What to do and see in San Salvador, El Salvador: The Best Places and Tips

February 14, 2018 Harland Bartelt

El Salvador's capital, San Salvador, is a modern city of wide boulevards and narrow streets, outdoor markets, government buildings, high-rises, monuments, an exuberant nightlife, museums and other cultural institutions. And all set against the backdrop of San Salvador volcano. The city is surrounded by shantytowns as well as affluent suburbs with restaurants and large shopping malls. Peaceful settings such as the botanic garden of Parque Cuscutlan provide a break from the city's hectic pace.
Restaurants in San Salvador

1. Iglesia El Rosario

6a Avenida | Parque Libertad, San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2222 2171
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 508 reviews

Iglesia El Rosario

Reviewed By DoubleX - Washington

Gave average score, because cannot tell, if this place is good or bad. It is either way, but not in between. I bit better from inside, but the view from outside is really sad. Once we finally found the place we could not believe THIS was the top attraction of the whole city, to be honest. Kind of weird place, but they could spend a little to improve the outlooks. Not sure, if this is worth going..

2. Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park

kilometer 35 along the road to San Juan Opico in La Libertad Department, San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2270 9228
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 514 reviews

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park

Excavation at "Jewel of the Ceren", a pre-Columbian Mayan farming village, that was buried under a volcanic eruption around 600 A.D.

Reviewed By Saranger - Los Angeles, California

Stopped here first on our day trip of the archaeological route with EC Tours' Edwin. $3 entry for foreigners. Fascinating site that's the “Pompeii of the Americas” because it's so well preserved under 4-8 meters of ash. Museum is closed due to ongoing renovation with reopening date unknown.
Even if you only have a few hours in San Salvador you can go visit this site and nearby San Andreas!
#dontskipelsalvador

3. Parque Nacional El Boqueron

Calle al Parque Nacional El Boqueron, San Salvador, El Salvador 503-2243-7835-165
Excellent
56%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 676 reviews

Parque Nacional El Boqueron

Reviewed By markyparka - London, United Kingdom

It was nice to visit Parque Nacional Boqueron but the trails around the top of the crater of Volcan San Salvador were very short and the views were not like the pictures you see on tourist information. All in all, worth a visit but don't expect too much.

4. Museo de Arte de El Salvador

Calle Circunvalacion, San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2243 6099
Excellent
57%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 139 reviews

Museo de Arte de El Salvador

Reviewed By PinUpBoy - Washington DC, District of Columbia

IF you have 90 minutes and want to see an eclectic collection of Central American art, you've found the right place to go. The permanent and temporary Exhibitions tell a compelling story of El Salvador's history with emphasis on the civi conflict and post war transformation. The impacts of migration are also a theme explaining the diverse character of El Salvadoran art. If you have time, you'll be pleased with a visit. Tickets are only $1.50 .... very much a great value. The gift store also sports some great gifts from the region.

5. Plaza Futura

Calle el Mirador | Colonia Escalón, San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2500 2400
Excellent
47%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 395 reviews

Plaza Futura

Reviewed By Saranger - Los Angeles, California

Lots of dining choices for locals and tourists alike, featuring primarily American (Smashburger, Olive Garden and Bennigan’s) but also sushi, Mexican, salads made to order, ice cream, and an upscale coffee cafe. City Ticket Offices doe Delta, American, and Copa Airlines as well.

6. Devil's Door (Puerta del Diablo)

South Of Balboa Park 1 km | Los Planes de Renderos, San Salvador, El Salvador
Excellent
54%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 252 reviews

Devil's Door (Puerta del Diablo)

Reviewed By Francis H

This is an easy to access attraction that will deliver every expectation! From climbing step boulders and hiking up a cliff to just wandering around enjoying the views and trails. Walking to the cavern where years ago a pact with the devil had taken place is always an attraction, the views are breathtaking and on a very clear day you'll be able to see as far as the gulf of Fonseca and the Guatemalan sierra, with a full perspective of the volcano ridges in between.
Top this with a little market of colonial souvenirs and zip lines with a rappel area makes it for lots of fun!
But the icing will be the best pupusas in the country available in this area!

7. Volcan San Salvador

San Salvador, El Salvador
Excellent
57%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 94 reviews

Volcan San Salvador

Reviewed By minimize940314 - Torrance, California

There are more than 700 volcanoes in El Salvador but this is the one not to be missed. Pretty gigantic volcano which can be seen while you are on the highway too. If you do not have a time just take a picture with the volcano behind you.

8. Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Avenida La Revolucion y Alameda Manual Enrique Araujo, San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2243 3750
Excellent
48%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 120 reviews

Museo Nacional de Antropologia

Reviewed By Gene J - Silver Spring, Maryland

Thankfully it was a cloudy day for the 2.3km walk south from our Morrison Hotel.
After stowing our backpack and paying $3 each, we entered the main Hall of Migration with a multitude of exhibits: Indigenous settlement showcasing ceramics from a variety of archeological sites, Colonial integration of races, Immigration, and the very current world diaspora.
Crossing the open air exhibit of classical sculptures, we entered the Hall of Agriculture, displaying historical tools/crops/products, followed by the Hall of Artisan Crafts.
The 2nd floor was devoted to the Hall of Religion, tracing prehistoric sacrifices to conquistador suppression to present day Catholicism, then a room devoted to changing burial customs.
We were impressed with the prevalence of both Spanish and English explanations and the scope of the interesting topics. Simply a wonderful museum.

9. Catedral Metropolitana

San Salvador, El Salvador
Excellent
43%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
19%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 257 reviews

Catedral Metropolitana

Reviewed By jcmartinez777 - San Salvador, El Salvador

If you are traveling to El Salvador, this is a must in your trip agenda... it has a lot of history inside and also has the rests of a famous latin America priest. The Cathedral is located at the center of the city and it has a lot of vigilance. It is not unsecure as the news shows...

10. Jardin Botanico La Laguna

Antiguo Cuscatlan, La Libertad, San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2243 2012
Excellent
41%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 114 reviews

Jardin Botanico La Laguna

Reviewed By Meredith S

We always go with kids - there is a great climbing area for kids, turtles and fish to feed and tons of cool plants to look at. There is a little snack shop also. You can easily spend a few hours here and also visit the plant store that is connected to the park.

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