10 Museums Worth Your Time In La Paz

best museum in la paz bolivia

Home to some of Bolivia’s best museums and galleries, La Paz provides visitors the chance to learn about the country’s cultural, artistic and religious history in some wonderfully inspiring settings. Most of the museums are conveniently located in the city’s center with five situated on colourful Calle Jaén.

The following are our picks of the best museums to visit in La Paz:

Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco)

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, Tiwanaku is an ancient archaeological site named after one of the most important civilizations prior to the Inca Empire.

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Plaza Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Plaza)

Situated on the Prado, in a grandiose late 19th-century mansion, is a museum dedicated to Bolivia’s modern arts scene. Owned and run by Bolivia’s Plaza family, the museum houses an eclectic collection of 20th century paintings, sculptures, ceramics and works by Bolivian and international artists.

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National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore (MUSEF)

Housed in the 18th-century Marquis de Villa Verde Palace, is a surprisingly modern museum showcasing the regional particularities and unique characteristics of Bolivia’s independent cultures.

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Museum of Musical Instruments (Museo Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia)

Situated right in the middle of the famed Calle Jaen is an impressive museum suited to music lovers of all ages. Founded in 1962 by famous Bolivian charanguista and inventor of musical instruments, Ernesto Cavour Aramayo, the privately owned museum houses Bolivia’s most extensive collection of unique indigenous instruments.

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Museo de Metales Preciosos

Located in the former home of Bolivian revolutionist, Apolinar Jaén, is a museum containing an impressive collection of Pre-Colombian precious metals.

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Museo del Litoral Boliviano

Whilst many museums are dedicated to the triumphs of war, Bolivia is one of the few countries in the world which commemorates a defeat. This small museum on Calle Jaén is aimed at educating visitors about one of Bolivia’s most devastating moments in history.

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Casa de Pedro Domingo Murillo

Located on Calle Jaén’s museum trail lies a historic mansion, once home to the martyr of Bolivian independence; Pedro Domingo Murillo.

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Museo Costumbrista Juan de Vargas

Located on the corner of picturesque Jaen Street is a charming museum containing photos, colonial artifacts, ceramic figurines, paintings, costumes and dioramas, all representing La Paz’s rich and turbulent history.

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Museo de Coca

Located on Calle Linares is a unique museum dedicated to the notorious and controversial coca leaf. Known to many as the ingredient responsible for cocaine, Museo de Coca attempts to rid the leafy stimulant of its stigma by explaining the long history of coca and its sacred use in the Bolivian culture.

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Museo de Textiles Andinos Bolivianos

Tucked away in La Paz’s Miraflores neighborhood is a private museum showcasing the county’s most complete collection of weaving, textiles and clothing from the Bolivian Andes.

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