10 Must See Things in La Paz Bolivia

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Are you planning a trip to Bolivia? Then you should definitely include La Paz on your itinerary. Often mistaken as the capital of this country instead of Sucre, La Paz is its political and administrative center.
Get ready to put in some effort, because this is it one of the tallest cities in the world, at about 3.670 meters above sea level, and is full of ups and downs, as it is located in the gorge of a natural canyon. Furthermore, here you will be able to come into close contact with the Aymara civilization and culture and its ancestral traditions.
It's time to see together what the 10 things to see absolutely in La Paz, Bolivia.


  1. Plaza Mayor de San Francisco
  2. Murillo Square
  3. Mercado de las Brujas
  4. Mirador Killi Killi
  5. Mercado Central Robert Rodriguez
  6. Metropolitan Cathedral
  7. Museum of Ethnography and Folklore
  8. National Museum of Art
  9. Valley of the Moon
  10. Feria of 16 de Julio
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Plaza Mayor de San Francisco

Plaza Mayor de San Francisco is the largest square in La Paz, meeting point for the inhabitants of the city. Here, in fact, during the weekends, mainly in the morning hours, you can come across classical music concerts, which always bring both locals and tourists together. In addition, it is also the meeting point and reference during political rallies and protests. It has always been very important from a political point of view, starting with the revolution of 1952, when it was a strategic point for the revolt that led to Independence.
The homonymous church overlooks the square, the Basilica of San Francesco, the oldest in the city. In Baroque style, the construction work began in 1549 and ended in 1581, but after serious damage and numerous renovations, it was consecrated in 1758.

  • Plaza San Francisco is located in the city center, across from the Avenida Mariscal Santa Cruz - Get Directions
  • always accessible
  • free

2 - Plaza Murillo

Plaza Murillo is in the heart of La Paz and is the center of Bolivia's political power. Here, in fact, overlook the Presidential Palace, the Bolivian Congress Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Over the years it has changed its name several names: initially called Plaza Mayor, it was then renamed Plaza de Armas during the colonial period; after Independence it was named Plaza Murillo in honor of the national hero Pedro Domingo Murillo. In addition to being the political center, the square is also the heart of life and the meeting point of the inhabitants of La Paz. Stop for a moment to relax in this place and watch the comings and goings of tourists and workers running up and down.

  • it is located in the historical center, between the streets Socobata, Ayacucho, Comercio and Ingavi. It is 750 m, about 10 minutes on foot, from Plaza Mayor de San Francisco, the largest square in the city - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

3 - Mercado de las Brujas

When visiting South America, city markets are an obligatory stop, absolutely to be included in your travel program. This is where you come into close contact with the culture and the locals. In La Paz, the Mercado de las Brujas it is the most famous and popular market and it means "Market of the Witches". It is located in an intricate path of streets and alleys, in the center, 4 minutes away from the Plaza Mayor.

Here you will find many objects for rituals, natural products, herbs, filters, amulets and also llama fetuses for magical rites and used as amulets against the evil eye, all of them typical products of the Aymara culture and tradition, the main ethnic group in the country. This civilization resisted the conversion to Catholicism carried out by the Spanish colonizers during Colonialism and, over the centuries, has preserved all its traditions and beliefs carrying them up to the present day.

  • located in Melchor Jimenez, 220 meters from Plaza Mayor, 3 minutes walk - Get directions
  • every day from 9:30 to 19:00
  • free

4 - Mirador Killi Killi

Mirador Killi Killi it is the best viewpoint in La Paz, from which you can admire the whole city from above. On the northern side, you can see the city and skyscrapers in the background. Plus, you will be able to see Huayna Potosi, one of the highest peaks in South America, over 6.000 meters high! This place also has a historical value: this, in fact, was the headquarters and surveillance point of the indigenous leader Tupac Katari, who laid siege of the city in 1781. The Mirador it also features several well-kept gardens and a playground. From here you can take some truly spectacular photos.

  • it is located on Avenida la Bandera, 1,7 kilometers from Plaza Mayor de San Francisco. The terrace can be reached on foot, but the climb can be challenging. In this case you can take the Chaquipampa bus which leaves you at the steps to reach the Mirador - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

5 - Mercado Central Robert Rodriguez

If the Mercado de las Brujas is the most popular in La Paz, in second place we can put the Mercado Central Roberto Rodriguez, the largest food market in the city. Completely different from the first, at the Central Market you will find many typical products and you can immerse yourself in a real culinary journey, tasting local and traditional cuisine. Among the stalls you will find fresh vegetables and fruit, meat and fish caught in Lake Titicaca, and above all potatoes of many types, in fact Bolivia boasts over 200 varieties of potatoes grown at home.

  • Zone 1, Zoilo Flores, 800 meters away from Plaza Mayor de San Francisco, about 10 minutes on foot - Get directions
  • every day from 5:30 to 21:00
  • free

6 - Metropolitan Cathedral

La Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as Catedral Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Paz, is an imposing church located in the center of the city, in Plaza Murillo, near the Government Palace. Built in 1853 in neoclassical style but with baroque influences, has a very simple interior divided into 5 different naves. The central altar is built in Italian marble and, behind it, you can admire a large stained glass window which represents the moment when a gathering of Bolivian politicians takes place who are blessed from above by a group of divine worshipers. Attention, it is not allowed to take photographs inside.

