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Managua is the capital of Nicaragua.

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Points of Interest in Managua

  • Catedral de Managua. Ruins of the city's old cathedral are a remembrance of the damage caused by a 1972 earthquake that destroyed much of central Managua.
  • Palacio Nacional. The old national palace is now a museum featuring several salons with exhibits highlighting the indigenous Nahuatl people and the 2,500 year old stone sculptures they left behind. A smattering of popular arts and cultural exhibits round out the museum, which also features a beautiful courtyard garden. Adult : 4 USD. Guided tour in spanish and english included..
  • Rotonda Ruben Dario. There is a lovely fountain at the Ruben Darío Rotonda that is lit up at night and visible from Tiscapa.
  • Tiscapa Lagoon. Fresh water lagoon in the crater of an extinct volcano. This is where you'll also find the landmark silhouette of Augusto Sandino as well as military memorials. Zip-lines over the lagoon let you fly across the water in a harness (for a fee).
  • Huellas de Acahualinca (505) 2266 5774. M-F : 8AM to 5PM / Sa-Su : 9AM to 4PM. Footprints of a group of around 10 people that walked towards the lake 6000 years ago. The tracks were found 4 meters below the surface and were preserved thanks to a nearby volcano eruption. Note that the site of the footprints is in a very bad neighborhood. You must take a taxi to get there and take a taxi to leave. Do not attempt to walk there. Adult : 4 USD.
  • New Cathedral, Near Rotonda Rubén Darío. Designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and completed in Sept. 1993, some find this unusual Catholic church to be fascinating. Some find the roof's 63 domes to be sleek and mosque-like.
  • Parque de la Paz, Área Monumental. Your chance to see a lot of grayish-white concrete poured over AK-47s and one tank, which is supposed to symbolize everlasting peace in Nicaragua now that the Contra war is over.

National Palace

Casa Presidencial

Managua Cathedral

Dario\'s Monument

Masaya Volcano National Park

Plaza de la Fe

Tiscapa Lagoon

Monumento a Sandino

National Autonomous University of Nicaragua

Dennis Martinez National Stadium

Multicentro Las Americas Shopping Center

Mercado Carlos Roberto Huembes

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Popular events in Managua in the near future

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About Managua


Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua. It is also the largest city in Nicaragua. The city has a population of roughly 1,800,000, composed predominantly of mestizos and whites; making it the second most populous city in Central America after Guatemala City.

Managua's location between the rival cities of León and Granada made it a logical and ideal compromise site in determining the nation's capital. Managua's economy is based mainly on trade. The city is Nicaragua's chief trading center for coffee, cotton, and other crops. It is also an important industrial center. Its chief products for trade include beer, coffee, matches, textiles, and shoes.

The city has been witness to the rise and fall of political powers throughout Nicaragua's history and suffered devastating earthquakes in 1931 and 1972. Managua is the economic, political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of Nicaragua. Since the 1972 earthquake, residential and business areas have been built on the outskirts of Managua. Managua has been dubbed as the Venice of Central America because of its escalating use of makeshift canals that can be found throughout the city.

Residents of the city and of the department of Managua are called Managüenses.


Nicaragua is one of Latin America's economically friendly destinations. Its hotel, food and transportation costs are a fraction of its neighbors. Eating at local restaurants is extremely inexpensive, and for $30, a meal for four can be served at these locations. Fast food locations are relatively similar to those in North America and Europe in terms of price. High-end restaurants are also affordable. Foreign cuisine, like French and Italian specialities, are served at high-end locations for a fraction of the price found in North American and European cities. Transportation is equally affordable with bus trips for less than US$1.00 and taxi services. Hotels, as anywhere, vary from cheap hostels to full service five stars that can run into the thousands of cordobas.


  • Gambling - There are many casinos, large and small throughout Managua. Star City has a number of locations. If you like to play poker, go to the Pharo's casino on Carretera Masaya. It has hold'em poker tournaments at night (when there's enough interest); $200 buy-in no limit table can be found a lot of nights, $50 tournaments. The nicest casino in Managua by far is Palms Casino just off of Carretera Masaya. Beware that casinos are said by police and regional security analysts to play a significant role in the regional drug trade and money laundering networks. This is unlikely to impact your personal safety at a casino, but does contribute to Nicaragua's security problems.
  • Play billiards - There are at least three good pool places if you're in a group, Pool8, and the two Time Off locations. All are downtown. Time Off has excellent snacks.
  • Catch a movie - You can catch good Latin American movies some Wednesdays at 7PM at the theatre near Art Cafe (a bar) near the Parque de las Palmas. The Art Cafe is near Hotel Beneficial Las Palmas and is within walking distance to the hotel.


