The Mercado Modelo is a great place to buy souvenirs, often at prices cheaper than in Pelourinho or on the beach. You'll find everything from jewelry, cangas, musical instruments and T-shirts to fine lacework and unique silver pieces on the tightly packed "streets" named for well-known merchants of old. There are also small barracas on the plaza in front, selling inexpensive handmade trinkets, gourds for instruments, some unique local music on CD and much more.  It can be quite a tourist trap, with aggressive jewelry sellers positioned in front of the entrances. At the rear of the building, you'll find bars and restaurants, and a capoeira demonstration.

Mercado Modelo used to be the customs house for the port of Salvador, until 1914. The current building was reconstructed after a 1969 fire. One of the most interesting parts of the building is the basement, with its tunnels for storage of wines, but which legend says was a holding area for slaves.

(Also check out the Things To Do article on Shopping for more hints.)


Mercado Modelo