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Hotels in Managua

Managua, Nicaragua's capital and largest city, won't win any awards for its beauty. Earthquakes and poor urban planning have made this city a chaos of concrete, traffic, and honking horns. While Managua may not make a great first impression, if you dig just a little underneath the surface you will find a bustling city where the vibrancy of Nicaraguan life and history is fully on display. Energetic markets, fascinating public monuments, and interesting museums make Managua a unique tourist destination, and they are exactly why you should give this often overlooked city a chance for at least a day or two.

As a major city and Nicaragua's main gateway to the world, finding a hotel in Managua is easy. Whether you're looking for a family-run B&B or a large luxurious hotel offering countless amenities, you can find a comfortable place to sleep in Managua.

Where Can I Find Hotels?

To the consternation of many visitors, Managua lacks an identifiable downtown and in many cases street signs are difficult to come by. Instead, Managua is more a collection of neighbourhoods loosely knit together to form one large city. That can make navigating the city particularly daunting for first-time visitors. However, when it comes to hotels it's important to keep in mind that most of them are concentrated in two areas of the city.

The first area for finding hotels is Bolonia. Bolonia has the benefit of being close to most of Managua's main attractions, including the Revolution Plaza and the Antigua Cathedral. This is an older area of the city and the hotels here tend to be smaller establishments. While that means you are more likely to have an "authentic" experience of Managua by staying in Bolonia, it also means that amenities can sometimes be more limited. That being said, there are a handful of major hotels here, most notably the Intercontinental. Also, Bolonia is great for finding some extremely affordable rooms, with most hotels going for less than $100 per night.

The second area is just south of Metrocentro. This area, home to universities, embassies, and shopping centres, is where you can find a more diverse range of accommodations. On the main arteries cutting through the area you will find large hotels belonging to major international brands, such as a Hilton and an Ambassador Hotel. These major hotels typically offer high-quality rooms for between $100 to $200.

If you go down one of the smaller side streets, however, you will find smaller establishments, such as backpacker hostels and family-run guesthouses. These places vary widely in terms of the services and amenities they offer, but the prices are extremely affordable, with rooms for less than $50 per night being the norm.

Getting to Your Hotel

Check with your hotel to see if they will pick you up at the airport or bus station. Many of the major hotels offer this service, although the smaller ones may not. Keep in mind that while Managua has a public bus system for getting around the city, it requires a smart card and drivers do not accept cash, which makes it inconvenient for visitors. Taxis are probably your best option. Remember that Managua's street and address system is highly disorganized and if you want to get somewhere you are better off telling your driver the nearest landmark rather than the address. However, drivers should know how to get to the major and more famous hotels. Also, you can rent a car in Managua, but only do so if you are comfortable with Nicaraguan driving conditions.