  • Los Ranchos: steak house that is so good, it spawned a chain in South Florida. Has been popular with locals for lunch and dinner since the days of Somoza. During that time, the politicians on opposite side of the conflict would run into each other here on a regular basis. Service is impeccable. They serve a churrasco that is hard to beat for flavor and tenderness. Order it with a gin Martini for appetizer. Located about 3 blocks north of estatua de Montoya. $$.
  • La Plancha: Steak house at its best and finest. Dare you to try it and not say its one of the best steaks you ever had tried in your life. Their signature plate is the name of the restaurant: La Plancha. Comes with mashed potatoes and plantains on a hot grill. $$.
  • Le Café de Paris: the best French restaurant in town. Taken care personally by its proprietor and chef, Jeaninne. Very good wines. Ask for its famous foie gras, green salad and pepper steak. Located in Los Robles. $$$.
  • Asados El Gueguense: great local cuisine. Large selection of local meat dishes. Restaurant Website$$.
  • La Cocina de Doña Haydée: a good taste of local Nicaraguan cuisine. 3 Locations - Original off the Carretera Masaya km 4.5 (not far from Metrocentro), another near the Rotonda Bello Horizonte and the last in the food court at Metrocentro.

A good breakfast is Leche Agria - a homemade yogurt like drink. Look for signs advertising it in store fronts and pulperias. Put a little salt on it and eat it with tortilla.

  • Casa del Cafe for good coffee and breakfast. Four locations, one in Los Robles, one on the second floor of Metrocentro, one in Galerias Santo Domingo and one after the security check at Augusto C. Sandino International Airport.
  • Sushi Itto, in case you have a craving. Three locations, one in Carretera Masaya (in Plaza Familiar), one in Galerias Santo Domingo, and one in Plaza Caracol. $$.
  • La Cueva del Buzo - great seafood freshly caught. Must go if you can afford it $$$.
  • El Rincon Salvadoreno - fantastic Salvadorian pupusas and fruit juices in a pleasant outdoor area $


  • Toro Huaco, in the Zona Rosa across from the Picoteo. Outdoor restaurant bar that is comfortable with large groups. Sit under the stars on clear nights. Open mike night on Thursdays for joke telling is good night to get to know the Nicaraguan sense of humor. Owner speaks English fluently.
  • Music Lounge, 2 blocks north of the Texaco in Altamira. Outdoor/indoor music bar that plays a range of music. Nice lighting and atmosphere. Show up with friends.
  • El Caramanchel, Del Hospital Militar,3 cuadras al Norte. cultural bar with a good mix of foreigners and Nicas.
  • HipaHipa. Exclusive Club on Carretera Masaya. Entrance can be 150 cordobas, parties wed/fri/sat.
  • Moods, in Galeria Santo Domingo located on Carretera Masaya. Fanciest and Hippest disco in Managua. Entrance can be from 150 cordobas to 300 cordobas, parties W-Sa.
  • Broder, in Zona Rosa. Disco with entry fee up to 150 cordobas, parties Th-Sa.
  • Arribas, in Zona Rosa on top of Broder. A good atmosphere, sometimes live music.
  • Art Cafe. Art Cafe is a very nice place for listening to live alternative music and have a tranquil evening. It has a colorful bohemian looks and art on their walls and in the vibe of the place and the people that frequent it in general. Go there by taxi, ask for "Art Cafe, en frente del Parque las Palmas"

There are tons of bars in the area south of the big BAC building downtown, find an abandoned place called Lacmiel and head east to find this zone.

Mozara-180 entrance fee-open bar till 2pm Saturday's

There are also a few bars and restaurants around ZONA HIPPOS. Woody's has good wings, Pirata's is a popular local restaurant/bar and Tercer Ojo is a more upscale resto-lounge with fusion cuisine. This area is west of the traffic light at Hilton Princess and La Union supermarket.

The "Zona Rosa" is an area with bars and restaurants that has sprung up in what was once a mostly residential area. It is located south of the BAC building. Highlights include Pharaoh's casino, Casa del Cafe, bars east of Lacmiel, la Casa del Baho restaurant, and Hipa Hipa bar.

Last but not least there are also bars and restaurants in the new "Zona Viva" in Galerias Santo Domingo


If you do not have the time to go to Masaya for handicrafts, go to the Mercado Huembes where you will find everything from souvenirs to hammocks, and paintings. Ask anyone how to get there.

  • Galería Codice, Colonial Los Robles,  2267-2635. Excellent place to buy art (including paintings) and top-quality souvenirs/artesania from all over Nicaragua. As might be expected, though, items are pricey here.
  • Mercado Oriental, Calle 15 de Setiembre. Listed here reluctantly but, hey, there are always tourists who can't resist the thrill of being in a dangerous place! And it is famous (so is Hitler, though). Check in the safety section below for further information on this rather, uh, interesting shopping experience. Really though, it's much safer and saner to do your shopping in places like the Mercado Huembes and Metrocentro. Pick-pocketing, grab-and-run theft, and armed robberies are regular occurrences in the Mercado Oriental.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Managua on Wikivoyage.