San Salvador

El Salvador

San Salvador showing city views and a square or plaza

4.5/5Top Destination

Explore San Salvador: its adventures, entertainment, zoo, and more!

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.

Known for

Entertainment, Museums and Adventure

Explore map

Top Hotels in San Salvador

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Barceló San Salvador
Barceló San Salvador
4.5 out of 5
Ave Las Magnolias Y Blvd Del Hipodromo, San Salvador, SS
$63/night
Sep 1 - Sep 2
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,027 reviews)

"I had a wonderful stay. The staff was absolutely kind made us feel welcome at all times. From the door man to the staff at the restaurant and Lillian at the restaurant best service ever. We will make our hotel of choice when visiting again. Keep up the great work and it will set you apart."…"

Reviewed on Aug 14, 2019

Barceló San Salvador
Image for Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto
Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto
3.5 out of 5
KM 40.5 Carretera Al Aeropuerto de, El Salvador, San Luis Talpa, PA
$98/night
Sep 13 - Sep 14
4.3/5Excellent! (382 reviews)

"Wonderful place, close to the airport. You definitely feel safe."…"

Reviewed on Aug 12, 2019

Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto
Image for Crowne Plaza Hotel San Salvador
Crowne Plaza Hotel San Salvador
4 out of 5
89 Av Norte y 11 Calle Poniente, Colonia Escalon, San Salvador, SS
$91/night
Aug 24 - Aug 25
4.3/5Excellent! (276 reviews)

"the view, the food, the service I'll be back soon."…"

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2019

Crowne Plaza Hotel San Salvador

Popular things to do in San Salvador

Estadio Cuscatlan
Image for Estadio Cuscatlan

Estadio Cuscatlan

4/5 (53 Ratings)

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

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

Monumento al Salvador del Mundo

4.5/5 (134 Ratings)

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

Plaza Libertad
Image for Plaza Libertad

Plaza Libertad

4/5 (49 Ratings)

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

Top activities in San Salvador

Half Day Mayan Tour - Joya de Cerén & San Andrés
Image for Half Day Mayan Tour - Joya de Cerén & San Andrés

Half Day Mayan Tour - Joya de Cerén & San Andrés

$48

Uncover 2 of the most fascinating Maya archaeological sites in El Salvador on this group half-day tour. Follow a knowledgeable guide to Joya de Cerén where you learn how everyday Mayas lived and discover a well-preserved farming village, then head to San Andrés, an important government center.

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

Trek through dwarf forests in protected national parks, soak up views of active volcanoes and sparkling lakes, and unleash your inner archaeologist with visits to UNESCO-listed sights filled with remnants of past Mayan civilizations.

Group Tour- Apaneca Buggy Adventure Tour
Image for Group Tour- Apaneca Buggy Adventure Tour

Group Tour- Apaneca Buggy Adventure Tour

$199

Climb into a rugged buggy and set off toward Apaneca for a half-day adventure to scenic lagoons along the famous Flowers Route. In between admiring the otherworldly turquoise waters, find time to appreciate the views of sprawling landscapes of mountains and coffee plantations.

San Salvador City & Boquerón Volcano - Full Day Tour
Image for San Salvador City & Boquerón Volcano - Full Day Tour

San Salvador City & Boquerón Volcano - Full Day Tour

$54

Get to know San Salvador with a look at some of the most remarkable sights in the city. This full-day tour with your own personal guide features visits to grand colonial-era landmarks and lively markets, along with a ride out to the volcano that looms on the western horizon.

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

$72

Make the most of your layover in El Salvador by spending half a day discovering the main sights of San Salvador. In addition to discovering the historic city center and main sites, also enjoy a scenic walk up to the slopes of the amazing El Boquerón Volcano.

San Salvador Group City Tour
Image for San Salvador Group City Tour

San Salvador Group City Tour

$39

Discover the main landmarks of San Salvador City in a comprehensive half-day tour. Navigate the city’s main streets with an expert guide, explore the historic center and its most popular attractions, and swing by the artisans selling their wares in San Salvador’s handicraft market.

Reviews of San Salvador

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
120
4 - Good
97
3 - Okay
22
2 - Disappointing
1
1 - Terrible
1

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 16, 2019

Pretty safe lots of Secutity taking care of visitors and others.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 5, 2019

The most beautifull country

5/5 - Excellent

R.D.

Aug 1, 2019

San Salvador has some very secured areas to visit, like shopping and dinning places. Ride sharing is available, the cost is inexpensive and safe. Outside San Salvador you can visit beautiful beaches, lakes and volcanoes. I really enjoyed it.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jul 26, 2019

San Salvador is a beautiful city.

4/5 - Good

Carlos

Jul 21, 2019

Needs to get better streets because traffic is terrible

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jul 20, 2019

A lot to do and see around every day

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