What you need to know about Salvador
Salvador, a city in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, is known for its Portuguese colonial architecture, Afro-Brazilian culture and tropical coastline. The Pelourinho neighborhood is its historic heart, with cobblestone alleys opening onto large squares, colorful buildings and baroque churches such as São Francisco, featuring gilt woodwork. Capoeira martial artists and Olodum drummers perform on the winding streets. Salvador forms the heart of the Recôncavo, Bahia’s rich agricultural and industrial maritime district, and continues to be a major Brazilian port.
Area: 272.6 mi²
Population: 2.675 million
The currency of Brazil is Brazilian Reals.
Salvador features a tropical rainforest climate with no discernible dry season due to no month having an average rainfall of 60 mm. Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the course of the year. Salvador’s driest month of the year is September, when the city receives on average 10 cm (4 in) of precipitation. Salvador’s wettest months are between April and June when at least 20 cm (8 in) of rain falls during each of these four months.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese.
- By taxi: Salvador cab drivers must be competing with those in Rio for spots on Formula 1 racing teams. They will certainly get you where you’re going quicker than the bus! However, as buses stop running after midnight, do be prepared to haggle quite a bit with taxistas who refuse to use the meter, especially if you’ve decided to explore far from your bed – as a general rule very few taxistas will use the meter, so haggling is common on most journies. Executive taxis (white and blue) don’t have meters, and the prices are on a table, it’s more expensive than city taxis, but they are much more comfortable, they are in stops in the main shopping malls, the airport, bus station, ferry-boat station and big hotels. Most of the executive taxis don’t have a very good online presence and often English speaking staff are hard to come by.
- By bicycle: The Bicycle sharing system program Bike Salvador offers many bike stations through the city. Cycling is not really a good option to get around in Salvador excpet the cycle-ways and pedestrian zones like in Barra and Ribeira areas. On Sundays and holidays the Salvador Vai de Bike project offers leisure cycle-ways like the one in downtown between Campo Grande Square and Historic Center and in the City Park (Parque da Cidade) area.
- By metro: Salvador’s metro system operates from Lapa (in city center) to Bom Juá. Campo da Pólvora Station is 700 meters from Historic Center and Acesso Norte Station is near Bela Vista Shopping Mall. The Line 2 will link the international airport. The first stage between Acesso Norte and Rodoviária (bus station) will be ready in October 2015.
- By train: Suburban rail service links Calçada in Lower City and the suburban neighborhood Paripe.
- Don’t flash around money Keep a minimum of cash in your pocket and the rest out of sight!
- Avoid standing at bus stops as they are unsafe at night.
- Don’t drink the water although the water is treated it is different. Drink bottled water instead.