10 Reasons Why Sucre (Bolivia) is Awesome!

View-from-Recoleta-Sucre-Bolivia

I’ve been in the Bolivian city of Sucre now for almost 2 weeks and (will sadly) be departing today. The place is awesome! So much so that I wanted to write an article detailing exactly what is so awesome about it, so that if you’re coming to Bolivia you don’t miss it out of your itinerary!

$6 an hour private Spanish lessons

Sucre is a main hub for language learning in South America and of course Bolivia. It is extremely cheap to learn Spanish as a foreign language here, and I guess this is in large part why it is such a popular language learning location. I personally studied at the Sucre Spanish School for 1 week of private lessons. If I return to Sucre it is likely that I will study here again for another week of 1 to 1 tuition. They charge $6 an hour for private 1 to 1 lessons. It’s around $4 an hour for group classes. These prices are pretty normal in Sucre for what you can expect to pay at any school. Whilst I think group classes are probably better for complete beginners to start with, once you can start conversing in Spanish the 1 to 1 lessons do definitely help more as you can target problem areas, tell them what areas you need to improve on personally, and you’ll also be getting a concentrated period of time of just simply talking in Spanish with a native speaker.

Cocktails are cheaper than beer

blurred party pic sucre for website

Whilst Sucre is not a party town in the same way that say Buenos Aires is (simply because of its size), there are still definitely a lot of opportunities here to fiesta, particularly on the weekend. Surprisingly, in most bars the cocktails appear to be cheaper than a large beer! For example, the typical price I paid for a Mojito (in most bars I went to) was 20 Bolivianos (£1.80 / $2.89 / €2.14). During happy hour at my hostel I was paying 20 Bolivianos for 2 Mojitos! Whilst I never initially came to Sucre to party I have to admit I did indulge in the nightlife quite considerably just because it was so crazy-cheap. Also, apparently it’s rather common here for guys to strip off their tops about half way through the night? Not that I’m complaining of course!

The park is the place to be on a Sunday

Church-in-Sucre-Bolivia

Sundays in Sucre are somewhat dead in most parts of the city. In some ways this was nice because you could walk around the-usually-busy city centre every Sunday with an eery sort of solace. It was nice if you’d had a big weekend or had been studying pretty hard during the week to have a bit of quiet time. I was therefore surprised when I stumbled across something of a market/party/play area for kids in Parque Bolivar that was abundant in atmosphere on a Sunday afternoon. It was a really cool place to hang out, eat some cheap street/junk food, and people watch. There were a lot of people out with their dogs, kids, grannies, boyfriends, friends etc.

Amazingly awful music

I thought Eastern Europe has some of the worst/best most terribly awful music, but Bolivia is certainly rivalling it! So many times I’ve walked into a bar or restaurant here and thought I’d arrived into some sort of time portal to the 80’s or early 90’s. That said, I don’t care how cool your music collection is, you can’t beat an over dramatic rendition of Always by Bon Jovi whilst you’re eating some cheesecake.

Also, whilst I am not ashamed (ok, slightly ashamed) to admit that I do have a few Phil Collins songs on my Spotify playlist somewhere (don’t pretend you don’t either), when a bar plays his greatest hits ON REPEAT for an ENITIRE HOUR it is hard to contain the giggles. Although ‘Another Day In Paradise’ is an awesome song no matter how many times you listen to it.

But if it wasn’t Phill Collins, Bon Jovi, or some other international band from the 80’s or 90’s, they’d often play some sort of English speaking pop song that I’m pretty sure has never been realised in any English speaking country ever. It was all very bizarre, but at the same time all part of the Sucre experience.

Beautiful buildings

Monument-in-Sucre-Bolivia Buiding-Sucre-Centre-Bolivia

Sucre is beautiful. I could seriously walk around the city centre for days and not get bored here because there are so many bright and pretty buildings to look at and moments of spectacular beauty. If it’s not the architecture I was marvelling at it was the surrounding hills and mountainous countryside. If you head up the hill to the Recoleta area there is a really lovely little viewing point where you can view the entire city below. There are also a few nice bars up there where you can have a few drinks with the views. I just couldn’t get over the beauty of this place while I was here. It was just a really nice place to be for a while, if you know what I mean?

