It was late evening (day before) when we arrived at Asuncion airport in Paraguay. Although Uber is available widely in the city, and is highly recommended to use it as airport transfer to the city, we found it to be expensive on-arrival, mainly because of the weekend. So we took a taxi costing PYG 120,000 (standard costs), and checked-in to the hotel.
| Get around in Asuncion, including airport transfer
While taxis are widely available, and they can be cheap to go around in Asuncion, a trip from city center to the airport and back can cost you about 120,000 – 150,000 PYG (approx $17-$22) one way.
Uber is widely available in the capital city and it can be cheaper than a taxi for airport transfers. For a one-way transfer from city center to the airport this morning, we paid 62,700 PYG (approx $9), as opposed to 120,000 PYG quoted by a taxi driver. It is highly recommended to pay the driver in cash considering the high exchange rate of PYG.
Arriving late in Asuncion? – It is important to note that if you’re arriving in Asuncion late evening, especially on a weekend, then you will have very limited options for dinner, or even snacks! So make sure to purchase something from the many cafes and restaurants outside the airport.
It was Sunday morning the next day, and although our hotel did not serve breakfast, we found local cafes serving coffee and basic sandwich!
This is a country where people love spending time with families on Sundays so the capital city is fairly quiet and ‘dead’ on Sunday mornings. Most museums or stores are closed, or open as late as 11am.
Almost all the main sights to see in Asuncion are located close to Avenida Mariscal Lopez in the ‘Catedral’ area (or Centro) of the city, which is also the center. The centro area is well-structured and mostly flat making it easy to walk around.
Here are some of the sights we visited in Asuncion:
National Pantheon of Heroes
Originally constructed in 1863 as a chapel for ‘Virgin Our Lady Saint Mary of Asuncion’, the National Pantheon serves as the principal mausoleum of Paraguay where lie the remains of the great heroes of Paraguayan history. Although the ceremonial changing of the guard is held several times a day, this was cancelled because of the pandemic.
Casa de la Independencia Museum
During the evening of May 14, 1811, a group of Paraguayans emerged from this house to declare the independence of Paraguay. It is a national monument that has great historical significance and showcases pieces of history that date back to the independence of the country.
Due to pandemic, the museum was closed.
Centro Cultural de la República
The Cultural Center of the Republic, located in the Cabildo building, has the objective of strengthening awareness and historical memory, enhancing its status as a building of monumental value. It has several rooms that have been awarded to the different museums in the city: Sala del Barro, Sala del Arte Sacro, Sala Guido Boggiani, Sala de la Música, Sala del Cabildo, Sala del Cine and the Library of Paraguayan authors Augusto Roa Bastos. It also has two rooms for temporary samples from Paraguay.
Due to pandemic, the center was closed.
Palacio del Congreso Nacional
One of the least interesting buildings is the national parliament of Paraguay, the constitutional body charged with exercising the country’s legislative power. It is composed of the Senate of Paraguay (upper house), and the Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay (lower house).
Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is the main Catholic cathedral of Asunción. It was the first diocese of the Río de la Plata. The last current model was built during the government of Don Carlos Antonio López and inaugurated in 1845. It is dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption, patron saint of the country’s capital city. It has a high altar covered in silver.
Due to the pandemic, the cathedral was closed.
Palacio de López
Palacio de Lopez is a palace in Asunción that serves as workplace for the President of Paraguay, and is also the seat of the government of Paraguay. Half of this palace was under renovation and maintenance during our visit.
With limited options open to eat, we headed to the much-talked-about Lido Bar for lunch. It was really busy considering the only restaurant open on Sunday afternoon! The empanadas are huge, filling and delicious!
After a good meal, it was way too hot to walk around the city, so we headed back to the hotel for a siesta! And in late evening, we called an Uber to visit the last sight in the city located at the southern end.
Cerro Lambare is named in honor of Chief Lambare, the leader of the Guaraní community, who entrenched themselves on this hilltop against the invading Spaniards. When the natives were worn down to the point they could no longer hold off the Spanish, Chief Lambare negotiated with them for peace. The huge hilltop monument remembers the bravery of this local hero and the peace he brokered, and offers panoramic views over Asuncion, the Paraguay River, and the lands he sought to defend.
You can see Argentina across the Paraguay river from here.
Dinner was pizza at a local cafe nearby Cerro Lambare. An Uber back to the hotel, we called it a night.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = PYG 7000 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
|Airport to hotel||$17.15||PYG 120,000 one-way from ASU airport to hotel in downtown Asuncion.|
|Lunch||$6.85||PYG 48,000 at Lido Bar Cafe.|
|Dinner||$7.85||PYG 55,000 at local pizza cafe.|
|Uber||$15.28||PYG 107,000 to Cerro Lambare and back.|
|Total Costs||$47.13||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,624.81||Per person|
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Tips, info & details of planning.
Sights of capital city.
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Visiting the churches of nearby towns from Asunción.