The Best of NileGuide
- Dining, disco-hopping and shopping. Surveying admission-free museums, digging in to colonial history and riding the Teleferico for some serious city views. It's all in a day (or two or five) in Caracas, Venezuela's most dynamic and cultural vibrant city. Art lovers are at no shortage for fine museums. And neither are their pocketbooks---most museums in Caracas are admission free, making a tour of the city's art and history a must-do for everyone. Most cultural museums can be found in the Parque Central area, including the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo and Galeria de Arte Nacional and Museo de Bellas Artes. History-oriented museums, including Museo de Arte Colonial and Museo Sacro de Caracas, are clustered around the Historic Center. While many of the colonial buildings of Caracas have been razed to make way for modern skyscrapers, the Historic Center offers some excellent architectural gems, as well as your best glimpse into the city's past. The leafy Plaza Bolivar has served as the city's heart for centuries, and the Catedral on the Plaza's eastern edge is a perfect example of colonial opulence. The Historic Center is also your place for all things Bolivar: Paneton Nacional, Museo Bolivariano and more. Sabana Grande offers down-and-dirty delights like arepa stands and street vendors, while the posh Altamira provides more upscale shopping, as well as one of the most attractive swaths of green in the city: Parque del Este. Be a true caraqueno and take a Sunday stroll through the park's botanical bliss. Dining and clubbing are also serious activities in Caracas. And no where is dining taken more seriously than in the cutting-edge restaurants of the fashionable Las Mercedes area. Indulge in the finest, but don't miss a traditional tasca or a simple street stand either. For those looking to let loose, Caracas' nightclubs are the place to do it. Again, tascas offer a more traditional experience, while the clubs of Las Mercedes are filled with a modern, youthful energy. Should you want some guidance, several excellent companies give tours of the city, focused around various themes are art, history and culture. And when you're ready to take a long view, ride to the top of the mountain on the Teleferico, and survey all the passion and vitality that lays beneath you.