Live and eat like a local, and get off the tourist track with our Salvador hit list from the host of SBS travel show, This is Brazil!.
Fernanda de Paula

12 May 2014 - 2:07 PM  UPDATED 13 May 2014 - 5:04 PM

1. Explore the cobblestone streets

Salvador’s historic neighbourhood of Pelourinho used to be the city centre during the Portuguese colonial period. The European style architecture combined with colorful facades and cobblestone streets makes it one of the most striking places in the country. A visit to this UNESCO Heritage site is a must.


2. Feel the faith

Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian religion that originated when the beliefs and practices brought with African slaves were combined with Catholicism. It encapsulates the Brazilian tendency to syncretism - basically to mish-mash faiths and theories from different religions. Some ceremonies of Candomblé are open to the public and are spectacular.


3. Observe martial arts mastery

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art, dance and game. Although it’s origins are still controversial, some argue that it was developed to assist slaves in disguising their martial arts training from the slave-owners. Head to the fortress of Capoeira and watch the sun set with old masters playing in the foreground.


4. Discover the Salvadorian spirit from local kids

You cannot escape the beat of music in Salvador - it’s everywhere loud and proud. The Olodum is a social and educational project designed for local kids that uses music as a pathway to accessing a life of opportunity. They are invited to perform around the world and if you’re lucky you might catch them rehearsing on the streets of the Pelourinho - it will give you goosebumps.


5. Savour some Afro-Brazilian specilaties

The African slaves brought with them ingredients and cooking techniques that are now part of everyday live in Brazil. In Salvador, their heritage is everywhere and the city is infused by the aroma of dendê oil in the afternoon when acarajé, a type of black-eyed bean fritter, is prepared. Make sure you have a fresh one from street vendors around town.


6. Where to eat

Casa de Teresa (Rua Odilon Santos, 45 - Rio Vermelh, +55 71 3329-3016)


This is Brazil! airs Fridays at 7.30pm on SBS ONE.