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Salvador is a Brazilian city with a rich history. Up to 1746 it was the capital of the new Portuguese colony. At that time the city was very rich, from the sugar and tobacco trade amongst others, and also from the trade in gold and diamonds from the hinterland. Salvador was also a landing port for African slaves and the city still has an unmistakable African influence. This is partly evident in the music and local food culture.
The city lies on the coast in northeastern Brazil on a triangular peninsula that isolates the All Saints Bay (Baía de Todos os Santos) from the Atlantic Ocean. Salvador is the capital of the state Bahia. The upper city (Cidade Alta) is the historical heart of the city, with the cathedral and most restaurants and bars. This part of Salvador is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Downtown is about 85 meter lower. Between the two districts is a cable car.
Salvador is one of the most important tourist destinations in Brazil. Tourism thus plays a major role in the economy. This also relates to construction activities (not only the construction of accommodation, but also renovation of historical buildings).
Via the port of Salvador, many products are exported from the hinterland: cacao, sisal, soybeans and petrochemical products. There is also oil and gas exploration, and an oil refinery in Salvador. In addition, Ford has an assembly plant.
The international airport of Salvador (official: Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhães International Airport) lies 28 kilometers northeast of the city center. The airport is easily reachable by rental car: follow the Paralela highway or the more beautiful, but slightly longer road along the coast.
Salvador has a good system of public buses, but for a newcomer it can be difficult to find out which bus goes where. Every large shopping center has a station where multiple lines stop. The central bus station is Lapa (next to the mall with the same name).
As other Brazilian cities, traffic in Salvador is busy and chaotic. Finding a parking space in the center can also be difficult. A rental car is still an excellent option in Salvador. Not necessarily to view the city itself, but to drive to attractions in the surrounding area. Visit, for example, the 12 kilometer long beach of Praia de Forte, about an hour and a half drive from Salvador. There is also a sanctuary for turtles.
The supply of accommodation in Salvador is enormous. More over, the hotel rooms are of the most modern in Brazil. The large, more expensive hotels are generally along the Atlantic coast. Cheaper options are along a main passage in Salvador, Avenida Sete de Setembro. In the historic Pelourinho district you can find cheaper hotels, but it gets noisy here at night.
For more information on Salvador, we recommend Google and the following sources: