Are you in Bogota or planning to travel there soon? Well, there are a few things you should make sure are on your “to-do” list once you’re there.
1. Tour the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum)
The Gold Museum in Bogota is a must see for any tourist passing through. The Gold Museum boasts an incredible collection of pre-Hispanic gold pieces as well as other artifacts from various time periods. The gold collection, however, is what is most impressive in this museum, hence the name. According to the museum, it all started with one single piece—the poporo quimbaya—and from that one piece, the museum has developed into the recently restored masterpiece that it is today. Even if you’re not a fan of pre-Hispanic collections, consider making an exception. You won’t regret a visit to this iconic museum, and are sure to be amazed by the intricate and exquisite gold collection on display.
2. Walk, run, skate, bike, or skateboard in the weekly ciclovia
The cicolovia is a weekly closure of some of the principal streets in Bogota to open a safe space for walkers, runners, bikers, and the like to enjoy some outdoors every Sunday from 7am to 2pm. Not only is participating in the almost 40 year-old event a good way to see the city, it’s also a chance to try some wonderful street food and get to see a more relaxed side to the busy and sometimes wrongly stereotyped Bogotanos.
3. Visit the historic churches in the city centre
Although the historic churches in Bogota are not often highlighted as “must-see” destinations in the city, Bogota is home to some magnificent and impressive churches rivalling those one might find on the European continent. Each church boasts a unique style both in architectures as well as artwork, due to the art style(s) in favour during the construction of each church. Particularly worth a visit are la Iglesia de San Francisco and la Iglesia de la Tercera. These two churches are right beside one another, but offer any tourist an incredible glimpse into the artistic and architectural contrasts of the colonial churches in Bogota. Although Bogotanos are still not 100% accustomed to seeing tourists in their churches, as long as you are respectful and keep your camera tucked away, you will be offered an exceptional peek into the religious history and culture of Bogota.
4. Take in the view of the city from el Cerro de Monserrate
The mountaintop el Cerro de Monserrate is an iconic symbol of the city of Bogota and offers, by far, the best view of the city’s landscape, limits, and distribution. To get to Monserrate, you can either embark on the adventurous but challenging walking path, as many people do when carrying out a pilgrimage to the church located in Monserrate, or you can take a cable car that will quickly transport you to the mountaintop. Once at the top, there are many ways to enjoy Monserrate; you can have a nice coffee with dessert in a restaurant, you can try your hand at bargaining at the small market, you can tour the mountaintop church, or you can simply take in the amazing view of Bogota from many of the charming garden area benches. However you decide to enjoy Monserrate, make sure it is on your travel list of things to do in Bogota.
5. Visit Paloquemao Market
Paloquemao Market is one of the most traditional and oldest markets in Bogota. In Paloquemao, you can find everything from fruits and vegetables to fresh flowers and freshly cut meats. Paloquemao is an excellent place to see and experience the incredible flavours of Bogota and Colombia. You will most assuredly be shocked and awed at the diversity of exotic fruits and indigenous vegetables available in this Bogotano market. Many vendors will offer you samples of their products—take them up on their offer, you won’t be sorry! The selection of fresh flowers is no less amazing. Colombia produces an incredible amount of beautiful and diverse flowers, and Paloquemao may just be the best place to see this variety of Colombian flora. Whatever you do, don’t leave empty-handed. Take a few pieces of exotic fruits with you to enjoy later in the day!
While there are many many many things you can do in Bogota, the five above mentioned should most definitely be on your list of things to do while in this astonishing Latin American capital city.
The Uncover Colombia Team
- The Beating Heart of Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Flavours of Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Five Places in the Historic Center of Bogotá You Shouldn’t Miss (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Top-10 Historic Churches in Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Monserrate, 3,152 meters closer to the stars (www.uncovercolombia.com)