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Mercado Modelo

Browse hundreds of handicraft and souvenir stalls and then have lunch with impressive views over the Port of Salvador at this century-old marketplace.

Visit the Mercado Modelo to see an all-encompassing collection of Bahian arts, crafts and curios. Opened in 1912, the market originally served as a center for the storing and trading of cigars, fresh produce, spirits and wines, among other goods brought to the city’s port. The Mercado Modelo is housed in Salvador’s old custom house, a heritage building inaugurated in 1868 and rebuilt several times after damage caused by fires.

Stroll around the neoclassical-style market building to find over 250 stalls. Shop for anything from beadwork, hammocks and key chains to figurines, musical instruments and tribal masks. Peruse the work of local artists, purchase handcrafted jewelry and breathe in the aromas of pickled foods and spices. Stall owners are notorious for offering high starting prices so be prepared to engage in a bargaining battle.

Besides shopping, the market is also a popular place for artistic expression. Watch as dancers practice capoeira, a non-contact martial art that combines African and Brazilian influences. Listen to the infectious sound of the berimbau (musical bow) and caxixi (maraca-like idiophone), which accompany the capoeira performers.

Be sure to go down to the market’s eerie catacombs if they are open. Legend says that this is where African slaves were kept before being sold to work on sugar plantations. The market’s security guards have reported ghostly noises that resemble rattling slave chains.

Go to the restaurants on the building’s upper floor to sample typical Bahian dishes such as moqueca, a fish or shrimp stew. Grab a seat on the balcony and enjoy views of the Port of Salvador. Look out across the bay to the 17th-century São Marcelo Fort.

Located in the Cidade Baixa neighborhood, the market is a short walk from Salvador’s Historic Center. Public buses stop nearby and link with the coastal neighborhoods of Barra and Ribeira. The Elevador Lacerda elevator connects Cidade Baixa with Cidade Alta.

The Mercado Modelo is open daily. Opening hours are shorter on Sunday and public holidays.


Guide to Exploring around Mercado Modelo


Map

Lodging Near Mercado Modelo

See all 209 Hotels near Mercado Modelo
$86
Fera Palace Hotel

Fera Palace Hotel

Rua Chile 20 Sala 01, Salvador
4.8
of 5, from 4 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Comercio, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Castro Alves Square and Sao Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador. Fonte Nova Stadium and Museum of Modern Art are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$38
Hotel Don Juan

Hotel Don Juan

Rua Ruy Barbosa, 9, Salvador
1.5
of 5, from 4 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Salvador, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Castro Alves Square, Lacerda Elevator, and Mercado Modelo. Fonte Nova Stadium and Porto da Barra Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$63
Bahiacafe Hotel

Bahiacafe Hotel

Praca da Se, 22, Salvador
4.3
of 5, from 36 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Salvador, this hotel is close to Se Square, Fonte Nova Stadium, and Forte Santo Antonio de Barra. Area attractions also include Porto da Barra Beach and Jesus da Barra.

$83
Sheraton da Bahia Hotel, Salvador

Sheraton da Bahia Hotel, Salvador

Avenida Sete de Setembro 1537, Salvador
4.2
of 5, from 72 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Salvador, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Castro Alves Theater and Museum of Modern Art. Fonte Nova Stadium and Sao Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$36
Pousada Suites do Pelo

Pousada Suites do Pelo

Rua Frei Vicente, 39, Salvador
4.0
of 5, from 2 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Salvador, this hotel is close to Sao Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador, Fonte Nova Stadium, and Terreiro de Jesus. Also nearby are Cathedral of Salvador and Se Square.

$38
Meson Pousada

Meson Pousada

Rua Portas do Carmo 11 , Salvador
1.5
of 5, from 2 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Pelourinho, this pousada is within a 5-minute walk of Afro Brazilian Museum and Sao Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador. Fonte Nova Stadium and Museum of Modern Art are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$45
Pousada Colonial Chile

Pousada Colonial Chile

Rua Chile 7 - Centro, Salvador
3.6
of 5, from 9 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Comercio, this pousada is within a 10-minute walk of Castro Alves Square and Sao Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador. Fonte Nova Stadium and Museum of Modern Art are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$110
Casa do Amarelindo

Casa do Amarelindo

Rua Das Portas Do Carmo 6, Salvador
4.8
of 5, from 28 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This renovated Salvador house is in Pelourinho's pedestrian-only area, close to Terreiro de Jesus, Forte Santo Antonio de Barra, and Fonte Nova Stadium.