  • in Plaza Murillo, 750 m away, about 10 minutes on foot, from Plaza Mayor de San Francisco - Get directions
  • Monday to Friday from 15:30 pm to 19:00 pm; Saturdays and Sundays only in the morning.
  • free

7 - Museum of Ethnography and Folklore

The Museum of Ethnography and Folklore has the purpose of preserve and make known civilizations and peoples who have inhabited the territory of Bolivia over the centuries. Among the various rooms, the most beautiful are certainly: the Hall of the Art of Feathers, full of skirts, crowns, hats, earrings and various ornaments made by hand with lots of colored feathers that give a beautiful visual impact; there Textile room, where you can discover the different textile styles and the different techniques used by the peoples and admire some fabrics with beautiful and bright colors; there Hall of the Masks, full of masks from different tribes and made in different periods, always used during traditional dances and for religious rites.

  • in Ingavi street, next to Plaza Murillo, just 450 meters away from Plaza Mayor de San Francisco, about 7 minutes on foot - Get directions
  • from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 19:00; Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30; Sunday from 10:00 to 13:30; closed on Mondays
  • 20 Bs (about € 2,54)

8 - National Museum of Art

The National Art Museum is a museum where you will be able to know and relive the golden centuries of Latin American art. The collections are exhibited in the Palacio de los Condes e Arana, an elegant th-century building located near Plaza Murillo. In the various permanent exhibitions you can admire paintings made by famous Bolivian and South American artists and the main styles are colonial and contemporary.

In the colonial period galleries, you will find religious-themed works by Leonardo Flores and Gaspar Miguel de Berrio. An entire exhibition is dedicated to Melcho Perez Holguin, one of the masters of Andean colonial art. In the contemporary rooms, however, you can see works ranging from the nineteenth century onwards. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, various temporary exhibitions are set up, with ever-changing themes. The building is then used to organize concerts and cultural events.

  • in Plaza Murillo, 750 m away, about 10 minutes walk from Plaza Mayor de San Francisco - Get directions
  • from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 19:00; Saturday from 10:00 to 17:30; Sunday from 10:00 to 13:30; closed on Mondays
  • 15 Bs (about € 1,91)

9 - Valley of the Moon

Just 10 kilometers from the center of La Paz is the Valley of the Moon, in the Rio Choqueyapu canyon. Despite the somewhat misleading name, this is not a real valley, but a kind of labyrinth created by canyons and pinnacles which have been created naturally over the centuries through erosion.

To reach the Mirador della Valle della Luna you can choose two different paths: a shorter one, just 15 minutes long, which takes you straight to your destination; a longer one, about 45 minutes, which will take you through the whole valley. We recommend the second, much more scenic and interesting. The landscape that you will find yourself in front of your eyes is really something special, you will feel like you are on another planet, on the moon. If you are in La Paz, this place is absolutely worth a visit.

  • to reach the Valley of the Moon, microbuses depart daily and frequently from La Paz to Mallasa, a town not far from your destination. The ticket is made directly on board by the driver and costs 3,5 Bs per person (about € 0,45) - Get directions
  • from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 16:00; closed on Sundays
  • 15 Bs (about € 1,91)

10 - Feria of 16 de Julio

Feria del 16 de Julio is South America's largest clothing market, held every Thursday and Sunday! It is not located in La Paz, but in El Alto, just 11 kilometers away. We have decided to include it in the top 10 because it is absolutely worth a visit, even if only for half a day. Once you arrive, the visual effect will surprise you: you will find yourself in front of an expanse of stalls full of colorful clothes. But not just clothing, here you can really find everything, including textiles or handicrafts and many culinary products. You can then taste different typical dishes and go shopping, buying some souvenirs in memory of this beautiful journey. Small warning: being a very crowded and sometimes chaotic place, be careful with bags and backpacks, always keep them closed and tight to you.

  • to reach El Alto from La Paz you can use the La Paz - El Alto cableway, also called Mi Teleferico, which connects the two cities and which was inaugurated in 2014. The alternative is to take a taxi, certainly faster - Get directions
  • every Thursday and Sunday from 7:00 to 19:00
  • free

Plan your stay in La Paz, Bolivia: info on flights, hotels and tours

La Paz is one of the most visited cities in Bolivia. Plan on walking a lot and, above all, uphill, so absolutely use comfortable shoes. The means to get around are the buses and microbuses, the funicular or taxis. The cost of living is very low, as you can see from the entrance fees to the museums. The same goes for food and accommodation. Regarding this last point, vi we recommend choosing an accommodation in the historic center, where all the attractions are concentrated and from where it will be easier for you to take the means to move out of the city.

  • starting from € 880,00 -
  • Hotels and b & b starting from € 20,00 -
  • Half-Day La Paz Walking Tour La Paz: Small Group Local Food Tour La Paz: Morning Sightseeing Tour with Local Guide

Audio Video 10 Must See Things in La Paz Bolivia
add a comment of 10 Must See Things in La Paz Bolivia
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.