Set in a mansion in the upscale neighborhood of Vitória, the Carlos Costa Pinto Museum (Museu Carlos Costa Pinto) illuminates the luxurious, decadent lifestyle of Salvador da Bahia’s sugarcane aristocracy. Exhibits focus on the history of colonial and imperial Bahio from the 17th to 19th century, with permanent installations and a rotating selection of cultural activities.
Carlos Costa Pinto, a descendant of Bahia’s more affluent families, spent his lifetime collecting artifacts from centuries past. These items and displayed within the museum’s 12 collections, including crystal, drawings, miscellany, sculptures, engravings, imagery, furnishings, honorific orders, jewelry, paintings, porcelain, and silver. Outside the museum there’s a lovely green garden, with manicured lawns, hedges, and a pond surrounded by leafy tropical trees.
Salvador da Bahia tours often include stop at the museum along with other city highlights, such as the historic downtown of Pelourinho, the Forte de Santo Antonio da Barra, and Porto da Barra Beach. It’s also possible to book a museum-focused tour, which includes visits to many of the city’s art and history institutions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Museum entry is discounted for students, teachers, and children.
- The cozy Balangandan Café features sandwiches, pastries, pies, coffee, tea, and other refreshments.
- Although the collection may not hold the attention of young children, the museum's surrounding garden is a good place for kids to blow off steam.
How to Get There
To arrive via public transportation, take bus 1511 toward Eng V Federacao. Disembark at Avenida Sete de Setembro and walk about 10 minutes from there. Cabs are plentiful from downtown Salvador, and guided tours allow you to visit without the hassle of transportation.
When to Get There
Note that the museum is only open in the afternoon, from 2pm to 7pm. Arriving for lunch at the Balangandan Café and exploring the museum afterward is a great way to make the trip out of the city center worth it.
Bahia's African Heritage
Salvador da Bahia is a center of Afro-Brazilian culture, and the museum's collection reflects that. The Carlos Costa Pinto Museum has mounted exhibitions dedicated to Brazil’s vast African heritage through jewelry and clothing worn by matriarchs of the African religion Candomblé.