Why Pelourinho has to be on your Must-See-and-fall-in-love-list?? Pelourinho is one of the main tourist attractions of Salvador for so many good reasons. When I first researched about Salvador I mostly saw photos of the big cobblestone hilly square surrounded by colorful, pastel Renaissance buildings decorated with fine stucco-work. I already thought it was lovely but it is so much nicer than I imagined. Artists paint on the streets, many events with free live music & occasions to dance happening during the year, bars, restaurants & museums inviting tourists to spend some days in Pelô. You get along speaking English there. Though it is touristic it is authentic.
Many locals go to dance- & music schools in Pelourinho & play in the streets & squares.

Michael Jackson Balcony

Street Concerts  Almost every day one of Salvador’s percussion groups are playing street concerts & you can dance & party during the day. I hardly saw someone standing still while a group of joyful percussion players give an amazing concert for everyone for free.
One day in the past such a street concert was with non other than Michael Jackson. He was performing the song They Don’t Care About Us with Salvador’s percussion group Olodum. Michael Jackson like most of the people visiting Salvador, became fans of Olodum & wearing Olodum fan shirts.
Michael Jackson Balcony  He performed on a balcony at the Largo do Pelourinho where today is a life-size cardboard Michael waiting for you.

Geronimo Open Air Concert  Planning your trip make sure you spend at least one Tuesday night in Pelourinho to listen to Afro-Brazilian music often sung in Yoruba. One of the artists is the musician Geronimo Santana. The crowd of locals & tourists dancing & singing together on the stair steps leading to the Church of Santíssimo Sacramento do Passo.
WHERE Rua do Passo, 54 / Salvador – Bahia
WHEN Tuesday around 8:00 – 10:00pm

Museu Afro-Brasileiro holds pottery, artwork & a room with carved wooden panels by famous artist Carybé (Photo below).
WHERE Terreiro de Jesus  / Salvador – Bahia
WHEN Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:30pm,  Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
ADMISSION adult R$ 6,00 (kids R$ 3,00) 


Museu da Gastronomia Baiana You must try moqueca & acarajé to understand how delicious & satisfying the Bahian kitchen is. I recommend a visit in the Bahian Gastronomic Museum to get a better idea of the African backgrounds & to see illustrations by Carybé (Photo on the left).
WHERE Praça José de Alencar 13/19 / Largo do Pelourinho / Salvador – Bahia
WHEN 09:00am – 05:00pm

Ó Pai, Ó  – Look at This (2007) – is actually a Movie Tip but also my Travel Preparation Tip. This movie gives insight into the life in Pelourinho during the carnival. I am a huge fan of the movie & of the soundtrack.
WHERE Available on Netflix

HISTORY From 1558 Pelourinho was the place where slaves were punished and traded. After 1835 Pelourinho was transformed into the artist and musician district & became UNESCO world heritage in 1985 because a high degree of authenticity in terms of location, setting, forms, designs & materials.

With his books Amado (1912-2001) was & still is characterising the image of Brazil outside of the country. His books were translated to 49 languages & sold in 55 countries. The most successful titles are Captains of the Sands, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Gabriella, Clove and Cinnamon & Tieta. Almost all of Amados stories play in and around Bahia. He portrayed the life of simple people. In spite of the material problems of his protagonists most of his books are full of zest for life, Carnival, Bahian food & Afrobrazilian culture.

A stroll on the traces of Jorge Amado

Jorge Amado is very present in Salvador’s neighborhoods Rio Vermelho & in Pelourinho. The couple Jorge Amado & Zélia Gattai lived in Rio Vermelho where is a statue of the two with their pug named Fadul Abdala.
WHERE Largo de Santana / Rio Vermelho / Salvador – Bahia

Casa do Rio Vermelho / House of Rio Vermelho is where Jorge Amado & Zélia Gattai have lived in Salvador & is a museum nowadays. You can see the interesting architecture of the house, sculptures, paintings & many Orishas, the divinities of the Afrobrazilian religion Candomblé.
The couple was devoted to the Orishas & they defended the right of religious freedom. In that time Candomblé was a persecuted religion, temples & sacred places were destroyed. In the short period when Amado was elected congressman, he passed a law to assure religious freedom.

WHERE Rua Alagoinhas No 33, Rio Vermelho / Salvador – Bahia
OPEN Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm / Closed on Mondays, December 24th, 25th, 31st, January 1st & during the Carnival
ADMISSION R$ 20,00 (R$ 10,00 for students & persons from the age of 60) / Wednesday admission is free for all.

Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado / Foundation House of Jorge Amado in Pelourinho hosts a permanent exhibition of photos, books & personal objects related to the life of Jorge Amado & Zélia Gattai.

WHERE Largo do Pelourinho / Salvador – Bahia
OPEN Monday – Friday 10:00am – 6:00pm & Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm
ADMISSION R$ 5,00 (kids under 5 free) / Wednesday admission is free for all.

Barra Beach
  1. You will probably arrive at the International Airport of Salvador. I would just go to the city of Salvador because of the bamboo road to the city 🙂 …reason number 1:
    Salvador Road to the airport
  2. You will discover a unique & tasty cuisine that is influenced by European, African & South American kitchen. A very typical snack with African origin that is very common in Salvador da Bahia is Acarajé, sold by ‘Baianas de Acarajé’. It is a street food & also sold at the beach:Acarajé by Roberto Ferraz
  3. It is warm & sunny almost everyday of the year. It can rain but just few hours later the weather will look like this again:Barra Beach
  4. You have three wishes for each Fita do Bonfim. You will find the ribbons everywhere in the city of Salvador. (I am spreading them in Berlin!!!)Fita do Bonfim
  5. You will easily get in touch with locals if you speak a little Portuguese because not so many speak English when you are leaving the touristic areas. People are very friendly & helpful. This photo was taken after we just met these two women and had a little chat with them about the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé.Locals

– more are coming 🙂

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Church of Bonfim © Antônio Chequer

Church of our Lord of the Good End / Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (in Portuguese) is the most famous church in Salvador da Bahia.

The church was built in the Lower City of Salvador in the 18th century. It is a very important place to locals & also a tourist attraction. The fence around the church is decorated with Ribbons of Bonfim / Fitas do Bonfim. The belief is that to makes three knots with the Fita do Bonfim, can be at the fence or can be at the wrist, you also have three wishes to make. The wishes will all come true if you keep the Fita on until it falls off. Every year in January is a huge religious celebration, the Festa do Bonfim at the chruch.

Like most churches in Salvador, Bonfim’s church is Catholic in it’s origins. Senhor do Bonfim was imported to Brazil during colonial times. Slaves, mostly from Africa, disguised their African gods as Catholic saints. This Afro-Brazilian religion is called Candomblé.