Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

San SalvadorEl Salvador

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

El Salvador, playa Costa del Sol

Costa Del Sol

3.5/5Good!(27 area reviews)

Unique features of Costa Del Sol include the beaches and restaurants. Make a stop by San Marcelino Beach or Playa Costa del Sol Football Stadium while you're exploring the area.

Costa Del Sol

Top Hotels in San Salvador

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Barceló San Salvador
Barceló San Salvador
4.5 out of 5
Ave Las Magnolias Y Blvd Del Hipodromo, San Salvador, SS
The price is $60 per night

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! (998 reviews)

"The Overall Service and feeling safe was a win for me!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 18, 2020

Barceló San Salvador
Hyatt Centric Las Cascadas San Salvador
Hyatt Centric Las Cascadas San Salvador
4.5 out of 5
Districto Comercial Cascadas, Calle El Pedregal y Avenida Sergio Paiz, Antiguo Cuscatlan, La Libertad

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Las Cascadas Shopping Mall and La Gran Via Shopping Center. Plaza Merliot and Estadio ...

Hyatt Centric Las Cascadas San Salvador
Hotel Santa Elena
Hotel Santa Elena
3 out of 5
Boulevard y Urbanizacion Santa Elena, Calle Cerro Verde Poniente # 10, Antiguo Cuscatlan
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $52 per night

Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from U.S. Embassy in San Salvador and within 3 mi (5 km) of La Laguna Botanical Garden ...

4/5Very Good! (110 reviews)

"Maybe if they have a fridge to have something cold in the room"…"

Reviewed on Mar 6, 2020

Hotel Santa Elena

Popular places to visit in San Salvador

Monumento al Salvador del Mundo
Image for Monumento al Salvador del Mundo

Monumento al Salvador del Mundo

4.5/5(174 reviews)

Admire one of the most famous landmarks in El Salvador, a towering memorial dedicated to the country’s patron, Jesus Christ.

Sunzal Beach
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Sunzal Beach

4.5/5(100 reviews)

Nothing says vacation like spending a lazy day at Sunzal Beach, a popular beach in La Libertad. You can enjoy the restaurants while in the area.

San Diego Beach
Image for San Diego Beach

San Diego Beach

4/5(74 reviews)

Nothing says vacation like spending a lazy day at San Diego Beach, a popular beach in San Diego. While you're in the area, wander around the parks.

Estadio Cuscatlan
Image for Estadio Cuscatlan

Estadio Cuscatlan

4/5(61 reviews)

El Salvador’s national stadium is one of the country’s most famous sporting arenas and a performance venue for major international music artists.

Plaza Libertad
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Plaza Libertad

4.5/5(70 reviews)

This popular green space in the center of the city is famous for its historic monument to independence and its striking Catholic church.

El Palmarcito Beach
Image for El Palmarcito Beach

El Palmarcito Beach

4.5/5(14 reviews)

Why not spend a lazy afternoon at El Palmarcito Beach during your trip to Tamanique? You can enjoy the restaurants while in the area.

Top things to do in San Salvador

Full Day Combo Tour - Volcanoes, Lake & Mayan Sites
Image for Full Day Combo Tour - Volcanoes, Lake & Mayan Sites

Full Day Combo Tour - Volcanoes, Lake & Mayan Sites

$99
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
El Salvador Mayan Route - Full Day Tour
Image for El Salvador Mayan Route - Full Day Tour

El Salvador Mayan Route - Full Day Tour

$129
Per adult
Colonial Suchitoto Full DayTour
Image for Colonial Suchitoto Full DayTour

Colonial Suchitoto Full DayTour

$109
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
San Salvador Layover Tour - City Sightseeing & El Boquerón
Image for San Salvador Layover Tour - City Sightseeing & El Boquerón

San Salvador Layover Tour - City Sightseeing & El Boquerón

$149
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Flowers Route Tour - Colonial Towns & Handicraft
Image for Flowers Route Tour - Colonial Towns & Handicraft

Flowers Route Tour - Colonial Towns & Handicraft

$112
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
"Ruta de las Flores" Colonial villages , Coffee Tour, Waterfalls, Local Food.
Image for "Ruta de las Flores" Colonial villages , Coffee Tour, Waterfalls, Local Food.

"Ruta de las Flores" Colonial villages , Coffee Tour, Waterfalls, Local Food.

$129
Per adult

Reviews of San Salvador

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
173
5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
140
4 - Good 40.46242774566474%
3 - Okay
29
3 - Okay 8.38150289017341%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.5780346820809249%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.5780346820809249%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 3, 2020

We find such beauty in El Salvador. There so many beautiful place to see. Our driver was amazing. Took us to places that were out standing. Felt very safe everywhere we went.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 29, 2020

Everyone told me it is dangerous but I did not witness anything like this though I stayed in a nice area and didn't go out too much at night.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 25, 2020

Heavy traffic most of the time. Mucho trafico casi todo el tiempo.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 19, 2020

I really loved it's people so friendly and kind

5/5 - Excellent

MV

Mar 11, 2020

Go out and explore!! Beautiful sightseeing.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 11, 2020

Beautiful country

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