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Cidade Alta

Cidade Alta (Upper City) contains Salvador’s largest concentration of sights. Perched on an escarpment and affording great views over the bay (Todos os Santos), it is here where you’ll find Pelourinho, Brazil’s original and restored colonial capital, Museo Afro-Brasiliero, and the São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador.

Cidade Alta’s historic center, Pelourinho is also a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. Spread over several blocks, its cobbled streets contain many notable brightly-painted colonial buildings and the area is a magnet for visitors.

You could spend all day gazing at the colonial architecture and chocolate-box exteriors, but make some time to go inside a few of the more notable buildings here. A must-see is the ‘golden church’ (São Francisco Church and Convent). Its gold interior adorned with gilt woodwork and paintings is considered to be one of the best examples of Portuguese-Brazilian Baroque.