Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)
Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

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Calle Ruben Dario, San Salvador

The basics

San Salvador’s Metropolitan Cathedral swaps the old-world colonial architecture in other Central American cities for a more modern, clear appearance. Seated near the other gorgeous structures like the National Theater, the Metropolitan Cathedral is just one of the many buildings to photograph while strolling the city’s historic center. Remember that this active place of worship was built for parishioners first, so be polite with your dress and photography when visiting.

You don’t need to attend a formal mass to see the beauty of the Metropolitan Cathedral inside and out. You can visit on your own while spending time downtown. Many visitors opt to see the cathedral and other city sites during an organized sightseeing tour. These private and group tours often stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Theater, and local markets. Some also offer pick-up from the airport and visits to other nearby towns.

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Things to know before you go

  • The body of Archbishop Oscar Romero lies in a crypt in the church, which is available for viewing.

  • Plaza Civica next door is an excellent spot for getting full-frame photographs of the cathedral.

  • Many shops, attractions, and restaurants in the area close by the evening, so plan a trip to the cathedral in the daytime to maximize your visit.

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How to get there

The Metropolitan Cathedral is located in downtown San Salvador’s historic center. It’s accessible by private car or rideshare, with parking available nearby. The Parada Salandra bus stop is two blocks northeast of the cathedral. This area is pedestrian-friendly, so you can walk there easily from other sites like the National Palace of El Salvador and the National Theater of San Salvador.

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When to get there

San Salvador’s Metropolitan Cathedral is an active center of worship, so be aware of the times you visit. Masses and other religious activities are scheduled throughout the week, usually spread throughout the day from approximately sunrise to sunset. Visit mid-week between masses to respectfully tour the cathedral with fewer patrons or plan a visit during one of the daily sermons to join the parishioners in worship.

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Find yourself near the cathedral on Feast Day

August 6th is the annual Fiesta de San Salvador, a 16th-century national holiday celebrating Salvadoran identity and the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. Dancing, live music, dining, and other festivities mark not only Aug. 6 but the entire first week of the month, all dedicated to their patron saint, the Divine Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.

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