Situated on the northeast coast of Brazil, in the Bahia region, Salvador is a sun-drenched, fun-filled, beachside city which is known locally as the “Capital da Alegría”, the “Capital of Happiness”. It overlooks the sheltered Todos os Santos Bay, and it is not uncommon to see fishing boats moored side by side with multi-million dollar yachts in one of the city’s marinas. Salvador is famous for its annual Carnival, which attracts more than 4 million revelers from all over the world, making it one of the biggest parties on the planet. Expats living in Salvador will never forget their first Carnival experience – it is a full week of singing, dancing, drinking, eating and laughing, which is unlike anything you will have ever seen before. For expatriates who have left their party days behind them, Salvador’s rich history makes it a fascinating city to simply explore and absorb in off-peak seasons. The San Francisco Church is a beautiful example of Portuguese colonial architecture, while the famous Model Market (Mercado Modelo) harks back to the times when the trade ships would bring their new and curious goods to the shore.
Get trustworthy advice and local insights from fellow members in our Brazil expat forums.
Salvador is an energetic and young place to be. Expats will never be too far from a party or some live music. Prepare for moving to Salvador by listening to Bahia funk music – a distinctive blend of American funk and Afro-Caribbean beats. The local cuisine also takes some getting used to, so prepare your palate for spicy shrimp, feijão fradinho, crab stew and coconut dishes. Moving to Salvador from anywhere else in the world can be a bit of an adjustment for newly arrived expatriates in Salvador, but after a few weeks you will find it hard to live anywhere else. Speak to other expats about their experiences of Carnival and life in Brazil on the InterNations forums and discussion boards, and have a browse through our Expat Magazine if you are still feeling unsure about moving abroad.
As well as a party city, Salvador is known for being one of the oldest and busiest ports in Brazil. It is still used by trade vessels and luxury yachts alike, so it is not uncommon to hear a dozen different languages being spoken on one street. However, expats working in Salvador are strongly advised to learn Portuguese before moving there. Luckily it is not a difficult language to learn, particularly for French and Spanish speakers. There are many language schools in the city itself, and you can get advice from other expatriates on picking up a new language by checking out the discussion boards and forums on the InterNations website. Or maybe you have already learned the basics and would like to get in touch with a native speaker to practice your Portuguese? Doing so is easy with the help of InterNations, so sign up today!