With 3.5 million inhabitants, Salvador is the third most popular city in Brazil. It's known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its countless outdoor parties. The city was founded in 1500, which makes it the oldest city in Brazil and Americas and offers you the beauty of historic buildings and sights. The city is right on the ocean, which means that the local cuisine is based on seafood. You will drive around in your car hire smiling from ear to ear after trying some of Salvador's famous seafood dishes.
Get your car rental on the road to visit one of the oldest palaces in Brazil: Palácio Rio Branco. When the Portuguese settlers, headed by Thom é de Souza, landed in Brazil, they needed to build a capital for the country. One of the first things they build was Palácio Rio Branco, a neo-classical palace that sits on a commanding position overlooking the bay. De Souza made this his home and nowadays the palace is open to the public.
Salvador used to be an important seaport due to its sugar and slave trade. Just around the corner of Palácio Rio Branco, you can find Mercado Modelo. This Customs House was built in 1861 and used to store shipments of new slaves while awaiting auction. Nowadays it's a market. Here you can find live music and free capoeira - a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music.
Get back in your car hire and drive down to Praia Porto da Barra Beach. In 2007, the British newspaper the Guardian named this beach the 'third best beach in the world'. This beach is small and picturesque and there are vendors selling almost everything you can imagine. The bay water is calm and warm, so if you're into surfing, make sure to drive your car hire a further up to Praia do Farol da Barra. This beach is popular among surfers and its waterfront is lined with heaps of restaurants and bars which are great for dinner and a drink.
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