If there is one thing you can’t miss when you travel to Bogota, it’s the Gold Museum! The largest collection of gold coins in Latin America, it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful museums in Colombia.
Its collection of pre-Columbian relics is second to none. Inaugurated in 1939 to preserve this extraordinary heritage, you will be able to admire the largest collection of pre-Columbian gold objects in Latin America with more than 30,000 gold pieces and magnificent emeralds.
The largest emerald in the world is on display.
- Opening hours: Closed on Mondays.
- Admission: 4,000 pesos. Free for children under 12, over 60 and on Sundays.
- Guided tours are offered, except on Sundays.
This is the museum of the most famous Colombian artist and it is a must in La Candelaria, an institution that you cannot miss.
In 2000, Botero generously donated a collection of his works to this beautiful little museum built in an old colonial house.
Stroll through the beautiful flowered patio with columns in a calm and serene environment, away from the noise and bustle of the centre. You can also admire a large number of masterpieces by the greatest names in impressionism and modernism, such as Picasso.
- Closed on Tuesday.
- Free admission: Botero’s own condition for all Colombians to have access to art.
Along with the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum, La Candelaria is the neighborhood you should visit on arrival. It is the historical and colonial district of the city, a place full of charm with its brightly coloured houses, carved wooden balconies and flowery patios.
Not to be missed is the Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo, where many bohemian artists meet. In the evening, people like to meet for a drink, with many young students getting ready for a party. The Chorro is also the symbol of Bogotá’s creation. The first houses of the city are said to have been built there. But La Candelaria is also about strolling through the colourful, cobbled streets and small churches from the colonial era. This is THE tourist area of the city. Caution: Stay alert and do not walk alone at night.
After a good night’s sleep, start with breakfast at Puerta Falsa and set down in this grandiose square, with its breathtaking cathedral and mountain views in the background. Marked by a bronze statue of Simon Bolivar, it was the first public monument in the city of Bogotá. It’s a bit like our Place de la République in Paris for example. The one where people meet to demonstrate, to defend their rights. To the south of the square is the Capitol and to the north the Palace of Justice. The Primada de Colombia Cathedral is in the Spanish neoclassical style. It is the most important religious building in Colombia.
It is the ideal place to get a good view of the city. Perfect for an unforgettable sunset (if the weather is good). Located at 3,200m above sea level (accessible by foot, cable car or funicular), the Cerro de Monserrate will give you a panoramic view of the capital of Bogotá. This monastery is a rather touristy place, to be avoided on weekends to be more quiet. Choose a day with good weather to take full advantage of the view and preferably in the morning (if the weather is good).
- Free entrance for walking up and down.
- Caution: Avoid climbing on foot during the week or if you have heart problems.
- Funicular: 19,000 pesos return (11,000 pesos on Sunday)
- Cable car: 10,000 pesos per trip (5,500 pesos on Sundays)
For a trip off the beaten track, to discover an authentic Bogotá, we advise you to take a look at this unusual market. In the west of Bogotá, a 10-minute taxi ride from the historic centre, this is one of the most emblematic markets in the Colombian capital. Hundreds of the most unlikely and delicious exotic fruits make this institution famous.
You will also find stalls selling fish, meat by the kilo, herbs of all kinds, a variety of vegetables, flowers with a thousand scents, backed by small stalls selling food, coffee and fruit juice… the “plaza” has been bursting with colours and scents since 1972.
This is one of the biggest neighbourhoods in Bogotá. A must if you want to party and eat well. Chapinero Alto is a bohemian neighbourhood, home to the LGBT community and many artists. The area is quiet with many restaurants and cafes. Quinta Camacho is the most pleasant area of Chapinero, with brick houses, lots of greenery, gourmet restaurants and fancy bars.
Chapinero Central is more concrete, with many people and cars.
Zona Rosa, Chico and the 93 park
To the north of Bogotá you will find the rich and posh neighbourhoods. The main reason for going here is the quieter atmosphere than in La Candelaria, for good food and partying, or for a walk in the pleasant Virrey Park. Many people gather around the Parc de la 93, home to numerous cafés, restaurants and bars.
The Zona T (in the Zona Rosa) is the party place where the concentration of bars, clubs and restaurants is impressive. On weekends, the “85” is buzzing and music is everywhere. The Zona G is the “gastronomic” area of the Zona Rosa where there are many restaurants of all kinds, generally expensive but good. Chicó is the most exclusive area of Bogotá. Many shops, hotels and luxury restaurants are located here.
Usaquen, a small village in the city
This is the place to be on Sundays! In addition to the many delicious restaurants, you will find a quality weekly craft market. The atmosphere is very family oriented, and very pleasant. Here, skyscrapers and typical colonial houses are mixed together. Enjoy a stroll through the cobbled streets of the small colonial village, still preserved from the city’s development.
Simon Bolivar Park and Botanical Garden
Looking for some green? These two parks are the lungs of the city, located in the western part of the city, 15 minutes by taxi from the centre. The Simon Bolivar Park is the largest in the city of Bogotá. It is a very pleasant park with a lake in the middle, where bogotanos come to play sports, to walk or to participate in the many events that are organised there. The Botanical Garden offers, in a beautiful setting, an impressive collection of the most beautiful plants and flowers of Colombia. It is a playful garden ideal for family outings.
- Entrance to the botanical garden: 2,700 pesos.
Aventure Colombia activities
Do not hesitate to contact the Aventure Colombia teams for more information and/or reservations. ([email protected])
If you want to discover the little-known corners of the city of Bogotá, to know a little more about the history of the walls and the many monuments and churches of the city, the walking tour is for you. Accompanied by a local guide, usually French speaking, discover the city of Bogota from another point of view, its little anecdotes, its hidden treasures and its small and big secrets during a pleasant walk!
Is a Graffiti tour really necessary? Yes, it is one of the most important tourist attractions in Bogota. Urban art is the soul of Latin America, freedom of expression used by those who want to denounce inequalities or show the beauty of Colombia, through drawing. Long considered an act of vandalism, graffiti is now being revived.
Discover the urban frescoes of Candelaria, Teusaquillo, Barrio Santa Fe, Calle 26 or Avenida El Dorado… The walls of the Colombian capital have become a real palette of colours. The facades of the buildings reveal various artistic techniques that would make Banksy, Keith Haring and other famous urban artists blush.
What may come as a surprise when you arrive in the Colombian capital is how many people ride bicycles! Whether it’s for daily commuting, to enjoy the Ciclovia on Sundays or to train on the steep slopes of the Alto de Patio, Bogotanos love to cycle.
With more than 250 km of bicycle paths Bogotá is THE city in Latin America for a bike tour. On Sundays, the city’s main avenues (such as the Avenida Septima, which crosses Bogota from north to south) are closed to cars until 2pm. Cyclists and sportsmen of all kinds take over for a morning!
There is nothing better than a bicycle tour to discover the city of Bogota and its main sites of interest in an easy and pleasant way.
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