Mercado Modelo

Mercado Modelo information

Salvador , Brazil
Street Praça Cayru
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Opening hours
9am-7pm Mon-Sat, to 2pm Sun
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Lonely Planet review

The original 1861 Customs House was partly destroyed in a fire in 1986. After reconstruction, it was transformed into a tourist market, the Mercado Modelo. When shipments of new slaves arrived into port, they were stored in the watery depths of this building while awaiting auction. Night guards report all sorts of phantasmic activity after closing hours.

Live music and free capoeira demonstrations often occur out back – be sure to ask the price before snapping photos of the capoeiristas. There’s a touristy but fun café-restaurant, Camafeu, on the upper level; the terrace, looking over the bay, is ideal for a shopping break.