Pelourinho buzzes with activity at all hours, and a walking tour is the best way to see it all: browse the art galleries and handicraft markets, photograph the multicolored buildings, and visit landmarks such as the São Francisco Church and Palacio Rio Branco. In the evening, head to Largo do Pelourinho (or Praça José de Alencar) square to watch a capoeira performance, dine at a terrace restaurant, or dance at one of the samba bars.
Things to Know Before You Go
Although police patrol the area both day and night—making Pelourinho one of Salvador’s safer neighborhoods—it’s recommended to stick to the main areas and travel by taxi to and from the district.
Pelourinho has a large selection of restaurants, cafés, bars, and nightclubs, most of which are found around Largo do Pelourinho.
The cobbled streets and old buildings may make access tricky for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Pelourinho is located just east of Salvador Centro (downtown). The quickest and safest way to get there is by taxi or rideshare. Most Salvador city tours include hotel pickup and drop-off.
When to Get There
Daytime is generally preferred for Pelourinho sightseeing, though the district is also known for its nightlife. Tuesday nights are busiest, when locals gather to celebrate after the Tuesday blessing at the São Francisco Church; however, you can enjoy live music and dancing in Pelourinho any night of the week. During the annual carnival, Pelourinho hosts some of Salvador’s most impressive festivities and parades.
Museums and Monuments in Salvador’s Pelourinho District
Must-see landmarks in Pelourinho include the São Francisco Church, with its gleaming gold interior; the 18th-century Church of Saint Peter; and the 17th-century Cathedral Basilica. After admiring the architecture, make your way to the Casa de Jorge Amado, a cultural center dedicated to the Brazilian writer. Then, experience the magic of Salvador’s carnival year-round at the Casa do Carnaval da Bahia, or ride the Lacerda Elevator for a view of the city and coast.
- Museu Afro-Brasileiro (MAFRO)
- Cidade Alta
- Lacerda Elevator (Elevador Lacerda)
- Salvador Mercado Modelo
- Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova
- Tororo Dike (Dique do Tororó)
- Castro Alves Theater (Teatro Castro Alves)
- Frades Island (Ilha dos Frades)
- Nosso Senhor do Bonfim Church (Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim)
- Carlos Costa Pinto Museum (Museu Carlos Costa Pinto)
- Barra Lighthouse
- Forte de Santo Antonio da Barra
- Sao Francisco Church and Convent (Igreja e Convento de Sao Francisco)
- Itaparica Island (Ilha de Itaparica)
- Morro de Sao Paulo