One of the largest cities in Brazil, Salvador is a large metropolis on the eastern coast in the state of Bahia. Salvador is most famous for its Old Town district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although the city’s coastal location makes it alluring for anyone who wants to enjoy the sunshine without having to head to Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. Salvador’s architecture is a major attraction for tourists. Skyscrapers sit alongside colonial-era buildings from the time of Portuguese occupation, while many other buildings are influenced by African design, given that the city has a large Afro-Brazilian population. The food here is famous too, as is the nightlife which is a little more welcoming than you might expect.
Due to the levels of traffic here, a small car would be the safest and most sensible thing to drive here, as you’re more likely to squeeze into small spaces on the motorways.
Driving in Salvador
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Some drivers in Salvador are known for being a little aggressive, so it’s best to try and drive cautiously in order to avoid conflict.
You should watch out for pedestrians randomly crossing the main roads. Even when traffic is in full flow, some people are inclined to cross, so keep an eye out for them.
Rush hour in Salvador can be just as bad as that in Rio and Sao Paulo. Avoid driving in the early morning and early evening on weekdays.
Highlights & Hotspots
The standout attraction of the city’s museum district, Museu da Cidade basically follows the same template as Salvador itself. A mix of older artefacts from several centuries ago blend with exhibitions documenting how Salvador came to be make it well worth visiting.
Museu de Arte da Bahia is a great place to see works from artists from all over Bahia, the most notable being Jose Teofilo de Jesus. Drawings by Carybe, the Argentine artist, are also permanently on display here.
The beach is one of Salvador’s greatest assets. Praia Porto da Barra, despite its relatively small size, is hugely popular during the summer and can get crowded during the daytime. The beach is a good place to go for a walk in the water or for people watching.
Salvador’s Carnival is known for being one of the biggest in the world. Happening in the second week of February from the 7th to 14th, the carnival has parades, live music and other forms of entertainment that the whole family are sure to enjoy.
Salvador-Deputado Lu√≠s Eduardo Magalh√£es International Airport is nine miles northeast of the city centre. The airport has one main passenger terminal and serves over five million passengers annually, flying to other parts of South America and Europe.
The airport is accessible from the Avenida Carybe, which goes southwest towards the Avenida Lu√≠s Viana. From there, you end at the 324 highway, which then goes close to the centre of Salvador.