A mix of culture, history, nature, and bustling city life, Asunción is the perfect place to start your trip to Paraguay. Enjoy exploring the city’s many parks and walking along the waterfront, go shopping in the trendy downtown malls, visit local historical buildings and museums, or try the different cuisines offered at the restaurants. Asunción has something for everyone to enjoy!
A Guide to Asunción, Paraguay
Asunción Map & Resources
Best Time to Visit Asunción
The weather in Asunción is typically warm or hot, with average temperatures between 60 and 80 Fahrenheit throughout the year. It’s often humid, and sudden rain showers occur frequently. Whatever time of year you choose to go, you’ll be able to enjoy the city to the full – just be sure to bring sunscreen and an umbrella!
If you’re not a fan of extreme heat and humidity, avoid visiting Asunción during the summer months from December through February. If you prefer cooler, drier weather, go during the wintertime from June to August. Spring and fall, from September to November and March to May respectively, are great times to visit for warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine.
Where to Stay in Asunción
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- Center of Asunción – If you want to be close to the best shopping malls and restaurants in Asunción, stay in the city center. The neighborhoods of Villa Morra, Las Lomas, and Recoleta are close to all the trendy spots in the city’s center.
- La Costanera – Near Asunción’s costanera, or waterfront, is the perfect place to stay if you enjoy running or biking, sunset views on the Paraguay River, and easy access to Asunción’s historical buildings and museums.
- Botánico – Love the convenience of the city but want to be close to green natural spaces? Stay in the Botánico neighborhood, where you’ll be close to Asunción’s large botanical park with gardens, walking trails, and a zoo. Close by is another park, the Ñu Guazu Park, the perfect spot for a jog or a bike ride.
Best Budget Accommodation in Asunción
1. Nomada Hostel
Nomada Hostel is a great budget option for backpackers looking to meet other travelers. Its central location is perfect for exploring the city, historical buildings, and the waterfront.
Nomada offers both shared and private rooms. But it’s more than just a place to crash at the end of the day. Here you can enjoy amenities like complimentary breakfast, WiFi, a pool, and a bar. Reviewers say that the staff is friendly and the rooms are clean. It’s a place that you won’t want to leave!
2. Casa de Mia
Casa de Mia offers private rooms in a beautiful home. It’s located in a quiet neighborhood close to parks and other areas of interest, and breakfast is included with your stay. Guests say they enjoyed the friendly, hospitable hosts, the pretty garden, and the cozy home-like feel of the accommodation.
3. Asunción Gracia Suites
Located close to the best shopping malls and restaurants in Asunción, Gracia Suites offer private apartment rentals at a reasonable price. With modern furnishings, an equipped kitchen, and a rooftop pool, these compact apartments provide a comfortable stay for anyone from solo travelers to couples to families with kids.
4. Asunción Soho Departamentos
Modern individual apartments available for short-term rental at a very reasonable price. Guests enjoy the excellent location, speedy WiFi connection, clean accommodations, and helpful owners. A great option for digital nomads.
5. ibis Asunción
A budget hotel for those who prefer traditional hotel service, ibis Asunción offers simple accommodation with breakfast, a central location, a 24-hour bar, and free WiFi. The staff is friendly and the accommodation offers good value for money.
Things to Do in Asunción, Paraguay
Whether you enjoy outdoor activities, trying new restaurants, or learning about local history and art, there’s plenty to do in Asunción. Don’t miss these top activities while you’re there!
1. Visit Panteón de los Héroes and Palacio de López
If you like visiting historical buildings, don’t miss these two! While there are several historical buildings in Asunción, the Panteón de los Héroes and Palacio de López should be at the top of your list.
The Panteón Nacional de los Héroes is a memorial to Paraguay’s war heroes. The remains of some of these heroes and Paraguay’s first constitutional president lie here. The building was inspired by France’s Le Pantheón. Here you’ll get a peek at Paraguay’s past, its famous wars and fallen heroes, as well as observe some of the finest architecture Asunción has to offer.
