A humble exterior conceals an elegant, velvet-swathed concert hall at the Rubén Darío National Theatre (Teatro Nacional Rubén Darío), Nicaragua’s premier exhibition space. The hall is a true homage to Managua’s cosmopolitan roots with Spanish chandeliers, American design inspiration, and the best of Latin American and other cultural performances.
The theater is divided into two sections: the Main Hall, which seats 1,200 and hosts large performances; and the Crystal Room, named for its two magnificent Spanish chandeliers and reserved for art gallery showings and intimate concerts. Both boast affordable admission fees and state-of-the-art performances, from children’s choirs to operas. Visit anytime for a stroll around the exterior of the theater, or make the most of your trip by aligning your visit with a performance—the only time the theater interior is open to the public. Barring that, for a comprehensive and hassle-free experience, visit the national theater as part of a Managua city tour. Most sightseeing tours include a stop here because of the theater’s history and cultural significance as one of the only buildings in Managua that survived the 1972 earthquake.
Things to Know Before You Go
- For popular performances, it is recommended to buy tickets in advance.
- If attending a performance, dress in appropriate theater-going attire; for example, shorts, sandals, and flip-flops are not allowed.
- Arrive early, as late-comers will not be seated.
- Children under 4 years old are not allowed in the theater.
How to Get There
The best way to reach the theater is in one of Managua’s many inexpensive taxis. A number of nearby bus stops also service the neighborhood, which is right by the malecón on the shores of Lake Managua.
When to Get There
The Rubén Darío National Theatre is open to the public only during performances, so be sure to check the schedule of events on their website. The theater hosts about 10 performances per month.
A Poetic Beginning
The national theater is named after the most famous Nicaraguan poet and father of Modernismo, Rubén Darío. The theater periodically hosts poetry readings in his honor.