Recoleta-Ciudad-Sucre-Bolivia View-of-Sucre-Bolivia-from-Recoleta

Great hostels

Sucre has an abundance of cheap hostels, but if you’re willing to pay just a little bit more (still cheap, but just a bit more) you can get something of real quality here. For example, I stayed at Kulturcafe Berlin Hostel and paid 45 Bolivianos (£4 / $6.50 / €4.70) per night for a bed in a dorm room. Whilst the hostel is full of Germans (who I love but tend to be a bit cliquey in groups only speaking German), the building and facilities were awesome! The hostel is home to large gardens (including hammocks), has a lovely court yard, it spotlessly clean, and has a really cool chill out bar/café. If you pay just 8 pesos at the bar during breakfast they will also give you an omelette along with the other food/drink items for breakfast that are included in the price.

Less stares (from the locals)

I must admit, in Villazon and Tupiza I really felt like I got stared at A LOT by the locals. This doesn’t normally bother me that much, but I definitely felt like a tourist in these places and like people maybe weren’t that welcoming (despite the fact they’re used to tourists passing through both towns frequently.) However, in Sucre this wasn’t the case. Everyone has been very friendly and no-one really cares if you’re the foreigner walking down the street. I guess all cities are the same compared to small towns, but I think in certain towns in Bolivia you are also more noticeable (as a female) because you don’t wear the traditional dress. In Sucre though there’s more of a mix of girls wearing traditional wear and others wearing modern attire. I guess I just didn’t stand out as much here which was better in a way because I could just get on with my day and seeing the city.

People dressed as Zebras to walk you across the Zebra crossings (this is an actual job here)

Zebras-Crossing-Sucre-Bolivia

I absolutely love that they do this here! In the main plaza and in some of the surrounding streets in Sucre there are people paid to dress up in Zebra outfits and guide you/the traffic across the Zebra crossings. They dance and wave and just generally put a smile on everybody’s face when you’re crossing the road. I’m not sure who in the local government came up with this idea but it is entirely awesome!

10 in a taxi

Taxi drivers really just don’t care in Sucre, and it can result in some hilarious situations (although in hindsight it was also probably a bit dangerous too). It’s quite common in Sucre that if there are too many people to fit in the taxi you just squeeze in. However, I’m not talking about an extra person here or there, I mean you can literally have 10 or 11 people squeezing into a 5 seater taxi – and the driver already takes up 1 of those seats! I’d usually just walk everywhere in Sucre but we would often take a taxi at night to where ever we were going out and this became something of a regular occurrence. I thought it might just have been us but others spoke of similar experiences! It was honestly mental but also extremely hilarious too when you’ve got 3 people piled up in a tower sitting on each other’s knees and the more skinny of the bunch trying to fit a bum into a seat pocket.

You’re often as cheap eating out than eating in

Particularly when it comes to stall food at ferrias and the like, you’re often cheaper buying it there than buying the food in and cooking it yourself! However, even city centre restaurants were extremely cheap. It was quite common to walk into a place and pay 20 (maximum 30) Bolivianos for a 3 course ‘Menu del Dia’ meal during lunch. That equates to just £1.80 / $2.89 / €2.14! If you needed to base yourself somewhere for while in South America that was very cheap (but still had an abundance of amenities and city life going on) here is the place to do it.

– If you liked this article you may also be interested in viewing my pictures of the stunning Bolivian salt flats that I posted recently.

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6 Responses to “10 Reasons Why Sucre (Bolivia) is Awesome!”

  1. Katy says:

    Great post Jane! Sounds like an awesome city!!!!

  2. Roni Faida says:

    I haven’t explored Bolivia. I was in Ecuador a year ago and that was really cheap as well. I’ve never really thought about Bolivia but after reading this post you have got me thinking. Thanks!

  3. Jane says:

    Hi Roni

    Bolivia is awesome! There’s also the Salt Flats which are meant to be stunning (I’m going later this week.) Definitely an under rated destination in my opinion.

  4. John says:

    Great post! It made me laugh several times, especially the torture that must have been the music. 🙂

  5. Brigid says:

    I’ve been living in Sucre now for about 3 weeks, and totally agree with all your points. It really is one of my favourite cities. I absolutely love the zebras, they’re always so animated!

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  1. […] funny. Before I arrived in Bolivia I was almost certain that I would love La Paz and that Sucre, one of Bolivia’s other large(r) cities, would not really be my ‘cup of tea’. In […]


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