Located by the Paraguay River, Asunción is the capital and largest city of the country Paraguay. Sitting on the river´s left bank, the city is spread out over many hills – including Cabará, Clavel, Tarumá, Cachinga, Cerro Lambaré, and Tacumbú.
Museo del Barro
This museum consists of three parts:
- Pottery museum
- Indigenous art museum
- Contemporary art collection
The Botanical Garden
This is a large botanical garden and nature park frequented by walkers, joggers and riders. It includes a lake, a zoo and a natural history museum. Both the zoo and the museum is in a rather poor condition, but the botanical garden is nice and well worth a visit.
Panteón Nacional de los Héroes
The National Pantheon of the Heroes is a well-known landmark in Asunción, and both tourists and foreign delegations tend to make a stop here during their visit to the city. The building itself is considered an architectural jewel, and inside you can learn a lot about Paraguay´s history as it serves as the mausoleum of the country.
A ceremonial changing of the guard takes place several times a day.
Examples of individuals who have the pantheon as their final resting place are:
- Don Carlos Antonio López
- Mariscal Francisco Solano López
- Mariscal José Félix Estigarribia and his wife
- Two unknown soldiers
- Children who died in the Battle of Acosta Ñu
It was president Francisco Solano López who ordered the construction of the building in 1863 – but not as a pantheon. The original idea was to make a chapel honoring the Virgin of Asuncion. Because of the War of the Tripple Alliance (1864-1870) where Paraguay fought against Argentina, Uruguya and the Empire of Brazil, the project was halted and remained unfinished for over 70 year. After the end of the Chaco War against Bolivia, the building was finally inaugurated in 1936 and declared National Pantheon of Heroes.
Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Layd of the Assumption, commonly known simply as Asuncion Cathedral, is located in the hearth of Asuncion’s historic centre. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, who is the patron saint of the city.
Parque Carlos Antonio López
This park is planted with typical Paraguayan plant species.
Palacio de López
This palace, located in the center of the capital, is the seat of government, and also serves as the President´s workplace.
It was Carlos Antonio López (leader of Paraguay in 1841-1862) who had the palace built for his son General Francisco Solano López. The building project started in 1857, with the English architect Alonso Taylor at the helm. Many of the materials used were brought to the capital from other parts of Paraguya, such as stones from the quarries of Emboscada and Altos, iron that had been prepared in Ybycuí, wood from Ñeembucú, and so on. Several artists travelled from Europe to South America to make the decorations.
Manzana de la Rivera
Manzana de la Rivera is a series of old traditional homes that have been restored to serve as a museum.
Nacional de Bellas Artes
This art museum contains paintings from the 19th century.
The Trade Fair
Each year in July, a trade fair is held in Asuncion, featuring trade exhibitions, street food, and general festivities. The exhibitors arrive from all over Paraguay to showcase their products, and they usually bring a long a lot of free samples to hand out, such as food, liquor and fancy soaps.
The old railway
The old railway brings tourists between Asuncion and the the cities Luque and Areguá.
Calle Palma in downtown Asuncion is great street to visit if you are looking for a combination of historical buildings, grand plazas, stores, restaurants and cafés.
If you prefer a shopping mall over streets and plazas, the main ones are La Galeria, Shopping del Sol, Shopping Villa Morra, Mariscal López Shopping, Mall Excelsior, and Shopping Multiplaza.
Try the local cuisine
- Just like in the rest of Paraguay, beef is popular in Asuncion and high-quality beef can be purchased without breaking the bank. If you like beef, you should really try the asado a(grilled meat) while in Asuncion.
- Vori vori is a traditional soup served with cornmeal balls.
- Manioc (Manihot esculenta) and manioc flour are common ingredients here. You can for instance try the pastel madi´o, a pastry filled with minced meat, or the chipa, a type of cheese bread made with manioc flour. Payagua mascada is a tortilla-dish made with manioc and beef.
- Street vendors in Asuncion sell a variety of foods, including empanadas (filled bread) and panchos (hot dogs).
- Lunch restaurants in Asuncion typically offer both sit-down and take-out. There are many affordable places where you can help yourself from a buffé and pay by weight.