Don’t forget to splash your travels with the colorful nightlife of San Salvador’s best bars and nightclubs. When you leave your El Salvador hotel for the evening, check out the Zona Rosa district, just west of the city center. Many cafes and restaurants can be found in Paseo General Escalon, in the Zona Rosa region, while nightclubs and cinemas (many of which show English-language films with Spanish subtitles) can often be found in shopping malls, like Metrocenter or Gran Vía. One of the area’s theaters is the beautifully restored Teatro Nacional.
Along with theaters and clubs, venues like the Feria Internacional for concerts, and Estadio Cuscatlán and Estadio Mágico Gonzalez for football (soccer) matches and concerts are great for a day out.
When you go into the restaurants remember to order the national culinary specialities:
- Pupusa (a fried sandwich of tortillas, filled with pork, cheese, refried beans and/ or vegetables).
- Típico salvadoreño (standard Salvadoran breakfast comprising eggs, local cheese, refried beans, fried plantains and tortillas).
- Corn tortillas.
- Tamal de elote (cornflour batter with meat filling, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed).
To read more about traditional and specialty cuisine, see our other post on El Salvador Food!
When you go out to the shops or clubs don’t pass up on drinking some of the local specialties:
- Café (coffee).
- Refrescos (natural fruit drinks).
- Tic tac and torito (strong alcoholic beverages made from distilled sugar cane).
In El Salvador, the legal drinking age is 18. For night clubs and bars, remember that entry charges are common. For tipping in the area, give about 10% in El Salvador hotels and restaurants, and 15% is appropriate for smaller bills. Check before tipping because service charge is often included on bill.
FYI: Certain areas are best to avoid. The actual San Salvador downtown offers little to no in the way of entertainment and should be avoided for the most part at night. Outside the capital most places of entertainment (even hotels) close early.