Palacio de López is Paraguay’s seat of government where the President and other officials work. Completed in 1867, this historical building is another example of architecture from Paraguay’s past. You can wander around the grounds and see the palace light up with an impressive lighting display in the evenings.
2. Go To a Soccer Game at General Pablo Rojas Stadium
Also known as ‘La Nueva Olla’, General Pablo Rojas Stadium is one of the newest stadiums and home to one of the country’s favorite soccer teams, Cerro Porteño. The fans can get intense, especially when the team plays against their rival, Olimpia. Enjoy a soccer game at the stadium, or attend an event there.
3. Take a Stroll Down the Waterfront
The costanera, or waterfront, is a great place to take a stroll or a bike ride. While you can’t swim in the Paraguay River, you can enjoy a boat ride or kayak. The sunsets on the waterfront are spectacular as well.
4. Go Shopping at Paseo la Galería
Two curvy buildings stand out in Asunción’s skyline. Known as Paseo la Galería, these buildings are home to a modern shopping mall as well as a number of offices and restaurants.
It’s a happening spot on the weekends, where you can shop, eat, and even see a movie. Many of the restaurants offer seating on the terraces, where trees lit with decorative lights provide a nice ambiance.
5. Enjoy Nature at The Botanical Garden and Zoo
Asunción offers plenty of green spaces to get away from the city traffic and breathe some fresh air, and the Jardin Botánico, or botanical garden, is one of the best. Here you can enjoy a peaceful walk through the large park, explore the zoo, and visit a natural history museum in a colonial house.
6. Admire Clay Art at the Museo del Barro
Asunción may not be the capital city with the most impressive museums, but the Museo del Barro is definitely worth a visit. Here you’ll get a look at pottery and art made throughout history, from indigenous art to contemporary Paraguayan pieces. Art and history lovers will both find something of interest in this museum.
7. Bargain Hunt in Mercado 4
If you like authentic experiences and getting a good deal, look no further than Asunción’s Mercado 4. A sprawling market with stands selling everything from fruit to clothes to souvenirs.
You can find some great deals here but watch out for scams. Shopping in Mercado 4 isn’t for the faint of heart, so ask a Paraguayan friend to take you if you’re worried about getting around and staying safe.
8. Try Refreshing Tereré
You can’t go to Paraguay without trying the national drink, tereré. You’ll notice people drinking it in the park and stands selling it on the roadside. To prepare tereré, a guampa, or special cup with a filtering straw, is filled with yerba maté. Then ice-cold water is poured into the guampa for each sip of the drink.
It’s a refreshing way to beat the heat and an important part of Paraguayan culture. Ask a local to show you how to prepare and drink tereré – they’re always excited to invite visitors to try their favorite drink!
9. Shop Locally Made Handicrafts
Throughout the city, you’ll find people selling handicrafts in the parks, markets, and vendor fairs. Paraguay is known for its beautiful local artisanship, including leatherwork, silver filigree, Ñanduti lacework, ceramics, and more. Be sure to stop and take a look if you see a store or stand selling handicrafts and buy a souvenir or two!
10. Learn Guaraní
Paraguay is a bilingual country, with people speaking both Spanish and the indigenous language Guaraní. In the streets of Asunción, you’ll probably hear phrases like “mba’eteko,” “ja’umina,” “jaha,” and others. Take the opportunity to learn a few words from the locals during your stay. You’ll make fast friends if you use some Guaraní phrases, and maybe even get an invitation to an asado (Paraguayan barbecue)!
Food and Drink in Asunción
There are tons of restaurants to try in Asunción, from stands selling asadito (grilled beef skewers) to upscale expensive restaurants. Be sure to try local Paraguayan cuisine, which includes dishes like empanadas, chipa, mbeju, asado (barbecued meat), and more.
