La Paz’s Plaza Murillo is a pigeon-filled public square steeped in history, conquest, conflict, and tragedy. Surrounded by imposing buildings such as the Presidential Palace, the La Paz Cathedral, and the National Congress of Bolivia, many of the country’s most notable political events have taken place on the large, open square.
Plaza Murillo is considered to be one of the finer places in La Paz for people-watching and socializing. Founded in 1558 by Spanish settlers, it’s now named for Don Pedro Domingo Murillo, a leader of the 1809 revolution against Spanish occupation who was eventually hanged in the plaza. A large monument to Murillo, revered to this day as a leader of Bolivian independence, sits in the center of the square.
Visit Plaza Murillo independently or as part of a La Paz sightseeing tour. Tours typically include stops at the city’s major attractions, such as the Witches Market (Mercado de Las Brujas) and infamous San Pedro Prison (Penal de San Pedro). There are popular food and market tours as well.Things to Know Before You Go
- Plaza Murillo is a must for all first-time visitors to La Paz.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and tote a jacket or sweater.
- The high altitude can be a problem for visitors, so take it easy until you’re properly acclimated.
- Be mindful of your belongings and surroundings, especially at night.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach Plaza Murillo, located in the city center. Most visitors arrive as part of a La Paz sightseeing tour or on foot, though walking can be strenuous due to the high altitude and steep hills. Alternatively you can take a colectivo (trufi) or hire a taxi.When to Get There
As with much of La Paz, Plaza Murillo is almost always crowded. It’s especially busy during holidays and cultural celebrations, and is often the site of political events and protests. The best time to visit is May to October, Bolivia’s winter dry season. Plaza Murillo Attractions
Plaza Murillo is surrounded by some of La Paz’s most important buildings. On one side of the square is the La Paz Cathedral (Catedral Basílica Menor de Nuestra Señora de la Paz). Next door to the cathedral is the Presidential Palace (Palacio Quemado) and official residence of the president of Bolivia. Facing the cathedral is the National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte), and across from the Presidential Palace is the National Congress of Bolivia (Palacio del Congreso Nacional).