San Salvador

Travel Guide
San Salvador showing city views and a square or plaza

The sprawling capital of El Salvador has a turbulent history, which is well documented in its museums and still visible in its national monuments. 

El Salvador’s capital has a modern edge, yet at its core the traditional charms of Central America are maintained. Walk San Salvador’s long, straight boulevards and explore its maze of narrow streets to find trendy bars and bustling markets. Sport and the arts define the city’s modern-day residents and their enthusiasm for soccer and culture is contagious.

Learn more about Mayan history and admire ancient ceramics at the Museo Nacional de Antropología David J. Guzmán. Visit the Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site to see how indigenous farmers lived before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. To experience how fanatic the locals are about soccer, see a game at the Estadio Cuscatlan. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Museo de Arte de El Salvador.

While the San Salvador Volcano is a stunning backdrop to the city and provides great hiking trails, there were devastating landslides from its slopes in 1986 during an earthquake. Destructive on another level was the civil war, which raged until 1992. Since then, many of the city’s grand buildings have been restored, such as the Catedral Metropolitano and the impressive Palacio Nacional.

When walking around, be aware of your surroundings and take all necessary precautions to avoid becoming a target of criminals, especially after dark. To find out where it is safe, ask the locals about their favorite local attractions. During weekends, buy crafts and see street artists along the Paseo del Carmen in the San Tecla neighborhood. Another popular choice is the Zona Rosa nightlife strip with clubs and restaurants.

El Salvador has an international airport and long-distance bus connections to other Central American countries. Surrounding the capital are coffee plantations, volcanoes and surfing beaches. To ensure your safety when traveling around, always opt for a taxi or organized tour over driving by yourself. To see the country’s largest crater lake, take a taxi to the Lago de Ilopango just east of the city.

Where to stay in San Salvador

Barceló San Salvador
Barceló San Salvador
4.5 out of 5
Ave Las Magnolias Y Blvd Del Hipodromo, San Salvador, SS
The price is $62 per night from Oct 16 to Oct 16
Situated in the entertainment district, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Museum of Anthropology Dr. David J. Guzman, Olivos Plaza, and ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (964 reviews)
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Reviewed on Sep 20, 2021

Barceló San Salvador
Acantilados
Acantilados
3.5 out of 5
Km. 41 1/2, Carretera El Litoral, La Libertad, LI
The price is $185 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
Situated in La Libertad, this beach hotel is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Playa San Blas and within 6 mi (10 km) of San Diego Beach and El Majahual Beach. Sunzal Beach ...
4.3/5Excellent! (130 reviews)
"Acantilados is by far one of my favorite hotels in La Libertad. The infinity pool has beautiful views and the food and service were very good. The staff is very polite and take care of all your needs. I will be recommending this place to friends and family."

Reviewed on Sep 18, 2021

Acantilados
Holiday Inn San Salvador, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn San Salvador, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Urb. Y Blvd Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlan, San Salvador
The price is $77 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 1
Located in the heart of Antiguo Cuscatlan, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Las Cascadas Shopping Mall and U.S. Embassy in San Salvador. La Gran Via ...
4.4/5Excellent! (374 reviews)
"It’s ok. Not the best but it’s safe!! It’s good enough!!"

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2021

Holiday Inn San Salvador, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Hotel Gardenia Inn
Hotel Gardenia Inn
3 out of 5
Prolongacion Alameda Juan Pablo II, y calle El Carmen, San Salvador, San Salvador
The price is $56 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Located in the heart of San Salvador, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Beethoven's Fountains and Monumento al Salvador del Mundo. Metrocentro and Estadio ...
4.1/5Very Good! (134 reviews)
"Second time staying there, very good free breakfast, the people are very nice and helpful."

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2021

Hotel Gardenia Inn
Plaza Hotel and Suites
Plaza Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
87 Avenida norte y 11 Calle Poniente, San Salvador, SS
The price is $69 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 24
Situated in the mountains, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Monumento al Salvador del Mundo, Multiplaza, and Cuscatlan Park. La Gran Via Shopping Center ...
4.1/5Very Good! (723 reviews)
"The excellent service and friendliness of the staff were amazing, they make you feel welcome."

Reviewed on Sep 12, 2021

Plaza Hotel and Suites
Novo Hotel & Suite
Novo Hotel & Suite
3 out of 5
Final 61 Avenida Norte Colonia, Escalon, San Salvador, SS
The price is $56 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 24
Situated in San Salvador, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Monumento al Salvador del Mundo and Metrocentro. Estadio Cuscatlan is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) ...
4.1/5Very Good! (193 reviews)
"I have stayed at this hotel a few times over a few years and their staff is really friendly and helpful. Most of the staff has been working for this hotel a long time. The hotel has a nice tropical garden and small swimming pool. Their price is very reasonable and Salvadoran style breakfast is usually ..."

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2021

Novo Hotel & Suite
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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