The capital of the north-eastern state of Bahia, Salvador is the rhythmic heartbeat of the country’s Afro-Brazilian Culture, and hosts a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands.
Founded in 1549, Salvador clocks itself as one of the oldest cities of the New World. While the city’s squares were once infamous pillory sites during the slave trade, today Salvador’s postcard streetscapes draw tourists en masse.
Bahia’s musical melting pot reverbs off its every corner from bars to souvenir stores. Many tourists spend their Reals on traditional percussion instruments such as kaypacha drums and stringed berimbaus.
One of Salvador’s most popular food specialities is acarajé, a deep-fried fritter made from black-eyed peas (and laced with palm oil). Locals advise that they are best enjoyed with dollops of a spicy shrimp sauce called vatapá.
The city’s historic centre, the Cidade Alta, is lined with charming cobbled streets and pastel-coloured buildings. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site crammed with tourists so expect so pay to a little more for a Caipirinha.
Much of Salvador’s art reflects aspects of its vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture - among them Capoeira. The martial art, which mixes dance and combat traces its roots to the 16th Century when it was developed by African slaves in the region. #125215968
Salvador hosts Spain vs Netherlands on Friday 13 June, Germany vs Portugal on Monday 16 June, Switzerland vs France on Friday 20 June and Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Iran on Wednesday 25 June
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