Salmonella enterica is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that inhabits membrane-bound vacuoles of eukaryotic cells. Coined as the 'Salmonella-containing vacuole' (SCV), this compartment has been studied for two decades as a replicative niche. Recent findings reveal, however, marked differences in the lifestyle of bacteria enclosed in the SCV of varied host cell types. In fibroblasts, the emerging view supports a model of bacteria facing in the SCV a 'to grow' or 'not to grow' dilemma, which is solved by entering in a dormancy-like state. Fine-tuning of host cell defense/survival routes, drastic metabolic shift down, adaptation to hypoxia conditions, and attenuation of own virulence systems emerge as strategies used by Salmonella to intentionally reduce the growth rate inside the SCV.