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Bahian Carnival, Brazil

El Carnaval de Ouro Preto es una celebración de carnaval universitaria
Ouro Preto Carnival, Brazil
El Carnaval de Guadalupe es una de las celebraciones más importantes de la isla
Guadalupe Carnival


What is the Carnival of Salvador?

The Salvador Carnival, also known as the Carnival of Bahia, is a large street celebration held in Salvador, eastern region of Brazil. The Carnivals of Bahia are known for holding several events simultaneously, as their main attraction is the blocos, which happen in several circuits at the same time. The Salvador Carnival lasts 6 days of pure street fun where everyone can participate.

The Carnival of Bahia was the result of the celebrations of the differentsocial classes of the city, which were divided between the street carnival and carnival in private clubs. Once the carnival begins, the city is divided into seven circuits andtwelve neighborhoods where musical performances and parades of carnival blocos take place. In addition, there are also other exclusively musical spaces such as electronic music, rock stage and many other environments.



The event is attended by dozens of cfamous singers who parade alongside the electric trains or electric trains. The streets become a great spectacle of Bahian music where there is no distinction of social class, race or gender. Salvador Carnival is one of the best known and most popular festivals in the whole country. In fact, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and the Bahia Carnival are generally compared and compete amicably to develop the best show.

The carnival is also a fundamental tool for the economic growth of Salvador, since during the carnival dates there are 30% more tourists than in summer. In addition, it provides jobs in the area of security and first aid for visitors who participate in this great festival. Carnival is the largest employer in the city, counting at least 200,000 people who are directly linked to Carnival activities..


Salvador's Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in Brazil

Salvador’s Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in Brazil


When is the Carnival of Salvador?

Salvador Carnival is always celebrated before Christian Lent, specifically it begins 52 days before Easter and ends 46 days before Easter.



History of the Carnivals of Salvador

Carnival in Brazil was brought by Portuguese settlers, so the first carnival festivities held in the country were in the 16th century. Two centuries later, the carnival was already celebrated throughout the Brazilian territory. At first, carnivals were seen as an immoral and violent practice, which is why the authorities decided to censor and prohibit them in certain regions.

In the olden days, carnivals were celebrated through games of flour, water and other materials. However, they were evolving and modernizing until obtaining the parties that we have today with parades, music, blocos, electric trios and the great amount of entertainment that are presented every year in the cities of the country. Carnival festivities were and still are the celebrations with the greatest strength in Brazil, as they integrate various sectors of society without distinction.

In 1950, Adolfo Dodo Nascimento and Osmar Álvares Macódo, or simply known as Dodo and Osmar, respectively, created the Fobica, a “calhambeque“, what amounts to a car-style vehicle from the 1930s. Dodo and Osmar decided to create this calhambeque open and adapted to perform musical performances through the streets of Salvador while playing songs. This prototype was what originated the Electric Trio some years later.

In 1952, the term electric trio was consolidated as a generic term, referring to a truck or bus that transported musicians through the streets during the Carnival of Bahia. Today, theelectric trios have permeated within the carnivals and have become a primordial element for the celebration of the festivities not only in Salvador, but in the rest of the country.

Although the Salvador Carnival has similarities with the rest of the carnivals in the country, it keeps its distinctive seal by including the axé, a genre of music typical of the state of Bahia. During the festivities the trucks are armed with large loudspeakers to play songs of local genres such as axé, samba-reggae and arrocha.


Where is the Salvador Carnival

The carnival is held in the city of Salvador, also known as São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, located in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

Salvador is in fact, one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. It is also the fourth largest city in Brazil. Salvador has a total area of 693.8 square kilometers and is home to some 2.6 million people.


Thousands of people come to Salvador's Carnival to party with the electric trios

Thousands of people come to Salvador’s Carnival to party with the electric trios


How the Salvador Carnival is celebrated

Although the Carnival in Salvador has similar characteristics to the carnivals of the rest of the country, it has some elements that make it stand out among the carnival festivities of Brazil. It is these elements that make the carnivals so famous both in Brazil and in the rest of the region.



The abadá is a kind of uniform that is mainly used by capoeiristas. In carnival, the abadá has the symbol of the bloco that carries out the party and you can only participate in these blocos if you possess this garment.


Electric trio

The electric trio is a kind of truck combined with a float or float car. This parade car has an incredible sound system and stages so that people can perform on the truck. The electric trios have proliferated in a big way in the carnivals of Salvador and is one of its most important attractions.

The first electric trio was built right there in Bahia by Dodo and Osmar, who used an old 1929 Ford Moustache to build this carnival icon. The invention incredibly transformed theCarnival festivities in the country, as it is used both in Bahia and the rest of the country. In addition, some Latin American countries also use this theme to celebrate carnivals.



The Blocos are a group of people who pay a certain sum of money in order to participate in the carnivals. People who pay to participate, receive an Abadá, which allows them to enjoy the event from near the electric trio. Despite having characteristic carnival rhythms, over time new genres have been involved to the blocos, so that today you can see blocos of Afro music, samba and many other traditional rhythms.

