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

Fairfield by Marriott San Salvador
Fairfield by Marriott San Salvador
3.5 out of 5
Contiguo a Centro Comercial La Gran Via, Antiguo Cuscatlan, LI
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $76 per night from Dec 2 to Dec 3
$76
per night
Dec 2 - Dec 3
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Antiguo Cuscatlan. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (585 reviews)
"Super clean Centrally located Breakfast buffet is amazing"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2022

Fairfield by Marriott 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 $78 per night from Dec 23 to Dec 24
$78
per night
Dec 23 - Dec 24
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in San Salvador. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (1,141 reviews)
Great hotel
"Great experience"

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2022

Barceló San Salvador
Real InterContinental San Salvador at Metrocentro Mall
Real InterContinental San Salvador at Metrocentro Mall
5 out of 5
Blvd. de Los Heroes, San Salvador, SS, 544
The price is $87 per night from Dec 16 to Dec 17
$87
per night
Dec 16 - Dec 17
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in San Salvador. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 3 restaurants. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (1,001 reviews)
"good customer service good and clean areas nice and polite associates ."

Reviewed on Nov 14, 2022

Real InterContinental San Salvador at Metrocentro Mall
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.
Cardedeu Suites
Cardedeu Suites
3 out of 5
Av. La Capilla, San Salvador, San Salvador
Stay at this 3-star aparthotel in San Salvador. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Popular attractions Olivos Plaza and President Theater are ...
3.3/5 (6 reviews)
"Great hidden option to stay close to zona rosa. It is being renovated, so I think it will be better. Great price for a small suite."

Reviewed on Nov 15, 2022

Cardedeu Suites
Plaza Hotel and Suites
Plaza Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
87 Avenida norte y 11 Calle Poniente, San Salvador, SS, 1068
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly aparthotel in San Salvador. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (817 reviews)
"It was a nice place to stay,"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2022

Plaza Hotel and Suites
Novo Hotel & Suite
Novo Hotel & Suite
3 out of 5
Final 61 Avenida Norte Colonia, Escalon, San Salvador, SS
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in San Salvador. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the restaurant and the ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (236 reviews)
"The Novo is convenient, fairly priced, is welcoming and the staff is very keen to please. On long stays breakfast could get a little boring"

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2022

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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