Many travelers don’t realize that the capital of Bolivia is actually Sucre, not La Paz. Dubbed the “White City,” thanks to its white colonial houses, Sucre is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. On this basis, here are the best things to do in Sucre, Bolivia.
Welcome to Sucre: Bolivia’s Stunning Capital
Located at an altitude of 2,810 m (9,219 ft), Sucre is the official constitutional capital of Bolivia.
Founded in 1538, it’s one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Bolivia and an excellent place to acclimatize to the altitude.
As such, you get the feeling of being high up in the Andes without the altitude sickness that some people experience in La Paz or Potosi.
Sucre became the capital of Bolivia in 1826 and has since been home to the country’s judicial powers, even though the government agencies are all in La Paz. Confusing, right?
In terms of tourism, Sucre attracts mostly backpackers, who only stay here for a day before moving on.
Nevertheless, the city offers a lot of attractions and the best things to do in Sucre warrant a stay of at least two to three days.
Here is a complete Sucre, Bolivia travel guide covering all the bases.
The Best Things to do in Sucre
You’ll find most of the top things to do in Sucre within the city’s historic core. As such, Plaza 25 de Mayo (the main square) is the perfect spot to base yourself.
Explore the City’s Stunning Colonial Core
Sucre is famous for its colonial center, and that’s where your visit should start.
Get lost in the grid of streets around the main square, where lots of whitewashed colonial buildings and Spanish-style plazas will greet you.
In this area, you’ll find the Freedom House, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the San Felipe church. The neighborhood is also home to the best bars and restaurants in Sucre.
Go Search for Dinosaur Footprints
When it comes to the best things to do in Sucre, seeing the world’s largest dinosaur footprints is a must. They are over 60 million years old and belong to several species, including Sauropods.
You’ll find them inside Parque Cretácico, around five kilometers from the city center. You can get there by taxi or use the Dinobus. The bus leaves every half an hour from Plaza 25 de Mayo.
The footprints are only accessible on a guided tour that leaves every day at noon and 1 pm, so be sure to get your timing right.
Learn About Bolivian Culture in the Best Museums in Sucre
There are several fascinating history and art museums in the Bolivian capital.
In this context, the Museo del Tesoro is arguably the best of the bunch.
Aside from the Treasure Museum, the Freedom House, the Museum of Indigenous Art, and Ethnographic Museum are also worth a stop.
Shop at the City’s Central Market
If you’re looking for some artisanal products or local goodies, the Mercado Central is your place.
From fruits to coffee, alpaca sweaters, and many other local products, you’ll find excellent gifts and cold-weather gear here.
Better still, shopping in the central market is one of the best things to do in Sucre as it showcases authentic Bolivian everyday life.
Visit Bolivia’s Only Royal Castle
Only two people ever held royal titles in Bolivia.
In this context, Princess Clotilde and Prince Francisco lived in the Castillo de la Glorieta as the only royals in the history of Bolivia.
Completed in 1897, the Glorieta Castle is one of the most impressive structures in Sucre as it combines various architectural styles, including Byzantine, Gothic, and Moorish.
Catch Some of the Best Views of The Bolivian Capital
The Bolivian capital looks stunning from above, and there are various places where you can catch panoramic views of the city.
In this regard, the Recoleta Convent viewpoint and the San Felipe Cathedral roofs offer some of the best views of Sucre.
Feast on Some of Sucre’s Best Local Food
If you are wondering what to do in Sucre besides culture, there are also foodie attractions.
The local salteña empanadas are a popular specialty, and they are available with different fillings. One of the best places to eat them is El Patio Salteñaria.
Apart from that, you can eat delicious Bolivian food at Café el Mirador (restaurant with a view) or the central market.
Go on Some of the Best Day Trips From Sucre
Sucre serves as a gateway to many incredible day trips.
In this context, the Seven Waterfalls and the Maragua Crater are some of the best hikes near Sucre, and you can find lots of tours in the local travel agencies.
Where to Stay in Sucre
You’ll find most Sucre attractions in the center, so that’s the best place to stay.
I recommend finding a place within a few blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo.
There aren’t too many luxury hotels in the Bolivian capital, but the offer of boutique hotels, affordable hostels, and beautiful Airbnbs is extensive.
Things to Do in Sucre, Bolivia: FAQ
To complete our Sucre guide, here are some of the top things to know before traveling to the Bolivian capital.
How to get to Sucre, Bolivia
Sucre has an international airport, but at the moment, it only caters to domestic flights. You can find a connection to La Paz or Santa Cruz for less than 30 dollars. As such, it’s the best way to get to Sucre.
If you don’t want to fly, you can take a night bus from Uyuni, Cochabamba, or Santa Cruz.
Finally, if night buses aren’t your thing, you can take a 4-5 hour bus from Potosi or Oruro to Sucre.
These two cities have direct connections to La Paz, Uyuni, and Cochabamba. The “layovers” will allow you to travel during the day. If you want a direct bus to the country’s major cities, you’ll have to travel 12-13 hours at night.
Climate in Sucre
Sucre’s climate is mild year-round. The days are generally pleasant, but the nights get cold. Most houses don’t have any heating, so bring warm clothes.
You can expect a bit of rain year-round, but the heaviest rainfall occurs between December and March.
Safety in Sucre
Sucre is undoubtedly one of the safest cities in Bolivia. With common sense, you’ll encounter no trouble in the historic center.
As in any South American city, most crime happens at night. Don’t go looking for trouble when the sun goes down, and you’ll be fine.