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Monday, October 20, 2014

About Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

The uniqueness of Salvador

Salvador, Bahia Brazil guide graphic

Capital of the state of Bahia, Salvador has a population of over 2 million. Salvador was the first capital of Brazil and its magnificent baroque architecture illustrates the importance and wealth that poured through the city during Brazil’s early modern history. The influences of afro-Brazilian culture are more evident in Bahia than in most other states of Brazil and Salvador is known as a center for all aspects of afro-Brazilian culture including religious life, music, dance, folk art, and the culinary arts. Known for its pristine beaches, clear blue waters, delightful inhabitants, and lively nightlife, both Salvador and the rest of Bahia have become major destinations for the international and domestic tourist market.

Visas are required for all but nationals of the following countries:

Brazil visa information graphic

Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahams, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Israel, Italy, Korean Republic, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Note: Many Brazilian consulates in the United States are taking a hard line interpretation of visa requirements in reaction to the treatment many Brazilians receive at the United States consulates in Brazil. For visitors from the United States, it is recommended that you apply for your visa with ample time for processing (i.e. as soon as you buy your air ticket) and that you ensure that all of your application documents are in order.

Business hours

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Banks
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday

Shops
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
9:00 to 1:00 p.m. Saturday

Shopping Malls
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday
and 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday.

Credit cards and currency exchange

Guide to Salvador, Brazil graphic

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Cash advances from Visa cards are possible at Banco do Brasil.

There are a number of currency exchange offices in the tourist neighborhood of Pelourinho as well as in Shopping Barra and Shopping Iguatemi.

The best exchange rates, however, are generally received from cash machines using a debit card. Cash machines can be found in the airport and all around town. Citibank and HSBC are the most reliable.

Electricity

Salvador Bahia Brazil apartment rental graphicrental properties Salvador Bahia Brazil graphicSalvador uses 110V electricity - the same as in the United States. However, the plug is different from the standard US version - you will need an adapter for a socket that accepts two round posts. The photo here shows the type of plug that Brazilian outlets accept. It is best to bring an adapter with you. Electrical devices designed for 220V will need an additional converter as well.

Water

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Bottled water is recommended in Salvador, though many local residents are content with using filters.

Bottled water is available everywhere and delivery service for 20 liter jugs is available throughout the city at very low cost.

Time zone

Salvador Brazil time zone graphic

The time is not seasonally adjusted in Salvador as in other parts of Brazil.

Therefore the time is either 1 or 2 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (GMT -04:00 or GMT -03:00) depending on the date.

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Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
guide to Salvador, Brazil