How to Spend 2 Days in Salvador da Bahia
The capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia is the place to go for sizzling beats, impromptu street parties, and sun-drenched beaches. Add visits to beautiful colonial buildings and a hefty dose of Afro-Brazilian culture, and you’ve got the perfect Brazilian vacation. Here’s how to maximize two days in Salvador da Bahia.
Day 1: Essential Salvador
**Morning:**To get your bearings in the vast city of Salvador, take a sightseeing tour that ranges from the coastline to the historic center. Take a walking tour around the oldest parts of the city get an overview of local landmarks and monuments, then head to the beaches in Barra or Rio Vermelho to see how Bahians spend their leisure time.
**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, dive into one of the city’s many cultural traditions, from samba and capoeira to candomblé. Move to the percussive rhythms of Brazil’s well-known music, learn martial art movements adopted by enslaved inhabitants centuries ago, or observe a religious ceremony that uses music and dance in the worship of local orixás (deities).
**Night:**Devote the evening to strolling through the pedestrian streets of Pelourinho, a UNESCO-listed district of colonial churches and mansions (called Pelo by locals), then sip a caipirinha or enjoy live entertainment at the outdoor cafes in the city’s squares.
Day 2: Marine Life
**Morning:**Start your day with a taste of Bahia’s African-influenced cuisine. Try feijoada, Brazil’s national dish, at a homestyle restaurant in the city’s outskirts, or take an immersive cooking class and learn the art of making moqueca, a seafood stew, and other regional specialties.
**Afternoon:**Enjoy a cruise around Baía de Todos os Santos, or All Saints’ Bay. A full-day excursion lets you linger at islands like Itaparica and Frades Island (Ilha dos Frades), while a shorter trip includes landmarks around the harbor.
**Night:**Returning to port in the Lower City (Cidade Baixa), browse through the Mercado Modelo, a great place to find handcrafted souvenirs. Then ride the Lacerda Elevator to the Upper City (Cidade Alta) for sunset views of the harbor. Lastly, head back to nearby Pelo for a last chance to enjoy the city’s nightlife.