Since its official founding by the Spanish (the city served as capital to native American tribes, as well), Bogota had a fair share of problems, with Pablo Escobar sponsored terrorist attacks and almost total destruction by it’s own citizens, among others. Today, it’s a rich cultural gem and a vibrant capital, yet still trying to shake off some of its infamous reputation caused by narco-traffic of the 80s and 90s.
City’s oldest neighbourhood and the one you should base yourself in, if attempting a cultural travel experience. Walking around is a pleasure in its own, with countless colonial and republican buildings, painted in all colours of the rainbow and decorated with impressive murals. Funnel Alley is probably the most famous street, but certainly not the only one worth seeing. There are number of free (gratitude expected) graffiti tours available to book online or simply show up at indicated meeting point and go. We did general, free walking tour around this area. Street food vendors, cafes, restaurants and pubs are on every corner and Colombian cuisine is definitely one of the biggest attractions here. For a great, free food walking tour check out Sara’s post
Dedicated to Colombia’s most famous liberator, its arguably the place to star exploring and where you can see some of capital’s most important buildings: main cathedral, Palace of Justice, City Hall and Congress of Colombia. Various events will be held here throughout the year too. Its size is pretty impressive and you can genuinely feel like you’re in the heart of a city. Well worth a short stroll around and, with a bit of luck, a flying pigeon will greatly enrich your picture.
The building housing the collection is impressive, especially from the inside, but the history and work of Colombia’s most famous painter was very interesting to me and I certainly don’t consider myself an art connoisseur. Entrance is free and personal headsets with audio in English are available at 10.000 COL per set. The place is closed on Tuesdays.
Museum of Gold
Collections on display explain human’s relation with precious metals (not only gold) and more detailed history of gold here in South America and Colombia in particular. See some of the most impressive, ancient gold-work and find out more about what could have really bean the legendary city of gold – El Dorado. Even if you’re not interested in the subject, this should find a spot in your itinerary. Entrance is 4.000 COL.
Not as impressive as the Bolivar Square, however an interesting place for people watching – it’s here that the illigal trade of Emeralds takes place. Feel free to wonder around, as it’s not considered dangerous, but if you do engage with traders, be prepared – we’re told they can get pretty intense! …also, be careful not to buy yourself a very expensive piece of polished glass.
Accessible by foot, cable car and funicular, this is the “city’s view point” and the place where an unforgettable sunset can be admired – truly unmissable in my opinion. Tickets cost 20.000 COL each way. We went up by cable car and came down by funicular. If you’re going for the sunset, we’re told, hiking can be dangerous at this time of the day.
Beyond Colombia – free walking tour
No, I didn’t receive any incentives for mentioning this company and yes, I do consider this a must do in Bogota. You may book here.
That’s it for Bogota. Our next stop is Cartagena, please come back to check out details of our experience