You can also try a variety of different cuisines in Asunción, from Venezuelan arepas to Korean Bibimbap. Here are some of the best places to get a bite in Asunción.
El Café de Acá – A cozy café with a variety of offerings. Try Paraguayan cuisine like mbeju, empanadas, sopa paraguaya, chipa, and even the refreshing local drink, tereré. Their coffee is delicious, and they have plenty of traditional brunch items as well, like breakfast burritos and pancakes. If you’re working while you travel, you can even use the WiFi and get some work done while enjoying a bite.
Lido Bar – Lido Bar is by far Asunción’s most famous casual restaurant. Established in 1953, they’re known for their empanadas, but offer an array of Paraguayan dishes worth trying. Lido Bar is more than just a restaurant – it’s a part of Asunción’s history and culture.
Koggi Korean Food Cart – Koggi is a bright yellow food cart with a simple menu. You can go for a sandwich, a wrap, or a bowl, choose your toppings and your meat of choice, or a veggie option. They also offer mandu and bibimbap. It’s a casual spot to order a bite to go or eat on the Shopping Mariscal patio.
O Gaúcho – An all-you-can-eat buffet with style – this isn’t your local Hometown Buffet! O Gaúcho is a Brazilian-style churrasqueria or steakhouse, where you can eat mouthwatering cuts of grilled meat, delicious sushi, and yummy desserts to your heart’s content. You can also try some Paraguayan side dishes, like chipa guazu and sopa paraguaya.
+58 Arepas – Looking to try some Venezuelan food? Look no further than the Shopping Mariscal patio, where you’ll find +58 Arepas. A small food stand with outdoor seating, here you can try tasty arepas, cheesy tequeños, and delicious Venezuelan drinks.
Getting Around Asunción
Getting around Asunción can be an adventure, to say the least! Drivers don’t respect pedestrians crossing the street and buses don’t have clearly posted routes. But don’t let that discourage you! People are friendly and will be happy to help you, and you’ll get to know the city.
Most locals get around by bus and on foot – they’re the cheapest options. There are plenty of areas that are nice for walking, just be careful when crossing the streets. Buses are harder to get the hang of, especially if you don’t know Spanish. They usually have a sign in the front that indicates the bus’s route, but if you speak Spanish, it’s easier to ask the driver if your destination is on their route.
If you prefer convenience, Uber and a similar app called Bolt are widely available in Asunción and easy to use. Rides aren’t expensive if you’re not going too far, and it’s an easy option.
How to Get to Asunción
The most convenient way to get to Asunción is by plane. The Silvio Pettirossi Airport is the main international airport in the country and is located in Luque, part of the larger Asunción metropolitan area. From there you can get an Uber, rent a car, or take the bus to the city center.
If you’re visiting Asunción from a neighboring country like Brazil or Argentina, you can also get to Asunción by bus. Buses take you to Asunción’s bus terminal, just a few minutes from the city center.
Where to Go Next:
The Chaco: Looking for a wildlife adventure? A visit to Paraguay’s Chaco región provides the opportunity to explore a sparsely populated wilderness, spot amazing wildlife, and get away from the city. Don’t expect a sophisticated infrastructure for tourists or lots of hotel options – the Chaco is a real adventure destination where you’ll get to see untouched natural landscapes.
San Bernardino: In comparison to busy Asunción, San Bernardino is a peaceful lakeside town. Enjoy sunsets on the Ypacaraí lake, kayaking, paddleboarding, and bike riding. San Ber is a bit of a ghost town during the off-season, with many restaurants closed and vacation homes abandoned. But the town comes alive during the summer, from late December through the end of February, with plenty of restaurants open and lots of visitors.
Paraguarí: Located about an hour and a half away from Asunción, Paraguarí is a gorgeous town with plenty of hiking and lookout spots with beautiful views. If you love the outdoors and hiking through hills, Paraguarí is the perfect place to visit.