Managua, also known as the Novia del Xolotolan (Bride of Xolotlan) and the hottest, dirtiest, ugliest city in the country, is the capital of Nicaragua and is located in the lowlands of western Nicaragua, on the southern shore of Lake Managua. Managua is the nation's largest city and its principal administrative, commercial, and transportation center. The Pan-American highway links the city with other important Nicaraguan centers, and an international airport is here. Manufactures include: processed food, cement, soap, drugs, and textiles. The Central American University (1961), the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (1968), and schools of medicine and business administration are here. Landmarks include the National Palace and a monument in Parque Dario to Rubén Dario, a famous Nicaraguan poet, as well as the Rubén Dario Theater.
Go see the downtown Managua skyline.
During the Spanish colonial period Managua remained primarily and Indian town, subordinate to the more populous cities of Granada and Léon. It became the capital of independent Nicaragua in 1855 in a move designed to end the rivalry between the two larger cities. Managua was rebuilt along modern lines after the disastrous earthquake in 1931. Much of the city again was destroyed by a major earthquake in 1972, after which new housing and a new city center were built about 10 km (about 6 mi) to the southwest. The estimated population is one million, almost a quarter of the nation's total.
Go see the ugly Managua.
Nicaragua has almost nothing to offer as far as architecture and tourist attractions but there is definitely more for the bored teenager to do here than in any other city. There are lots of discos and clubs around the city, a few nice movie theaters, and a stadium for sports addicts. The stadium, originally named after General Anastasio Somoza and then renamed for his assassin, Rigoberto Lopez Perez, houses Nicaragua’s Los Indios (The Indians) and box seats to their games run about $4. There are several nice restaurants where seafood, beef, and chicken reach five-star standards.