Travel guide to Salvador

Facts

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Local name
Salvador da Bahia
Inhabitants
2,200,000
Timezone
When it is 12 noon in the UK, it is 7 am in Salvador.

Best time to visit

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You can experience the pulsating heart of Salvador year round. The weather doesn't change much. If you want to see the city when it's really partying, you have to go in the period of late December and 2-3 months onwards. During this period there is a wealth of festivals, with the carnival as the biggest and wildest one.

Culture and entertainment

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The carnival in Salvador is different from the one in Rio. It's more unorganised and definitely simpler. Everybody can dance through the streets while the biggest bands in the country play their thumping music from the back of big trucks with built-in loudspeakers. Moreover, Salvador is given place to see the Brazilian fighting dance capoeira. Different groups give performances in the Pelourinho district. A séance in one of the Candomblé cult's mystic temples is another must in Salvador.

Accommodation / Hotel

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It can be hectic and noisy staying in the old district Pelourinho. At the beach there are a lot of good lodgings. E.g. in the area around Porto da Barra. It's neither difficult nor expensive to take a taxi or a bus from the beach to the centre of the city. Book your hotel in Salvador here

Local transport

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Taxi

Taxies aren't near as expensive in Salvador as in other major cities. The taxies are metered.

Other transport

Buses in Salvador are cheap, but not always fast. Most buses, which go from the beaches, will end at Pelourinho sooner or later. The opposite is not the case.

Special conditions

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At the beaches and Pelourinho you can feel rather safe. In the rest of the city you have to take the same precautions as in any other major city. Be alert, but not paranoid. Avoid taking pictures of people who serve a religious function, unless you are sure that you have their permission. Some people dress in nice traditional attire for the sake of the tourists. They expect a bit of change if you take their picture. A real is adequate payment.
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