Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, is a fascinating destination full of possibilities. From its historic centre Pelourinho which is a World Heritage Site to its golden beaches or markets you will love it. Today I want to help you in those first moments in the third most populated city of Brazil and I will explain all the options you have to go from the airport of Salvador to downtown.
Salvador de Bahia via Shutterstock
✈️ How to get from SALVADOR DE BAHÍA airport to the centre
Salvador’s airport is called “Aeropuerto Internacional Diputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães” (SSA). It is one of the country’s main airports and is located less than 30 kilometers north of the city center. It has a good infrastructure for travelers and I’ll tell you the details below.
Magalhães airport has currency exchange facilities, automatic teller machines, restaurants, cafeterias, various shops, duty free and VIP lounges. The airport offers free and unlimited internet connection. Unfortunately there is no consignment service (to keep your suitcase).
The good thing is that it is very well communicated with the center and here I tell you all the options to easily reach your accommodation in Salvador (buses, subway, taxi, private transfer, etc.).
Salvador via Shutterstock
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Several bus companies operate through Salvador airport and there are two groups: the line buses and the “executive” buses. Here I explain each one of them, the schedules, prices and services they offer.
en.delaval.ca: Line buses
These are regular red buses, which have a sign on the front indicating their destination (with name or number). Keep in mind that they don’t usually have space for luggage, so if you’re heavily loaded it’s not the best option.
If you are staying at Pelourinho, you should take bus number 1001 whose last stop is at Praça da Sé. If you travel to the Lapa area you must take line 1003 or to Campo Grande line 1002. Just in case, always ask the driver if he’ll show you where you’re going.
They are open from 4.40am to 11.25pm (although each line has a different schedule, this is the average). The journey to the centre takes about 60 minutes on average (although it depends a lot on traffic). The price is 6 reais (1.40€) and you pay the ticket in cash when you get on the bus.
Airport to Lapa Line Schedules Timetable from the airport to Pelourinho
You can take these buses at the stop right in front of the airport exit (before parking).
Here I leave you the link to the public company of urban transport to look at the routes and stops.
Salvador de Bahia via Shutterstock
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This is a private company (“First Class”) that offers transfers from Salvador airport to the city center. The buses are spacious, comfortable with air and wifi.
Inside the terminal is the executive bus counter and you can buy the ticket there. The price is 30 reais (6.75€).
Offers daily service between 7.30am and 7.30pm. The frequency depends on the day of the week, but on average it is about 30 minutes.
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A quick, efficient and inexpensive way to get to downtown Salvador from the airport is by subway.
In the same terminal is the metro stop “Airport” which belongs to line 2. If you go downtown, you must take this line 2 to the station “Acceso Norte” and there combine with line 1 which is the one that goes to Lapa (the closest to Bahia).
The journey can take about half an hour. Salvador de Bahia’s subway runs every day from 5am to midnight.
The price of the single ticket is 3.70 reais (about 0.85€). Here I leave you the link to the official website of the Metro de Salvador, with schedules, routes and stops.
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As in any international airport, you have the option to go by taxi from Salvador airport to your accommodation in the city.
You can request a taxi at the counter inside the airport, where you make a pre-payment for your trip and outside the taxi is waiting to take you to your destination. The average price from the airport to the center is about 30€.
On the other hand, outside the airport are the normal taxis, white and with taximeter, who will take you to your hotel and charge you what is on the meter (make sure with maps.me or google maps that you do not go around the city). The approximate price is 20€.
In general, a taxi will take you between 30 and 40 minutes to get to the centre, although it will always depend on traffic.
Pelourinho Salvador via Shutterstock
🚘 RENTAL CAR
If your idea is to do a road trip around the country, you should rent a car to pick it up directly from the airport.
The company I usually book rental cars with in advance is the Rentalcars comparator, which usually has the best prices and offers.
▶️ Where to stay in Salvador de Bahia
If you’re thinking of spending a few days in Salvador, you’re sure to be concerned about safety and are looking for a good accommodation area.
My recommendation is that you stay in: Pelourinho, Comercio and Barra (all three are good for walking around the historic centre). On the other hand, if you want to be close to the beach, opt for the areas of Flamengo, Ondina and Stella Maris.
🏨 Hotels in Salvador Bahia
In Salvador de Bahia there are many types of hotels for all tastes and pockets, from accommodation for 3€ per night to 5 star hotels.
💤 My recommendation, if you are going to stay in the area of Barra is the HIT Hotel that is in front of the beach Porto da Barra and 5km from the historic center of Salvador. It has big rooms, comfortable, with free wifi, very good price and includes breakfast buffet.
💤 If you prefer to stay in Pelourinho, then take a look at Bahiacafé Hotel, a boutique-style accommodation that is superbly located, next to Praça da Sé and close to public transport so you can move around. The rooms are beautiful, have free wifi and have breakfast buffet.
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*Photos from the Shutterstock image bank
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