Best things to do in San Salvador
Find out more about those top places in San Salvador
Being one of the largest cities as well as the capital of El Salvador, San Salvador is the nation’s political, cultural, financial and educational center. Located in the Boquerón Volcano valley - it's the smallest and most densely populated among all Central American cities with a population of two million people.
Despite its size, it still has a considerable number of tourists’ attractions such as the Iglesia El Rosario, Jardin Boatanico La Laguna and Hospital La Divina Providencia.
Undoubtedly the best piece of architectural work in San Salvador and perhaps the entire Central America as well. Designed by famous sculptor Ruben Martinez with the design concept around a church that "wouldn’t get in the way of the public and that would not run from God" which simply means that the building would in no way interfere with the devotion of the Worshipers. One amazing feature of the Iglesia El Rosario is the lighting effects noticeable in the early hours of the morning and late in the day.
Referred to as the “home of music” by the locals, the Teatro Nacional has been the center of music in El Salvador for many generations. Inaugurated on March 1, 1917, it is regarded as the oldest theater in central America and was built using the designs of prominent French artist Daniel Beylard - however a major part of its interior was decorated by Italian architect Lucio Capperllaro. Renovated in 1976, it has since been declared a national monument by the country’s national assembly – visitors are allowed to take guided tours of the building and might even be allowed to view rehearsal sections.
Founded in the late 1990s, the museum is dedicated in telling the stories of El Salvador’s civil war (1981- 1992). Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen which translates to museum of the word and image is the brain child of Venezuelan journalist Carlos Henriquez Conslavi, its exhibitions include testimonies of the civil war survivors and items related to the war.
The family friendly botanical garden is one of the most visited destinations in San Salvador. Located at the base of a volcano, it is covered with ponds, small waterfalls, bridges and already set trails – however its primary attraction is its flora presence with over 3,500 plants species such as maquilishuat and izote, El Salvador’s national tree and flower respectively. If you are looking for somewhere to spend your evenings during your visit to the capital, then Jardin Boatanico La Laguna is the best place.
The hospital La Divina Providencia is where Oscar Romero, an outspoken Archbishop was assassinated on March 24, 1989, while offering Mass. The incident made it move from a relatively unknown place to a top tourist destination - while visiting there is often a tour through the chapel, where his blood-soaked shirt and robes from the day of the assassination are displayed.