Altamira and Chacao, the best areas to stay in Caracas
Altamira is one of the most upscale areas of Caracas, which has adequate public transportation going to it as well as around the city. It is very easy to get to from the airport too, as there are shuttle buses and taxis that connect the airport with the area and this neighbourhood is one of the safest in the city and therefore is an ideal place to stay in.
Altamira is a district that has many high-rise buildings and is where you will find the financial district, which is where you will find lots of corporate companies like banks etc. One of the most impressive buildings to check out include the Venezuela University, which was designated as a World Heritage Site back in 2000. It was designed by the famous architect, Carlos Raul Villanueva, and is a ever expanding complex that displays modern art by local, regional and national artists and are open to the public.
Another major highlight of the neighbourhood is the Plaza Altamira, which is one of a few iconic images of the city and provides tourists with stunning views of the Avila mountain as well as some colonial architecture. Lots of people come here to meet, congregate and have some fun whilst seeing the sun go down and there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops in this part of the district. The Plaza is particularly famous for freedom of speech rallies as well as various ones set up by students to deter government plans, so don’t be surprised if you see a demonstration. One of the best shopping areas in the city awaits you and can be found at the Sabana Grande Boulevard, which is a charming cobblestone street that is home to a wide range of shops and malls with the most famous being Centro Comercial Sambil, which has cinemas, dozens of restaurants, lots of stores and pubs too.
The same area has plenty of restaurants to pick from, where you can choose a variety of cuisines like traditional foods, Asian, European and American meals. This same stretch also caters for bars and clubs, though there is also the street, Transversal de Los Palos Grandes, which has a terrific and eventful collection of establishments with the best hotels found along Jose Felix Sosa Avenue.
Chacao is another vibrant and safe neighbourhood to stay in and is conveniently located in the centre of the city, which means you have excellent links to the rest of the city as well as the airport. There are a good collection of colonial buildings in the area like the La Casa Natal de Simon Bolivar and is where you will find the Bolivar Museum, which hosts a vast array of war relics, paintings and tools. There are also some excellent parks and gardens to check out including the Parque del Este, where you can relax in this vastly spacious area as well as visit the planetarium and zoo and the Botanical Gardens, nearby, has an impressive selection of plant and flower species.
The main area for shopping, centres around the Romulo Gallegos Avenue as it has a diverse range of shops to look at, which sell products like jewellery, clothes, electronics, food and many other things. For nightlife, your best bet is to head to Avenida San Felipe as this street has the highest concentration of restaurants offering plenty of different foods, pubs, bars and a brilliant collection of hotels and hostels.