Nicaragua’s museum selection is pretty poor overall, but you can spend a rainy afternoon in El Museo Nacional de Nicaragua located in the Palacio de Cultura (tel. 505/2222-2905, open 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun., $1). It highlights natural history, as well as pre-Columbian ceramics and statues from all over Nicaragua’s territories.
Managua ’s other art galleries individually showcase Nicaragua’s creative artists. The best is probably Galería Solentiname (Barrio Edgard Munguía Transfer, 600 meters south of the UNAN, tel. 505/2277-0939, open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat), set in the home of Doña Elena Pineda, a native Solentinameña who has done a great job of promoting the works of painters from the famous Solentiname archipelago .
Related, the Galería de Los Tres Mundos (Los Robles, two blocks north of the French restaurant La Marseillaise, open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) is Ernesto Cardenal’s home base and showcases a variety of Solentiname artwork, from paintings to balsa work.
More a cultural center than a museum, Códice (Colonial Los Robles segunda etapa, house #15, tel. 505/2267-2635, open 9 a.m.–7 p.m., sometimes later, Mon.–Sat.) displays changing exhibitions of sculpture, paintings, and ceramics, all set around a lovely courtyard. There are frequent evening musical performances here set in a lovely outdoor patio.