Sucre, Bolivia is a great city with an excellent climate and is a great place to settle down and learn Spanish at one of its many schools. It is famous for its history in the War of Independence, San Francisco Xavier University, Parque Cretacico, Castillo de la Glorieta and numerous museums. It is the original Capital of Bolivia and it still considered the Capital according to the constitution, although the government resides in La Paz.
There are a few options for shopping in Sucre. There are 2 supermarkets near the centre called SAS and Solar. Personally I think that SAS is better stocked but Solar is a little more central. Generally the supermarkets are a bit more expensive than the local markets.
The 2 main local markets are Mercado Central and Mercado Campesino. Mercado Central, like the name suggests, is very central and just one block from the main square. Mercado Campesino is about 25 mins walk out of the city centre or you can take a Micro No.12 up Calle Junin which takes about 10 mins and costs 1.50bs.
When buying veggies you can buy by the kilo or cuartilla which is about 3 kilos or 6 pounds. Recently I found a cuartilla of carrots in the Mercado Central for 12bs and in the Campesino they were about 8bs, a small saving for those on a budget.
The Mercado Central is a must see and you can buy all your vegetables, bread, cakes, pasta, cheese, spices, meat and more there. There are also restaurants on the second floor which are really cheap and authentic.
There is a section with fruit juices which also do amazingly cheap fruit salads. Cherimoya is a very sweet fruit that tastes great and makes a nice juice. Alfalfa is a green leaf plant which the locals make into a nice drink usually with linseed (linaza) and some lemon (limon). They say it gives you lots of energy. It has a unique flavour and is worth a try if you are adventurous or lacking energy.
The Mercado Campesino is a little bit cheaper than the Mercado Central. It is also an open-air market and fills up many streets. In this part of town you will not only find food, but also computer shops, second hand clothes, home appliances, music stores, traditional herbs and spices and much more.
I am told by locals that there are thieves in the Mercado Campesino so, while I have never encountered any problems or seen anything suspicious, I would recommend you don’t take any valuable belongings you don’t need with you and don’t be stupid.
You can buy alcohol in either SAS or Solar supermarkets at a decent price for most drinks. There are also some liquor outlets dotted around the city which may be a little cheaper if you’re buying a dozen beers or more. When buying some of the large beer bottles (600ml or more) the shop might ask for an empty bottle. As a tourist you probably won’t have empties so you can try to negotiate a price for the glass bottle which you should be able to get back if you return the empties a day or two later. Buying bigger beer bottles is generally much cheaper. SAS has a good selection of these.
I have found the cheapest place to buy alcohol is from a particular corner in the Mercado Campesino. There you can buy 1L of Havana Club for 65bs or 1L or Jonny Red for about 85bs. They also sell boxes of beer and other spirits etc. It is located on the corner of, ‘Calle Nataniel Aguirre y J. Prudencio Bustillos’.
This is a short guide to a few of the places I have encountered but is by no means definitive. Please leave comments below if you think I have missed something out.
There are a number of great places to eat, drink and party in Sucre. If you are looking for a social evening then you can’t do better than starting with a Salsa Night at Joyride Cafe. The classes are simple and mainly attended by tourists and a few local experts who love to dance and meet new people. Joyride also has an amazing menu and is a great place to hang out in the afternoon or evening.
If you’re looking for a decent beer then you have to see Brewcraft. They have a modern brewery and excellent beer. They have very tasty food too and it’s all very affordable.
Some of the biggest parties go down at Kultur Berlin which is also a hostel. They have a Salsa Night too as well as other events like the traditional dances on Friday evenings. They have good food and of course a great party. There is a good mix of locals and tourists and it’s a very safe environment.
Once Berlin closes and the hour turns about 2am, a bunch of people like to go to Mitos, which is about a 20 min walk or a short taxi ride which at this hour shouldn’t be more than 10bs per person. It’s a bit grimy but pleasant enough.
There is also a club called Stigma which is popular but I have never been.