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Maracaibo is the capital of Zulia state in western Venezuela, and is the second largest city in the country after Caracas. It has more than 2 million people and it's famous for its typical music, big shopping malls and beautiful parks. It is called "La Primera Ciudad de Venezuela" (The Most Important Venezuelan City) because of its development.
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Points of Interest in Maracaibo
Maracaibo has a nice but sterile centre, that they try to posh up with old European styled parks - not very successful.
- The bridge over Lake Maracaibo. Built in 1957 over Lake Maracaibo, is recognized as one of the most impressive buildings in Venezuela. It's also the largest concrete bridge in the world.
- Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquira. In downtown Maracaibo dedicated to the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a native Venezuelan in colonial era.
- Palafitos in Santa Rosa de Agua. To the north of Maracaibo, these buildings are created by native Venezuelans on top of the water with wood.
- Santa Lucía. The most beautiful colonial area in the city with a European style and narrow streets.
- Try the local cuisine, places like:
- Chop's: In Ave 10 with 65St, with their famous tequeños and patacones.
- El Budare de Juana. Located in Santa Rita avenue. Near Hotel Kristoff. Open 24/7.
- Arepas Santa Rita: In Santa Rita avenue, sells arepas with an American style.
- Arepas San Benito: In Santa Rita, known for their famous 'aguita de sapo' (frog water, this is how it´s called the juices that come out when the "pernil" is roasted, "pernil"= Roasted pork shoulder) arepas.
- Cachapas Frank: In 72 Ave with Delicias, famous for their cachapas.
- Los Dulces de Alicia In Doral Center Mall, local deserts such as limonson, dulce de leche and on.
- Jog in the late afternoon/night at Vereda del Lago, a big urban park along the lake border, located in El Milagro Ave. One of the meeting places for the population.
- Get in Tranvia, a touristic transport sistem that takes you around the downtown and tells you the city history. There's also a night trip with several stops in the most famous night clubs. For around 50 Bs.F per person. Main station is at Vereda del Lago urban park.
- Changing money. As of February 2013, the official exchange rate was set at 6.30bf. to the U.S. dollar, though the actual (black market) rate has risen to between 50-60 to the dollar. Visitor should be aware, both of this discrepancy in value, and that it is illegal to advertise or publish the parallel rate in Venezuela. This makes parsing the prices of goods particularly difficult.
- Vereda del Lago / Aquamania. A park next to the lake with good security. It contains a waterpark called Aquamania, which is a good way to cool off in this extremely hot city.
- Hooters, Next to the square's boulevard. +58 0261 7929166. A nice option for American food and souvenir.
- Ciao, Dr. Portillo avenue. Italian cuisine in a cosmopolitan way.
- Mi Vaquita, 5 July St. The best steak house in Maracaibo, very popular.
- Angus Grill., Av.13 con calle 69-A. A great steak house with great cuts and side dishes.
- Mi Ternerita. Also a steak house located in the Aventura Mall, and now has a new location at Fuerzas Armadas avenue.
- Da Vinci, 11-Ath Avenue near 5 July St. Italian.
- Salon Canton, 9th Avenue with 71st. Cantonese and Oriental cuisine.
- Te con Te, Bella Vista Avenue and C2 Avenue. Salads and Crepes.
- Zaga. El milagro Avenue in Lago Mall. Sushi and oriental food restaurant with a spacious bar.
- Mi Vaquita. Mi Vaquita is a club on weekends during night. Have to get there early if you want a good table.
- Mi Ternerita. The best club in Maracaibo, some say Venezuela. Excellent music, drinks, and ambience. A must go.
- Zeta bar. Located in Bella Vista behind the Governor's Mansion. Shares the block with other bars.
- H2O. Located next to Zeta Bar in Bella Vista.
- Crobar. Located at the end of Bella Vista. It's the biggest night club in the city with four different areas.
- El Girasol. Located in the hotel El Paseo, El Milagro. A fantastic spinning restaurant that celebrates its 24 years.
- SOLO, Casco Central Calle 94 #5-82 (, detras del Teatro Baralt). 7PM-3AM. Lugar nocturno multifacético electroestático rockero - electrónico- new ravero - punk- indie-progressive-funk - house- nu jazz - minimal - maximal - electro - tech - drum and bass and more good music bien sur ! $.
- Sambil Maracaibo. In the Ave Goajira. With A/C, security and parking. Has several national banks that operate off-hours. A food court including (but not limited to): McDonalds, Church's Chicken, Marhaba Express, Burger King, Subway, Cinnabon, Mr Pretzel and a TGI Friday's. The biggest movie theater in Venezuela with 13 projection rooms. And clothing stores including: Zara and Lacoste.
- Lago Mall. Located in the Milagro Avenue, next to the Hotel del Lago. A/C, Parking and security. Has several banks, jewelery stores and a food court including (but not limited to): McDonalds, Wendy's, Panda Express and CHOPS. Also has a movie theater with 4 projection rooms.
- Doral Center Mall. Located in Ave Fuerzas Armadas, has A/C, security and paid parking, with a 6 room-movie theater and food court.
- Galerias Mall. Located in la Limpia, has A/C, paid parking and some security.Has an 11 room-movie theater, an ice skating ring and a small food court. Caution should be taken when visiting this mall since it's located next to a 'Red zone'.
- Centro Comercial Costa Verde. Old shopping center, has no A/C and no working movie theater. There is a bingo in the lower level and a Church's Chicken, Subway and Burger King in the top floors. You can also find some famous stores as Oscar De La Renta and a super market.
- Mall Delicias Plaza. Has A/C, parking lot and security. It is a luxurious shopping mall located in the commercial Delicias Norte avenue. Latin American designers have stores here.
- Babilon Centro Sur, C2 Avenue. Has A/C, parking and security. Its principal attraction is the movie theater consider the best one in the city and the Colombian department store EXITO.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Maracaibo on Wikivoyage.