Salvador Museums

(Salvador, Bahia, Brazil)

Salvador comes with more than its fair share of culture and contains many appealing museums. Tourists will be able to choose from attractions such as the Museu da Cidade and its plentiful Bahain treasures, the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia and its archaeological exhibits, and the Museu Carlos Costa Pinto, where decorative art is in abundance.

A relatively new addition to the museum scene in Salvador is the Museu da Misericordia, which opened its doors to the general public in January 2006 and stands between the Praca Municipal and the Praca da Sé. Also worth mentioning, a number of the churches and monasteries in Salvador contain their own museums, such as the Carmo da Misericórdia. where themed exhibitions are of a religious nature.

Museu da Cidade (City Museum)

Address: Largo do Pelourinho, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 071 3321 1967
The Museu da Cidade is home to an interesting and rather unique collection of regional Bahian artefacts, both old and relatively modern. As well as a group of paintings and sculptures, exhibits include traditional costumes, colonial rag dolls, 'orixá' deity statues and various sacred objects. There are also some interesting personal effects that once belonged to famed Brazilian poet Antonio Frederico de Castro Alves (1847 to 1871), who is perhaps best known for his republic and abolitionist poems, often protesting again slavery.
Open hours: Monday, Wednesday to Friday - 09:00 to 18:00, Saturday - 13:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00
Admission: charge

Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology)

Address: Faculdade de Medicina Building, Terreiro de Jesus, Praca XV de Novembro, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 071 3321 3971
Located close to the Museu Afro Brasileiro and housed within the Faculdade de Medicina Building on the Praca XV de Novembro, the Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia has many important past Brazilian treasures. These include everything from bows and arrows, painted masks, well-preserved pottery and elaborate headpieces made with feathers, to glass and porcelain artefacts dating from the 19th century and discovered during past excavations.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Museu da Misericordia (Museum of Mercy)

Address: Rua da Misericordia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 071 3322 7355
The Museu da Misericordia tells the story of the history of medicine in Brazil and is set within a grand 17th-century building formerly functioning as the very first hospital in the whole of Brazil. Guided tours are available and allow visitors to see relevant artefacts and period furnishings from the past four centuries, although it should be noted that these tours are only available in Portuguese. Attached to the Museu da Misericordia is the beautiful Igreja da Misericordia church, which certainly warrants exploration and comes with some historic colourful glazed tiles, known as 'azulejos'.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 13:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Museu Carlos Costa Pinto (Carlos Costa Pinto Museum)

Address: Avenida 7 de Setembro 2490, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 071 3336 6081
Set within a majestic mansion, the Museu Carlos Costa Pinto contains an extensive collection of decorative art, which is arguably the best that the city has to offer. Visitors will discover an array of unusual pieces fashioned by local Brazilian artisans, which have been created using precious metals such as silver and gold, as well as crystal and porcelain. There is also a notable cafe with outdoor seating, should you have time for refreshments.
Open hours: Wednesday to Monday - 14:30 to 19:00
Admission: charge, free admission on Thursdays

Museu Nautico da Bahia (Nautical Museum)

Address: Farol da Barra, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 071 3264 3296
Boasting excellent views of the Bay of All Saints, the Museu Nautico da Bahia complex comprises a lighthouse and a military fortress (Forte de Santo Antonio da Barra). The fort is typically Portuguese in style and built in the 1530s, while the lighthouse is where you find the museum itself, complete with maps, charts, nautical instruments and objects originating from nearby shipwrecks. An onsite cafe completes the main attractions.
Open hours: Monday - 08:30 to 12:00, Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge