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Sometimes referred to as ‘Brazil's capital of happiness', Salvador de Bahia is known as one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture. The many outdoor parties and festivals that take place within the city maintain Salvador's lively party atmosphere and attract thousands of visitors each year. The city of Salvador is located on the northeast coast of the country and is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. Pristine beaches, vibrant local culture, fun-filled carnivals and other exciting events are what make Salvador de Bahia such a fantastic cruise destination.
The main attractions that Salvador has to offer are its huge yearly Carnivals, which are seen as amongst the biggest in the world. The Carnival is made up of parades, music, dancers and other entertainers and is extremely popular with both tourists and locals. Alternatively, if you arrive in the city outside of Carnival season there are still plenty of exciting activities to enjoy. Salvador boasts a range of beautiful sandy beaches, the most popular of which include the city's main central beaches Porto de Barra, Flamengo and Stella Maris, which have great tourist facilities and choppy waters perfect for surfing. Other popular beaches in the area are Jaguaribe, Piata and Itapoa, which all have calmer waters and are very popular with families. Aside from parties and beaches, Bahia de Salvador also has many sight-seeing opportunities:
This state-protected park, which contains the famous Abaete Lake, is a great place for visitors to spend a day whilst staying in the city. The park is full of entertainment including live music and bars, making it one of Salvador's most popular tourist hotspots.
Largo do Pelourinho
As one of the oldest parts of the city, Largo do Pelourinho is a great place to discover the history and culture of Salvador. The small triangular plaza is infamous for its connection with the slave trade and can make an interesting day trip for visitors to the city.
Salvador de Bahia has an excellent collection of museums in which visitors can uncover more knowledge of the culture and heritage of the city. One of the most popular museums is the Museo da Cidade, in which many artefacts from old Salvador are preserved and displayed for the public to view. Other local museums include Museo de Arte da Bahia, which contains exquisite paintings and other works of art, and Museo Nautico, which displays items from Salvador's nautical history.
Salvador is full of fantastic bargains and can be a paradise for avid shoppers. Most vendors across the city are happy to haggle and bargain on the prices of their goods, so make sure to give it a try when making purchases. Mercado Modelo, located in the lower town, is Salvador's main market and is an excellent place to buy crafts, gifts and other souvenirs. Another great location to pick up souvenirs and mementos of your stay in the city is Litoral Norte, for T-shirts and other gifts, and Pelourinho for local artwork. The city also has a selection of modern shopping malls for general purchases.
The restaurants in Bahia are viewed as some of the best in Brazil. Most will serve authentic South American dishes, such as grilled Bahia fish badejo, which is very popular with locals and tourists. The city also has an abundance of popular fast food outlets so there is always something for everyone's tastes.
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