The 10 Best Museums in Salvador

Ah, Salvador! A city where the pulse of Afro-Brazilian culture beats loudest and where history is painted in vibrant hues across the old colonial facades of Pelourinho. But beyond the samba rhythms and the mouthwatering acarajé, Salvador is a treasure trove of cultural institutions. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that are a must-visit in this historic city.

Museu de Arte da Bahia (MAB)

First up, we’ve got the Museu de Arte da Bahia. It’s the oldest museum in the state and a real gem. Housed in a grand 19th-century building, MAB boasts an impressive collection of fine arts, furniture, and decorative arts. You’ll find yourself whisked away on a journey through Brazilian art history, with works that span from the 17th century to contemporary pieces.

Museu Afro-Brasileiro (MAFRO)

Next, let’s talk about the Museu Afro-Brasileiro. It’s a place that truly encapsulates the soul of Salvador. The museum showcases the African influence on Brazilian culture, with artifacts that include carved figures, musical instruments, and Candomblé religious objects. The highlight? The stunning wooden panels carved by the famed artist Carybé, depicting the orixás of Candomblé.

Museu Náutico da Bahia

Set in the historic Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra, the Museu Náutico da Bahia offers breathtaking views of the bay. Inside, you’ll find a rich collection of model ships, nautical instruments, and maps that tell the tale of Brazil’s maritime history. It’s a fascinating place, especially if you’re keen on learning about the explorers who shaped the country’s past.

Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia (MAM-BA)

For a taste of something more contemporary, the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia is your go-to spot. Set in a picturesque location at the Solar do Unhão, this museum is a Celebration of modern and contemporary art. With rotating exhibitions and a stunning sculpture garden, MAM-Ba is a place where art and nature dance together in harmony.

Museu da Misericórdia

Overlooking the All Saints Bay, the Museu da Misericórdia is a testament to the charitable works of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia. The museum tells the story of healthcare and charity in Bahia, with a collection that includes sacred art, historical documents, and even an old apothecary. It’s a poignant reminder of the city’s commitment to helping those in need.

Museu do Carnaval

You can’t talk about Salvador without mentioning its legendary Carnival. The Museu do Carnaval is where you can immerse yourself in the festival’s vibrant history. From costumes to recordings of iconic Carnival songs, this museum captures the essence of Salvador’s most famous celebration.

Museu Carlos Costa Pinto

Ever wondered about the luxurious lifestyle of Bahia’s sugar cane aristocracy? The Museu Carlos Costa Pinto has got you covered. This museum is filled with silverware, jewelry, furniture, and other luxury items that belonged to the wealthy families of the colonial and Imperial periods. It’s like stepping into a time machine!

Museu da Cidade

The Museu da Cidade is where Salvador’s history comes alive. Located in the heart of the old city, this museum offers a glimpse into the life of Salvador’s residents over the centuries. With a collection that includes everything from old photographs to religious artifacts, it’s a must-visit for history buffs.

Museu Rodin Bahia

Yes, you read that right – Salvador has a Rodin museum! The Museu Rodin Bahia is home to a collection of plaster casts made by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. These casts were used to create some of his most famous bronze sculptures. The museum also features works by other artists, making it a hotspot for sculpture lovers.

Museu Tempostal

Last but not least, we have the Museu Tempostal. This museum is dedicated to the art of postcards and photography. With a collection that spans from the late 19th century to the present, it offers a unique visual journey through Salvador’s urban and social development.


  • What are the opening hours for these museums?

    Most museums in Salvador are open from Tuesday to Sunday, usually starting at 10 am. However, it’s always best to check their official websites for the most up-to-date information.

  • Are there any free museums in Salvador?

    Yes, some museums offer free admission on certain days of the week. For example, MAM-BA is free on Wednesdays. Again, it’s a good idea to confirm this on their websites before planning your visit.

  • Can I buy tickets to these museums online?

    Some museums in Salvador do offer online ticket purchases, while others only sell tickets at the door. It’s a mixed bag, so be sure to check ahead of time.


Salvador’s museums are as diverse and colorful as the city itself. From the hallowed halls of fine art to the lively beats of Carnival, there’s a museum for every interest. Whether you’re a history aficionado, an art enthusiast, or simply curious about the rich cultural tapestry of Bahia, these institutions offer a deep dive into the heart and soul of Salvador. So, next time you’re in town, make sure to carve out some time for these cultural havens – they’re sure to add an extra layer of magic to your Salvador experience.

Remember, each museum offers a unique window into the past and present of this vibrant city. So, don’t just take my word for it – go see for yourself! And who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself dancing to the rhythm of Salvador’s heartbeat in one of these cultural gems. 🎶

Kurby Team

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