The blocos with the greatest importance in the Carnival of Salvador are the following: Bloco Inter, Bloco Camaleão, Bloco Me Abraça, Bloco Eva, Bloco Blow Out, Bloco Praieiro, Bloco Cerveja e Cia, Bloco Timbalada, Bloco Reduto do Samba, Bloco Eu Vou, Bloco Xupisko, Bloco Proibido Proibir, Bloco Hoje Eu Posso, among others.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.



Camarotes are tents located along the avenues where you can watch the street carnival celebration. In addition, they usually offer open bar, food of various kinds and music rooms with DJs or various musical presentations.



If you do not wish to pay to be part of the blocos directly, you can participate as a “pipoca” reveler. People who are part of the “pipocas” do not belong to any particular bloco, but are simply there enjoying the carnival. The “pipocas” revelers are separated from the blocos by a cordon.



The circuits are the different areas of the city where the blocos perform. Currently there are 7 different circuits located in various parts of the city. Within the carnivals you can find several circuits that have the largest participation of blocos and revelers. Currently, the carnivals have 3 main circuits: Dodô, Osmar and batatinha.



These are alternative spaces to the circuits that feature presentations of bands of various genres and styles, but predominantly metal, rock and punk. Its first appearance in the carnivals was in 1994.


Tips to go to the Carnivals of Salvador

If you want to participate in the carnivals of Salvador, we recommend you to plan your trip in advance, make an itinerary of activities and book the accommodation of your choice in advance. Also, remember to pack light clothes so you can fully enjoy your carnivals.

If you want to live a more comfortable or active experience of Salvador’s carnivals, we recommend you to buy some tickets or purchase your Abadá. If on the other hand you would like to save some coins, you can participate as a pipoca, you will still have an incredible experience that you can only experience in the city of Salvador in Brazil.


Events in Salvador Carnival

At the beginning of the carnivals, the city is divided into various sectors where a lot of activities take place. The main attractions of the carnivals are the circuits, which are divided into various sectors and run through different points. In addition, the city has several sectors of entertainment for the public. These boxes have musical environments, mixed spaces or children’s entertainment.

Among the main circuits are:





It connects the beaches of Barra and Ondina and has one of the best views of the ocean. In this circuit you will find the best cabins and the best places for recreation.



It is located within the city and passes through Avenida Sete, Castro Alves Square and Avenida Carlos Gomes. The route has a duration of 5 hours, covering about 4 kilometers of distance.



It takes place in the squares and in the Pelourinho. One of the objectives of the circuit is to revive past carnivals and present a more familiar atmosphere. Within the circuit, contests, parades, small marches and fanfares are held.


Mestre Bimba

It is located in the northeast neighborhood of Amaralina, This circuit has about 40 blocos that participate in the entire carnival.

Sérgio Bezerra

It is a recent circuit that was started in 2013. The party route takes place in Rua Marques de Leão, Rua Miguel Burnier, Rua Airosa Galvao and Avenida Oceanica..



One of the most traditional, but demonstrations are also included within the circuit. Several people express current events and problems that attack the population day by day.


Contra Fluxo

It is an additional circuit that takes place in the vicinity of Castro Alves Square, in the center of the city of Salvador..



In addition, to the circuits that take place in the various points of the city, the organization also installs some options for revelers who do not want to move to these places. These bairros feature the shows on a fixed stage, without making the route of the parades.



The box is located at Nelson Mandela Square.



It takes place at Praça da Revolução..



The event is held at Praça 15 de Abril.


Boca do Rio

Located in Parque Poliesportivo da Boca do Rio.



Held at Praça Dorival Caymmi..


Pau da Lima

Located at Praça Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora..



Located at Campo da Pronaica.



Alternate spaces

In addition to the dozens of entertainment spots that take place throughout the city, the carnival also offers some spaces for various types of entertainment. These can vary between rock music, multicultural events, children’s area, presentations for the LGBTIQ+ audience and many other boxes at various points in Salvador.


Palco do Rock

In Coqueirais of Piatã.


Multicultural Arena

Praça da Artes.


Torre Eletrônica

Farol da Barra.


Espaço do Samba

Located in Praça da Cruz Caída.


Beco das Cores

Located at Avenida Oceânica.


Projeto Pôr do Sol

Praça Castro Alves.


Children’s Mix Space

Rio Vermelho.


Espaço Mix

Rio Vermelho.


Nautical Carnival

Baía de Todo-os-Santos.



Espaço Cultural da Barroquinha.


The streets are filled with thousands of people during the Salvador Carnival

The streets are filled with thousands of people during the Salvador Carnival



Salvador Carnival Parades

There are currently no main Salvador Carnival parades, as each of the blocos holds its own parade and entertainment. Thus, they are held in the various circuits located in the different points of the city. Generally, the blocos make tours through their predetermined space where thousands of people participate. The parade is accompanied by the electric trios that brighten up the atmosphere with various musical genres, live entertainment, singers and dancers on top of the trucks that entertain all the revelers.


