Located in the north of Venezuela near the Caribbean Sea, the capital and largest city in Venezuela has a cracking location nestled amid towering mountains. Somewhat noisy, polluted and chaotic, Caracas is also a fairly unsafe travel destination yet its people are genuinely welcoming and colorful.
Caracas boasts vibrant architecture, although the recent oil boom has seen many of the colonial buildings replaced by gleaming skyscrapers. The best place to discern the former is at Plaza Bolivar in the city center. Culture can also be greatly appreciated at the Museum of Modern Art, which contains quality works and is one of the most important museums in South America.
Caracas’ other main pluses are its excellent shopping options, where jewels and shoes are particularly popular buys, and the great dining and nightlife. The city’s geographical situation also lends it some of the best weather on the continent, making a visit to the beach or a hike around the striking Avila National Park inviting.
National Capitol: this monumental structure takes up an entire city block and features striking golden domes and neoclassical pediments.
Birthplace of Simon Bolivar: Venezuela’s independence hero’s birth home is well-preserved and now houses a museum.
Museum of Colonial Art: set in an appropriate part of town, this museum of art displays fascinating pieces within a delightful old house.
Universidad Central de Venezuela: a stroll around this World Heritage site to appreciate the 1950s and ‘60s architecture is a must.
Botanical Gardens: located next to the university, the manicured gardens are resplendent with tropical plants and trees.
Mount Avila: take the Teleférico cable car to up Mount Avila for fine views of Caracas and the Caribbean Sea on a clear day.