Are you in Nicaragua and looking for things to do in Managua?
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua. Also, It’s also the place you’re most likely to fly into when starting your travel adventure.
For many people backpacking Nicaragua, though, Managua is seen as just a place to begin the adventure and nothing more.
Things to do in Managua, Nicaragua
Many people skip it but remember, Managua is the heart of Nicaragua. I invite you to take a look at my recommendations first before deciding.
The question of Nicaragua safety and taking precautions is wise because Managua is a city where you encounter Nicaraguans from everywhere.
As the capital city of Nicaragua, Managua has a lot to offer its young adventurous travelers.
Old Downtown Center
The old downtown center of Managua is bustling with activity.
You can easily spend several days wandering around exploring its many different aspects.
Things to explore:
- Visit Puerto Salvador Allende – lakeside restaurants and bars
- Attend a cultural event at the Museum of National Culture
- 25km to the southeast lies Masaya, the commercial hub of downtown
There is a private tour of Managua you can do that show you all the best sights with transportation included.
Here in Managua, you’ll find everything from cultural centers to lakeside restaurants and bars, shopping malls, and major hotel chains.
Luis Alfonso Velazquez Park
The recent renovations at Luis Alfonso Velazquez park make it one of Managua’s biggest and most beautiful parks.
The entrance is free, but you’ll have to pay for parking if you drive there.
Things you can do here include:
- Play sports, football, basketball, baseball, and tennis.
- Stroll through the park and enjoy the scenery
- Grab a bite to eat a nearby cafe
There’s plenty of space to play sports and make some new friends. Located in the northern part of Managua, it’s easily accessible via public transportation.
Go to a Baseball Game
The most popular sport in Nicaragua is Baseball, followed by Soccer. Nothing beats a day at one of Managua’s stadiums.
The Dennis Martinez National Stadium is the largest in Nicaragua.
- Named after Nicaragua’s most famous player Dennis Martinez
- State-of-the-art technology
- Restaurants, bars, and large screen TVs
You don’t even necessarily have to be a sports fan because you’ll get swept up in the culture and excitement of the game.
It’s an excellent opportunity to spend time with friends and meet new people.
The city’s history and culture are as diverse as there are things to do.
You can do almost anything in Managua from attending a baseball/soccer game to hitting the clubs at night.
Indulge in Managua’s Extravagant Nightlife
When the sun sets the city of Managua comes to life, so if you’re looking for some fun and exciting things to do while exploring Managua, check out the nightlife.
What’s popular and trending
- Club Chaman, Thursday – Saturday, typically around 2,000 people
- Fandango – The house of Salse dancing
Managua has bars, clubs, live music, and a carefree party atmosphere.
Many of the clubs and bars offer drink specials and amazing DJs you won’t find anywhere else.
Where to Stay in Managua
There’s an abundance of hostels in Managua, and prices vary depending on the time of year. If you’re looking for the cheapest time to travel to Nicaragua, try between April and November.
When staying in Latin America, I like to live with families, and the best way to achieve this is through a Spanish school.
Most Spanish schools will help you arrange a homestay with local families. I talk about this in my Travel Bible.
I use Airbnb and below are 3 reasons why.
- To get to know local people
- To gain an authentic living experience
- To have a private space to think/work
Here are three reasons why you would use hostels in Managua. Hostels can be a great choice if you want to connect with other travelers, especially if you’re doing solo travel.
- Connect with other travellers
- Find special activities
- To practice living on a budget
People have asked me where I prefer to sleep when I’m traveling in Latin America. The truth is, I like to change where I sleep.
I like to feel like I’m getting a 4-dimensional experience of the place.
When I travel to any place, I try to use all three of the above methods of accommodation. I like to travel with less every time I travel.
Where to Eat in Managua
The great thing about Managua is that it has a decent selection of restaurants. You’ll also find many different cuisines. I tend to stick to local food, but there’s a great Peruvian restaurant. However, La Cocina de Doña Haydee is the best for authentic local food with an atmosphere.
- La Terraza Peruana:14.ª Avenida Sureste, Managua
- Cocina de Dona Haydee:Cuadro a Mano Derecha Despues Del 1
- Doña Pilar:N10 Av Suroeste, Managua
When backpacking Nicaragua or any place in Latin America or the world, be careful with foreign foods and meats that you find in the street.
Eating in the street poses a higher risk, and you could get some kind of food poisoning if the food is not cooked thoroughly enough.
The last thing you want to do is be laid on your back for a few days not able to move. It’s happened to me before, which is why I like to mention it.
Managua Travel Tips
Culturally, it’s a gem, and now is the best time to visit Nicaragua, so if you’re already accustomed to cities within Central America.
Managua has no downtown area, but as mentioned earlier, you’ll find shopping malls, hotels, banks like most cities.
Just make sure you ask for the old center when looking for all the action.
Go down to the Plaza de la Revolución, and from there you’ll find yourself well-located and can move around from there.
How to get to Managua from Leon
Managua lies roughly 100km/60-miles to the southeast of Leon.
The cheapest, yet longest route is to take public transportation, followed by a taxi the remaining distance.
Utilizing this option can take up to 2 ½ hours, but less than $20.
The fastest and a bit pricier way to get from Leon to Managua is a private taxi or other private transportation.
This option will save you about an hour of travel time but can cost up to $100.
Backpacking Nicaragua: Are you Covered?
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Managua, Nicaragua: Travel Guide?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find fun things to do when you go to Managua Nicaragua.
Whether you’re backpacking Nicaragua alone or with friends, this short guide should help you make the most of your time spent in Nicaragua’s bustling capital.
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