Inside the Palacio de la Cultura y Biblioteca Nacional, the beautiful national museum is an enjoyable romp through the country's history – from Nicaragua's prehistory and the formation of the lakes and volcanoes – not to mention gold mines – to pre-Columbian statuary and one of the best pottery collections in the country, all well signed and explained.

Other exhibits whiz through the Spanish-colonial period before landing in the Sandino and the Sandinista eras. Above the main staircase is a mural of revolutionary movements in the Americas by Mexican artist Arnold Belkin, and there’s also a room tracing 500 years of art (most from the 1970s), with numerous pieces by renowned Nicaraguan artists Armando Morales and Leoncio Saenz, among others.