Replies: 9 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 12:15 PM Last Post By: amobr82
Nov 15, 2012 10:00 AM
Could anyone recommend accommodation in Salvador during carnival?
I'm looking for either a hostel (I know about hostelworld etc), sharing an apartment or staying with locals as I'll be travelling alone and wanting to meet people.
Which would be the best area to stay to be near the action but not right in it 24/7?
If you have any recommendations or are in the same boat as me, please let me know!
Nov 15, 2012 10:31 AM
1Ideally, you want to be near the two main Carnaval routes (because transportation is disrupted /rerouted) or parades of trio eletrico trucks with bands and singers on top, but not so close that, should you actually ever decide to sleep, the noise will keep you awake. One circuit runs down the main beach street from Barra to Ondina, the other runs around Campo Grande, and there is a smaller party is in Pelourinho. (I was trying to find a map, which I have seen online, but can't seem to locate one right now. Also the abada/camarote online sales sites, with music schedules, seem to go up at the last minute, but you can buy on arrival too.)
Parts of Pelourinho, Santo Antonio, the corridor de Vitoria, Barra, Ondina, Rio Vermelho are close to one circuit or the other or both, relatively safe and near-ish to essential services/restaurants. Other neighborhoods are further away or perhaps not so safe. Most tourist accomodations in Salvador are in the historic Pelourinho district (and adjoining Santo Antonio) or in Barra, the closest urban beach neighborhood (at one point of which the Dodo circuit begins).
info on Salvador Carnaval:
http://www.bahia-online.net/Carnival.htm (also there are apto/hotel/pousada listings on the site)
But since choices for accomodation are filling up more every day, make a decision soon. Perhaps you could indicate a few choices that are available and interest you, and we can comment on the location. Ont he forums, locals with space to rent (not so common unless you have a local commection) and apartment shared with strangers seem to be posted on forums at the last minute and IMO, it's not a good strategy to wait.
Nov 15, 2012 1:17 PM
2The hostels are virtually all clustered in Barra or the Centro Historico with a handful further out.
The party isn't really 24/7, well not in any given spot. That said it's useful to be off an actual circuit if you fancy sleeping at night. Santo Antonio has a number of options and it's fairly easy access to the Pelourinho.
If you speak at least a little basic Portuguese you won't have any difficulty meeting people over carnaval and here's the thing, if you mingle with locals rather than other tourists, you will have more fun and get more from the experience.
Choose some hotels and maybe we can give you some feedback on the locations if not the establishments themselves.
Nov 17, 2012 11:23 AM
3Here are a few places I'm looking at. Basically Barra vs Pelourinho?
I don't really speak any Portuguese - So I'd like to stay somewhere I'll meet people as I'm travellng alone.
The main reason for adding Alpha Hostel is they only have 2 nights as a minimum instead of the usual 7. I'm guessing Friday to Sunday will be the biggest days/nights?
Nov 17, 2012 2:18 PM
4Here are a few places I'm looking at. Basically Barra vs Pelourinho?
If you want a hostel, basically yes. Santo Antonio, which borders the Pelourinho and is basically indistinguisable from it to a tourist has a concentration as well. Naturally enough, you'll find apartments for rent spread across town.
Your choices? First one (Alpha) is pretty close to Shopping Barra. Should be quite safe.
Second one is in R. Ordem da Terceira in the Pelo. Likely to be noisier than the first, we had some friends who stayed in the Laranjeiras a few years ago and they said it was noisy. Just be aware that the map on that site is incorrect. Funnily enough it locates the hostel somewhere in Vasco da Gama.
I've always though the third option looks nice, at least from the outside. Directly opposite a supermarket, and closer to the beach but also much closer to the circuit itself. Likely to the the noisiest so far.
Number four is right in the Pelourinho, handy to Senac and sites but this will be noisy.
Your last choice in R Recife in Barra will be the queitest spot. Do bear in mind I have never stayed in any of these places or set foot in them so I cannot reccomend just comment on location.
Nov 17, 2012 7:32 PM
Nov 17, 2012 7:54 PM
6I'd still suggest you start cracking on learning some Portuguese. You'll survive without it but it will enhance the experience and make life considerably easier. The backpackers you'll meet in those hostels are likely to be quite clueless about, the city, carnaval and local customs and mores.
Happy to field any other questions you may have.
Nov 19, 2012 10:49 AM
7"The main reason for adding Alpha Hostel is they only have 2 nights as a minimum instead of the usual 7. "
The main reason for avoiding Alpha Hostel is if they are desperate enough to offer 2 night as a minimum instead of the usual 7 at Carnaval when every decent place in Salvador is fully booked and has no need to do that.
And why does the website above say:
"For stays during Special Periods (New Year's and Carnival) we would only accept bookings for the following minimum periods: New Year's - 5 nights, Carnival - 7 nights. Reservations for stays during these Special Periods are NOT made on a per-day basis, but are mandatory packages. To secure reservations in respect of these Special Periods, we would require a full advance payment for the package."
Nov 19, 2012 11:27 AM
Nov 19, 2012 12:15 PM
97) Every year on this forum and others, people post about online bookings for Carnaval that turned out to be not accepted by the actual accomodation upon arrival or when trying to confirm directly. The site you mentioned specifically reads as quoted above.
Also you will be hard put to find anywhere popular in Brazil (think anywhere that's ever been mentioned in a guidebook in any language for any reason) that isn't selling packages for Carnaval. So if 3-4 days is enough for you of Carnaval in Salvador, where do you think you would go? I advise booking the package and just spending some time at one of the beaches on the fringes of the city or on one of the islands if you are looking to escape some of the sound system frenzy.
6) Depends on with whom you want to spend your time and what kind of experience that makes it (as U. said above). Knowing locals, who are very friendly and often open to showing you around the locals scene but don't speak English, makes it a much different experience than just hanging out with other drunk foreigners as if you could be anyplace in the world. Learn as much Portuguese as you can.(It also helps to know what all the words blasting out of the loudspeakers mean, which add a bit of cultural knowledge to the partying.)
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