Mercado Modelo is a lively place stocked full of arts, crafts and touristy trinkets.
Located across the street from the restored art deco elevador lacerda (elevator) in a replica of the city’s old customs house, the market is a fun way to spend an hour or two and maybe pick up a bit of tourist tack for the folks back home.
Take a deep breath as you enter to prepare for the onslaught of vendors that’ll attempt to coax you towards their stall. It’s all pretty light-hearted so with a smile and a bit of friendly bartering, you’ll enjoy your visit here.
The original customs house (also formally a place to imprison slaves) was destroyed by fire in 1986. The rear part of the Mecardo Modelo is given over to local bars and traditional Bahia restaurants (on the street level, and upstairs on a large balcony).
Cidade Baixa is more commonly refered to as Comércio. To get here, catch any bus marked Comércio or Elevador Lacerda from Cidade Alta or hail a taxi. The surrounding area is a bit rundown and walking around here is not recommended.