Asunción is the capital of Paraguay.
Asunción, as all of Paraguay, is a very contrasting place. Some rank Asunción as the world's cheapest capital. Few people would be able to explain why it is so charming despite having few traditional tourist attractions like beaches, mountains, or skyscrapers. As soon as you arrive, you will experience the sort of magic that exists in this place.
Few people speak English here and without at least some basic Spanish it might be hard to get by. From Saturday afternoon and all Sunday most businesses are closed and the city centre can become quite deserted.
Asunción is home to the Godoi Museum and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (which contains old paintings from the 19th century), the Church of La Encarnación and the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Pantheon of the Heroes, a smaller version of Les Invalides in Paris, where many of the nation's heroes are entombed. Other landmarks include the Palacio de los López, the old Senate building (a modern building opened to house Congress in 2003), the Catedral Metropolitana and the Casa de la Independencia (one of the few examples of colonial architecture remaining in the city).
Calle Palma is the main street downtown where several historical buildings, plazas, shops, restaurants and cafes are located. The "Manzana de la Rivera", located in front of the Presidential Palace, is a series of old traditional homes that have been restored and serve as a museum showcasing the architectural evolution of the city. The old railway station maintains the old trains that now are used in tourist trips to the cities of Luque and Areguá.
Asunción also has luxurious malls that contain shops selling well-known brands. The biggest shopping malls are Shopping del Sol, which includes a Macy's-style department store; Mariscal López Shopping, Shopping Villa Morra in the central part of the city, and the Mall Excelsior downtown.
The nightlife revolves around two areas: one in the downtown part of the city and the other in the neighbourhoods of Manora and Las Carmelitas, a strip full of nightclubs and bars.