The magic of Salvador, Bahia captures hearts. The warm, friendly people and vibrant street life are second to none.

The New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes, and National Geographic all agree — Salvador should be on every traveler’s must-visit list.

  • Beaches? Check. 
  • Rich cultural heritage? Check. 
  • Tropical climate? Check. 
  • World heritage site? Check. 
  • World-class music? Check.

When people ask me what makes Salvador so special, I ask them how much time they have. I have managed to condense that down to 40 tangible reasons, and pulled out my top five here for you. 

Get all 40 Reasons to Visit Salvador, Brazil.

5 Reasons to Visit Salvador, Bahia

1. Vibrant street life

This is one of my favorite things about Salvador — life on the street. I love walking down the street, watching a card or backgammon game, a lively conversation about soccer over a beer or four, or an impromptu samba circle. Life with friends is lived out on the streets. And making friends here is as easy as showing up with a beer and asking to join in.

2. The cultural center of Brazil

São Paulo is the financial and business center, Rio de Janeiro is the tourism capital, and I (and National Geograhic) would argue that Salvador is the cultural capital. “One local expression perfectly reflects the artistic verve of Bahians: Here people aren’t born, they premiere.”

3. A budget-friendly destination

While getting to Salvador can be expensive, staying in Salvador is easy on the wallet. As an example, with a housing budget of $250USD/week you can have a western-style, one-bedroom, doorman-controlled, air-conditioned apartment, in a great neighborhood, across the street from the beach. Food, drink, and entertainment are equally inexpensive.

4. Off the beaten path

While Salvador is the playground of Brazil for Brazilians, it still remains a relative unknown outside of Brazil. No fighting the crowds, hearing English on every street, or cheesy fabricated tourist stops. You’ll see life as it really is here.

5. Warm and friendly people

I believe this is the secret sauce of Salvador — the human connection. Visitors instantly comment on how warm, friendly, open, and welcoming the people are. Make the effort to befriend a local or two and you will be repaid many times over.

Discover 35 more reasons to visit this hidden gem

From world-class beaches to gorgeous colonial architecture to sultry dance rhythms, discover the 40 reasons why publications from The Guardian to the New York Times are saying that Salvador is a must-visit destination.

Your no-cost inspiration piece comes as a 16-page PDF -- great for printing and sharing with future traveling companions.

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See you on the streets!

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