Hey Backpackers. So, you’ve managed to get yourself from the airport to your backpackers hostel and hey, nothing bad happened!
There were no robberies, no assaults. It wasn’t just good luck. it’s because Managua is one of the safest cities in central America.
Managua may even be safer than your hometown! Despite the facts, Managua still remains a stop-over, at best, for most backpackers. If you do get an off-day to spend in Managua, here are a few things to keep you entertained while you’re staying at the hostel.
Go Shopping at the Roberto Huembes Market
Distance from Managua Backpackers Inn: 10 min. by taxi; 20 min. walking
If you are looking to kill a few hours ahead of your flight, then head to the market and pick up souvenirs for family and friends. This market is for both locals and tourists. Alongside live chickens and stalls filled with woman’s underwear are stalls that sell hammocks, pottery, jewellery and handcrafted statues (all prices are negotiable).
Be ready to haggle like crazy for a lower price. If you’re looking for cheap or second hand clothing this is the place to go. There are stalls located in front of the market on the main street that offer up cheap t-shirts, shorts and jeans.
If you’re serious about buying something, then remember to bring the local currency with you (Cordobas). You’ll be better off in negotiating a good price than you would be negotiating in USD.
This is not the only market in Managua, but it’s relatively clean and safe for tourists. The other option, especially if you’re looking for used bazookas, is to head to Mercado Oriental.
Don’t let the name throw you off, there’s absolutely nothing oriental or Asian about it! But if you have ever wanted to try iguana soup, this is the go-to place!
Pick up cheap-eats in El ‘Predio’
Distance from Managua Backpackers Inn: 15 min. by taxi; 30 min. walking
Filled with food trucks offering local and international fare, this is a great way to enjoy the evening. Food is reasonably priced in the $3 to $5 range.
They also offer live entertainment in the evenings and lots of seating.
Head to the MetroCentro Shopping Center
Distance from Managua Backpackers Inn: 5 min. walking; 1 min. by taxi
Mingle with local families and ‘out-on-the-town-ers’ at this upscale mall. MetroCentro has it all, from glitzy department stores to movie theaters, bars and restaurants.
It’s not what you expected to be doing while traveling in Nicaragua. But trust us, on a hot, Managua afternoon, you’ll appreciate the over-the-top air conditioning in the movie theaters!
Walk down to Puerto Salvador Allende
Distance from Managua Backpackers Inn: 1 hour walking; 15 min. by taxi.
It’s easy to forget that Managua is built next to a lake! In fact, Lake Managua is the second-largest freshwater body of water in Nicaragua. In recent years the port area has seen a revitalization and now offers lots of entertainment, day and night. You’ll see young families strolling along the waterfront in the early evening and the younger party-set at night enjoying the numerous bars and restaurants.
This is just a small list of things to do in Managua. Managua is the capital and the largest city in Nicaragua, so there are many options for keeping yourself entertained.
It may not be on the top of your list of places to visit, but you won’t be disappointed if you spend a day or two in Managua.
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