Museo Nacional de Arte (National Museum of Art)
Displaying Bolivian art from the colonial era through the present day, the National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte) is one of the country’s premier art collections. The 18th-century palace where the artwork is housed is just as remarkable, with intricate baroque detailing in the building’s soaring courtyard, alabaster fountain, and galleries.
Located in the heart of downtown La Paz, the Museo Nacional de Arte gathers sculpture, watercolors, oil paintings, and other media into a single collection. If you’re coming with a group of five or more people, museum staff may be available for free tours of museum highlights. In addition to the main galleries, an adjacent exhibition space features a rotating selection of contemporary work; unlike at the main museum, no admission is charged here.
Things to Know Before You Go
Like many La Paz museums, the Museo Nacional de Arte closes for lunch on weekdays.
A must for art-lovers, the museum is also fascinating for travelers interested in Bolivia’s religious traditions—multimedia exhibits explore the significance of a large collection of Roman Catholic works.
No photography is allowed at the Museo Nacional de Arte.
The museum is wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
Located at the corner of Comercio and Socabaya in downtown La Paz, the Museo Nacional de Arte is a short distance from Plaza Murillo. A 10-minute walk away is Plaza San Francisco, the area hub for taxis and public transit to other parts of the city. If you’re exploring La Paz as part of a guided tour, many operators offer pickup and drop-off at local hotels, which can cut down on time in transit.
When to Get There
The Museo Nacional de Arte is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 3pm to 7pm, Saturday from 10am to 5:30pm, and Sunday from 10am to 1:30pm. Weekday mornings tend to be the quietest times at the museum, but it’s rarely busy.
Bolivian Artists to Know at the Museo Nacional de Arte
Two of Bolivia’s most famous painters, Cecilio Guzmán de Rojas and Melchor Pérez de Holguín, have works on display at the Museo Nacional de Arte. Another favorite is Marina Núñez del Prado, a sculptor from La Paz whose pieces are known for their curving sensuality. To see indigenous Bolivians through the eyes of one of the country’s most significant 20th-century painters, look for canvases by Arturo Borda.
- La Paz Cathedral
- Plaza Murillo
- San Francisco Church
- Museum of Musical Instruments (Museo de Instrumentos Musicales)
- Calle Jaen Museums
- Presidential Palace
- Witches' Market (Mercado de las Brujas)
- National Museum of Archeology (Museo Nacional de Arqueologia)
- Valle de La Luna (Valley of the Moon)
- Death Road (North Yungas Road)
- La Senda Verde
- Lake Titicaca