in coastal views, walk down cobblestone streets and learn about Brazilian culture during a trip to Salvador. Located in the north-east of Brazil, Salvador reflects its history – about 80 per cent of the population is of African descent, due to it being a centre for slavery many years ago. Despite its unfortunate origins, Salvador has turned into a celebration of those cultural influences. They are apparent in the city’s cuisine, art, religion and music. You only have to open your ears while you’re out and about to hear the unique blend of reggae tunes and African drumming.
There is plenty to do and see in Salvador, thanks to its many baroque churches, mansions, shops, restaurants, galleries and gorgeous beaches. Popular cruise lines that stop by this fabulous city include Royal Caribbean International, Cunard Line and MSC Cruises.
Cruise ships set anchor in downtown Salvador at the cruise ship terminal, putting cruisers in a great position to discover the wonders this city has to offer.
Facilities nearby include:
How to Get Around
Common ways to get around in Salvador include buses or taxis. Those who want to be immersed in this city’s culture and atmosphere should explore on foot, though. This is especially true when venturing through Pelourinho, Salvador’s historic centre.
Travel times from Salvador’s cruise ship terminal
It is a 10 minute journey to Mercado Modelo
It is a 13 minute journey to Lacerda Elevator
It is a 15 minute journey to Pelourinho
It is an 18 minute journey to Catedral Basilica.
It is a 7 minute journey to Pelourinho
It is an 8 minute journey to Catedral Basilica
It is an 8 minute journey to Mercado Modelo
It is a 9 minute journey to Lacerda Elevator
It is a 12 minute journey to Farol da Barra.
Currency – The official currency in Salvador is the Brazilian real (R$). Banknotes come in denominations of 2 reais, 5 reais, 10 reais, 20 reais, 50 reais and 100 reais notes. Coins include the denominations of 5 centavos, 10 centavos, 25 centavos and 50 centavos.
Time Zone – The clocks in Salvador run by Brasilia Time (BRT), which puts the city 3 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. Daylight Saving Time is not currently observed.
Weather – Salvador is characterised by a tropical rainforest climate. Yearly temperatures average 22 to 31 degrees Celsius, and the city doesn’t observe a dry season. During the warm season, high temperatures average above 30 degrees Celsius. Cold season temperatures average between 22 to 27 degrees Celsius. Over the year, relative humidity ranges from 64% to 93%.
Farol da Barra – Both tourists and locals head to Farol da Barra (Barra Lighthouse) to enjoy stunning sunsets and views of All Saints Bay. Farol da Barra is located on the tip of the Barra peninsula inside an ancient Portuguese fort. There is a tiny museum inside the lighthouse that exhibits colonial artefacts and maps recovered from shipwrecked European ships. After exploring the lighthouse, take to Farol da Barra Beach to enjoy warm sand and beautiful Brazilian waters. Be sure to bring your camera to take some memorable shots.
Pelourinho – Spend some time exploring the past in Salvador’s beautiful historic centre, Pelourinho. This city boasts cobblestone streets, pastel structures, colonial buildings, churches, artisanal shops, little cafés and restaurants. This World Heritage Site is home to the city’s oldest architecture and is a popular tourist attraction.
Lacerda Elevator – Lacerda Elevator is a famous attraction in Salvador. Standing 72 metres high, the Lacerda Elevator was built to improve the connection between the Lower City and the Upper City. Visitors can hop on 1 of 4 elevators to reach the top of the mountain in about 30 seconds. Those who take the elevator to the top are treated to stunning views of Salvador.
Catedral Basilica – Salvador’s 17th century Catedral Basilica boasts beautiful baroque and rococo architecture and grand interiors. It is one of the grandest temples built by the Jesuits in Brazil. Most of the altars are fashioned from cedar and covered in a layer of gold. The Catedral Basilica’s high alter is also home to 18 gold-lined pillars. History abounds in the wooden carvings of the church, which were most likely the work of trained slaves.
Mercado Modelo – Those who are looking to pick up some local treasures during their trip to Salvador should stop by the large craft market of Mercado Modelo. At the market, visitors can look through 263 stores to find a great variety of local arts and crafts. Popular items include musical instruments, wooden carvings, hammocks, woven baskets, jewellery, clothing, trinkets and religious objects. Mercado Modelo is also home to some great restaurants that specialise in regional cuisine and delicious drinks.