Caracas Sights

Set amid rolling hills, Caracas lacks a single downtown area. However, the city can be divided into four principal areas of interest: El Centro and its Plaza Bolívar ringed by historic buildings; Parque Central and the surrounding Bellas Artes district; Las Mercedes with its many boutiques and restaurants; and the walled villas, apartment buildings, and shops of Altamira and La Castellana.

The

main subway line runs across much of the city, supplemented by two short southern spurs. It's clean and great for traveling around Caracas. Buses confound first-time visitors because service is sporadic and routes are difficult to ascertain. Por puestos—the small vans that will pick you up and drop you off anywhere on their set routes—are fine for short point-to-point hops. Taxis are often hampered during the day by gridlock, but they are a good, safe option for getting around downtown, especially if you use a hired car or taxi recommended by your hotel.

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El Centro 8

Bellas Artes 5

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Arts/ Performance Venue 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Government Building 2

House/ Mansion/ Villa 1

Museum/ Gallery 5

Park/ Playground 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 3

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Caracas Sights

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Capitolio Nacional

  • Government Building

Venezuela's Congress is housed in the neoclassical National Capitol, a pair of buildings constructed on the site of the 17th-century...

Casa Natal del Libertador

  • House/Mansion/Villa

The birthplace of Simón Bolívar is a pilgrimage site for Venezuelans, who honor him as "El Libertador." The house has very little to...

Catedral Metropolitana de Caracas

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

With its original facade unaltered since it was built at the end of the 17th century, the Metropolitan Cathedral towers over Plaza Bolívar.

Complejo Cultural Teresa Carreño

  • Arts/Performance Venue

World-class ballet, opera, and classical concerts are regularly presented at this modern cultural center named for Venezuela's most famous...

Concejo Municipal

  • Government Building

This graceful colonial building, set around a manicured courtyard, is considered the cradle of Venezuelan statehood. On July 5, 1811,...

Galería de Arte Nacional

  • Museum/Gallery

Known around town as the "GAN,"the interesting National Art Gallery, across the circular Plaza Morelos from the Museum of Natural Science,...

Iglesia de San Francisco

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Filled with richly gilded altars, this church dating from 1593 was the site of Simón Bolívar's proclamation as "El Libertador" (the...

Museo Sacro de Caracas

  • Museum/Gallery

The Museum of Religious Art of Caracas, a former sacristy and ecclesiastical prison built in 1844 adjoining the cathedral, now houses...

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber

  • Museum/Gallery

This contemporary art museum displays paintings by Picasso, Miró, and Bacon. There are also 3-D works by renowned Venezuelan artist...

Museo de Ciencias Naturales

  • Museum/Gallery

The Museum of Natural Science includes archaeological, botanical, and zoological displays (stuffed animals against rather dismal backdrops)...

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