The city is built on a rise overlooking a large bay formed by the Río Paraguay. The centro (downtown) runs south–southeast from the bay for about 10 blocks to Teniente Fariña, and it stretches 17 blocks from Colón in the west to Estados Unidos in the east. Most hotels, restaurants, shops, and offices can be found in this rectangle, easily explored in a day. Except for the irregular shoreline along the river, Asunción's streets follow a standard grid. Downtown streets are narrow and generally have one-way traffic. Two major squares—Plaza de los Héroes and Plaza Uruguaya—provide cool resting places in the shade of jacaranda trees. You'll appreciate these during the unbearably hot October–March months. Addresses are frequently expressed in terms of intersections. If the location is close to an intersection, the address may be expressed as "Alberdi casi Estrella" (Alberdi "almost at" Estrella).

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  • 1. Casa de la Independencia

    Notable Building

    This 1774 house with whitewashed walls, brick floors, and a lovely patio was once the secret meeting place of revolutionaries plotting to break...Read More

  • 2. Casa de los Diputados

    Government Building

    This Spanish colonial building, containing offices for members of Congress, once served as a convent, then a much-needed blood bank during the...Read More

  • 3. Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Inside the renovated seat of the Archdiocese of Asunción, portions of which date from 1687, are an enormous gilded altar and many 18th and 19th...Read More

  • 4. Gran Hotel del Paraguay

    Historic Home

    This well-preserved mansion has an illustrious past as the former home of Madame Elisa Lynch, the Irish mistress of Paraguayan dictator Francisco...Read More

  • 5. Jardín Botánico y Zoológico


    Besides plenty of plants and a small zoo, you'll find a fine example of a country house, once the home of President Francisco Solano López....Read More

  • 6. Manzana de la Rivera


    In a model for urban planners everywhere, the city of Asunción combined this manzana (block) of nine historic houses near the river into a...Read More

  • 7. Museo de Bellas Artes


    The region's artistic legacy is displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, which has a collection of paintings and sculpture by Paraguayan and other...Read More

  • 8. Museo del Barro


    Though billed as a modern art museum, the so-called "Museum of Clay" includes colonial and indigenous art, but is actually better known for...Read More

  • 9. Museo del Cabildo

    Government Building

    During the Francia dictatorship, Paraguayans were not permitted to view the exterior of this building, but today you can even tour the interior...Read More

  • 10. Palacio del Gobierno


    The elegant horseshoe-shaped Government Palace, with verandas and wide staircases, overlooks the bay and is Asunción's iconic sight. It's only...Read More

  • 11. Panteón Nacional de los Héroes


    Nothing symbolizes Paraguayan history more than the National Pantheon of Heroes, a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the country's hopeless...Read More

  • 12. Plaza de los Héroes


    This plaza, whose centerpiece is the Panteón Nacional de los Héroes, is the heart of Asunción. Since the subtleties of Paraguayan life are laid...Read More

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