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Walk the round stone pavement
Did you know a Salvador local is called ‘soteropolitan’? The historical centre (Pelourinho), with the colonial facades, is a World Heritage Site and the first place to go. Also very iconical is the baroque church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim; actually, you’ll find more than 300 churches all over the city.
Give in to the flavours
We’re talking, of course, of ‘moqueca’, ‘vatapá’, ‘acarajé’... The strong flavours of a culinary with native and african influences is one of the symbols of Salvador. And beyond the evocative songs of local musicians (like Gilberto Gil), there’s samba: this is by far the largest cultural event in the city.
Culture and Business
Make sure you have your passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, take care of your visa or other necessary documentation ahead of time. Take all the necessary vaccinations and medication, if applicable.
The climate in Brazil varies greatly between the tropical north (close to the equator), and the temperate zones of the south. The cities of Belo Horizonte and Brasília have moderate temperatures. Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador are on the coast and have a warmer climate. The city of São Paulo has a subtropical climate.
GMT - 4: Bela Vista
GMT - 3: Belém, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Salvador.
GMT - 2: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo.
Geography & politics
Brazil occupies almost half of South America, with the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast. The longest river in Brazil is the Amazon River, and the rainforest takes up a large area of the country. Brazil is a Presidential Federative Republic, where the president of the Republic is the head of state and also the head of government, and the states have political autonomy.
Tipping & paying
The official currency of Brazil is the Real (BRL). In major cities, you can easily find ATMs to withdraw money. If you go to a place outside the city, always take money with you. It is common to leave a 10% tip at restaurants, but this amount is often already included as a service charge on the bill.
Languages & useful phrases
The official language in Brazil is Portuguese. These are some useful phrases in Portuguese: “olá” = hello, “por favor” = please; “muito obrigado/a” = thank you very much; “desculpe” = sorry.
What you should do
Brazilian people tend to be more relaxed when it comes to being on time for social gatherings, so don’t worry if someone is late—that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on time. Maintain eye contact to show that you’re paying attention and interested, and make an effort to build a close and trusting relationship.
What you shouldn’t do
Don’t give purple or black gifts as they are usually associated with death and mourning. Don’t feel offended if someone interrupts you, it is common and acceptable in Brazil and is a sign of interest and enthusiasm.
What to wear
Go for a classic and professional style. Men should wear a suit and tie and women should wear a suit or dress with elegant accessories.
Brazilians are very warm and outgoing people. It is common to greet with two kisses when you first meet someone, but between two men it is normal to give a handshake. In business, a handshake is the most common form of greeting.