Sucre is a bustling city offering beautiful views, temperate climate, endless culinary options, a lively urban scene, and so much more. Though Sucre is Bolivia’s constitutional capital, it is more commonly known as The White City for the city center’s stark white buildings. Whether you’re stopping for just a night or plan to settle there for a while, this Sucre city guide contains all the basics you need to know for your stay.
Getting To and From Sucre
A common way to reach Sucre and its surrounding cities is by bus because bus travel in Bolivia is pretty cheap. The city is a large hub, so there are frequent buses connecting Sucre and La Paz, Potosí, Uyuni, Cochabamba, and more. Many tickets can be booked beforehand on TicketsBolivia. But if you don’t see your preferred route on the website or aren’t sure of your travel plans, there are companies and tickets not listed online. Go to the Terminal de Buses to book tickets in the days leading up to or the day of your departure.
Between Sucre and Potosí, you can also take the Ferrobus, which is a train that takes you through Bolivia’s beautiful countryside. The train only leaves on certain days and takes longer than going by regular bus, so check with the El Tejar station to gather details and plan your travels.
Sucre also has an airport, though the great majority of flights are domestic. If you are coming into Bolivia internationally, you will most likely be arriving in La Paz or Santa Cruz de la Sierra before connecting to Alcantarí International Airport in Sucre.
Getting Around Sucre
Many of the restaurants, hostels, museums, and other attractions lie around the historic city center. This makes it very easy to walk from place to place. We walked everywhere during our stay in Sucre, and the white streets, serene parks, and Bolivian charm make it wonderful to do so.
There are many taxis zipping around the narrow streets if you happen to want to catch one. There are also many taxis that wait outside the bus station and airport to take you to your accommodation if needed. Always agree on a price before getting in a taxi since many aren’t metered.
For ventures to the countryside or outlying parts of the city, we preferred taking micros, or mini-buses, as they were cheap and didn’t require a taxi driver limiting our time to visit places. Many micros can be caught by the Mercado Central, but you can wave one down anywhere throughout the city.
Your accommodation and other locals can help you determine which buses to take to various locations since routes and schedule information for city buses are pretty much non existent online. Look for the number or letter on the micro that indicates where it is heading and ask the driver if you have any doubt. We always paid onboard in cash.
Where to Stay in Sucre
Being a hub for a range of travelers, Sucre has a wide variety of accommodation, from classy hotels to budget hostels. Here are a few great options.
Hotel San Felipe – double rooms with private bathrooms to suites and included breakfast
Mi Pueblo Samary Hotel Boutique – double and king rooms with private bathrooms and included breakfast
Where to Eat in Sucre
Sucre has an abundance of delectable food. Whether you’re a vegetarian, eating on a budget, or looking for some true Bolivian cuisine, you’ll most likely find what you’re searching for in Sucre. Here, there are restaurants serving up traditional Bolivian dishes and other restaurants serving food influenced by the foreigners who have come from many parts of the world to settle in Bolivia’s capital.
Try La Taverne for steaks and European dishes, Abis Café for sandwiches and desserts, Condor Café for breakfast and vegetarian meals, and Bienmesabe for Latin American bites. If you want some great Salteñas don’t miss out on El Patio. Some of these spots, such as Abis Café, have WiFi. The Bolivian Experience offers delicious local cuisine and great drinks, and there are plenty of unnamed local spots serving up heaping portions for a great price.
If you’re seeking those more budget-friendly spots, look for the many joints that put out a sign advertising the daily almuerzo or menu del día. You’ll get a large meal – usually a bowl of soup, main entre, and a drink – for a few Bolivianos.
We ate the lunch deals at the Mercado Central. Our hostel staff didn’t recommend that we do that, but our stomachs were very used to street food at that point. As with any markets, street stalls, or restaurants when traveling, use your best judgement in regards to buying meat dishes, eating at places that may not have access or feel the need to use clean water to wash veggies or make ice for drinks, etc.
There are many tour operators in Sucre, offering anything from half-day city tours to multi-day treks. Before booking any tour, research online to get an idea of prices and the reputation of the company to ensure that you have the best experience possible. We also recommend visiting the tour operator office in person if possible to ensure that any needs are met for your tour, such as an English-speaking guide or diet restrictions.
There are plenty of activities that you can do without a guide, such as visiting museums and heading outside of the city to the Siete Cascadas. This can be done on foot or by using the extensive system of public transport. Many locals we encountered were always helpful in pointing us in the right direction.
There are plenty of ATMs in Sucre, most of which can be found near the city center. You can also withdraw money inside of the banks. If you want to exchange money, check to see if they can exchange your currency at the casas de cambio, or exchange within a bank.
Cash is the most commonly used and accepted form of payment in Sucre. Some restaurants, bigger hotels, and tour operators will accept card, but be aware of the surcharge some places may add. When out and about, try to pay with smaller bills as some establishments may not have much change and will have to ask other vendors to break a bill.