Parade route


Comparsas perform street shows during Salvador Carnival

Comparsas perform street shows during Salvador Carnival



The Carnival does not have a main parade like many other cities in Brazil, but each of the circuits has its own routes, so they go through their predetermined areas with the electric trios. In addition, the carnival also has some static boxes if you do not want to be transported to a specific point or prefer the entertainment at the same point and without so much fuss.


Arroz de polvo is one of Bahia's traditional dishes

Arroz de polvo is one of Bahia’s traditional dishes



What to eat at Salvador Carnival

The city of Salvador and Bahia are known for having the best dishes in Brazil. Due to its geographical location, its dishes are mainly seafood products such as shrimp, octopus and fish.

One of the dishes you can try is the Arroz de polvo or octopus rice. The dish contains basic marinade with onion, garlic and herbs that are accompanied with rice and octopus.

In addition, you can also try the Acarajé. The Acarajé is a fritter made with red beans, flour and spices which is then stuffed with shrimp, onions and spices. The end result is an appetizing bun filled with shrimp and sauce.

In addition, the city has a large number of restaurants that offer a wide variety of traditional dishes. Some of the best known are: Coco Bambu Bahia, Cuco Bistro, Di Liana, Donana, Restaurante do SENAC and A Casa Vidal.


Acarajé is one of Salvador's classic snacks

Acarajé is one of Salvador’s classic snacks



Travel Insurance


From we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurance. Read more information about all insurance offers here:



What to see and do inside the Salvador Carnival

The alternatives of Salvador Carnival are quite various, but also clear and straightforward. Once you find yourself in the carnival, you canhead to any of the circuits in which you want to participate, the most popular ones being Dodô, Osmar, Batatinha, Mestre Bimba, Sérgio Bezerra, Riachão and Contra Fluxo. Each of the circuits feature different spots and entertainment. In general, these circuits have electric tracks that move around the place, making a route that you will be part of.

If you prefer more static entertainment, you can go to the bairros, where there are small stages or stages where you can enjoy live entertainment. In addition, you can also attend the alternative spaces around the city with entertainment and music for all types of audiences.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world


What to see and do outside the Carnivals of Salvador

You can also enjoy several tourist attractions that you can find in the city of Salvador in Bahia.


Casa do Rio Vermelho

It was the residence of the writers Jorge Amado and Zélia Gattai. The house was abandoned in 2003, but was taken over by the prefecture in 2014 to develop a cultural project. Most of the house has been preserved and in its facilities you can find a lot of video and photo exhibits. Inside there is also a souvenir store and a cafe.


Ilha dos Frades

It is an island located in the Bay of All Saints. The island covers about 1,330 hectares and has clean sands and clear, calm waters. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region.  Inside the island you can dive or simply walk along a long stretch of sand.


Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim

It is the most famous church of the city, which was built in the 18th century. The church is the meeting point for the Festa do Senhor do Bonfim and inside you can find several pieces of neoclassical art, paintings, sculptures, pillars and tiles.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting


Safety in Salvador Carnival



Salvador is a wonderful city full of natural and cultural attractions. However, in terms of security it leaves some things to be desired. If you decide to go out on the street, try not to wear too flashy clothes or jewelry. Also, avoid going out with large amounts of money or taking your cell phone out on the streets to answer calls or send messages.

Try at all costs not to go out at night and if you do, try to go out in a group and avoid places such as squares or dark streets. If something happens, do not hesitate to contact the relevant city authorities.

During the carnival, the city has several security forces, as well as firefighters, nurses and lifeguards in case something unexpected happens.

Also, we recommend the following products to safely store your items:



Weather at Salvador Carnival

During the Carnival celebration, the city of Salvador presents a quite hot weather, with temperatures ranging between 25 and 31 degrees Celsius. We recommend you to stay hydrated and use sunscreen whenever your skin needs it.


The bands of musicians perform in the streets during the Salvador Carnival

The bands of musicians perform in the streets during the Salvador Carnival



How to get to Salvador Carnival


How to get there by plane

The city of Salvador has its own airport known as Salvador International Airport – Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães, which receives a good number of flights from all over the world and the country. Once here, you can use the various means of transportation to reach the city center.

We recommend buying airline tickets through or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review


How to get there by bus

From the airport you can take a bus from Integra Salvador Norte directly to the city center. The trip takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. The price for the whole trip is 2 US dollars.


How to get there by car

From the airport you can take a car and head towards the city center by Avenida Luís Viana. The drive is 30 minutes.

If you take a cab, the taxi fare is US$13 to US$17.


Where to stay in Salvador Carnival



Intercity Salvador

4-star hotel 6 km from the city center. Rooms have air conditioning, minibar, desk, TV and private bathroom. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, restaurant, parking and free wifi.


Rede Andrade Plaza Salvador

3-star hotel 8 km from the city center. Rooms have television and private bathroom. The hotel has a swimming pool, beach entrance, parking and free wifi.


Quality Hotel São Salvador

4-star hotel 6 km from the city center. Rooms have air conditioning, minibar, desk, TV and private bathroom. The hotel has a gym, bar, swimming pool, restaurant and wifi.

We recommend you use to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.


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